My Cart


Anonymous Dial - Elegant Silver Cased Trench Watch - WW1 with 1918 Inscription


An Elegant Unnamed, Trench Watch From WW1 with Case back Inscribed "To Arthur from Gertie 1918."  Housed in a Silver Hallmarked Case marked Stockwell & Company. 

The Trench watch (wristlet) was a type of watch that came into use by the military during World War I, as pocket watches were not practical in combat. It was a transitional design between pocket watches and wristwatches, incorporating features of both. 

The very first watch that somebody adapted to wear on a wrist is unknown. The first series of purpose-made men’s wristwatches were produced by Girard-Perregaux in 1880 for the German Navy. During World War I numerous companies, including Omega, Longines, and others produced wristwatches for the military. These watches were of a virtually identical style with an enamel dial, wide white numerals, and a luminescent radium hour hand. Often they did not bear the name of a manufacturer, though the movement, originally designed in the 1890s for ladies pendant watches, was marked "Swiss".

From pocket watches those trench watches inherited hinged front and back covers. The lugs for a strap looked like a thick wire attachment to the classical round shape of pocket watches rather than an integrated part of the body of the later and more modern wristwatches. The name "wristlet" was used until the early 1930s and was eventually replaced by the modern name "wristwatch".


What’s On Offer 

This is an attractive trench-style watch with a striking black dial boasting bold, Arabic numerals, and a crisp seconds subdial. The elegant cathedral hands still contain their original lume which is a lovely feature and to the caseback, there is a heartwarming message which reads 'To Arthur, from Gertie. 1918'. Clearly, this was a treasured gift and who knows whether Arthur went to war wearing this watch, or indeed made it home, but I'd like to think so. It certainly deserves to be worn having survived this long and would make somebody very happy, as I'm sure it did Arthur. 

As a side note - The case marking,  G.S, refers to Stockwell & Company, a carrier and shipping agent with their head office at 16 to 18 Finsbury Street, London, and many depots around the UK. They were part of a European-wide network of shipping agents called Messageries Nationales. Stockwell & Company company was founded in the nineteenth century and became a large company moving goods around Britain and, through Messageries Nationales, across the continent. They were used by many Swiss watch manufacturers to transport watches from Switzerland to Britain. 

Additional information

Made from

Case: Sterling silver

Dial: Black

Crystal: Glass

Bracelet: Leather

Technical specifications

: Manual

Movement type: Mechanical

Caliber: Unknown but Adjusted to 2 positions

Jewels: 15j

Waterproof: n/a

Power reserve: n/a

Purchase details

Condition: Excellent

Model Reference Number: Trench watch

Date of issue: c.1918

6 months by VWS


Width: 33mm

Lug width: 11mm

Lug height:
(lug to lug) 42mm

Wrist size: Adjustable Strap