Timex's (and few other watches) ever sell at list. I bet that you see the autos selling for $100 or less not too long after introduction.
No luck finding them around here either. But I never have much luck finding various Timex models in stores around here. They make probably twenty or more models of Reef Gear watches, but I've never seen more than one or two models in stores around here. I bought the one I wanted online (fantastic, well-made watch #58891).