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Electronics Review

Time's ticking and the Timex Expedition 40091 just barely makes the cut

Date: 5/01/05
Tackle type: Electronics
Manufacturer: Timex
Reviewer: Zander

Total Score: 6.91

Introduction: The brand name "Timex" may not come up all that often when anglers talk shop, but the company is one of the leading manufacturers of outdoor timepieces, shipping more models and styles than just about anyone else. In our search to find a superior outdoor wristwatch we decided it was time to enlist the Timex Expedition (40091) for our next backcountry fishing outing.

Timex Expedition 40091 Watch Specifications

Watch Case material Alloy & stainless steel caseback
Band Material Polypropylene & leather
Weight 1.8oz
Face Colors Available White, Grey, Black, Beige, Blue
Water Resistance 50 Meters (164 Feet)
Fastener Stainless buckle
Date Yes
Additional Features Luminescent Hands, Indiglo
MSRP $40.00

Impressions: It was nearly a year ago when we tested the REI Quest Watch. The REI Quest ultimately fell far short of our expectations and since then we have been on the hunt for a better analog outdoor wristwatch. Outdoor timepieces really fall into two categories, digital and analog. Both can be made to withstand the elements, but while most digital watches seek to pack in as much information as possible, analog offerings tends to cater towards the minimalist. That's where the Timex Expedition 40091 comes in. The watch model is denoted as a number rather than a specific model because Timex builds so many styles of outdoor watches (were talking hundreds) that it would be unmanageable to individually name them all.

The straightforward looking Timex Expedition 40091

Features: The Expedition 40091 is a clean looking timepiece, and is simple looking, lightweight, and designed to be uncomplicated to operate. As expected the Expedition 40091 is short on features and designed for outdoor purists, who would never think to consult their watches for sunrise information, moon phases, or fish predictions. The Expedition 40091 has a small date window, a water resistant casing that is rated at 50 meters, and comes loaded with a "Indiglo" light up face. The Expedition 40091's band is constructed of a polypropylene mix and is reinforced with leather trimmings on all the edges.


The watch features a thin casing and large face for easy reading of time


Operation:  You won't need instructions to operate this watch. All settings are made via the pull out crown. Pull the crown half way and you can manipulate the date, fully extend the crown and you can access the time. The Expedition 40091 features a bi-directional adjustment which allows you to adjust the time and date backwards and forwards. On many other watches if you overshoot the date you have to cycle through the entire month instead of being able to just go backwards. Once the time was set we monitored it against the US atomic clock. After a span of 30 days the Expedition 40091 showed only an 11 second discrepancy, that's pretty darn accurate. To field test the Expedition 40091 we went backpacking in the lower sierras in pursuit of some brown and brook trout action. On our trip the Expedition 40091 provided excellent time, and the ability to tell time well after the sun had gone down. To activate the Indiglo function there isn't another button on the watch, instead you simply apply pressure inward on the crown. Though the Expedition 40091's face is steel grey in color the entire face glows blue uniformly across the face when activated. We have two gripes about the Indiglo light functionality on the Expedition 40091. First, we wished that the light would stay on for a short period when activated instead of having to apply constant pressure to keep it lit. Second, the watch's entire face is visible except for date window which is totally unreadable in the dark. 


Releasing fish with the Expedition was easy since we didn't need to worry about water damage from submerging the timepiece

Durability: Prior to the field test we submerged the watch in freshwater for 3 days, and later in the field the watch was constantly dunked every time I released a fish. The Expedition 40091 has a 50 meter water resistance rating which equates to a submersion depth of approximately 164 feet, and immersion pressure equal to 86 p.s.i.a.. Our test Expedition 40091 watch never showed any hint of water seepage into the case, and there was no detectable moisture built up underneath the lens. It is important that you do not depress or pull out the crown while the watch is underwater as this can compromise the water tight gasket seal. Timex also recommends rinsing the Expedition 40091 with freshwater if you do decide to use it while fishing saltwater. Overall durability under normal conditions is respectable, while durability under extreme conditions has to be considered poor. The Expedition 40091 doesn't have any provisions for shock resistance, and shouldn't be used for any very demanding outdoor applications. However the band's durability is amazingly good and can take plenty of abuse from the elements.


While the watch dries quickly the band stays wet for extended periods after dips, and can be annoying on cold days


Ergonomics: When it comes to ergonomics the Expedition 40091 is a world better than some of the other watches we have looked at, including the REI Quest. The Expedition 40091 is a lot more compact and feels more comfortable strapped on your wrist. Weighing in at less than 2oz. you hardly even know its there while fishing. The only thing we didn't like about the watch's ergonomics was how long it took for the band to dry in between dips. Unlike plastic bands that can be wiped dry the polypropylene weave and leather trimmings stayed wet for upwards of 30 minutes on warm days.


The best feature on this watch is the Indiglo light which allows you to tell time in the dark. (Note this picture was taken in low light, in total darkness you cannot see the date window at all)

Price & Applications: Who would buy this watch? The minimalist, the purist, and the value conscious outdoorsman. The watch is short on features but makes up for it with reliable performance in routine applications. Just when we finished chastising this watch for some of its shortcomings we had to remind ourselves that the Expedition 40091 only costs 40 dollars MSRP. Why subject your Monday to Friday timepiece to the rigors of the outdoors when you can send the affordable Expedition 40091 into battle instead? This watch overall is a solid value when you consider the price and quality ergonomics. While the Expedition 40091 doesn't have robust features the Indiglo electroluminescent light is useful when you are on overnight fishing jaunts.



Timex Expedition 40091 Watch Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality The Expedition 40091 is built reasonably well, and the watch looks and feels solid while weighing in at less than 2oz 8.5
Performance Not a lot of frills here, the watch does what it is supposed to do and not a whole lot more. We have concerns about durability as there is no shock resistance 6
Price This watch is cheap, and can be used as a alternative to subjecting your nicer Mon- Fri watch to the elements 9
Features The best feature on this watch is the Indiglo light up face....wait, that just is about the only feature 6
Design (Ergonomics) Ergonomics are good, better than most watches we see at this price point. The watch is comfortable to wear and easy to operate. Only gripes are the fact you have to depress the crown continually to activate the light and the band which stays wet for extended periods after submerging 6
Application The watch is good for weekend warriors, but not any type of extreme applications. The 50 meter water resistance rating is on the low end of the spectrum. You can't use this watch for diving, and saltwater and backcountry anglers will want to look elsewhere 6

Total Score


Pluses and Minuses:

                 Plus                                    Minus

J Good ergonomics L Durability, no shock resistance
J Indiglo L Indiglo doesn't light the date
J Easy to operate L Only 50 meters water resistance
J Great price

L Band stays wet for extended periods

Conclusion: The Timex Expedition 40091 doesn't have all the bells and whistles of some other outdoor watches, but that is exactly what the designers intended. This outdoor watch stresses reliability, ease of use, and affordability among all else. This watch is a hair better than the REI Quest watch we tested a year ago, and the main reason it hedges the REI Quest is due to better ergonomics and a price tag that is just a little over half the asking price. When evaluated by itself the Expedition 40091 is a simple watch, one that will serve most anglers well, but will definitely fall short in any extreme applications. While the Expedition 40091 is a good choice for freshwater fishing weekend warriors we don't recommend the watch for saltwater applications, backpacking anglers, or fisherman that yearn for more information than just the time. The Timex Expedition 40091 just barely makes the cut, and unfortunately our search for a first-class field watch must continue.









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