The all-American Timex is having a comeback, with durable, sturdy watches that will take you from sailing to safari.

Credit: Charles Masters

Timex has worn many faces in its 156-year history. Once the Waterbury Clock Company of Connecticut, it reimagined pocket watches into wristwatches for the U.S. Army in 1917. Postwar, the brand became synonymous with accurate, clean, affordable design. In the 1950’s, Timex proved its mettle, strapping one model onto Mickey Mantle’s baseball bat and tossing another over the Grand Coulee Dam. As promised, each watch “takes a licking and keeps on ticking.” And they keep on ticking to this day. Timex has upgraded the inner mechanisms and revived a range of familiar models, attracting a new generation of followers. J.Crew offers two styles of a nifty field army watch that was first created in the 1940’s. With a nylon strap and a stainless-steel case, it travels well on land and sea.