Posted on March 04 2022
I'd love to tell you that it was these noble sentiments that inspired me to pick up this Timex x Snoopy automatic, but it wasn't.
Honestly, it was the green second hand.
That and the cute Snoopy graphic on the dial. You see, I was on the lookout for a quirky watch. Something affordable and light-hearted - and then I stumbled across this Timex.
So is this watch the fun and affordable mechanical model that I was after? Read on to find out.
Timex Marlin Automatic x Peanuts Take Care
Timex Marlin Automatic x Peanuts Take Care Watch Review TW2V32600
She was an eccentric woman and I spent a lot of time with her as a child. I was shopping for a watch that would remind me of our relationship. The watch I wanted would be quirky, fun and maybe even a bit childish.
After a search among my favourite affordable brands, I quickly focused in on Timex's Snoopy range. I'm a big fan of the Marlin with a California dial but had found the 34mm case a bit small.
However, the newer Marlin releases give more of a nod to modernity. They have the same inspiration - Timex's classic spartan dress watches. But they have 40mm cases.
They also feature Japanese automatic movements. An upgrade from the hand-wound Chinese ones of the earlier models.
And you know what type of dog Snoopy was right?
He's a Beagle. We lost our family Beagle three years ago.
I'd decided that I needed a Snoopy watch. It was now a case of deciding which Timex Snoopy watch stood out.
For me, it was the green second hand that swung it. Yes, Snoopy looks cute cuddling the planet, but the subtle touch of green swung it for me. On paper, the Marlin Take Care ticked the boxes I wanted.
The environmental credentials and the uplifting message sold with the watch are a bonus. But when it comes down to it, that unusual green hand is a great reminder of my non-conformist grandmother. And the smiling Beagle brings back fond memories of our family's pet.
The Timex Marlin Automatic Watch in Detail
I've stressed that the Marlin Take Care is a fun piece, but let's not forget the watch's heritage. This is a dress watch. The Marlin - with numerous iterations over the decades - is a no-nonsense budget dress watch. It was Timex's go-to simple timepiece.
So that's where I'll start with this one.
Does the Timex Marlin still work as an affordable dress watch?
I'd suggest that it does. Firstly, it's a straightforward watch. The case is simple with modest lugs, no crown guards and a relatively small crown. The case is polished and has the timeless design that you'd expect from a dress watch.
The only area for debate will be the size. It's 40mm wide. That's probably as big as I'd like to go with a dress watch. However, the earlier Marlin reissues were only 34mm wide - smaller than I'd like.
Of the two, I do prefer this larger case - and yes, some brushed finishing would be nice. But there's also an argument that the addition of different finishing could spoil the watch's simplicity.
This simple polished case is matched with a domed acrylic crystal. Both the shape and the material reinforce the vintage aesthetics of the Marlin and the sloped case creates a nice transition from it to the crystal.
And the dial?
Again it's quite spartan - and that is a big part of this watch's enduring appeal. Both the indices and hands are slim - there's lume on the hands but not the markers. I can't quite make my mind up about the date window. It's small and discreet, presumably to avoid creating an imbalance on the dial. But at the size it is, I'd prefer if it was removed altogether.
Of course, the hands, markers and date window are designs points you notice at a second glance. The Snoopy graphic - a beagle hugging a globe - is what really catches your attention. It's a great little picture and makes this dress watch a playful piece.
Finally, there is the green second hand that drew me to the watch. It's distinctive. Something slightly different to other dress watches. There's a variation of the Marlin with a yellow second hand, but for me, this green variation is better.
Turning the watch around, there's an exhibition back that showcases the Japanese-made Miyota automatic movement. At this price point, I'm happy with the movement and it's definitely an upgrade from the hand-winding Chinese engine in earlier releases.
The strap deserves a second look too. Again, it's straightforward and functional. The quick-release feature is always welcome and in keeping with the green ethos, the strap is eco-friendly. It is made from Ecco DriTan leather - apparently, it's produced using less water.
For some, these eco-credentials will be important. The Take Care x Peanuts Marlin has two selling points here. The strap and the self-winding nature of the automatic movement.
In addition, the packaging is literally green. It's green-coloured and features art with phrases like 'buy local', 'plant a tree today' and 'green is the new black'. The box is a lot less subtle than the watch. It's more playful than it is dressy.
But the two approaches work well. The watch retains the history of both the Marlin and Snoopy, but the packaging presents the watch as a modern green product built to pass on a message.
As the packaging states "Take Care with Peanuts promotes a vital message of caring". This is obvious from the packaging but subtle once the watch is on your wrist.
A Brief History of Timex Watches
The company that would eventually become Timex began with a simple concept. To make timepieces that almost everyone could afford. The American firm built watches and clocks to compete with the more expensive European competition.
It’s a mission that has remained fairly consistent. Timex still focuses on the affordable end of the watch market.
The Connecticut based brand introduced its first bestselling affordable watch in 1895. The Yankee pocket watch was known as the watch that made the dollar famous. Selling six-million units, it was the cheapest watch on the market. It was also the first to sell for $1. The brand no longer competes at the lowest price-point. But that was where it first won its market share.
By the 1950s Timex was being used as the brand's name and the watches were featured on TV. They were frequently put through a series of ‘torture tests’. Stunts designed to demonstrate the watch's durability. It was at that time that they coined the memorable slogan ‘Timex – Takes a Licking and keeps on Ticking’.
The success of this marketing, and the sales of the watches through a variety of channels, meant that by the 1960s they were America’s best selling watches. A third of all watches sold there were made by Timex.
Clearly, the American consumer felt that Timex watches represented good value for money.
The current Timex range is built on the foundations of this history and the brand’s later innovations. A standout watch from this later period was the Ironman - introduced in 1986. It became the best-selling watch in America and the world’s most popular sports watch. Following this, the company developed the Indiglo night light and the Expedition collection.
Within the current Timex range, there are a number of memorable designs, most of which do represent good value for money.
The Timex Marlin is a classic affordable watch with a tried and tested design. Unsurprisingly, Timex has re-released the model in recent years. Their first reissues were very faithful to the originals with 34mm cases - somewhat small by today's standards.
The new generation of Marlin watches updated the case size and upgraded the movement. Both improvements that have largely been welcomed by watch fans.
Out of the different designs I opted for the new Peanuts model. It champions sustainability, although this was a secondary concern for me. What I really wanted was the fun Snoopy design and the unusual green second hand.
I've got to say, the watch feels like a good buy. It's not a steal, but at £250 it seems fairly priced. I got what I wanted. A distinctive, fun watch with a legitimate history. It's versatile and works as an everyday dress watch. But it's also fun and quirky.
Remember, if the green touches aren't for you - or Snoopy isn't your thing - there are a number of other variations available. Give them a closer look.