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Solid Silver 'Jumbo, TV' Cased Trench Watch - WW1 - c.1916 Hallmarks


A very unusual and large 'TV' Shaped Case, WW1, Silver Hallmarked Trench Watch from circa. 1916 - 32.5mm x 32.5mm size case.

The trench watch was introduced to give an ease of use during World War 1 as pocket watches were certainly not practical in combat. Commonly early wristwatches were a simple adaptation of pocket watches that had thin and simple wire lugs attached to the case of a pocket watch to enable a strap to be added. Although the very first wristwatches we believe someone adapted from a pocket watch is unknown, the first series of purpose made men’s wristwatches were produced by Girard-Perregaux in 1880 for the German Navy. During WorldWar One many manufacturers produced trench watches for various armed forces as the popularity and demand for wrist watches skyrocketed. Brands such as Omega, Longines and IWC were among them along with numerous others. It is also commonplace for anonymous or sterile dials to have been produced as the watches were made for a purpose as opposed to fashion and were probably supplied by a gentleman's outfitters who would import unbranded watches to keep costs down.

What’s On Offer

The present watch represents a really interesting and rare trench watch, as it was not common place to see the “TV” cased watches at all during the WW1 period. As this was so uncommon it is now quite striking and wears very nicely on the wrist!

The military style Arabic numeral dial is lumed in Radium with a striking red outline to the 12 marker, enabling visibility in poor light or during the night. The cathedral style hands are the same and everything still glows when put under UV light.

Like many vintage military watches, this example benefits from the sub seconds dial which further enhances the watches legibility during combat but also gives the dial a lovely symmetry. The pared back and simple wire lugs are a really nice throwback to an era when watches were made for purpose instead of vanity which again adds a chunk of charm and interest to this example.

There is subtle and uniform patina to the dial and hands which is not to be normally expected of a watch worn on the front line, as it is in great overall condition for a watch that is now over 100 years old and has probably seen action. The case is free from damage as it is only showing signs of surface scratches so still exudes a nice patina which is consistent of its age. The present watch further benefits from a fresh service in January 2021 by the renowned military watch specialist John Senior.

This watch is a fabulous addition and one not to be missed.

Additional information

Made from 

Case: Silver (hallmarked)

Dial:  silver

Crystal: Plexi

Bracelet: Vintage NOS Tan leather

Technical specifications

Winding: Manual

Movement type: Mechanical 

Calibre: Unknown

Jewels: ?

Waterproof: No

Power reserve: U/K

Purchase details

Condition: Excellent Vintage

Model Reference Number: WW1 Trench watch

Date of issue: 1916

Guarantee: 6 months by VWS


Width (without crown): 32.5mm

Lug width: 22mm

Lug height (lug to lug): 37.32mm

Leather strap: Adjustable