Timex Giorgio Galli S1 Automatic 38mm watch review, price, where to buy

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“The little things make a huge difference,” Giorgio Galli tells me from his design HQ in Milan at the end of 2021. It’s a truism for design in general, but nowhere is it played out more clearly than in the world of watches. . In fact, that’s why Galli, the chief creative director of the Timex Group, and I are talking in the first place. Two years after the launch of the Timex watch that bears his name, the 41mm Giorgio Galli S1, he is launching a new signature watch. It is three millimeters smaller.

The 38mm Giorgio Galli S1 Automatic – he calls it the “S1 38”, and I’m going to do the same – is exactly what you’d guess from the name: a scaled-down version of its predecessor, measuring in at what many (including us here at Esquire) see it as the sweet spot for watches in 2022. “It wasn’t really breaking the S1,” says Galli. “It was just evolving into something else.” But thanks to the precision built into the watchmaking process, what seemed like a simple task quickly became much more complicated. “In the end,” says Galli, “it became a big enough project to keep the essence and the philosophy of the S1.”

The original version of the watch is all about flow, reflection, the interplay between positive and negative space. At the heart of this was the way the rounded crystal met the curvature of the injection molded steel case. By dropping these three millimeters, the lines have completely changed. So Galli set to work to bring them back into balance. In doing so, he discovered something that is probably the best news about the S1 38, at least for watch nerds: he could change the mineral crystal that Timex used for a proper sapphire crystal. And it could do so while keeping the price stable at $450.

Giorgio Galli S1 Automatic 38 mm with Iceland stone dial

Beyond that, the biggest changes come via colors. While the original S1 came out with a brushed silver dial, the S1 38 comes in earthy green, dark gray and deep blue, all shades drawn from nature and Galli’s love of photography. Part of that was a conscious decision to make sure the S1 38, as Galli puts it, “has a life of its own”. But in another interesting and unexpected development as the design process progressed, “strangely enough, when I tried a light color, it didn’t feel nice. Darker looks much better.

TimexGiorgio Galli S1 Automatic 38mm with Inverness Green Dial



When you look at the rest of the brass dots, you have a watch that has about the same value proposition as the original. That is to say: a lot of value for money. While $450 is certainly high by Timex standards, it’s a remarkably low number in the larger ecosystem of mechanical watches that tend to start in the four digits and expand from there. And for the price you get a Miyota 9039 movement with a 42 hour power reserve – nothing flashy, but reliable and accurate – plus a sturdy 316L stainless steel case, synthetic rubber strap (very comfortable) with a system of clever rivet, and that all-important sapphire crystal.

TimexGiorgio Galli S1 Automatic 38mm with Atlantic Blue Dial



Not to mention the look of the S1 38 and the versatility of the new case diameter. It fits comfortably on wrists large and small and, more importantly, manages to easily bridge the gap between classic dress watches and sportier tool watches. It might just be the perfect everyday watch for the year ahead. By any chance, you are not inside, Galli has a sportier watch in the works for 2022. And after that? Sky is the limit.

“The way we started was meant to be unique,” says Galli. But after the success of the original S1, Timex realized it had an opportunity on its hands. “It’s actually a great area for Timex to be a bit outside the usual price range and experiment a bit,” he continues. “I think the S1 is becoming the Grand Timex, in a way, of Timex. The pinnacle, but at the same time it will be permanent. The S1 could evolve into something completely different. Who knows? ”

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