Watchmakers from Longines to Audemars Piguet are busy raiding their archives, creating upsized, modernized versions of classic designs. At the same time, the vintage market is exploding, catering to customers who want a watch with Wabi-sabi and patina. So why would anyone want a new fake old watch that looks like it got the crap kicked out of it? Hell if know. But that’s what Timex is selling with their Timex X MadeWorn American Documents. And I have to say . . .
Yuck. You have eyes, but where do I start? How about this: this is not an $850 Two-Face quartz-powered riff on the $160k Limited Edition Royal Oak Concept Black Panther Flying Tourbillon. It’s a new design designed to look old, but doesn’t. It looks weird.
Someone at Timex or MadeWorn decided it would be fun to bifurcate the Document’s dial into AM and PM. In case you don’t share my addiction to vintage watch websites, no timepiece ever created by hand of man sports this design. For one good reason: there’s such a thing as 9 in the morning. (See: below.)
There’s also such a thing as the Timex American Documents. You can buy the Timex x MadeWorn’s elegant ancestor for a [relatively] paltry $495. Our four-star review called it “a classic design perfectly executed.”
Comparing that to this is like comparing Raiders of the Lost Ark to Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. Same lead actor, vastly different results. And not in a good way.
The Timex x MadeWorn’s po-faced painted-on indices are bad enough. What up with the field watch-style inner numerals? If the dial’s divided into day and night, why are there nighttime numerals in the daytime section?
The lighter half of the Timex x MadeWorn’s dial doesn’t look “worn” as much as stained. Not stained like a stained glass window. Stained like a massage oil crotch stain. I suppose we should be thankful MadeWorn forewent fauxtina and resisted the urge to Indiglo the dial’s daytime dominion.
To say the caseback lacks finesse is like saying I date women in the wrong corner of the hot – crazy matrix. Hang on. Isn’t fooling people that an item was made a long time ago the entire point of the pre-distressed shtick?
Anyone who knows anything about vintage watches will immediately see this Timex for the poorly conceived wannabe fake that it is. The rest of the world won’t know or care. Meanwhile, the word “MADEWORN” on the case back reminds the watch’s owner that his timepiece was born inauthentic. And shall remain so forever more.
If you axe me – and I hope that MadeWorn CEO Blaine Halvorson doesn’t – if you purchase a Timex x MadeWorn American Documents watch you’re buying American craftsmanship masquerading as American craftsmanship (from a company that earns 99% of its money selling cheap Chinese watches). Does that make the Timex x MadeWorn meta? Ironic? Post-modern? Nah. It’s just stupid.
As are the the goodies accompanying the watch. Blow torched case? Fake dirt printed on the docs? It’s a dress watch manifesting itself as a nostalgia-themed restaurant that couldn’t afford genuine antiques. I didn’t buy it when I was 12 and I’m not buying it now. Literally. In case you hadn’t guessed.
Once again, a watchmaker has created something great (e.g., the plain Jane American Documents), failed to give it proper marketing support, saw it as flop and cranked-out a variation to “breathe new life” into the model. Most of the time, Black Panther fans, it works! For a while . . .
Brand extensions almost always lead to a line of increasingly bizarre products that wander off the reservation, diluting the brand. The original Timex American Documents is a winner. The Timex x MadeWorn version is a joke. If you get it and like it, get it and like it. If you don’t, spend a moment marveling at how the mighty have fallen. So to speak.