Watches designed and assembled in France
“Vous vous changez, changez de Kelton” (You change, change your Kelton). Some of us know the notes of this melody by heart (F# A, F# B, F# A, B F#, for music lovers). The brand that revolutionized the French watch market is still very much in the collective memory.It was the first to offer (very) accessible prices and its success gradually made it the French watch brand par excellence.
Kelton is the result of a meeting between the American giant Timex and Stéphane Boullier. The latter was the director of Vixa, a prestigious watch brand that supplied French Air Force pilots.
During a stay in the United States, Stéphane Boullier met with the managers of Timex and proposed to develop in Europe a market similar to the one established on the American continent, which was already distinguished from its competitors by its affordable prices.
Timex accepted on the condition that this venture would be launched as a new French brand. Boullier came up with the name of his future brand by evoking the name of the hotel “the Elton” where he had stayed. It was 1955 and Kelton was born.
It was so successful that it is quite rare to find a person living in France who did not own a Kelton between the 1960s and 1980s. I won mine – a diving watch – in the third grade, following an essay contest, which I won ex-aequo with my best friend (his was better than mine, but who cares now ?).
The Kelton adventure was short-lived when quartz movements swept through Europe.
In 2016, Kelton began its rebirth, and in 2021 we had the honor of collaborating in this reboot, giving the brand a new logo, a new philosophy, and while we were at it, new watches. Designed by yours truly, designed and assembled in France. That’s not all, but it’s not nothing, and we intend to do better very soon!