My Cart

Close

Eterna WWW Dirty Dozen - c.1944 - British Army-Issued Military Watch - Caliber 520

£2,450.00GBP
vws1881

An Honest and Original Example of a c.1944 Eterna WWW 'Dirty Dozen' British Army-Issued Military Watch with Slight Signs of Wear. This Watch is Recently Serviced so Running Well and is Paired with a NATO Style Strap.  Caseback Reference: www P1118 3109446. 

During the Second World War, Britain’s Ministry of Defence (MoD) needed watches that could withstand the treacherous conditions of the battlefield and at the time, civilian watches weren't up to the task. 

Due to the rigors of military life, very strict specifications were set by the MoD and they invited Swiss manufacturers who could build a watch to their specific requirements, to do so. 

In the end, there were 12 manufacturers that produced the W.W.W. (Wrist, Watch, Waterproof) watches for the British Army. The manufacturers were Record, Buren, Cyma, Eterna, Lemania, Grana, Jaeger-LeCoultre, Longines, IWC, Omega, Vertex, and Timor. Over the ensuing decades, the 12 watches became collectively known as the Dirty Dozen earning this nickname from the 1964 war film.

A lot of these watches were destroyed in the 1970s due to the presence of radioactive Radium-226, in the luminescent material, hence the numbers of surviving watches dwindled. This, teamed with the obvious historical significance of the watches, has made them increasingly more collectible. Eterna manufactured only around 5000 of these military watches and how many survived we may never know, and making this quite a rare watch.

What's on offer 

This is a really honest example of an Eterna Dirty Dozen with the war wounds to prove it. The dial however is in nice shape with its jet black dial and Arabic numerals still looking good even with some slight wear. The lumed hour plots have also suffered some wear as has the lume in the hands - however, the surviving lume has aged to beautiful pumpkin colour and any deterioration only adds to the character of the watch. The case and lugs are in nice shape and house a watch that has survived over 75 years - quite remarkable really. 

Additional information

Made from

Case: Stainless steel 

Dial: Black

Crystal: Plexiglass

Bracelet: NATO military-style

Technical specifications

Winding: Manually wound

Movement Type: Mechanical

Caliber: 520

Jewels: 15

Power reserve: 42h

Waterproof: When new!

Purchase details

Condition: Good 

Model Reference: WWW

Date of issue: c.1944

Guarantee: 12 Months by VWS

Dimensions

Width: 36.5mm

Lug width: 18mm

Wrist size: Adjustable