This is a “long-term” review as I forgot I never finished writing it!
I ordered the Navi Harbor directly from Timex in November 2017 on a Black Friday Weekend special and I have worn it regularly ever since.
It’s interesting reading through my initial thoughts from 2017 compared to today, November of 2021…a late has happened, but the Navi Harbor is just as good as it was then.
BELOW IS MOST OF MY ORIGINAL REVIEW WITH SOME UPDATES FROM OWNING THE WATCH FOR OVER 5 YEARS.
The biggest difference between then and now is most of my collection has shifted to automatic watches. However, the vast majority of my quartz are still Timex.
The market has been flooded over the last few years with “value” watches, those pieces that hover around the $100 mark or so and almost every mainstream manufacturer has something to offer. The real challenge is not finding a watch to fit your price range, but to find a watch that’s interesting enough to spend your money on. That is where half of my watch addiction time is spent…on the hunt!
If you’re reading this, then like me, you most likely troll Youtube, Instagram, Facebook, and several watch blogs for info and tidbits. This is exactly how I stumbled upon the Timex Navi Harbor and I was immediately hooked.
However, relying on others’ watch opinions has left me disappointed in several recent purchases so I waited a bit to see a few more reviews and end-user pictures. Fast forward several months and there was not a lot of online chatter about the Navi Harbor except for a great video from TG on The Urban Gentry Channel.
TG praised the Navi Harbor and it was enough motivation for me to pull the trigger. I took advantage of Timex’s Black Friday sale and grabbed a Black Navi Harbor for $105 shipped! I will be the first to admit I am a Timex junkie owning several classics, Scouts, and other recent models, so it was an easy decision for me to take a gamble on this watch.
Right out of the gate, the Navi Harbor ticked an important box for me, its quartz movement. I am partial to quartz watches…I know, perhaps I am not a purist, but my love of quartz is based more on practicality. I rarely wear the same watch two days in a row and really don’t feel like having to adjust the date and time every time I grab a watch to wear, as is the problem with the few automatics I own.
As to the actual quartz movement inside the Navi Harbor, I have no idea and Timex’s website is extremely vague. I never understand why manufacturers will spend the time and effort on a website only to have it lack useful information.
The Navi Harbor is part of the Timex Archive Project, an effort to craft a series of watches with touches of past models and trends using today’s technologies and materials. The Navi Harbor gives off a retro vibe. The Archive Project has several categories and the Navi Harbor is from the Pioneers Collection, a group of watches designed with several sports watches, field watches, and dive watch styles that come in various flavors and strap options. It is worth the time to take a look at their offerings.
I was eager for the Navi Harbor to arrive, to say the least, and a few short days later, I was pleasantly surprised to find it in my mailbox. I will give Timex credit here, in my experience of ordering from their website, they have a great experience. Checkout is easy, tracking updates are sent, and everything has always shipped quickly.
Unlike the red Timex box you may be used to, the Navi Harbor ships in a very nice custom cardboard case securely fastened to a lined backing by fabric elastic straps. For the money, the box was a nice touch and if you ever decide to give this watch as a gift, it’s great to know it will make a good first impression. The packaging definitely makes you feel like you bought something special.
The watch is a looker right from the get-go and Timex did a fantastic job on the watch. Since back in 2017 I really wasn’t as crazy about watches as I am now, I didn’t really appreciate all the throwback ques the watch has, from the vintage-inspired dial down to the bezel markings. It’s a good look all around.
Unlike many Times, this one does not have Indiglo and the lume is below average. It’s not going to win any awards in the Instagram #lumebattle, but it is legible enough for most situations.
The stainless steel case is PVD coated, but again other than Timex’s website little info is given. After 5 years of use, it’s held up very well. The same goes for the crystal, the plastic has a beveled edge as it meets the case to continue on with the vintage feel. I still don’t have any scratches on it after a few years of abuse. I definitely was a little more gentle with the watch early on, but now it’s moved up the ranks to a daily beater.
One very neat design item to note is the hour hand. It ends in a circle that encases the military hour markers as it makes its way around the dial. I thought this was a very cool trait and definitely retro.
The bezel has 60-minute markings all the way around with the 10-minute markings being numerals. However, the bezel is fixed. it would have been a very nice touch if Timex actually had a rotating bezel on this guy.
5 years on and I am still running on the original battery that came with the watch. That is definitely saying something. This is where the quartz movement really shines, it’s still humming along and very accurate.
I can’t remember the last time I had to set the time so I know the movement inside is keeping almost perfect time. One nice note here is the second hand has almost no quartz/tick bounce. When the hand advances there is no back play or “bounce” like many Timex quartz models. maybe it’s a better movement or maybe the smaller size has less play. Who knows?
My version came on a cool leather nato strap. It looks awesome, but I have worn this watch more on a quick-release silicone strap over the years. My watch tastes have evolved slightly since my initial purchase and I am not a huge fan of the 38 mm size. it just looks a little small on my wrist. If you lean towards smaller watches, then you will be very excited.
Other than the weak lume, my only other complaint (like all my Timex complaints) is the snap-in case back. Here is where I have to really take a hard look at the watch and weigh the cost vs. build quality.
For $140 (the retail price on Timex) you get a decent watch with a lot of history.
It looks unique and wears well, but you are just getting to the point where a screw-down case back should be on the watch. However, keeping in mind this was a $105 watch, I don’t think I can complain.
Overall, you have a Timex quartz watch with decent build quality, an original design on an above-average starp. For $105 I don’t think you can ask for more.
I have been very happy with the watch from day one and the fact that I still wear it 5+ years later should speak volumes about the watch.
Watch Specs: Timex Navi Harbor #TW2T12100LG
Here are the basic dimensions and specifications of the watch.
Blair Witkowski is an avid watch nut, loves pocket knives and flashlights and when he is not trying to be a good dad to his nine kids, you will find him running or posting pics on Instagram. Besides writing articles for Tech Writer EDC he is also the founder of Lowcountry Style & Living. In addition to writing, he is focused on improving his clients websites for his other passion, Search Engine Optimization. His wife Jennifer and he live in coastal South Carolina.