Your typical Timex watch is inexpensive and pretty basic, but fun and nicely made for its price point. That's why we love them, but how do you make a watch that's even more quintessentially Timex? Designer Giorgio Galli's answer was the S1 automatic watch which the brand released back in 2019: It featured a relatively involved design, higher-end materials and movement, and a bit higher price tag than most Timex watches. Now, with even more wearable, everyday sizing at 38mm, it's arguably upped the Timex factor.
The most significant change for the new Giorgio Galli S1 38mm watch is that its case dimensions have shrunk from 41mm to 38mm. You can still buy the 41mm versions (currently available in two dial colors) if that sizing fits you better, but 3mm will make a big difference for a lot of wearers. The basic look and feel of the watch are maintained, with a clear, legible design, a host of interesting details and nicely finished architectural case that helps keep it firmly in the contemporary camp despite its classic cues. Sapphire crystal, common among higher-end watches but rarely seen at Timex, is another notable upgrade (without raising the price).
Available in three dial colors of blue, green and gray, another notable difference (we'd definitely call it an improvement) is that the hands are filled with Super-LumiNova rather than skeletonized as seen on the 41mm version. The watches are powered by the same Miyota 9039 automatic movement, which is a more premium option than is found in other automatic Timex watches. All in all, this is the S1 we wanted to see, but what makes it "the most Timex Timex" Timex ever made (if you follow)?
Mr. Galli understands the essence of Timex better than anyone: as Creative Director, he's been behind some of the company's most successful watches over the last several years. What does he want you to notice in the S1 38mm, and what can we expect from the line and the brand in the future? I put those questions and others to Mr. Galli himself.
The following interview has been edited for length and clarity.
Q. Timex says that the S1 38mm is even more Timex than any watch it's made before. How so?
A. From day one, the Timex CEO asked me to create “the most Timex Timex ever made.” So I created the first GGS1 in 2019, a watch that combines our shared love of quality, accessibility, and great design. The new S1 38 is faithful to these important core values, but also has evolved by adding new features: a smaller 38mm case, with a double-dome anti-reflective sapphire crystal that provides the best performance in every lighting condition. I also added some new great colors, all based on love of travel and nature. These new details help elevate the overall quality, expanding the offering while keeping the line true to its spirit and being the most Timex watch we could make.
We were very happy with the first launch of the GGS1, and listened to our customers and to the market in order to provide a new version that would maintain the quintessence of the line.
Q. How would you say that the S1 38mm is different from other Timex watches?
A. The GGS1 pushed the Timex boundaries but it did not stray from its core values. It is a product that enters in a higher price point compared to a regular Timex watch, but it's filled with design and features that speak to its beauty. It allowed me to push the quality to a very high standard and to use refined materials, yet still deliver an amazing product at a reasonable price.
Q. The watches are full of little details and touches. Are there any you particularly like but which you feel might be easily overlooked?
A. The feature that I like the most, and that might be a little overlooked, is how the light reflects on the small polished radius of the side cut-out profile, and how it's emphasized by the fine brushing for contrast. This is a detail that I am particularly enthusiastic about, the kind of detail that I was really looking to incorporate and which was not easy to achieve.
So it is not a detail that could be easily noticed in itself, but in the way it appears differently according to how the light reflects on some parts it speaks to my approach to the watch. It is, to me, the most representative and distinctive element of the S1, and I hope that people will notice it while wearing it under different lighting conditions.
Q. What influences were most important to you in designing the S1 collection?
A. The GGS1 is a result of the many experiences I have encountered over the past 35 years of watch design. From creating small details that tell a story to inventing new features, all of these experiences had influence over the GGS1, but for me, as a designer, the characteristics that define me the most are: simplicity, clear and thoughtful design and great details. So the S1 is a combination of small elements that are coming from past and recent work, blending into a design that represents my personality.
Q. Can we expect that the higher-end materials, movements and level of design detail found in the GGS1 will trickle down to other Timex collections in the future?
A. The GGS1 collection was developed to deliver the best design at an affordable price that represents me as a designer but that also respects the DNA of Timex. It is also a celebration of a long-standing relationship between me, as creative director, and Timex.
The S1 is the first generation of Timex products that will live independently from the original brand positioning. As for higher-end materials and level of design trickling down to other Timex collections in the future…anything is possible.