TIMEX Bezels

When collecting vintage watches and especially sports and tool watches, the bezel or lunette of the watch is an essential part of the watch and has a great part in the look and wrist presence of the watch. Unfortunately these bezels are often missing or heavily damaged or just feel incorrect. How do you know what is the right bezel on your watch? For most other brands this is not an easy quast. Luckily for us TIMEX and KELTON collectors out there, there is a great reference available because many of the TIMEX catalogs have been preserved and available to the public.

I will try to give you an overview of the bezels that are proven to be TIMEX original and which to hunt for. 

The Tachymetre bezel

This specific bezel is hard to come by and was only issued on a limited number of TIMEX watches. The most famous one is of course the TIMEX Marlin Sports Calendar Emmerson Fitipaldi 1975. But there are some others out there.

ref. 27674 (1971)

ref. 27673 (1973)

ref. 27679 (1973)

ref. 393091 (1975)

The Pulsometer Bezel

This bezel somehow resembles the tachymetre one, The pulsometer bezel is based on 30 pulsations per minute and can be found on the Sprite Calendar ref. 23776 a.k.a. the Nurse's Watch from 1974. It can be used to measure ones heartbeat. The blue bezel perfectly matches the radiant blue of the dial and realy stands out, making this TIMEX Sprite one you should definitely add to your collection!

The World Timer bezel

One of the popular bezels amongst vintage watch collectors. It allows you to to see what the time is on other places in the world without having a novement with a gmt complication. There have been a limited number of TIMEX watches that were equipped this world timer bezel. 

ref. 77650 (1970)

ref. 27676 (1971)

ref. unknown (1972)

ref, 77971 (1973)

ref. 27672 (1974)

The GMT bezel

A far more practical way to keep sight on the time at home is the use of the GMT bezel. Not everyone lives in one of the mentioned cities on the World Timer bezel, do they? The GMT bezel has the numbers 1 to 12 on it and by rotating the bezel one can set the time difference between present location and home. After 1974 it looks like TIMEX has exchanged the World Timer bezel for the GMT bezel. Here are some examples of the GMT bezels TIMEX issued. 

ref. 76771 (1975)

ref. 21570 (1975)

ref. 27670 (1976)

ref. 15318 (1979)

The Diver 'Elapsed Time' bezel

By far the most comon and broadly used bezel is the diver bezel or elapsed time bezel. The majority of the TIMEX sports, dive or tool watches are equiped with these kind of bezels. They came in several variations. A count down bezel from 60 minutes to zero. But most of them start at 0 and count up to 60 minutes. You can find the plastic bezels in the colors red, blue and black. The metal ones have either a dot or a triangle at 12 o'clock and come in silver, blue and black.  

Special 'One Off' bezels

The next few bezels can be characterized as 'one off' bezels. Bezels that have been issued by TIMEX just once and only on a specific TIMEX watch. Often these bezels have their own nickname, such as Casino bezel, Coke bezel or Black Max inner bezel. Lately we see that TIMEX uses this vintage heritage to bring out new TIMEX watches with different color combinations. 

Casino (1980)

Black Max (1977)

Coke (1979)

Pepsi (1979)

The right configuration

Finding the right configuration of a TIMEX model and bezel is one of the challenges we face daily when scanning the sales platforms for vintage TIMEX acquisitions. As mentioned earlier the TIMEX catalogs offer us a great reference. However, it seems that TIMEX offered their customers the choice of different bezels on specific TIMEX watches. Sometimes this meant a slightly different model number printed on the dial, but often they used the same model number with different bezel configurations.

Tachymetre bezel

World Timer bezel

Diver bezel

World Timer bezel

The watch model I've come across with the most variations in dial bezel configuration is the Marlin Sports Calendar ref. 27671.

So, if I spot a vintage TIMEX watch with a bezel I know to have been used by TIMEX in that periode, but is not the bezel used in the known reference i.e. catalog or advertising, I give it the benefit of the doubt. But even more important, it has to be a dial bezel configuration that makes sense and looks absolutely stunning. So happy hunting out there!