TIMEX in Europe

Though the TIMEX Corporation was an all American company, they didn't forget Europa as an important market for their watches. Their models were issued globally, so why is it important to focus on TIMEX in Europe? Well, there are some distinguishing elements in the European versions of the TIMEX models.

Waterproof vs water resistant

It is well-known that at some point in time watchmakers were forced by law to change the waterproof marking of their watches into water resistant. For the American TIMEX watches this change happened in 1970, so from 1971 on you will see the water resistant marking on the dial. On the European versions however, this changed after 1973 so on these TIMEX watches you will see waterproof until the year 1973.

American TIMEX Viscount 1971

European TIMEX Viscount 1973

Waterproof / water resistant 25 Metres

Starting in 1973 TIMEX put the '25 Metres' marking on some of their water resistant watches. Obviously these are all European TIMEX watches as in Europe we have the metric system for measurement. It is spelled in French though. I guess they assumed the English speaking population also would understand what was meant by '25 Metres'.

Same models, different marketing

While in America TIMEX was consistent in the lines of their models, such as Marlin for their manual winding water resistant watches, Viscount for their automatic watches and Mercury for their non-water resistant watches, in Europe this was not the case. As the European catalogs show, the watches were distinguished by gender or lifestyle / way to use the watches. No mention of (American) model names whatsoever.

Same watches, same TIMEX product numbers, different marketing!  

la Collezione TIMEX 1975 (Italia)

Collection KELTON 1971

KELTON Marlin Sports Diver Calendar (1979)

One of the nicest Kelton watches in my collection is this KELTON with the Coke bezel. It's a Marlin Sports Diver off course but the unusual bezel stands out. After 1977, it was clear the 80's were coming and things changed for TIMEX in terms of watch design. Hence this diver bezel in black and red (Coke). This broad type of bezel was used by many other watch brands for their diver watches since the 60's, but not by TIMEX.

On the left you see the vintage watch from 1979 (ref. 27919) with a handwinding TIMEX M105 movement and on the right the reissue model that was released in 2013 and was powered by a quartz momevent. As you can see, the date window is square again. But for the most part they tried to copy the watch 1-on-1.