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Unitas 'Bravingtons' ATP - Army Trade Pattern - British Army Issued WWII Watch c.1939

£650.00GBP
vws1354cs

A rare British-Issued WWII ATP (Army Trade Pattern) watch, British Army military issue markings on the case back with 'Broad Arrow'. This model was decommissioned from active military service for civilian use after the Second World War, meaning that it was likely in very good condition for the Ministry of Defence to have been able to sell it on. 

One of the elusive 'ATP' series, this Unitas has quite literally been through the wars, but lacks the scars to show for it. A precursor to the famous ‘Dirty Dozen’ watches, produced for the British Armed Forces during World War II by 12 world-famous watch manufacturers (hence the nickname), the ATP (Army Trade Pattern) series of watches was made available at the start of WWII via a Military of Defence contract with 17 Swiss suppliers in 1939. Amazingly, in an effort to demonstrate neutrality, the Swiss supplied almost identical watches, albeit with black dials, to the German military.

Just over 133,000 ATP watches were produced during World War II, and while the watches were meant to have been destroyed as fighting drew to a close, many were decommissioned and some continued in service. 

Above, one of the adverts placed by the Ministry of Defence to announce the resale of military ATP watches. 

This Unitas was likely decommissioned, as were many ATPs, and sold on for civilian use. This often required cases to be remade or finished in solid stainless steel as opposed to chrome-plated, and so many of the former ATPs ended up with 'Bravingtons' engraved on their case back- this was the company which undertook the majority of this rehousing work. The Unitas has benefitted from this work, as its solid stainless steel 33mm case bears little in the way of the kind of use normally associated with former military watches. 

What's on offer

The watch body is absolutely beautiful: a solid stainless steel, 33mm case with a smooth, thin and flat bezel making the watch dial much larger looking and the whole watch even wears more like a 35/36mm. The case edges and lugs are still sharp (amazing for a 1930s watch), and the watch seems almost immortal in its stubbornness to be physically marked or scratched. There is a small crack on the edge of the glass at around 2:00. This could easily be remedied with a new plexiglass, but it is worth knowing about. By the crown on the case edge, there is a small area which appears to have been lightly engraved, potentially with a minuscule set of watchmaker's markings.

The dial appears original to this watch, featuring the typical 'sunken' seconds sub-register at 6 and the radial brushing inside it and the dusky patinated hour plots, indicative of age. The original radium hour plots have changed in tone and the hands, bearing patinated orange and tobacco tones which have become so desirable amongst vintage watch collectors. 

Additional information

Made from


Case: Stainless steel.

Dial: Original, tropical patina.

Crystal: Plexiglass.

Bracelet: Fabric NATO strap.


Technical specifications

Winding: Manual

Calibre: 173

Purchase details

Condition: Excellent, for its age, and in full working order.

Model Reference: A.T.P (Unitas) Bravingtons

Date of issue: c.1939

Guarantee


Comes with a 6-month VWS guarantee.

Dimensions

Width: 33mm

Lug width: 15mm

Lug height (lug to lug): 42mm