TX has released a new line of watches: the 800 series Linear Chronograph. It is a watch that carries the design ethic of the popular TX 730 which we reviewed last year, but incorporates a 30 minute linear chronograph register and the ability to track the time in a second time zone. It's a stylishly understated watch with a considerable amount of wrist presence and a completely useful feature list:
- 44mm stainless steel case, or 47mm titanium carbide case.
- Chronograph resolution of 1/5th of a second measuring no more than 4 hours.
- Linear hand measures 30 minutes.
- Second time zone.
- German designed, Asian built 6 hand movement.
- Sapphire crystal.
- Water resistant to 10 ATM or 100M.
- Available with leather, rubber, or stainless steel bracelet (44mm versions only).
The specific model outlined in this review is the T3C313 with a 47mm PVD titanium case, the white dial, and a rubber strap. The 800 series is definitely a notch above the TX 730 whose feature list was so long that it couldn't readily show all the information on the dial. The case on the TX 800 is solid titanium, with both polished and matte finish on the lugs and side, and a unidirectional matte bezel that is pleasantly stealth. The sapphire crystal is flat, flush with the bezel, and doesn't appear to have an AR coating. The dial is a gorgeous pearl white with etched rings where the markers are inlaid. It's a little busy, but the linear register keeps it from becoming cluttered and hard to read.
The linear register is really the calling card of the 800 series: it measures 30 minutes on the chronograph with a rising hand between 7 and 11 on the dial. This makes the chronograph easy to read — a welcome innovation since some chronographs are much less legible at a glance. When the measure exceeds 30 minutes, the 4-hour register becomes active and begins counting. The two registers combine for a simple way of quickly checking the elapsed time of the chronograph. When the chronograph is not in use, the 4 hour register measures the hour of a second timezone. Having a GMT complication is a great addition to any watch whether it is used for for traveling, or organizing long distance conference calls. The 800 seems to have found a balance between design and functionality; it's a chronograph that I actually want to use, and can do so with ease.
My review model came with the the rubber strap and signed PVD buckle. While this option may not be the trendiest, it is likely the most comfortable and stealthy way to wear this watch. The rubber strap is slightly molded and holds a shape that combines well with the short lugs to keep the watch snug on your
wrist. Wearing this watch is a pleasure; it fits really well, and the titanium is so light that the large 47mm case does not become burdensome. The strap also incorporates a couple small notches near the buckle to hold the first keeper firmly in place (see pics).
The watch comes in a cool TX branded box that curves and slides open to reveal the compartment for the watch inside. I would have liked to see the inclusion of atomic timekeeping and solar power as many of the 800's competitors (Oceanus, Citizen)
have one or more of these features, and solar power seems like an obvious choice. Even so, this watch has a great deal going for it. The TX 800 is cheaper then much of its competition, and has comparable build quality to many of the watches it will share boutique shelf space with.
But I haven't even gotten to my favorite thing about this watch yet. For me, the real selling point of the TX 800 is its "anti-bling" styling. Just like the TX 730, these watches do not aspire to be Rolexes or Cartiers. Instead, they create their own form of luxury: useful features, good tech, great quality. The finish on the 800 is great, but it is in no way a flashy "look at me!" watch. The black PVD, highly stylized dial, and the stealthy rubber strap make this a great option for an everyday watch for the regular guy. It has features that almost anyone can find useful, but brings them to you in a package that is understated and very cool.
TX comes from wildly successful roots in watchmaking at Timex, and it is clear that TX understands that watches can be more then jewelry, and that most buyers are searching for form and function over a status symbol. The TX 800 can be considered competitively priced at around $750.
By James Stacey