Reconvilier 'ATP' (Army Trade Pattern) Military Watch – WWII British Army - Issue c.1940
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A rare British-Issued Reconvilier WWII ATP (Army Trade Pattern), British Army military issue markings on the case back with the MoD 'Broad Arrow'
One of the elusive 'ATP' series, this Reconvilier has quite literally been through the wars, but lacks the scars to show for it. A precursor to the famous ‘Dirty Dozen’ watches, produced for the British Armed Forces during World War II by 12 world-famous watch manufacturers (hence the nickname). The ATP (Army Trade Pattern) series of watches was made available at the start of WWII via a Ministry of Defence contract with Swiss suppliers in 1939 (amazingly, in an effort to demonstrate neutrality, the Swiss supplied almost identical watches, this time with black dials, to the Germany military). Just over 133,000 ATP watches were produced during World War II, and while the watches were meant to have been destroyed as fighting drew to a close, many were decommissioned and some continued in service.
Of the ATPs, the Reconvilier is known as the rarest for its limited production and consequently fewer surviving editions. It is estimated that around 2 change hands each year, based on data compiled by MWR forum user Bobsy (link).
Many of the ATP watches were supplied on 'Bonklip' bracelets, which were testament to iconic British design and manufacturing. They have survived in great condition, and now fetch a premium without a watch attached- they command a few hundred pounds for those in good condition. Fortunately, this Reconvilier is supplied on an original Bonklip bracelet, making it look the part as well as improving the watch's holistic historical accuracy.
This 1939 Reconvilier (unmarked) ATP (Army Trade Pattern) watch is a great example of British-issued military watch. Known as the rarest of the ATP watches, the Reconvilier is intentionally hard to recognise due to a distinct lack of branding. The unmarked dial especially important in watches issued to behind enemy lines military personnel, it would grant soldiers an anonymity that would otherwise have been lost due to a manufacturer name appearing. This watch has a fantastic patina to the dial.
The chrome-topped case is in lovely, evenly worn condition and at 34mm is larger than the average ATP military watch seen on the market. The watch, dial and hands all reflect its age and also have a beautiful patina. The black painted hands seem to have their original luminous inserts which have turned a fantastic green colour, as have the dial plots! This same green is contrasted with orange, blue and sleek silver tones in the dial face- almost like an oil slick affect. Properly impressive ageing which improves the watch's aesthetic and adds in that vintage military 'character' without detracting from its iconic design.
The dial has a subsidiary seconds dial which is made up of multiple rings, a little like a target, often called concentric or radial brushing. The solid steel screw-down case back is engraved with /|\ (British Military 'Broad Arrow'), ATP and serial number 28013.
Case: Nickel chrome plated.
Dial: Originally white
Bracelet: Original Bonklip British Army WWII strap.
Condition: Excellent, for its age, and in full working order.
Model Reference: A.T.P.
Date of issue: c.1940
Comes with a 6-month VWS guarantee.
Lug width: 17mm
Lug height (lug to lug): 41mm