International Watch Company - Mark X - WWW Dirty Dozen Military Watch C.1945 - With Rare NATO Dial
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The IWC Mark 10 is also Known for its Military 'WWW' Dirty Dozen Military Markings - Issued During WWII, c.1945 - NATO Dial (NATO issue codes on the dial with 'T' for tritium and MoD Broad Arrow).
IWC or to give its full title, 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 watchmakers (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- designed to be waterproof, have fixed lug bars, numbers and indices, a matte black dial with luminescent hands (originally made of radium) and a small, functional and reliable movement.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 incredibly rare and sought after among collectors. The 35mm stainless steel case wears very generously on the 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, 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 unpolished and retains the W.W.W engraving on the 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 IWC branded dial and creates an additional exclusivity within this already rare group of watches. The pumpkin lume on the hour plots and hands is in beautiful condition really punching out from the starkness of the black dial and adding much warmth. Stunning!
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.
This watch was serviced by the eminent military watch specialist and watchmaker, John Senior so rest assured it runs extremely well and looks great!
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!
Model Reference Number: WWW-NATO
Date of issue: Circa 1944
Warranty: 12 Months by VWS
Lug width: 17mm
Lug height (lug to lug): 46mm
Wrist size: Adjustable