For just $34.95 you could have been the proud owner of the Timex Illusion in or around 1986.
Timex isn’t as collectable as some other brands in the digital watch world but that doesn’t mean they didn’t come out with some cracker watches in the heyday of LCD watches including a range of triathlon/ironman watches, and their own backlight system, the Indiglo.
The Illusion series had at least three models (along with being available in silver and gold varieties).
One had an analog-style crown in the middle-right of the watch (like most analog watches still do today), another had a recessed button on the bottom-right of the case, and this one had a ‘command bar’ – another Timex-branded piece of technology – sitting just proud of the case on the right hand side.
The ‘illusion’ related to the Timex take on a digital hands watch.
The second hand appeared and disappeared in 60 positions around the dial, and the hour and minute hands jumped to the right place when the second hand reached the 12 o’clock position.
The watch featured an hourly time signal and an alarm which had its own ingenious touch in terms of accessing and setting them.
My favourite part of this watch is the extra thought given to setting the time/alarm.
With most other digital hands watches you have to hold your finger on a button while the minute hand goes a full rotation around the dial if you are wanting to change the time to within a minute or two of its current position — doesn’t take forever but isn’t all that user-friendly.
With the Timex Illusion you had the option of sending the hands clockwise – or anti-clockwise – with an extra push of the button, which made setting it just a fraction quicker but was a far better user experience.
The only thing I don’t like about it is the stretchy bracelet which, I understand, was original to the watch. Some people must like them, considering how many you see on vintage watches being sold on eBay (particularly in the US) … personally I hate them. They have a tendency to grab wrist hairs, and invariably are just a little too tight depending how new they are. Give me a genuine, adjustable bracelet any time.
So I’ll probably replace the bracelet with a Timex mesh variant which I think will give this watch an extra little pizzazz.
I may track down the other variations of this watch and have a collection of Illusions, and highly recommend them — they’re not all that expensive, can be found in nice condition still (this one was virtually NOS) and in good numbers. Treat yourself!