The $35 Watch: Timex Easy Reader

You don't have to drop a health insurance payment to get a cool, minimalist watch. We love the simple white face and black leather strap of this affordable Timex. (Oh, and we've got one to giveaway too.)

When it comes to watches, guys come in 4 categories. The most expensive category is the jeweler. They buy watches made of the finest metals. Next come the watchmakers. These gents buy expensive watches with the best movements in the world. They have no problem spending a paycheck on something guaranteed to outlast nuclear winter. Then come the utilitarians, who buy their watches with a need to perform in the harshest conditions, in the field or 40 feet below the surface.

The fourth category is the least respected by the other three, but comprises most of the watch-buying men in the country: the everyday gentlemen.

These men don't need high performance or precious metals, they need something that tells time at an affordable price, and lives up to their personal level of style.

These are guys who don't need a Bentley's luxury or a Mercedes's engineering, they need something that doesn't break the bank or compromise his style. They need a watch to look great to get from point a to point b, or more accurately, to get them there on time.

Lets face it: we don't need watches like we used to. It breaks my heart even uttering those words, but it's a fact of the world we've come to live in. With cell phones in every guy's pocket, and clocks on every computer, tablet, and gadget we own, the current time is readily available information, no matter where you're eyes are looking.

Timex Easy Reader

Don't think I'm giving up on watches yet, though. As the last “accessory” men have been able to cling onto that's socially acceptable to wear no matter the event, a watch gives a guy the opportunity to accentuate his personal style and differentiate himself from the rest.

That's why it's important to have more watches in your arsenal to choose from than just your default (but nice, I'm sure) metal on metal watch. Your Fossil, Citizen, or maybe something even nicer that you've had for a few years, or that you received as a gift. Those watches are universal, they would look fine at your lunch meeting. But you're not going for fine.

Adding a bit of style to your wrist doesn't have to be expensive. For $35 you can pick up the Easy Reader from Timex, which performs perfectly as a modern man's sleek, minimalist dress watch.

Paired with a suit, or a cardigan on the weekend, the simple design will say a lot more than a metal strap and extra functions like altimeter or moon phase on more complicated watches. This smooth black leather strap is perfect for the conference room or a casual restaurant where textured leather may be less universal.

The Easy Reader has a mineral glass crystal and Timex's signature Indiglo Night-Light is available with a push of the dial.

If you're looking for a sophisticated second watch priced like a Honda that keeps up with your BMW style, the Easy Reader will get you there.

We've got one to giveaway to a lucky subscriber!

Congrats to subscriber James O.! For being a subscriber to Primer, he picked up one of these awesome watches.

Enter to win Timex Easy Reader

Click here to read the contest’s official rules. No purchase necessary.

Andrew is the founder and editor of Primer. He's a graduate of American University and currently lives in Los Angeles. Read more about Primer on our About page. On Instagram: @andrewsnavely and @primermagazine.


  • Reply August 15, 2011

    PJ Pauni

    For years I have always been the one for watches that has a basic interface. Not much for the extra buttons and the flashy look. Im just not the type for drawing attention. But as it was said above, “We don’t need watches like we use to.” This may be true in sense, but as for me I still rock time on the wrist. I believe watches will be around for awhile. Mainly for the fact that it can provide time in certain places that cell phones simply can’t (as of now). Battery life, network limitations, and sports are just a few disadvantages that a phone would have.


  • Reply August 15, 2011

    PJ Pauni

    I believe that watches will take on a new form in the near future. Time isn’t the only thing you be able to tell. What if the band stays and the buttons and even the touch screen isn’t needed, but that a device will be available that you can put around your wrist or forearm that acts as a computer? And that is strictly voice activated and voice commands using key words like, ‘search’, ‘find’, ‘web address’, ‘google’, ‘time’ and so on. You can even have it read the results or anything to you and you can say things like, ‘advance’ or ‘back’ and all using secs, mins, or hrs on how far back or forward you want to go. This would work on a novel, music, story, news, and so forth. The possibilities are endless.


  • Reply August 15, 2011


    I’m pretty sure I’m going to win this time around. Badda bing, badda boom.

  • Reply August 15, 2011


    Looks cheap.

    But then, I wear a Rolex.

  • Reply August 15, 2011


    Does RSS subscription count?

  • Reply August 15, 2011

    Marcus Nielson

    Beautiful watch!

  • Reply August 15, 2011


    Would like this one too, Mike!

  • Reply August 15, 2011


    Like the watch

  • Reply August 15, 2011


    The watch is out of stock!

    • Reply August 15, 2011


      Hey Evan,

      Thanks for the heads up! I’ve updated the links to point to Amazon now. (And it’s only $25.)

  • Reply August 15, 2011


    People say I am crazy for wearing watches. Didn’t know it was against the rules for a 21 year old to wear a watch >_<

    Here goes nothing!

  • Reply August 15, 2011


    Looks like the J Crew watch bands would fit it as well (19mm bands, 18mm lug width on the watch)

  • Reply August 15, 2011


    Simple and beautiful.

  • Reply August 15, 2011

    Dan Radin

    I have the Easy Reader without date ($25) with a cloth NATO strap. I get frequent compliments from both sexes. I have never worn it with the factory leather strap. It’s slim enough to fit any cuff, and highly adaptable to different levels of dressiness.

    I agree completely with the post. I’m young and hungry. I don’t need a “look at my credit limit” watch (which usually look douchey anyway). My only caveat is that its mechanical ticking can be on the louder side. My wife occasionally asks me to reposition it so she can’t hear it at night.

  • Reply August 15, 2011

    Abraham A

    I have one with the White face and the date and I love it! When I’m attending a business casual event, I put on a black NATO style strap and I’m good to go. Depending on the outfit, I’ll swap out the straps with others that I purchased over at American Eagle.

  • Reply August 15, 2011

    Nathan W

    I was at Wal-mart yesterday to get a watch battery for my Fossil and saw this watch in one of the displays. I bought it. And now today, this article is published. Good timing I guess.

  • Reply August 15, 2011

    r. soy

    This could be found at Target. It is a great watch but I haven’t had the chance to pick one up for myself

  • Reply August 15, 2011


    My first watch — and many since then — have been Timex watches. No, they don’t need to be replaced. They are an accessory — and much cheaper than the jewelry my wife picks out for her (or for me). I like my choices better. I think this is classy looking. Rolex? I don’t see the intrigue, other than it shows you can afford one — or are in debt trying to make people think you can afford one.

  • Reply August 16, 2011


    First watch was an army green canvas strapped timex. Over the years updated the collection with various “higher end” brands, but minus a couple of batteries and some scratches, the timex is still around. This is a very classic, clean design. For $35 hard to beat.

  • Reply August 16, 2011

    Vince B.

    These Easy Readers are excellent time pieces. I actually have the all-black version and like using it almost everyday. Get good compliments for it.

  • Reply August 17, 2011


    nice simple watch

  • Reply August 17, 2011


  • Reply August 17, 2011


    Good to wear when underneath my pickup.

  • Reply August 17, 2011

    Matt Cole

    i recently purchased a timex weekender. very similar. i like the date box on this one. minimalism.

  • Reply August 18, 2011

    The Champ

    I have a timex easy reader with an off-white face that I bought a nato strap for. Its a great watch! Very versatile

  • Reply August 19, 2011


    Great watch, had mine for years. My boss asked me where he can get one, i told him to subscribe (to primer)

  • Reply August 19, 2011

    Kyle S.

    I love simple, clean watches like this. No need to pay an arm and a leg for the classic look.

  • Reply August 25, 2011


    Although I entered the contest (and didn’t win), I decided to pick one of these up that day off Amazon anyway. $25 was $10 cheaper than I had expected. With a free 1 month trial of Amazon Prime I was able to get it overnighted for $2!

    All said and done, I spent $31.72 with tax for this watch and it was worth every damn penny. I love it. Simple, clean, classic.

    Big thanks to you for doing this article as I would’ve had no idea about it! Much appreciated. Gotten a lot of compliments the two times I’ve worn it so far.

  • Reply August 25, 2011


    This is exactly the kind of watch I am looking for. I don’t need all the extra bells and whistles. I just want a simple, clean watch and after reading this article I will definitely be going out to purchase one. I also like the price (this is something a poor college student like me can actually afford)

  • Reply August 27, 2011


    I will probably get this watch, I usually wear a cheap one for workouts that need a timer (running) and a Festina I received as a present for nicer occasions, but now I think I need an in between level of watch.

  • Reply September 16, 2011


    I picked up one of these, the strap isn’t the best quality and the mechanism is very loud. Other than that I really like the watch. I think a new strap will make it look great.

  • […] more than leather or metal. These Timex straps accommodate 20mm pins. The timepiece shown is the Timex Easy Reader, and after swapping straps you end up with a watch that rivals the much more expensive J.Crew Timex […]

  • Reply January 13, 2012

    Jessy Diamond

    Bought this watch with the brown leather strap yesterday. As Blake said, it is somewhat loud (I wouldn’t sleep near it) and the strap is not really great but otherwise, I really like it. With a new leather strap, I’ll have a new classy, simple watch in my collection.

  • Reply September 29, 2012


    Love what you can get with the Timex watches. If you want another style with options, look at the Timex Weekender line with a slip-through band. Numerous nato band options, to go along with the face. 

  • […] simply wondering if anyone know where to find Timex Easy Reader or Timex Weekender in Singapore ?? The $35 Watch: Timex Easy Reader | Primer PS : Primer Magazine has many good reference for worth for money stuffs __________________ […]

  • Reply March 13, 2013


    I have an easy reader but not this exact one.  Love them.  @ GJ – think it looks cheap?  You’re a complete douche.  If you buy selvedge jeans or expensive watches to impress denimheads and watch snobs, you’re an idiot.  Those people suck.  I own expensive watches and selvedge jeans because I have some extra loot and like them but definitely not to impress anyone.  People impressed by material things are shallow.  ‘Nuff said.  Wearing a cheap watch is great.  It gets beat up?  Who cares?  It cost $30.  Also I recommend getting a nicer leather strap on these.  There are some really nice affordable full grain straps to add some flavor from Crown and Buckle – will cost you nearly as much as the watch itself though.  So great to travel with a cheap watch and not worrying that it gets lost or whatever.  Also Rolex?  Pfffff….  I’d rather spring for a Patek, Cartier or anything else than something so obvious.  Snap!

  • Reply December 29, 2016


    aesthetically, they are very attractive. I keep finding myself looking at them, and considering one.

    However, I keep telling myself, a] they don’t seem particularly practical in today’s society, and b] it is a timex – the stuff of ugly rubber watches my 9 year old classmates wore ‘back in the day.’

    • Reply June 8, 2017


      Toro, just buy one!

      They are convenient; quick to check the time (no fiddling with pulling out the phone; one less chance to drop it); and far easier to surreptiousky check on the time — a yawn, a stretch, and a quick glance will tell you whether you need to go somewhere and break away from the meeting or talk! Can’t do that with a phone.

      Very practical!

      You can always regift the watch to someone else if it doesn’t work out for you!

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