Gear Review – Timex Indiglo watch

Many people have outdoor watches that do it all. Mine tells the time: the Timex Indiglo.

A watch, at its most basic functionality,  is for one purpose: To tell the time.

However, much like phones, they have acquired more functionality over the years: altimeter, heart rate monitor, GPS and so on.

Telling the time only? That is so 1980s.


 Though I was always envious of Ralph P’s watch back in 4th grade!

Naturally these new watches spark pages of discussion too. Which watch to get? Which watch has the best features? Will it place my order at Starbucks? And many other questions.


Yellow fedora optional.

Much like the over-fascination with gear in general, watches are discussed quite a bit.

I suppose I’m a bit of a Luddite outdoors person.   I prefer analog watches for aesthetic reasons. And do not need the many features people seem to desire.

However,  I do enjoy wearing a watch in the backcountry.  Why?

Because sometimes it is nice to know the time. How much time do I have to reach the post office before it closes? Can I ski back in time to reach happy hour at my favorite brew pub? You know…the important things.

In the backcountry, a watch is really useful for dead reckoning.  Esp off trail, if I know my rough rate of travel, it is fairly easy to figure out where I am on a map.

EDIT: Naturally, for first aid purposes it is indispensable for taking vital signs

So the watch of my choice? My trusty Timex Expedition Indiglo.   It tells the time. It tells the date. It glows .  It is weather resistant.  It is analog and does not look like an artifact from a 1950s SciFi movie.


Watch on a map. It’s art!  Damn it!!!! 

It has been my outdoor watch of choice for almost 15 years.   I lost my original one in a move a few years back after it had  many miles of hard outdoor use.   Like the commercial says “It takes a lickin’ and it keeps on tickin’

I expect my current one will last a few more years yet.

I like to keep my gear simple, functional and straightforward

And that includes my outdoor watch, too.


15 Replies to “Gear Review – Timex Indiglo watch”

  1. Pmags,
    I wish my success with Timex Indiglo were as good as yours. I have bought two analog Timex indiglo watches in the last year and both had the same problem…there is a “short” in the dialer knob or whatever you call it and for a while when you push it in, the light comes on. Then after a while when you push it in, the light won’t come on. To make it work, I have to pull the knob back out and push it in part way to make the light come on. But if you push the knob in a little further, which happens automatically with my wrist since I wear my watch on my left arm, the light no longer works again. The indiglo is the main reason I like a Timex watch but it was too much of a PITA to put up with. My Expeditions were a different model then yours…maybe I should try yours.

  2. If you are going over to the digital dark-side, I like the Timex Ironman watch. It has the indiglo, which is great for finding out that it’s only 1 a.m. when you wake up in your tent and are cold. It’s real usefulness is for running, with the stopwatch and lap timer. Also, the alarm is good for travelling.

  3. See, I just knew you were into old fashioned gear. Actually, I got a new one last year after about 15 years with the old one.

  4. I don’t bring a watch anymore, if I need to tell time I check my cell . I bought a real jazzy watch with an altimeter pedometer ect and so on 4 or 5 years ago and I became a slave to the thing. I was constantly aware of my elevation my mileage and I was getting stressed. as Thoreau wrote: Simplicity simplicity simplicity!

  5. I also like the Timex Ironman if you ever decide to go digital! GPS watches are fun and all, but I’m not detail-oriented enough to do anything with all that DATA. Besides, aren’t we outside for fun, not data? Love your blog, Mags.

    1. I just may get a calculator watch yet! 😉

      After my re-certification of my WFA this weekend (and soon – CPR), the other use of the watch I forgot to mention: taking vital signs and noting time for a SOAP! Luckily I only had to do that once when my boss at the time had a panic attack in the office. Never had to do it in the backcountry (which is why I forgot that very important use)

  6. I love my expedition watch. I’m on my second one though. The last one didn’t make it through a wet sauna. The glass started fogging from the inside still told the time though. I do secretly wish it had an alarm for when I need to wake up early and get a good start do to lost weather days.

  7. I have an indigo Expedition I bought about 5 years ago. After three years the battery died (normal), but I never got around to having it changed. I recently got interested in clocks after watching the “Longitude” docudrama, and started looking for another cheap watch. In frustration, because the only watches I found that suited my sensibilities are 500-1000 dollar Hamiltons (actually Swatch) with $25 movements, I decided to take a look at the old Expedition. I had a fresh CR2016 to stick in it but I couldn’t get the back off. A couple of minutes searching this and it turns out you pry it off via a subtle indentation pointed out by a pretty hard to see arrow. Duh. A couple of minutes of work and it was alive again. I set it to NIST time yesterday morning and this morning it is off by — ZERO SECONDS! So, I guess I have a watch again (I only need one).

    I’m a little conflicted now as to the water tightness, I will probably baby it until I get a replacement seal and install it.

    BTW, I used to ultrarun, my wife still does (just did the AC100 last week). We have only used low end Ironmans for this activity, the useful life due to the hard wear and tear being about the battery life.

    Go Timex!

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