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Longines - WWW 'Dirty Dozen' - c.1944 World War II British Army Watch


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Longines WWW Ministry of Defence issued WWII Soldier's watch c.1944. One of the 'Dirty Dozen'. 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, 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 and at 38mm, the case represents a contemporary size even by today’s standards which further enhances the wonderful shape of the stainless steel case.

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 caliber 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 40’s and 50’s such as coin edge cased, sector dial, 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 remarkable Cathedral hands, manual wind Calibre 12.68Z, screw on case back and shatterproof plexiglass, this Longines is a real must have for any watch collector and they are becoming rarer by the day. The example on offer here remains in remarkable condition with the lume retaining a wonderful warm and creamy tone, the lugs remain sharp and the case is unpolished which further enhances the allure of this example and finishes off a true collector’s piece. Looking at the case edges and lugs, it's hard to believe that this was a watch issued to a soldier in 1944. 

Additional information

Made from

Case: Stainless Steel

Case back: Screw on. 

Dial: Black

Crystal: Shatter-proof plexi. 

Bracelet: New NATO Strap

Technical specifications

Winding: Manually wound. 

Movement type: Mechanical.

Calibre: 12.68Z

Jewels: 17

Waterproof: When new! (We wouldn't swear by it now.)

Purchase details

Condition: Excellent unpolished condition with crisp case edges. The watch has some signs of wear in accordance with its age. 

Model Reference: WWW. 

Date of issue: 1944/45. 


Supplied with a 12-month Vintage Watch Specialist guarantee. 


Width: 38mm.

Lug width: 18mm.

Wrist size: Adjustable.