Timex watches pack a punch. They look great, are durable, and affordable, with a variety of styles to choose from.
Best of all, their signature INDIGLO lights up the dial, like a night light, at the push of a button. This makes it extremely easy to read the time, day or night – no cell phone needed.
In this article, we’re going to break down some of the best Timex watches with INDIGLO, and take a deeper dive into INDIGLO itself. How it works, how to use it, and more.
Let’s get started!
What Is Timex INDIGLO?
INDIGLO is a feature unique to Timex watches that evenly lights up the entire dial of the watch, like a nightlight. This backlit display allows you to very easily read the time on the watch, even in the darkest conditions.
The Timex Expedition is a light, thin, and comfortable field watch. Its dial is large and legible, which, along with INDIGLO, allows you to easily read the time.
While there’s a huge variety of colors and styles to choose from, my personal favorite is the Expedition Scout.
Speaking of affordable, the Expedition can often be found for under $50. Despite using a basic quartz movement, its timekeeping is reliable and accurate.
With its military aesthetic, the Expedition makes a great casual everyday watch that looks best on casual canvas or leather straps.
Most Expedition models have ‘wr 50m’ written on the dial – demonstrating the watch’s 50 meters of water resistance. This is suitable for getting caught in the rain or washing your hands, but be sure to avoid submerging it in water completely, or you might risk water damage.
There is a version, however, the Expedition ‘Rugged Metal’ with 100m water resistance, meaning it can be submerged up to 100 meters (about 328 feet) in water, without damage. A much better choice for those who swim often.
Are there better, more expensive watches out there? Sure. But dollar-for-dollar, the Timex Expedition is one of the best watches there is.
The Timex Weekender is an extremely minimal three-handed watch that has excellence in its simplicity. If you just want one watch to take you through everything life throws at you – school, work, play, without spending an arm and a leg, few watches look and wear better than the Weekender.
Of course, the Weekender has INDIGLO, and since it already has such a simple dial layout, it’s extremely easy to tell the time, day or night.
Since it’s so simple and clean looking, you can change the entire vibe of the Weekender by just changing the strap. Each strap change makes the watch feel like a completely new watch, and yet is much more affordable than a new watch would be.
One small downside: some complain that it ticks quite loudly, even when stuffed in a drawer! I can’t say I’ve had that problem with mine, but keep that in mind if you’re someone who finds peace in silence.
Timex Ironman Classic
The Timex Ironman is a simple watch designed to do one thing and does it well. It’s built for athletic activity, specifically those training for a triathlon. Not only does it have a clock (duh), but it also has a stopwatch function to easily track the pace of someone running, biking, or swimming.
Its buttons are large and easily accessible, unlike some other digital watch brands, making it a joy to use, even while on the move. With a simple and somewhat retro aesthetic, there’s just something satisfying about hitting the dedicated INDIGLO button and watching the numbers on the dial light up.
Although the Timex Ironman Classic is the purest rendition of the lineup, the lineup has even expanded so far to include a GPS Ironman which helps you navigate, and is much more affordable than other GPS watches on the market.
All in all, if you want a digital watch that would make a great companion for any athletic activity (or just daily use) it’s hard to beat the Ironman when it comes to features or price.
Timex Easy Reader
The Timex Easy reader is one of the most legible watches in existence. With large, bold, hour markers, paired with the INDIGLO backlit display, you can easily read the time, day or night. Sure beats having to take your phone out of your pocket every time.
‘Indiglo wr30m’ written on the dial represents the watch’s 30 meters of water resistance, which isn’t very water-resistant at all. Suitable for washing your hands, or getting caught in the rain, sure, but I wouldn’t take this watch swimming or in the shower.
The Timex Easy reader comes in a variety of styles and colors. There are gold and silver versions with expansion bands that stretch to conform to your wrist, leather straps, and an even smaller version for women. Best of all, they can often be found for under ~$50.
Ultimately, if you want a simple and legible watch with INDIGLO that can be read anytime and anywhere, the Easy Reader is for you.
Timex Classic Digital
The Timex Classic Digital is the retro silver or gold watch we’ve seen on others’ wrists so many times. Straight out of the ’80s, the Classic Digital will give you an instant hit of nostalgia the second you throw it on.
Yes, it has a pop of bling, especially if you go with the gold version, but is just as functional as it is fun-wearing. They are arguably some of the most feature-rich on this list, with features including:
- A chronograph that can keep track of time up to 100 hours
- The ability to track a 2nd time zone
The Timex Classic Digital is as much of a style statement as it is a window to the past. It’s the anti-Apple watch statement piece, without the Apple Watch price tag, and simply looks rad.
Timex Fairfield Supernova
The Timex Fairfield Supernova doesn’t just have INDIGLO as a feature; it’s the entire focus of the watch’s dial.
In the sunlight, the Supernova looks like just any regular chronograph. If somebody saw this on your wrist, nobody would bat an eye. It has 3 sub-dials that keep track of the chronograph’s stopwatch function, which can be started, stopped, or reset, using the pushers on the sides of the case.
When activating the INDIGLO by pushing the crown, the dial illuminates to reveal a series of dots, resulting in a unique texture compared to the standard, all blue-green of other INDIGLO dials. This contrasts awesomely against the fully illuminated sub-dials and hour markers.
If you want a watch that looks sleek and stealthy but really lights up when you use the Indiglo, the Fairfield Supernova is a no-brainer.
Timex Weekender Chronograph
Based on the wildly popular Timex Weekender model mentioned earlier in this article, the Weekender Chronograph takes it one step further.
Adding a chronograph function, this variation of the popular Weekender is that much more versatile, as the chronograph can be used as a stopwatch to keep track of time for up to 30 minutes, in increments of 1/20 seconds.
The chronograph sub-dials also add some visual interest to the dial, making it a very casual wear that looks perfect with jeans, shorts, and a t-shirt.
At 40mm, the Weekender Chronograph is the perfect sweet-spot size that isn’t too big, nor too small, and will fit a variety of wrists. There’s also a wider variety of styles and colors to choose from than other models, so you’re bound to find one that suits your style.
The Timex T80 34mm is a modern refresh on their classic digital watches from the ’80s.
With variations like gold, silver, and even a Pac-Man version, the T80 is just as fun and quirky as the original – this time, with an even brighter and more legible INDIGLO display, and slightly better bracelets that stretch to conform around your wrist.
Note: The T80 is slightly more expensive than the original Classic Digital models, despite having very similar features. The T80 may not be worth the extra cost unless you greatly prefer the updated style.
How Does INDIGLO Work?
Scientifically, the dial of an INDIGLO watch is coated with a combination of zinc sulfide mixed with copper. When the INDIGLO button is activated, the watch’s battery supplies energy to two conductive layers that sandwich the dial, illuminating the dial (source).
How Do I Activate INDIGLO?
Most Timex watches with INDIGLO are activated very simply by pressing and holding down the watch crown. The INDIGLO will stay illuminated for as long as you hold down the crown.
Some digital Timex Watches like the Ironman have a dedicated INDIGLO button instead of a crown. Similarly, holding down the INDIGLO button will activate the INDIGLO for as long as the button is held.
Does INDIGLO Wear Out?
Yes, over time, the INDIGLO has been reported to wear out. Most likely, this is a result of the atoms that are illuminated in the dial being dragged out of place with repeated use.
If INDIGLO does not work on your watch while holding down the button, it’s possible the INDIGLO has worn out, but most likely it’s time for a fresh battery replacement.
Take the watch to your local jeweler, who should be able to replace the battery quickly, and easily. Most often, it shouldn’t cost you more than $10. A new battery will last you ~1-3 years, depending on how often you use the INDIGLO. Using INDIGLO more frequently will drain the battery slightly faster.
Timex watches are a fantastic value for their good looks and build quality that is way better than their affordable price tag would suggest.
All the watches on this list have Timex’s INDIGLO, which lights up the dial at the push of a button, making it extremely easy to read and tell the time in any lighting condition.
My top 3 picks for the best watches with Indiglo are:
- The Timex Expedition is a rugged and durable field watch that can take a beating and looks great worn casually.
- The Timex Weekender is a versatile, all-around watch that could be worn every day, in any situation. It will never look out of place, and a simple strap change can completely change the look and feel of the watch, from dressy to sporty.
- The Timex Ironman is a classic digital watch that keeps track of time with a stopwatch, perfect for anybody who is active and needs a stopwatch.
All three have INDIGLO, allowing you to illuminate the dial and read the time, even in the dark.
For a closer look at some of the watches mentioned in this list, check out the full review video:
Have you ever owned an INDIGLO watch? Let me know in the comments below. I hope this article was helpful in finding the right INDIGLO watch for you.