Longines "Greenlander" - WWW Issued Military, 'Dirty Dozen' Watch - Cal-12.68Z - Circa.1944
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Vintage Longines ‘Greenlander’ WWW ‘Dirty Dozen’ World War II Military Wrist Watch.
At the end of the Second World War, many members of the British armed forces were issued with a basic but carefully specified watch, commissioned from one of 12 Swiss manufacturer’s by the British Ministry of supply. These were ultimately to replace the earlier issued "ATP' watches from earlier in the war!
During 1944 and 1945, twelve watch makers (Buren, Cyma, Eterna, Grana, JLC, Lemania, Longines, IWC, Omega, Record, Timor and Vertex) produced a total of approximately 150,000 of these almost identical timepieces
As these watches became highly sought after by collectors over the ensuing decades, they became known as ‘The Dirty Dozen’ - earning this nickname from the 1964 war film of the same moniker.
Members of this exclusive club are now in constant demand as few of these in good and original condition remain, and as production volumes differed widely across the 12 wartime manufacturers. Apparently only around 30 complete sets were known to exist, worldwide.
This 'WWW' Longines (sometimes incorrectly, called the Greenlander) is in truely exceptional and very original condition and one of the watches known as ‘Dirty Dozen’ commissioned by the British Ministry of Defence (MoD) during World War II.
The black dial with its original luminous Radium hands, Arabic numerals and subsidiary seconds dial is again in perfect condition, as is the stainless steel case. The case back is engraved with the serial numbers 23xxx 42xx /|\ WWW F8xxx. Unfortunately this caseback doesn't have matching lug numbers but in any event it makes up for this with its overall condition.
This watch has become known as a ‘Greenlander’ model, though the watch was never issued for the British North Greenland Expedition and the name actually comes from a mistake in a military watch book, as a writer believed that the model was worn by soldiers on this expedition!
While all of the Dirty Dozen watches were produced along similar guidelines, the Longines models had the biggest case size at 38mm and probably in our opinion one of the nicest cases with a ‘stepped’ bezel. The dial is a classic military style in black with applied lume by each of the Arabic numbers and in the Cathedral style hands while the movement is a Longines 12.68Z manual winding calibre with 15 jewels, which was very recently serviced by the renowned military watch specialist John Senior whom we are very lucky to work closely with on many of our military pieces.
The watch features the military ‘Pheon’ (arrow) engraved on the case back, along with the letters WWW (Watch, Wrist, Waterproof) and the serial number 23088 - 4287. All the engravings are still very crisp and visible also.
What’s on offer:
This is a lovely, honest example of the Longines ‘Dirty Dozen’ watch with an unpolished case in fantastic condition. The lume on the dial and hands is nicely and more to the point very evenly coloured and still giving off some bright glow under UV light.
The piece will be supplied on a brand new vintage style leather single-pass strap that can be exchanged for a brand new NATO textile strap in black or grey, to complete the military look, if wished.
As we said earlier the watch was recently serviced for us by renowned military watchmaker John Senior.
Case: Stainless steel.
Case back: Screw on.
Crystal: Shatterproof crystal.
Bracelet: New leather or textile NATO strap.
Winding: hand winding.
Movement type: mechanical hand wound
Water resistance: When new.
Condition: Great condition for its age. 9/10
Model reference number: WWW.
Date of issue: 1944 / 1945.
Supplied with a 12-month Vintage Watch Specialist guarantee.
Width: (without crown) 38mm
Height: 48mm (lug to lug)
Lug width: 18mm
Wrist size: Adjustable.