Timex Expedition Solar Review

Timex Expedition Ranger TW4B15000- dimensions: case: 43mm, lug-to-lug: 51mm, height: 12mm. Materials: case- brass; case back- stainless steel; strap- genuine leather; crystal- mineral; movement- solar quartz; water resistance- 50m; $65.00

Timex Expedition Scout TW4B18600- dimensions: case: 40mm, lug-to-lug: 49mm, height: 12mm. Materials: case- brass; case back- stainless steel; strap- nato fabric; crystal- mineral; movement- solar quartz; water resistance- 50m; $76.00

Timex Expedition Gallatin TW4B14500JV-dimensions: case- 45mm; lug-to-lug- 52mm; height- 13mm. Materials: case- resin; case back- stainless steel; strap- genuine leather; crystal- acrylic; movement- solar quartz; water resistance- 50m; $49.00

I have not really seen much about the Timex solar watches, but that may change with the release of the new Expedition North solar watches. I have purchased three of the current solar models, the Ranger, the Scout, and the Gallatin, with varying results.

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The Gallatin is my least liked of the three, and the only one I have had problems with; the movement will occasionally stop working when it is in direct sunlight, sort of defeating the purpose of a field watch. I can get the second hand to start again by moving the hour and minute hand, but it is frustrating to be wearing it and not know if it will be accurate. It has a fixed dive-style bezel and partially skeletonized hands with weak lume at the tips that doesn’t really help much in the dark and fades pretty quickly. The Gallatin also has resin lugs that feel flimsy, and I have read that they are prone to break pretty easily, although that has not happened to mine. Speaking of lugs, this watch also takes a good deal of wrist real estate with a lug-to-lug of 52mm; definitely for larger wrists, although there is a good bit of downturn to the lugs. 13mm isn’t that thick, but mine came on a seatbelt nato that added 2mm to its height. It is actually a very nice nato strap, and the best strap of the three.

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The Ranger I have is the most striking, having a blue dial with orange accents, and is definitely the best looking of my Timex solar watches. It is a nice size dive-style? watch, at 43mm, and is a great daily watch that will fit pretty easily under cuffs at 12mm height. It has a fixed timing bezel with a minute track with arabics at 15, 30, and 45, with orange highlights for the first 15 minutes. It has OK lume on the hands that lasts for a decent amount of time. With a lug-to-lug of 51mm, it might seem like this one wears on the large side, despite only being 43mm, but there is a good bit of downturn to the lugs, making it hug the wrist. The strap on this one is a hideous genuine leather strap with some sort of pattern stamped into it. By far the worst of the three straps. I would plan on replacing it if you buy this watch.

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The Scout is the best actual field watch, with the classic field watch dial having 13-24 inner hour track and decent lume (best of the three) on the hands and indices. It is also a nice size for a field watch at 40mm. The dial on mine is an army green, and the minute track is on a curved ring with cutouts for the hour markers, giving some nice texture to the dial. The date window is inset a bit so all arabics are present on the outer 1-12 hour track, while 15 is missing from the inner 13-24 hour track to make room for the date. While the blue Ranger is a better-looking watch than the green Scout, the Scout is the better field watch, although the Gallatin has a better strap. The strap that came on this Scout is a striped cloth strap that feels a bit flimsy but is very comfortable. I replaced it with a tan suede strap from Strapsco, but it wasn’t a horrible strap.

Overall, I would say that they have performed well. The Ranger and the Scout have performed better than the Gallatin, which has had issues with the second hand stopping while in direct sunlight, and not starting again until the hour and minute hand are moved a bit. Despite this, I am happy with my Timex solar watches and will be looking to add an Expedition North Solar to my collection sometime in the future.

Timex Expedition Solar Review

3.4
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3/5
4/5
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4/5
  • Decent solar power reserve
  • Affordable price
  • Nice dials on Ranger and Scout
  • CHEAP straps, except for the Gallatin
  • Gallatin feels flimsy and fragile
  • Gallatin movement stops occasionally

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Great multi-model review 👍 and dare I say it...is there a tiny hint of Planet Ocean in the Ranger?