If you recall, a couple of weeks back we published an article about a series of 12 watches created during the Second World War for the British Ministry of Defense nicknamed the ‘Dirty Dozen’. If you haven’t we suggest you do so, before continuing with this one.
For those of you who have, you would know that these historic watches can be pretty tough to come by, and even if you do manage to get your hands on one, there’s no telling how it will keep time. If you are one of those people who believe that watches should be worn instead of collected and would like to have a piece of this history on your wrist, then this article should prove to be quite interesting.
We have scoured the internet and have found three watches that carry a piece of the ‘Dirty Dozen’ history but come with all the reliability and precision of a modern watch. Curious? Read on to find out.
Longines Heritage Military 1938
As you well know, Longines has quite a storied past and from time to time they will dig into their archives and remake some old timepieces for their Heritage collection. In true Longines fashion, they have just recently released this Heritage Military 1938 timepiece that was inspired by a watch made in that year. Of course, this is not a true representation of the Longines W.W.W. watch that came a bit later but you can see the essence of it well represented in the watch. The watch is also quite a bit larger at 43mm in case diameter but this is one of the big brands that still make this vintage-inspired piece.
If you’re not too worried about paying Swiss watch prices for a microbrand, then this Vertex M100 is also a pretty neat option. The Vertex name was resurrected in 2017 by Don Cochrane, the great-grandson of Vertex’s original founder, and for their first piece, they did a watch inspired by the W.W.W. watch. The watch looks pretty great but apparently, it is only “Available by referral and to owners of the original W.W.W. watch or serving military personnel. ”
Timor Heritage Field
The latest and by far the most compelling option comes with the Timor Heritage Field. With this year marking the 75th anniversary of Timor’s legendary W.W.W watches, the Timor name has been resurrected and they have a new watch out on Kickstarter. As far as we can tell, the watch is a near-identical reproduction of the original, right down to the case dimensions (36.5mm diameter). Built to modern specifications, the movement is also a modern hand-wound Sellita movement meaning you get all the goodness of a vintage watch with none of the reliability issues. The best part is, if you are quick enough, you can snag one of these bad boys for just about GBP 650, which is GBP 300 less than its retail price after the Kickstarter campaign ends.
Okay, the Serica brand was not one of the original 12 but their first watch directly references the design and philosophy of the “Wrist Watch Waterproof” style of the 1940s. The brand was founded as a collaboration between Les Rhabilleurs (a French watch blog) and Matt Hranek, the author of A Man And His Watch. These watches are made with the philosophy of being tough, robust and functional, but through its design, can be worn as a daily beater or even dressed up to be more elegant.