TIMEX Skindiver and Sport Series
In the year 1966 TIMEX started with their Skindiver and Sport Series of watches. Robust looking dive watches with at first aliuminum black 'elapsed time' bezels and waterproof up to 600 feet (180 meters) or and from 1968 on the 200 feet (60 meters). Both in men's size as in women's or boys' size watches. Powered by the TIMEX Model 24 and 25 (date) movements. Priced at $24,95.
600 feet vs. 200 feet
Apart from the difference in depth rate, there are other characteristics that distinguish both versions of this Skindiver model. The 600 feet model has an all stainless steel case and caseback whereas the 200 feet model has the usual chrome plated brass case with stainless steel caseback. Looking at the catalogs another marker stands out. The 600 feet model was equiped with a Tropic rubber strap that was air permeable. A very well known and much sought after diver strap for 60's dive watches in general. The 200 feet model has a non-branded more simple rubber bracelet.
men's ref. 1257 (120m) and ref. 2157 (60m)
ladies / boys size ref. 1077 (120m) and ref. 1097 (60m)
TIMEX depth rate in time
Starting in 1966 with 600 feet, TIMEX reduced the depth rate in 1968 to 200 feet and in 1970 the depth rate dissapeared from the dial alltogether. Only the European models (both skindiver as welll as sport models) the depth rate of 25 Metres can be found. I guess that TIMEX found out that their watches weren't as waterproof as they suggested and they had to adapt and manage expectations.
My TIMEX / KELTON Skindiver collection
The TIMEX Men's 60's Skindivers are very popular and their prizes go through the roof at the moment. The ladies and boys size models however can still be bought at reasonable prizes. With a diameter of 30mm and it's tough appearence it still has a nice wrist presence. Well, at least if you have a small to moderate wrist size.
arrow head seconds hand
screw on case back
Tropic Star rubber bracelet
Blue dial and bezel version
Although black is the primary dial color of any dive watch, the skindivers of TIMEX also can be found with a radiant blue dial and blue plastic bezel. According to the TIMEX model book the references that have a black or blue dial are ref. 2297 and 2237 from 1970 and ref. 23771 and 27671 from 1971.
However, these models don't seem to have a depth rate on the dial and my version definitely does so .....
Unfortunately the Skindiver watches I own don't have a model number printed on the dial and are therefor difficult to identify. I guess 1970 was a transition year for TIMEX and thus the Skindivers can be found with and without the depth rate.