My buddy Rob, who I’ve written about before, is only partially to blame for me being interested in watches. Back when I only had one, he was already into modding big Seiko models from the 90’s, which are gigantic metal beasts. He was working on one he wanted to give me, but all of the custom models he’d designed (he had impeccable taste) looked like I was wearing a hubcap on my wrist. He laughed and said they were called tuna cans, which seems to be a trend in watches right now.
I’m a small guy, so tuna cans only accentuate that fact. It was years before I realized big baggy clothes (which were, admittedly, the style in the late 80’s-early 90’s) made me look like a skeleton wearing a pup tent. Once Jen and Karean convinced me to wear tailored clothes that fit my frame the way God intended, I changed up my style completely and embraced what worked. Big watches are not on that list.
Timex has been releasing new watches based on old designs for the last couple of years, and there was one that caught my eye early last year: the Navi Harbor 38mm, which looked like a nice mixture of the Ollech & Wajs diving watch I got from the Mildew House and the field watches I tend to favor. 38mm is the right case size—not too large and usually pretty thin. Most of the watches I own are 38mm or smaller, save my Hamilton and a Todd Snyder Timex I bought on discount early this year. The Navi Harbor was sold out for about a year until a few weeks ago when I got an alert that they were back in stock. With a holiday discount I got a good deal on one, and I ordered it.
While I liked the way it looked on the website, in reality it was a lot different. It’s much bigger and thicker than in the photos. More troubling, the proportions are all wrong. The bezel of the watch is very high and the crystal is raised off the watch face a lot more than I like. The lugs are placed too close together, making the strap look extra thin, and that plus the overall height makes it look even fatter than it is. I love the look of the dial and the hands, but the whole package just didn’t work for me. And the band it came with was too long for my wrist, so I’d need to swap that out almost immediately. Using the classic proportions of my current diver as a baseline, this fell completely short. So after wearing it for an hour, I boxed it up and got it ready to send back.