Omega - Dirty Dozen WWW - World War II Military Soldiers Wrist Watch - circa.1940s***NOW SOLD***
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A Vintage Omega WWW "Dirty Dozen" World War II Issued Soldier’s Wrist Watch c.1940s in Stunning Original Condition with Beautifully Aged Lume. Watch is Supplied With Historical Documentation From The Soldiers' Family, Wonderful Provenance!
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 12 Swiss manufacturers by the British Ministry of Defence. These were made to replace the issued, "ATP" watches, from earlier in the war, but have gone on to become far more collectible and sought after due to their higher quality form and function.
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. 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 remain in good and original condition, and as production volumes differed widely across the 12 wartime manufacturers. Apparently, only around 30 complete sets were known to exist, worldwide. We suspect more now in the last 2 years, as we here, at VWS have had the privilege of helping some of our clients complete their sets as well by supplying the missing watches, including the rather scarce Grana's which we are extremely lucky to have had in stock and in fact depending on when you read this may still have a couple in stock ;-)
Each watch was commissioned and manufactured with similar specifications and, as military issues, was and still are, hard-wearing, highly legible, and water-resistant with stainless steel or nickel-plated cases, shatterproof crystal, and fixed lug bars. Watches were, as standard, capable of chronometer accuracy, and their movements precision-adjusted to several different positions and temperatures. Each piece also had a large black dial with white Arabic characters, luminous hands, and indices, and a ‘railroad’ minute track with sub-seconds at 6 o’clock.
What’s on offer:
What makes this watch so very special is its provenance - we acquired it from the original soldiers' family and as such we do have some information from the now-retired officer, and pictures from its time in action as a military watch. The officer in question (now a retired Colonel) was issued the watch in c.1970 at the School of Infantry in Warminster. He is a decorated soldier and was also awarded an OBE! A wonderful insight into the history of this watch, straight from the 'horse's mouth' so to speak, it is these historical references that make vintage watches so attractive. We will supply the documentation we received from the family/Officer, with the watch when purchased.
This piece is in excellent condition with a crisp case and edges, and a stunning black dial. The original spec sword hands are in fine fettle with lume intact and boasting a beautiful oyster hue, along with the lume on the hour markers. The sub-dial, arrowhead and Omega signature are sharp as are the Arabic numbers and minute markers. This is a fantastic-looking watch from an illustrious brand, steeped in history and in great condition. There are minimal signs of wear, though these are arguably much much less significant than would be expected for a watch so old and one that no doubt has seen some action over the years and would have some stories to tell if it could! A real gem that won't be around for long given the desirability these watches now command.
Case: Stainless steel
Case Back: Screw-on
Dial: Original black
Crystal: Shatter-proof plexiglass
Bracelet: NATO Style
Winding: Manually wound
Movement Type: Mechanical
Caliber: Omega 30T2
Waterproof: When new!
Model Reference Number: WWW (Dirty Dozen)
Date of issue: c.1945.
Supplied with a 12-month Vintage Watch Specialist guarantee
Lug width: 18mm
Lug height (lug to lug): 45mmWrist size: Adjustable