IWC Mark X - WWW Dirty Dozen Military Watch C.1945 - NATO Dial
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IWC Mark X (Mark 10) - WWW Dirty Dozen Military-Issued WWII Watch C.1945 - NATO Dial (NATO issue codes on dial with 'T' for tritium and MoD Broad Arrow).
IWC International Watch Co. AG, doing business as IWC Schaffhausen, is a luxury Swiss watch manufacturer located in Schaffhausen, Switzerland and founded by American watchmaker Florentine Ariosto Jones in 1868. In 1869 F.A. Jones rented the first factory premises in an industrial building owned by J.H. Moser at the Rheinstrasse. Very soon he had to rent further rooms in the Oberhaus, one of the oldest buildings in Schaffhausen. By 1874 plans were already being made for a new factory and a site was purchased from Moser's hydroelectric company which was directly adjacent to the banks of the Rhine and called the Baumgarten. 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. Though there are subtle differences, they were produced to tight specifications- designed to be waterproof, have fixed lug bars, numbers and indices, a matte black dial with luminescent hands (originally made of radium) and a small, functional and reliable movement.
Of the approximate 150,000 watches produced, only circa 5000 were from IWC making them incredible rare and sought after among collectors. The 35mm stainless steel case wears very generously on wrist and beating inside is the cal. 83 movement with pencil hands and broad arrow remaining very present on the dial. The watch on offer here is even rarer due to the NATO dial. These dials replaced by the R.E.M.E (Royal Electrical & Mechanical Engineers) are known as either MoD or NATO dials, depending on the dial inscriptions and period, inadvertently giving way to a whole host of variances within the dozen. Remember, at the time, it wasn’t about originality and collectability but about function. That, coupled with the lack of record keeping, it is only through compiling and documenting the existing watches that collectors are able to determine what is deemed to be original. Although collectors often prefer originality, the sheer rarity of the IWC on offer teamed with the NATO dial makes the present watch all the more sought after and special.
What's on offer
The stainless steel case is sublime and is unpolished and retains the W.W.W engraving on the case back which is what we all come to expect from the infamous “Dirty Dozen”. The dial is crisp and legible with the wonderful seconds sub dial finishing off this watch superbly. The NATO dial makes for an extra special variant over the branded dial and creates an additional exclusivity within this already rare group of watches. For many collectors of watches, the “Dozen” represent something of a treasure hunt that many haven’t completed after a lot of hard work and searching. The task of compiling the full 12 is a tall order but one that gains the respect of watch collectors.
Case back: Clip back.
Dial: Black, 'NATO' with issue numbers.
Crystal: Shatter-proof plexi.
Bracelet: NATO military-style
Winding: Manually wound.
Movement type: mechanical.
Waterproof: when new!
Condition: Excellent unpolished condition with crisp case edges and original brushing
Model Reference Number: WWW (MoD) IWC - NATO.
Date of issue: Circa 1944.
Supplied with a 12-month Vintage Watch Specialist guarantee.
Lug width: 17mm.
Lug height (lug to lug): 46mm
Wrist size: Adjustable.