Timex x Nigel Cabourn Referee Watch Love the aesthetic of football referee stopwatches from the old days? You'll love this stylish timepiece that embraces the classic aesthetic.


Much as we love Timex for their affordable, no-frills, and characteristically durable sports watches, the last few years have had us admiring them for their analog timepieces. They’re still affordable and they’re still pretty tough, but they also come in some of the nicest designs we’ve seen. Case in point: the new Timex x Nigel Cabourn Referee Watch, a collaboration timepiece that celebrates the golden era of football.

Inspired by the British designer’s love of football in his younger years, the watch apes the appearance of vintage referee watches, with their analog dials, game-relevant markings, and characteristic orange elements. Simply put, you’ll easily recognize the inspiration as soon as you see the timepiece, provided you’re familiar with the football (yeah, we’ll call it that, instead of soccer) referee watches of yore.


The Timex x Nigel Cabourn Referee Watch has the first three-fourths of the dial covered in a shade of orange (although Caborn says it’s red) on top of a cream background, in reference to the 45 minutes it takes to play one half of a football game. The starting mark, 15-minute mark, 30-minute mark, and 45-minute mark are all labeled in the same color, effectively rounding out the vintage stopwatch aesthetic. We’re not sure if it can survive the roughhousing that goes on in the football field, but it would definitely feel more authentic if that was the case.

Can you use it to time an actual football match? Sure, but we have a feeling you’ll have a better time using one of the dozens of digital referee watches you can get today that offer more detailed information at a glance. Simply put, it looks nice, but don’t even think about using this as a referee watch unless you like to make things unnecessarily complicated.


The Timex x Nigel Cabourn Referee Watch houses the dial in a 40mm stainless steel case that’s water-resistant at depths of up to 50 meters, while a domed acrylic crystal sits on top. The case also features a custom fluted crown, as well as an etched case back with the collaboration’s branding. Overall, it’s a nice-looking timepiece, especially if you’re in the market for inexpensive everyday watches with attractive dial designs. Suffice to say, this is one model we’re tempted to add to the collection.


It comes with two straps: classic black leather that will likely be your default band for the watch and a NATO-style strap that matches the color scheme of the dial. Cabourn calls the NATO strap’s color scheme as “claret and blue,” in reference to the recognizable football colors. While we prefer the leather band (sourced from SB Foot Tanning Co.) for everyday wear, the NATO strap gives the watch a bit of an edge for those who enjoy more colorful accessories. Each timepiece comes with an “army mending kit” packaging, which basically refers to a vintage-style cotton drill case.

Want one? The Timex x Nigel Cabourn Referee Watch is available now, priced at $162.

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