Longines W.W.W. - A Dirty Dozen Wrist Watch - c.1945 World War II British Army Watch - Matching Case and Lug Numbers
Very Rare Longines WWW Dirty Dozen Wristwatch With Matching Case and Lug Numbers, c.1945, Nicknamed the "Greenlander".
As the Western Battlefront showed signs of turning in the allies' favour in 1944, the Ministry of Defence decided to step up British efforts to outfit and supply the troops, battered by 5 years of attrition. 13 Swiss suppliers were contacted, and one was found to already by supplying the enemy (Enicar), and so 12 were chosen to supply the British Army: Omega, Cyma, Buren, Longines, Lemania, Grana, Jaeger LeCoultre, Eterna, Record, Timor, Vertex and IWC. All 12 brands have gained a great following and the present example we have on offer is one of the most desirable variants of the famous “Dirty Dozen”. The Longines is loved by many a watch collector due to its striking stepped case which is a signature of many vintage Longines watches at 38mm, the case represents a contemporary size even by today’s standards which further enhances the wonderful appeal of this watch.
Around 8000 of the circa 150,000 watches exported to Britain were from Longines and arrived in the UK in the second half of 1945, classified for “General Service” but issued to special units including radio operators and artillery staff members. The use of the Broad Arrow on the dial for Government goods goes back all the way to Sir Philip Sidney, Joint Master of the Ordnance in 1585 whose family used the Broad Arrow in its coat of arms. The calibre 12.68Z from Longines proved to be a very well-respected movement from the brand and can be seen in a variety of watches in the ’40s and 50’s such as coin-edge cases, sector dials, time-only pieces, and eye-catching Calatrava cased wristwatches from the esteemed brand which further cements the status of the movement seen here in the Longines “Dirty Dozen”.
What’s on offer:
Featuring handsome Cathedral hands, manual wind Calibre 12.68Z, screw-in case back and shatterproof plexiglass, this Longines is a real holy grail piece for any military or vintage watch collector - they are becoming rarer by the day.
This is a particularly nice (and honest) example with a very handsome dial boasting evenly aged vanilla lume across the hour plots and hands. The Arabic numerals, minute track and recessed small seconds dial are all crisp and well preserved. The lugs remain sharp and the case is unpolished which further enhances the allure of this example and completes a true collector’s piece. Well, all except the pièce de résistance - matching case and lug numbers, an extremely rare find and very much sought-after.
Besides being a collector's piece, it also wears really well, is super comfortable and due to its meaty 38mm case, it is the largest watch in the set, making it a great everyday wearer with a rich history, yet a contemporary edge.
Case: Stainless Steel
Case back: Screw-on
Crystal: Shatter-proof plexiglass
Bracelet: New leather NATO Style Strap
Winding: Manually wound
Movement Type: Mechanical
Waterproof: When new!
Model Reference: WWW
Date of issue: c.1944
Warranty: 12 Months by VWS
Lug width: 18mm
Wrist size: Adjustable