TIMEX 21 'Nipple Dial' (1966)

In the Sixties TIMEX started the TIMEX 21 Series, a series of 'luxury' men's watches with a movement containing 21 jewels. As you probably know, most TIMEX watches contain movements with no (0) jewels. In 1965 and 1966 they issued two models with a so called 'nipple dial' (name inspired by vintage watch dials from another famous 5-letter watch brand that ends with EX). The dial had applied round gold-tone nippled hour markers, gold-tone hour-, minute- and sweep seconds hand. And off course the 21 jewels inside. The metal one also had lume plots on the dial next to the nippled hour markers and luminous hands.

The metal TIMEX 21 has model number 6517 checks all the boxes as stated above. Not only has it the number 21 printed on the dial, it also is powerd by the TIMEX M72 movement containing 21 jewels. The gold-tone KELTON (French TIMEX) has the same nipple dial but is missing the 21 on the dial and is powered by a regular TIMEX M22 movement witn no (0) jewels.

Coincidence or not?

It's my firm belief that the missing 21 on the dial and the use of a regular TIMEX movement was no coincidence. Altough most of TIMEX watch portfolio was marketed and sold in France under the KELTON brand, the more high-end models weren't. These were only available as TIMEX watches. That's the reason you won't come across any vintage KELTON 21, KELTON Electric and other high-end TIMEX models under the brand name KELTON. Mystery solved! 

Being consistent in the naming of my watches, I now have a metal TIMEX 21 'Nipple Dial' and a gold-tone KELTON Marlin 'Nipple Dial'. Although this dail Marlin 'Nipple Dial' configuration was never published in any of the TIMEX sales catalogs. 

1967 final 'Nipple Dial' 

In 1967 TIMEX added the numeral 6 to the 'Nipple Dial' and no longer put them on the Prestige 21 jewels series but on the Marlin series.  And still you could get them in the luminous metal version as well as in the no lume gold tone model. They came in both the regular model as well as the calendar version.