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Longines - WWW - Dirty Dozen - WWII Issued Soldier's Watch c.1945


This Watch Is Now Sold

If you are interested in this watch please contact us as we do have another in stock!

Gents Vintage Longines ‘Greenlander’ WWW ‘Dirty Dozen’ World War II Military Wrist Watch

At the end of the Second World War, many members of the British armed forces were issued with a basic but carefully specified watch, commissioned from one of 12 Swiss manufacturer’s by the British Ministry of supply. 

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

As these watches became highly sought after by collectors over the ensuing decades, they became known as ‘The Dirty Dozen’ - earning this nickname from the 1964 war film of the same moniker. 

Members of this exclusive club are now in constant demand as few of these in good and original condition remain, and as production volumes differed widely across the 12 wartime manufacturers. Apparently only around 30 complete sets are known to exist, worldwide. 

This fantastic example was manufactured by world-renowned watchmaker ‘Longines’ who only produced an estimated 5-8,000 of these pieces in total. 

This watch has become known as a ‘Greelander’ model, though the watch was never issued for the British North Greenland Expedition and the name actually comes from a mistake in a military watch book, as a writer believed that the model was worn by soldiers on this expedition!

While all of the Dirty Dozen watches were produced along similar guidelines, the Longines models had the biggest case size at 38mm and probably in our opinion one of the nicest cases with a ‘stepped’ bezel. The dial is a classic military style in black with applied lume by each of the Arabic numbers and hands while the movement is a Longines 12.68Z manual winding calibre with 15 jewels.

The watch features the military ‘Pheon’ (arrow) engraved on the case back, along with the letters WWW (Watch, Wrist, Waterproof) and the serial number 23088 577

What’s on offer:

This is a lovely, honest example of the Longines ‘Dirty Dozen’ watch with an unpolished case in great condition especially for its age. The hands are nicely discoloured with a touch of radium burn where the markers were, leaving small dimples at 5 minute intervals but still giving off some glow under UV light. 

The piece will be supplied on a brand new vintage style leather single-pass strap that can be exchanged for a brand new NATO textile strap in black or grey, to complete the military look, if wished. 

The watch was recently serviced for us by renowned military watchmaker John Senior.

Additional information:

Made from: 

Case: Stainless steel.
Case back: Screw on.
Dial: Black.
Crystal: Shatterproof crystal.
Bracelet: Supplied on either a brand new brown  leather / black or grey NATO textile strap. 

Technical specifications

Winding: hand -winding.
Movement type: mechanical hand wound 
Calibre: 12.68Z.
Jewels: 15.
Water resistance: Yes.

Purchase details

Condition: Great condition for its age. 9/10
Model reference number:  WWW.
Date of issue: 1944 / 1945.


Supplied with a 12-month Vintage Watch Specialist guarantee.


Width: (without crown) 38mm
Height: (lug to lug)
Lug width: 18mm

Wrist size: Adjustable.