The Timex T2N958 ‘Intelligent Quartz Adventure Series Depth Gauge’ offers some of the best value and features of any diver in it’s price range. Generally available for around $100, the Timex Depth Gauge is an impressive inexpensive watch. In this review of the Timex T2N958 Depth Gauge I’ll show you exactly why and whether or not it’s for you.
Timex’s Depth Gauge also made it on my list of best divers available for under $100, so be sure to check out that article as well for more inexpensive, quality dive watches.
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The Company | Specifications | Variations | Introduction | Unboxing | Case | Case Back | Crown | Dial | Date Window | Handset | Depth Gauge | Temperature Gauge | Bezel | Straps | Diving | Pro’s & Con’s | Conclusion
Timex Group USA
They became the Timex Corporation in 1944, and then the Timex Group USA in 2008 after being acquired by a Dutch conglomerate.
They’re known for being one of the first companies to develop digital watches, specifically the Ironman line.
These days Timex produces an absolutely huge range of watches, both under the Timex brand and others.
Timex T2N958 Intelligent Quartz Adventure Series Depth Gauge Specifications
There’s several different color/strap combo’s of the Timex Depth Gauge available. In this review I’m looking at the T2N958, but the other models should be the same in quality and function.
Timex Intelligent Quartz Adventure Series Variations
The Timex T2N958 ‘Intelligent Quartz Adventure Series Depth Gauge’ (what a name) is an inexpensive quartz dive watch with several notable features.
Besides the usual diver’s timing bezel the Timex Depth Gauge includes an analog depth gauge (as the name would suggest) and an analog temperature gauge. It can also recall the deepest depth reached and the lowest temperature, for dive logging purposes.
It also features Timex’s Indiglo backlight technology, lighting up the whole dial with the push of the top right button.
The Timex IQ Depth Gauge is a large watch, but not unreasonably so. In the picture above you can see it next to my Seiko SKX007 and my Casio MDV106-1A. Most of the bulk of the watch comes from it’s height which at 19mm makes it stand quite proud off of the wrist.
There’s generally nothing particularly impressive about the product packaging for watches in this price range. I’ve included a few images below so you can have an idea of what you’ll get when purchasing a Timex T2N958 Depth Gauge.
The blackened steel case of the Timex T2N958 is large and hockey-puck like. I’m not sure what process Timex used to color the steel case (PVD?) but it has held up well so far.
At 46mm across and 19mm high it is definitely a large watch. Personally I like the rugged, tool diver look it has. The T2N958 Depth Gauge will fit in perfectly on your wrist during any outdoor activity but I wouldn’t recommend it for dress or office settings (especially with the bright yellow band).
The right side of the case features the large crown and two good size buttons which I’ll go into further down.
The lugs protrude sharply from the top and bottom of the otherwise cylindrical case. They have a rather steep curve to them, arching downwards to extend below the bottom of the case-back.
The holes for the spring-bars are near the end of the lugs which leaves a significant gap between the band and the case.
The depth sensor breaks up the left side of the case. The design is interesting. It looks like Timex was inspired by a mechanical pulley when creating the sensor.
You can’t see it well in this picture, but there’s an indent all the way around the small protrusion just like a pulley would have for a belt to sit in.
Two screws on either side of the sensor hold it to the case.
On the bottom of the case Timex has been kind enough to print the SCUBA no-decompression time limits. For the non divers reading this these are estimates of how long you can stay at a certain depth and be able to return straight to the surface, without extra time spent decompressing.
Most people dive with a computer these days which allow much more accurate calculation of your no-deco limits (giving you more time underwater). But having them printed here could be useful for if your computer fails during a dive.
The screw-down case-back is unblackened, left as shiny stainless steel. The lettering is done with a shallow engraving which looks and feels nice. Nothing very fancy here, but at least they didn’t just cheaply print the information. (Looking at you, Stuhrling)
The case-back features mostly basic information about the watch including: The brand and year of founding (Timex 1854), the series of watch (Intelligent Quartz), the model number (T2N958), water resistance (200m), case material (stainless steel), a serial number, and the battery needed if replacing (CR2025 cell).
Crown & Buttons
The good-size screw-down crown sits at the 3 o’clock position, with slightly smaller buttons on either side at the 2 o’clock and 4 o’clock.
There aren’t any kind of crown guards here to protect the crown – it sticks directly out of the side of the case. The buttons to the top and bottom probably offer a little bit of protection from glancing blows however.
It has a good gear-type edge providing plenty of friction to get a grip on the crown. After unscrewing the crown you can pull it out to a few different positions: the first click allows the date to be set either forward or back, and the second click stops the seconds hand and lets you set the time.
Pulling the crown out to the first click also enables the recall function of the two gauges. The depth hand will swing to the deepest depth reached (I think within the last 24 hours) and the temperature hand will point to the lowest temperature recorded.
I don’t think this is the most practical of solutions for performing memory recall. Sometimes divers want to be able to check deepest depth while still in the water. I can see Timex not wanting to add another button to the T2N928 however.
Sitting below the crown is the button to enable the depth sensor. The sensor must be enabled at the surface so it can calibrate. It’ll also turn itself off if it hasn’t descended below 5 feet within 5 minutes.
This saves quite a bit of battery life, but is inconvenient. You have to remember to set the bezel and enable the sensor just as you’re about to descend. If you get delayed a couple of minutes you might just find yourself at depth and then notice that the sensor turned itself off.
Above the crown sits the button for the Indiglo backlight. I’ll go into the Indiglo and how well it works more in the next section.
Note that both the buttons have similar edging as the crown which makes them look like they’re meant to be turned. This is decorative only, there’s no additional screw down action here.
The dark black dial of the Timex TN928 Depth Gauge is very well done. Timex has managed to keep the dial clean and minimal even with the added gauges.
Hours are represented with applied sword-shaped lumed markings. The markings are edged in chrome, which looks very nice.
Surrounding the black dial is a decently well done chapter ring with tick marks for the seconds, and smaller ticks for 1/5th seconds. I’m not sure why Timex bothered with the smaller ticks on a quartz watch with a jumping second hand.
There’s only a small amount of information printed directly on the dial besides the temperature gauge, which I’ll look at later. Center top is the Timex branding in all caps.
At the 9 o’clock they’ve printed the Intelligent Quartz branding. This picture also shows the slight misalignment between the chapter ring and the hour markers. It’s not very noticeable except at this magnification.
Printed directly to the chapter ring near the 6 o’clock marker is ‘INDIGLO 200M’, specifying that the T2N958 features both the Indiglo backlight technology and is rated to 200 meters of water resistance.
My main complaint about this watch is in regards to the luminescence, especially as it relates to actual diving use. The hands and hour markings are reasonably lit, except for the temperature gauge.
The lume pip on the temp hand is rather far back from the actual readout, making it difficult to get a precise reading in the dark.
There’s also no illumination of any kind on either the bezel or the depth gauge markings. After much practice I might get used to how the depth relates to the hour markings, but on my dives with it so far there’s no quick way to read the depth in the dark.
Here you can see the coverage of the Indiglo backlight. It works great for reading the time in the dark, but not very well for any of the other features of the watch.
The date window sits at the 3 o’clock. It’s small and trapezoidal in shape, matching the shape of the hour marker at the 9 o’clock.
Outlining the window in chrome to further match the applied markings would have been a nice touch. As it is, the date window blends into the dial and is mostly unnoticeable.
The skeletonized handset is well done. I like the different colors, shapes, and lengths for each of the hands, it allows for easy identification. Like the majority of quartz watches I’ve come across the seconds hand does not tick in alignment with the chapter ring.
It’s also easy to tell the hands apart in the dark just by the shape of their lume pattern and length of the hand.
Depth is marked in meters around the dial above the chapter ring. When it’s turned off the hand sits at the 6 o’clock 15 meters / OFF position. Once turned on it smoothly sweeps up to the zero position.
The first 15 meters take up the first half of the gauge, allowing for more precise reading in this range. After that the meters are ticked off in 5 meter increments, reaching a max 60 meter reading just above the 55 minute marker.
Above you can see the smooth sweep of both the depth and temperature hands as I activate the depth gauge. A short push is all that’s needed to turn it on, and a long push to turn back off.
Temperature is marked out in a short arc on the dial centered between 4 and 5 o’clock. It measures degrees celsius from -5° to 45°.
Wearing the T2N958 on your wrist definitely affects the temperature. For an accurate ambient reading you’ll have to take the watch off and set it aside for a while. This has less of an affect underwater, especially if the Timex T2N958 is worn above a glove.
The unidirectional diver’s timing bezel is of lower quality. It turns easily (maybe too easily), has a nice grippy edge, and makes a nice loud click when turning.
There’s a number of problems with the T2N958’s bezel though. The zero marker lacks any kind of lume pip, which I consider a requirement on dive watches.
Whatever paint they used to mark the bezel insert hasn’t held up. In the picture above you can see where some of the black paint has scraped off, revealing the stainless beneath. Timex obviously didn’t use the same process to blacken the bezel as they did the case.
Straps and Bracelets
The T2N958 comes with this very bright yellow rubber strap:
The strap feels good and seems to be of decent quality. I’ve read some reports online of it discoloring over time, but mine has had some decent wear on it so far with no problems.
For a more stealthy look I’ve mostly worn it on a simple 22mm black NATO strap. It changes the whole look of the watch to take off that bright yellow band, so if that turns you off I recommend trying it.
I’ve been wanting to try one of these black PVD Super Engineer bracelets on the T2N958 but haven’t pulled the trigger on it yet. I don’t have any other watches at the moment that a black bracelet would work on. I’ll probably pick one up here in the near future though and will update this review.
This black shark mesh is also tempting and might be worth trying out. With Amazon’s excellent return policy why not give it a try?
One advantage of that bright rubber strap: if the watch falls off somehow you’ll be able to find it quickly.
Besides my problems with the lume/backlight the T2N958 makes a great dive watch. The bezel is easy to turn and the depth/temp gauges are usable and useful.
Pro’s & Con’s
- Inexpensive, but not cheap
- Large, readable dial
- Useful functions – depth and temperature gauges
- Accurate quartz movement
- Black / yellow color combo is very eye catching
- Light weight for it’s size
- Bezel paint is poorly done
- Needs lume pip on bezel
- No way to see depth markings in dark
- Large, tool diver look – not really a wear anywhere watch for most people
- Some reviews on Amazon report the watch flooding – may be user error (not screwing down crown)
Is the Timex T2N958 ‘Intelligent Quartz Adventure Series Depth Gauge’ worth it’s asking price?
Is it the watch for you?
If you’re looking for a inexpensive watch to wear while diving as a backup to your dive computer the T2N958 will be perfect.
Or if you just like bigger, tool looking watches that can handle a bit of abuse the Timex Depth Gauge fits that description very well.
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