Home General REVIEW: Timex IQ Flyback Chrono Compass

REVIEW: Timex IQ Flyback Chrono Compass



It’s time for us to have another hands-on review of a Timex piece, once again from their Intelligent Quartz line.  As you can tell from the post title, this particular watch was quite the title (and set of functionality).  Let’s have a look at what sets this one apart, shall we?

I once read a comment regarding quartz watches, and it resonated with me (pun not intended, yet still appreciated).  Basically, the person stated that if you’re going to have a quartz watch, it should do something that a mechanical watch doesn’t easily do.  For this particular model (ref. T49867AT), the biggest differentiator is of course the compass function (more on that in a bit).  As long as we’re talking features, let’s do a quick rundown on the specs:

  •  44mm case
  • Timex Intelligent Quartz Movement
  • Fly-back chrono function (up to four hours)
  • Electronic compass with magnetic declination compensation
  • Second time zone
  • 20mm leather (water-resistant) strap
  • 100m water resistance
  • Indiglo backlight

So, what does the “flyback” descriptor mean?  Basically, if you reset the chrono function, the indicator hand (the skeletonized arrow) will fly back to the home position, rather than continuing around in a clockwise fashion.  In theory, this could lead to a quicker pickup when you need to restart timing.

Now, for the most interesting feature – the compass.  It’s fairly simple to operator – press the pusher at the 8 o’clock position, and the same hand that indicates for the chrono will swing around to pick up magnetic north.  If it’s on your wrist, this is hit or miss. Unbuckled, though, it’s fairly accurate.  Just be sure to rotate that bezel around to mark where north is, because the electronic indicator only lasts for a few seconds.

Speaking of unbuckled, the strap was the least pleasant part of this watch.  I found it to be overly stiff, even after wearing it for a few days.  This is likely due to it’s waterproof nature, but something you should be aware of (if I bought the watch, I’d be changing the strap out).  You will also want to note that the bezel is bi-directional, and does not click.  In other words, it can be very easily (and unintentionally) moved.

So, at $175, is this the watch for you?  There are other watches that will indicate direction, and time things for you – both those are generally digital displays.  In terms of an analog display, this will be one of your best options in the quartz segment that has this combination features.

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  1. What is the significance of the numbers on the face that count down from 650, 500, 400, 350, …, 70, and 65?

    • Aka a tachymeter – start the chronograph at the mile marker, stop it when you hit the second one, and now you know how fast you’re going.

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