TIMEX Telephone Dial (a.k.a. Rotary Dial)

One of the iconic models of TIMEX is the so called Telephone Dial, referring to the dial lay-out that resembles the old bakelite telephones we have come to know since the 1930's. Each hour marker on the dial has a round circle around a black on white cipher and the total makes you think back to these old telephones. Some of us even used them to call their family and friends back in the years. 

The production of the Telephone Dial models started in 1974 and the dials were used in the TIMEX Marlin, TIMEX Electronic, TIMEX Electric Dynabeat and the Q TIMEX Quartz series. They seem to be US Only, as I haven't come across a KELTON (European version) Telephone Dial model so far. Here is a picture of the Telephone Dials in my TIMEX collection.

Marlin Day-Date brown (1976) - Electric Dynabeat Calendar (1975) - Marlin Day-Date blue (1975)

1974 TIMEX Telephone Dial collection

In the year 1974 one could choose from no less than 4 Telephone Dials from the TIMEX catalog. A dark blue TIMEX Marlin or grey versions of the TIMEX Electronic.

TIMEX Marlin Day-Date

TIMEX Electronic Day-Date

TIMEX Electronic Calendar

TIMEX Electronic Calendar

The dark blue and the grey dials were not the only characteristics one could choose from. The movement and case colour were also different. A distinction often overlooked is the shape of the case. TIMEX made a distinction between cushion shape and contoured square cases. Hard to see on the pictures from the catalog but clearly different in the flesh.

1975 TIMEX Telephone Dial collection


In the year 1975 TIMEX added two additional Telephone Dials to their collection. They put their dark blue dial in a Marlin Day-Date (ref. 25862) with a gold-tone round case. A version you hardly ever come across.


And TIMEX introduced an Electric Dynabeat Calendar version (ref. 78650). Same dial and case form, but different movement as 1975 was the year they introduced the TIMEX Electric Dynabeat series

1976 TIMEX Telephone Dial collection

In the year 1976 there is only 1 Telephone Dial model that is mentioned in the TIMEX Catalog and that is the TIMEX

Marlin Day-Date (ref. 26961). The same dark blue one from 1974. However, most if not all of the brown Marlin Telephone Dials I have seen are from 1976. Can it be that they made a mistake in the catalog by mentioning the blue dial in stead of the new (?) brown dial? Just a thought that has crossed my mind. Please tell me if you find a brown one with a 74 or 75 stamp on the dial. 

Quartz TIMEX Telephone Dial / my Telephone Dials wishlist

The last Telephone Dial version I'm aware of is the Q TIMEX Quartz version I have only seen a photo of once. Don't know what year TIMEX introduced it in. The watch has a beautiful black dial and all the distinctive elements of the TIMEX Telephone Dial watches we have come to love from the 70's. 

So these are the two watches that are still on my wishlist.

Latest news! The Quartz TIMEX Telephone Dial Day-Date was released in 1974 and according to the US Catalog has a chrome plated base metal cushion shape case, a dark blue (not black!) dial, came on a blue porvair strap and has reference number 96850.

My Telephone Dial collection is almost complete!

With the Quartz Telephone Dial I am almost there. Only the gold-tone round cased Telephone Dial to hunt for. When looking at the Quartz model it has been a strange quest. First I thought I was looking for a black dial. Then the 1974 catalog clearly stated that the dial was blue. And now that it is in my possession, I cannot make out what color it actually is! It is definitely different from the brown and blue dials of the Marlin versions.How to decribe the dial then? A purple brownish perhaps.Was this the original color or has the lacquer on the dial faded over the years? We can only guess. Fact is I have 4 beautifull and different TIMEX Telephone Dials!

Finally got my round case Telephone Dial

From all the telephone dial TIMEX watches out there, the round case model as well as the Quartz model are the hardest to find. I'm glad I finally found my reference 26862. The 1975 catalog states it has blue dial, but that is is that radiant is a nice surprise. Now I have to clean up the case and get the scratches out of the acryllic crystal in order to make it a presentable piece once again. And then there comes the choice of which bracelet on strap to put it on. I tend to leather but wether it will be a black, brown or blue one, I don't know yet. For sure it wil be a stunning piece within my TIMEX telephone dial collection,