The older you grow up, the harder it is to stay in touch with your inner child. We're constantly trying to keep up a certain image and to dissociate ourselves from anything childish.
However, Timex is there to remind us that there's a way to look classy and playful at the same time; the Marlin Snoopy edition.
This dress watch has enough flair to look great in a formal outfit, but the cute Snoopy drawing reminds us not to take ourselves too seriously.
In this article, I'll try to portray how awesome of a watch it is, but you'll also see that it might be a bit overpriced.
Before getting to what's awesome about the Timex Marlin Flying Ace, I have to mention what's disappointing to me.
As someone with smaller wrists (6.25''), I try to stay in the 36-38mm case diameter range for my dress watches. At 40mm wide, the Marlin's case is slightly over what I'm comfortable with for a dressy situation.
The lug-to-lug length of 48mm means that the lugs also protrude quite a bit, adding to the heft of this Timex Snoopy. For this reason, I don't recommend the 40mm Marlin to anyone with 6.75'' or below wrists.
However, Timex also sells a 34mm Marlin (the hand-wound version). Sadly, this smaller piece isn't available with the cute Flying Ace Snoopy comic.
30m / 3 bar
The crystal is one of my favorite parts of the Marlin Snoopy. As you can see below, the acrylic crystal is what I would consider a "superdome".
This crystal sticks out a good 2-3mm above the case, but the top is flat to make the Marlin easier to slide under your shirt cuffs. Indeed, the Marlin Snoopy is first and foremost a dress watch, so it's important for it to be comfortable with a formal outfit.
There are two main benefits to acrylic crystals. First, it's super easy to work with, which allows for such a large dome. Secondly, this type of plastic is damn-near shatter-proof.
However, acrylic crystals have one major flaw: they're extremely easy to scratch. This is especially true for domed acrylic crystals because their protruding configuration makes them particularly subject to scuffs.
Fortunately, these small surface scratches can easily be buffed out by using Polywatch.
Water resistance & Crown
Water resistance isn't usually important for dress watch buyers, so Timex stuck to the strict minimum. With 30 meters of water resistance, the Timex Marlin can withstand small splashes (rain, dishwater, etc..), but swimming is out of the question.
For this reason, Timex uses a push-pull crown for the Marlin, which is situated at the 3 o'clock position. This crown is quite large for a dress watch and it has a nice grippy edge, so setting the time is effortless.
As is the case for most dress watches, the Timex Snoopy doesn't have any lume on its dial.
Although it is quite big for a dress watch, the Marlin Snoopy has a very classy finish. Almost everything (including the bezel, case sides, lugs, etc..) has a highly-reflective polished finish of good quality.
The only place where you can find a bit of brushed stainless steel is the case back. Indeed, the backside of the Marlin features an exhibition window surrounded by brushed 316l stainless steel.
You might dislike this display case back because the Miyota 8215 caliber in the Marlin is far from being the prettiest movement out there. However, Timex went on a 35-year mechanical movement hiatus between 1982 and 2017, so they want to show-off their automatic caliber as much as they can.
-20 to +40 secs/day
Hand-Winding, Quick Date
While you probably wouldn't bat an eye at the Miyota 8215 if it was in any other watch, it's a big deal for the Timex Marlin. As I said above, we had to wait 35 years before seeing a mechanical movement on a Timex, so we're pretty stoked about this one.
You're probably familiar with the Miyota 8215 since it's ubiquitous, and tons of other watchmakers use it (mostly on much cheaper watches). It is a true workhorse movement that has been tested and proven since its introduction in the late 70s.
While it isn't the most accurate movement out there, you can be certain that your Miyota will keep on ticking for a decade or so without needing a service. Also, the power reserve of 40 hours is plenty for normal use.
One great feature of the Miyota 8215 is the possibility to hand-wind it using the 3 o'clock crown. Indeed, hand-winding is a pretty rare feature for cheap watches, so it's definitely a big plus.
However, some of you might be disappointed to learn that the 8215 doesn't hack, but you've got to make compromises when getting an affordable movement.
Although the Snoopy comic is playful, the Timex Marlin remains a classy dress watch that can look good in a formal outfit.
In a world where men wear colorful socks and flamboyant bowties with their suits, I think the "Flying Ace" drawing is perfectly acceptable. Not only does it look good, but it's also a great conversation starter.
Indeed, this watch will spark the interest of watch collectors and Charlie Brown enthusiasts alike.
The white sunburst dial of the Marlin Snoopy is absolutely stunning. Under different lighting, the dial will go from a pearly white color to a grey/silverish shade. The timepiece itself is also quite a light show thanks to the highly-polished case.
Also, the quality of the sunburst pattern is great and it shows the attention to detail that comes with Timex watches.
Furthermore, the dial of this Marlin Snoopy is very uncluttered and minimalist. Indeed, the tiny Timex script, lack of date display, and the hands & indices layout all contribute to the understated look of the Marlin.
Hands & Indices
For the Marlin Snoopy edition, Timex tried their best to make the hands & indices as understated as possible while also being functional.
The sword hands used for the minutes and hours are tiny, but their pointed tip helps read the time in a pretty accurate manner.
If I had to change something, I would've selected a steel-only surface, since the white section of the hands can be mistaken for lumed areas.
As for the indices, I'm 100% happy with what Timex did. Indeed, the small baton indices are minimalist, but they're applied to the dial, which adds a bit of depth to the Marlin (and looks fantastic under the domed crystal).
I'm usually a big proponent of frequent strap changes, but I must say that the Marlin's OEM band is pretty damn good.
For the Marlin, Timex partnered up with the S.B Foot Tanning Company to create a comfortable and good-looking leather strap.
Not only is it pleasant to wear, but I also think that the black color of the strap really helps the white sunburst dial pop out.
Although you could keep the Marlin Snoopy on its OEM band and be happy with it, the strap comes with quick-change spring bars. This means that you can swap it out for something else in a heartbeat.
The Marlin Snoopy Edition is sold for $250 (or $300 CAD) directly on Timex's website. Considering the affordable Miyota movement, cheap-to-produce acrylic crystal, and low water resistance, I must say that this timepiece is undoubtedly overpriced.
Additionally, the Timex Marlin collection cannot be discounted in any way according to their sales policy, so good luck getting a bargain on it.
However, it can be argued that the Snoopy Edition is actually a good deal since it costs the same as the regular Timex Marlin. This is pretty good for a limited-run watch.
Buying a "high-end" watch from a manufacturer that focuses on cheap/affordable quartz pieces comes with inconveniences. For instance, you only get a one-year warranty for your Timex.
This isn't a problem when buying a $30 Timex Weekender, but it's a bit riskier when getting a $250 mechanical timepiece. Fortunately, Timex uses the Toyota Corolla of mechanical movements (Miyota 8215), so fabrication defects are pretty rare and should occur within 12 months.
Being sold in limited quantities, the Timex Marlin Snoopy Edition used to be very collectible. Timex released a few runs of the Flying Ace Marlin in the past, selling out quickly every time.
Whenever Timex re-dropped this playful dress watch, consumers all asked: is it the last release of the Marlin Snoopy? This lead to a hoarding mentality and a huge price increase between MSRP and grey market prices.
As you can see, some examples sold for $150 over MSRP a month before Timex released the latest drop (May 26th 2020).
This time around, things are different. As of the time of writing this article, the latest Marlin Snoopy drop was exactly one month ago. There are still 191 Marlin Snoopy available on Timex's U.S website, and 401 on Timex.ca.
This can mean one of two things: either Timex released way more Snoopy Marlins than usual, or the demand just isn't there anymore. I'm leaning toward the second answer since Timex seems to be selling only 5-7 Snoopy Marlins per day.
In conclusion, the Timex Marlin Snoopy Edition is a classy watch with a playful touch that will look amazing in your collection. However, I must say that the specs are kind of disappointing for a $250 watch.
If you love Snoopy and want a historical watch (first mechanical Timex in 35 years), the Marlin Snoopy is perfect for you. Conversely, if you don't care for cartoons and are strictly looking for the best bang-for-the-buck, steer clear from this piece.