TIMEX Key Ring Watch
In the sixties TIMEX and KELTON watches were not only worn around ones wrist. You could also use them as key ring watches, or as the French call them, montre porte-clés. They came in a miniature rubber tyre so one could not damage the watch. The TIMEX key ring watches had TIMEX branding on the tyre. The Kelton ones had non-branded tires. At the back they used a medaillon because the watch has a black plastic case back.
As you can see, Kelton used a mediallon of St. Christopher as case back. The rubber tires TIMEX and Kelton used came in the colors black, blue and red. Here are some examples I found on the web as well as the red TIMEX one in my possession.
In the KELTON catalogue of 1968 my KELTON montre porte-clés is published. It has reference number 191-74 and was available for only 44.95 Francs. Miniature black tyre, central second hand, luminous dial, applied golden numerals and the St. Christophe mediallon at the back are mentioned. On the right you see the key ring watch in a TIMEX dealer ad. Here the key ring watch is marketed as the car key watch, a way for the TIMEX dealers to get into the motorist's wallet.
Inspired by the Marvin Tyre Watch?
Alerted by a fellow watch enthusiast the TIMEX Key Ring Watch or Car Key Watch might have been inspired by the Marvin Tyre Watch. Invented in the 40's and introduced and succesful in the 50's. Same concept - a watch in a miniature tyre on a key ring of a car key. Tomas Rosputinsky from Fratello Watches wrote a nice article about the Marvin Tyre watch. You can find the article here.
Succeeded by the TIMEX Dashboard and Desk Watch
In the late 60's and early 70's TIMEX replaced the Key Ring Watch or Car Key Watch with the TIMEX Dashboard and Desk Watch. No longer attached to a key ring, but to be placed on the dashboard of your car or at your desk. And when you left the car or office, you simply took the watch out of the holder and put it on a strap around your wrist.
TIMEX was constantly finding new ways to use watches in daily life. The TIMEX Swing-a-ling Fasion Watch and the TIMEX Dashboard Watch / Desk Clock are different examples of their relentless search for additional sales.