When collecting vintage wrist watches it is often all about the details. One of these details in collecting TIMEX is the shape of the tip of the sweep seconds hand. Most often it is nothing special and just a straight ending of a metal of gold tone hand. But sometimes it atracts attention because of form or color, or even both. The Dot and the Arrow come to mind. 

The Arrow

The arrow sweep seconds hand was first seen on TIMEX Dive watches in the late sixties. Real divers at first but soon after they became skin divers. The tip of the arrow was filled with the tritium used for the hour markers. 

In the early seventies TIMEX revived the arrow sweep seconds hand by painting the arrow red. It was no longer luminescent but the red tip did the trick in terms of readability. And it added a nice detail to the look of the watch in general.  

Electric - ref. 9434 (1970)

Electronic - ref. 9917 and 9937 (1970)

Sprite - ref. 23650 (1972)

Marlin - ref. 26150 (1972)

Marlin - ref. 26753 (1972)

Then the arrow sweep seconds hand had disappeared from the TIMEX watches for almost a decade when it ressurected on a TIMEX Q SportsQuartz in 1983.  This time the arrow had a more stylish form as you can see on the pictures below. It no longer had a red color but was once again in sync with the hands and hour markers. Just as it was in the late sixties.

The Dot

Besides the arrow sweep seconds hand there was another distinctive form of sweep seconds hand on TIMEX watches, the dot. First found on the Q Quartz Day-Date from 1978. 

This red dot sweeep seconds hand is perfectly in sync with the red crosshair stripes on the dial making this a much sought after TIMEX watch amongst the vintage TIMEX collecting community. Reference 96871. No wonder that TIMEX reissued this Q TIMEX Quartz in 2020, this time in collaboration with Todd Snyder. On the right you see the red dot Marlin ref. 24517 from 1982.

From 1982 onwards the dot sweep seconds hand was part of the series of military watches from TIMEX, called Camper. A series that is very popular amongst collecters because of the supposed link to the US Military. Especially the mechanical models are the ones to have but very hard to find. The dot sweep seconds hand is khaki lume filled and in sync with hands and hour markers.

Camper MK1, Mil-Spec W-46374B  Production February / March '82, issued to the US Marines in 1982

Curious about the REAL story behind this TIMEX Military Watch, read the article on Hodinkee here.