Timex Giorgio Galli S1 Automatic

timex giorgio galli mugshot

The Giorgio Galli S1 Automatic is a non-sequitur. Timex, formerly US Time Corp., is an American brand with American style (or lack thereof, it you must). Giorgio Galli is Italian, the Chief Creative Director for the Timex Group. The best of both worlds or a design too far?

Timex states that “Milan-based design director Giorgio Galli knows what makes Timex tick better than anyone else.” Ouch, kind of a slap in the face to the people at the Connecticut headquarters of the company born as the Waterbury Clock Company.

What makes this Timex tick: a Japanese Miyota 9039 movement. Timex is somewhat notorious for not making movements available, at least for their quartz watches (as I learned when my Camper died). So this would be an improvement – if the guts needing replacement one day.

Suddenly, Timex isn’t ashamed of the movement. “TWENTY FOUR 24 JEWELS-4H” is spelled out around the case back. I don’t know if they’re counting the one on the dial.

Instead of bragging about 50m water resistance, the lower half of the dial features a little synthetic ruby. Isn’t that usually used in the movement? Doesn’t underwear go inside the pants? The reddish jewel on the navy background is a bit reminiscent of the inverted colors of a blue dot taillight, and those were an American thing.

Except for the misplaced bindi, the front view is pretty conventional. The skeletonized hands add a little flair. I can’t tell if the seconds indices are applied or sandwiched, but they are silver tone and look three dimensional. The crown looks like a clutch pack for some reason, but the sides are where things really get interesting.

The lugs are hollowed out to an extent that would make a Code 11.59 blush. Presumably these speed holes were not all scooped out as this 316L stainless case is metal-injection molding. “How Stuff Is Made” fans understand this process better than I do . . .

It involves shooting metal powder and some temporary carrier into a mold. Then the case goes in the oven to bake off the carrier and cure by almost melting. This is presumably a precision process so none come out burned or undercooked. The result is almost as good as solid billet, but cheaper to make tricky shapes. As a grain is visible, there is probably still some finishing done afterward.

It’s a four piece case. There’s a bezel and a case back, that’s two. I guess the skeletal lugs are just a trivet that holds the actual case. If so, the case insides is ribbed like a can of beans. Plus concentric score lines on the back that are not meant to look like a vinyl record. Lines, lines, everywhere lines, breaking up the scenery.

All this fanciness on the case and it gets a silicone rubber strap. The cross section is I-beam like. I suppose the intended illusion is that one is wearing two very thin watch bands atop one another and not one thicker one. I’d think that two delicate edges per side will likely wear quicker and become a giant dirt-catching groove, but I’m practical to a fault.

Nope, Timex knows that all these little nooks and crannies are crud-collectors, and the presentation box includes a little brush as usually found with an electric razor or hair clippers.

The face of the Timex Giorgio Galli S1 Automatic’s band is smooth, the back ribbed. Yes, the texture is all unseen; it’s there for another purpose. Nobody seems to want to talk about the great lengths gone to in order to minimize the area of the band contacting the skin. Impressive, probably effective, but why not use something that breathes better instead?

They do have those quick-release spring bars – perhaps the greatest invention of the millennium. Even better, these are blocky triggers, not fingernail-chipping little round nubs. Have you noticed that every time they give you those quick release spring bars the brand sells extra bands too?

Same here, and only $75 in your choice of black, brown, bland tan or bright blue. Maybe it’s better than the sub-$20 ones you can buy all day long in a rainbow of colors. Who knows?

Keepers are a necessary evil. Timex Giorgio Galli has done away with them. Technically, the back of the buckle is a keeper. Don’t think about how much the band must bend to go through.

That big sexy slit in the back of the band isn’t just for showing skin. It’s the button hole for the button. They call it a metal rivet but that’s silly. This molded-in piece required no deformation. It’s a button for buttoning down the loose end.

Exhibitionist case back as legally mandated by the Automatic Movement Transparency Act of 2018. They paid Miyota for that “rotor specially engraved for Timex” so you’re going to see it. The Skeletor cut-out motif makes it to the rotor as well. Giorgio Galli loves Swiss-cheesing things. It’s a holey watch.

The Timex Giorgio Galli S1 Automatic’s tag line is “The most ‘Timex’ Timex ever.” But they took something Timex-y and scooped out metal. So it’s actually less Timex. It’s not a pastiche. It’s a break with tradition. An avant-garde Italian-style job with a Japanese movement is not what people think of as a Timex. They must know that, and they should admit it. Timex wants to reinvent themselves without saying that they want a revolution, and that’s not alright.

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