c.1944 - Jaeger LeCoultre WWW 'Dirty Dozen' - WWII British Army-Issued Military Watch
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Vintage Jaeger LeCoultre WWW ‘Dirty Dozen’ World War II Military Issued Soldier’s Wrist Watch. c.1944.
The earliest records of the LeCoultre family in Switzerland date from the 16th century, when Pierre LeCoultre - circa 1600, a French Huguenot, fled to Geneva from Lisy-sur-Ourcq, France to escape religious persecution. In 1558, he obtained the status of “inhabitant” but left the following year to acquire a plot of land in the Vallée de Joux. Over time, a small community formed and in 1612, Pierre LeCoultre's son built a church there, marking the founding of the village of Le Sentier where the company's Manufacture is still based today. Manufacture Jaeger-LeCoultre SA, or simply Jaeger-LeCoultre is a Swiss luxury watch and clock manufacturer founded by Antoine LeCoultre in 1833 and is based in Le Sentier, Switzerland. In 1907, the LeCoultre Calibre 145 set the record for the world's thinnest movement at 1.38 mm thick, appearing in pocket watches that remain to this day the thinnest in their category.
What's on offer
A stunning example of Jaeger LeCoultre’s WWII-issue production piece for the Ministry of Defence in 1944. A 35mm case with fixed lug bars, original dial with pumpkin like patina tone to hour plots and sunken sub-seconds register at 6 o’clock. Very subtle wear to parts of the case edges and lugs which gives it a beautiful vintage feel and detracts nothing from the watch’s general excellent condition. Out of the circa 150,000 pieces delivered between 1944 & 1945, only around 6000 pieces were Jaeger-LeCoultre making this branded watch among the most sought after pieces of the “Dozen”. At 35mm, the case of the LeCoultre sits wonderfully on wrist and benefits from a striking lug design. Unusually the present watch was re-cased in a Mark 11 Jaeger LeCoultre steel case and is finished with cathedral hands. We believe this may have been done historically and to be honest we think it looks the part and will certainly look much better in the long run as it will not rub and wear out in the same way a chrome topped version would! The cathedral style of hands are only featured on 1 other branded watch from “The Dozen”, that being the Longines “Greenlander”.
The condition on the example on offer here is remarkable, particularly in the steel case! The dial exudes a lovely patina to it and a lovely warmth coming from the lume which has taken on a stunning shade which separates this watch from many other examples we have ever seen, and we have seen many! As you would come to expect, the W W W engraving is on the case back and fixed lug bars complete the military package along with the broad arrow.
Case: Recased in Steel Mk XI.
Case back: Screw on.
Dial: Black, with original tobacco coloured Radium lume.
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.
Model Reference Number: WWW.
Date of issue: circa.1944.
Supplied with a 12-month Vintage Watch Specialist guarantee.
Lug width: 17mm.Wrist size: Adjustable.