Travel makes a great inspiration for a watch. Take the TX 530 here (model number T3C474TX): it’s got world map as a dial, 24 cities around the bezel, and a retro design from the days when flight was glamorous. New in 2009, the ‘World Time Airport Lounge’ is a vintage-inspired design with a brand new six-motor quartz movement.
Let’s look at the details:
•Stainless steel case, 44mm by 13mm, 90g on the leather strap.
•Hour, minute, second, date, and a fourth hand for time in one of 24 global cities (simply set with the buttons).
•Water resistant to 100m (330ft).
•Unusual domed sapphire crystal, done in the look of a classy vintage watch.
•Signed screw-down crown with etched TX logo.
•Simple handling of daylight savings time with switchable summer/winter indicator.
•Lumed hour and minute hand.
Read on for the full review.
The 530 series is available in several variations (bracelet, gold case, different colors), but I think that this version is the most classic in look. Only in the past year or two has it become possible to make affordable domed sapphire crystals like this. It gives the watch a vintage look that I quite like, while maintaining the near-indestructibility of sapphire. Awesome.
The buttons are polished and detailed with an thin inset black ring while the screw-down crown has a raised logo on a frosted background. The case is brushed, with the bezel in high-gloss polish. Finishing is excellent — in fact, better than I’d expect at this price.
The strap is croc-patterned leather, with a snap-lock deployant and signed clasp. The available bracelet looks quite nice as well.
On the left side, there’s an inset button for changing the season; this is how you handle daylight savings time. It makes sense to recess it since you don’t use that feature as much, and hitting it accidentally could be catastrophic. Note also the excellent finish yet again.
The back is screwdown, with a matched TX logo. It continues the brushed and polished motif.
Functionally, the watch does quite well. The pushers change world time cities with the retrograde display at 10 o’clock showing the selected time in 24-hour format. Simple but effective. Simultaneously, the winter/summer display at 4:30 moves to show season in the selected city.
The dial rewards a close inspection. The embossed world map is a lovely backdrop, and the retrograde displays are offset by applied strips and inset below the dial, adding depth and subtlety to appreciate.
The 530 sits well on the wrist with a sloped profile friendly to dress shirts and suits. It’s a bit too formal to be a sport watch, but it pairs well with jeans on the weekend. It is water resistant to 100m, though, so it should survive anything short of diving if you’re willing to replace the strap.
My only peeve is the lume: there’s just not enough on the skeletonized hands, so it’s pretty difficult to read in the dark. Other than that, this is a classic, wonderful watch with a design that should age gracefully.
List price on the 530 World Time Airport Lounge is $495 from TX watches, which we consider to be quite good.