by: Dave D’Abate
Timex’s E-Instruments line is the world’s only collection of analog adventure instruments and launching new for 2010 is the Timex Expedition E-Altimeter wristwatch. The E-Altimeter instrument provides very accurate altitude and time measurements in a stylish analog display setting its striking appearance miles apart from many competitor’s digital displays you traditionally find among wristwatch altimeters.
Timex states, “The Timex E-Instruments collection is designed for the outdoor adventurer with sophisticated taste and the desire for something different. The collection’s rare blend of cutting-edge technology with distinctive styling makes it ideal for any setting, from base camp to the board room.”
“The collection’s altimeter function , with an operating range of -400 to 25, 000 feet (-120 to 7,600 meters), displays accurate altitude data in both feet and meters, and can recall high and low time periods within a specific time period. True to the watch’s signature analog design, the altitude is indicated by a designated fourth hand, which points to measurements adorning the timepiece’s rugged 50mm stainless steel case.”
The E-Altimeter is one rugged looking watch that performs even greater than it looks! Upon first looking at the design of the watch, the layout can be a bit confusing seeing that fourth hand coming off the center but I found that you quickly get used to automatically knowing which dials are which thanks to the major difference in the shape of the altitude designating fourth hand. When the altimeter function is off, the fourth hand always points directly at 12 O’ Clock and once engaged and turned on, the hand spins around to point to the altitude on the hundreds scale. The smaller needle in the upper left of the watch face points to the altitude in thousands. The needle in the lower right corner simply designates your readings in either feet or meters.
The sensitive components of the altimeter and watch are housed in a solid bunker of a casing that seems a bit hefty and weighs a little more than you would expect but you know that this piece can and would take all the punishment of the world’s harshest environments that it was designed to operate in. Unfortunately with the maximum height of 25,000 feet you wouldn’t be able to take this up Mt. Everest but I’d imagine the E-Altimeter would perform admirably on all the peaks lower than 25,000 feet. I have already taken it up to the highest point in New Mexico at 13,161 feet which is just higher than half of it’s operating scope.
I was thrilled to see how easy the calibration was after reading the easily understood directions that came with the watch, which makes quite a difference when first looking at a design that seems confusing at first and quickly is understood. Far too many individuals own items that they simply do not understand the item’s full functionality and therefore do not get the experience the manufacturer intended for the consumer. As with any barometrically operated altimeter, the E-Altimeter does require simple calibration from time to time after significant changes in weather and pressure zones affect atmospheric pressure around you, and therefore also the accuracy of any altimeter. Impressively, after calibrating the E-Altimeter at 11,040 feet by Williams Lake on the Wheeler Peak wilderness trail along the way to the summit, once topping out at 13,161 feet, you can see from my photo just how accurate this instrument truly is; perfectly reading 13,161 on it’s gauges! Needless to say I was impressed and this just shows that Timex has continued its tradition of creating excellent wrist-mounted instruments that perform flawlessly.
So far I absolutely love the Timex E-Altimeter and I have gotten many compliments from others while wearing it all the way in between the local trail up to the highest peaks. The uniques analog design truly set’s this magnificent timepiece apart from other adventure instrument wristwatches. I look forward to taking the E-Altimeter with me on all my adventures as my third point of triangulation. Altitude is the best way to find your precise location on a map and the E-Altimeter does not disappoint!
Timex Expedition E-Altimeter – $200 – Timex.com