Timex Expedition Scout First Impressions

Alejandro Medellin

timex wristwatch with green strap

The Expedition Scout with the jungle green strap. Photo Credit: Alejandro Medellin

The Timex Expedition Scout was a great buy for $25 especially after I bought NATO straps to replace the leather one it came with. I would recommend this watch to anyone looking for an affordable timepiece. There are not very many watches in this price range especially ones that look this good. 

I’ve never been much of a watch person, except for that brief time in 2010 when everyone at my school had a G-Shock. Eventually, I too had a G-Schock, but I used it sparingly and then forgot about it when the smartwatch movement began. Regretfully, I purchased the Fitbit Blaze, and I say regretfully because I was expecting more from a $200 watch, and instead I got a fitness tracker with a screen—the fitness tracker part of it was good though. I realized I had stopped wearing watches, and I didn’t mind it until I got my hands on the Nomatic Watch.

As I have previously written on this website, Nomatic makes good products, but their watch sparked something in me, and now I find myself looking at timepieces longingly. I enjoyed their watch thoroughly, and you can expect a review soon, but I was looking for something more casual that I could wear outdoors and expect it to work under harsh conditions.

I had looked at pieces like Seiko’s SNK807 and Bertucci’s DX3, but I wanted to hold off until I saw something truly great, or in this instance, a deal I couldn’t refuse. Then, this past week, Amazon had a massive sale on watches featuring timepieces from brands like Citizen and Timex, which was covered on Everyday Carry. Both brands had some stellar products under the $40 mark, but Timex’s Expedition Scout 40 caught my eye.

wristwatch on white background

Same watch, different strap. Photo Credit: Alejandro Medellin

The 40mm watch came stock with a brown leather band, date window, backlight and the capacity to wear it up to 50 meters underwater. For $25, this watch was a steal, but I do wonder if the reviewers had a point, with many of them saying that the crown doesn’t last, or the watch simply stopped working after six months or a year. I also ordered a 4-pack of different colored nylon NATO straps for reasons I will get into later.

First Impressions:

I have to start off by saying that the watch looks great and setting the time and date on it was easy as can be. I am glad I went with this watch and not the Weekender, which I debated for a long time. Something about the charcoal-black watch appeals to me more than the polished metal look of the Weekender. I found the watch hands were much easier to read than I imagined, especially for a watch face that doesn’t look very big. Apart from the standard 12-hour markings, it also comes with markings for military time, and the backlight—referred to as Indiglo in their marketing materials—does well enough in low-light situations.

As for the leather strap it came with, I realized it was laughably thin and would not last long. Having owned other leather watchbands, it seemed to me that Timex skimped out on providing a quality band and instead chose the thin leather band for looks and not long-term functionality. Also, leather bands may look classy, but they don’t breathe well and can cause chafing if you sweat a lot—like me. It’s worth pointing out that the watch can be found on Amazon with different bands, but I chose the leather one because it was the cheapest.

brown leather watch strap

The brown leather band that the watch came with. Photo Credit: Alejandro Medellin. 

Different colored NATO watch straps

The 4-pack of straps ordered from Amazon. Photo Credit: Alejandro Medellin

The NATO straps I ordered were about half the price of the watch, but they were completely worth it. I ended up using the jungle green strap because it pairs well with the color of the watch, but any of the other straps would do as well, like the red, white, and blue band—a must for any red-blooded American. Since the Expedition has a slip through design for watchbands, I can easily replace the NATO straps to match my mood, or just for fun. And another fun fact; it dries fast.

I would be remiss if I did not mention the number of negative reviews on Amazon and REI. Most of them cover what I mentioned earlier—crowns falling off, watches not working or easily-scuffed glass. Personally, I don’t have anything negative to say about the watch just yet, but I would recommend erring on the side of caution if you’re having doubts about this watch. I would also like to point out that I have not used this watch extensively--especially outdoors—nor have I swum 50 meters underwater to test their claim.

watch being worn on wrist

Can't buy a watch until you see it on someone's wrist, right? Photo Credit: Alejandro Medellin

This watch may not be for the person who swims underwater in freezing conditions or continually batters it against the side of a raft during a whitewater rafting trip. However, for casual use, hiking or weekend camping, this watch is worth it for the price. It goes without saying that there are much better watches out there deep within the pages of Amazon, but with this watch, you get what you pay for—a good-looking, well-fitting watch, albeit with a shitty leather strap. I already have my sights set on the chronograph version of the Expedition.