One of Our Favorite WWII-Era Military Watches Is Back

The “Dirty Dozen” watches of 1945 were serious, purpose-built military tools.


Editor’s Note: Watches & Wonders (formerly SIHH) and Baselworld 2020 are canceled but that hasn’t stopped watch brands large and small from debuting their new wares. To stay on top of this year’s best new watch releases, visit our tag page.

The W.W.W. (“Wrist Watch Waterproof”) watch of 1945 was produced for the British military by 12 different manufacturers, which lead to its modern nickname, “The Dirty Dozen” (no relation to the excellent film of the same name). Though it can hardly have seen combat given both its intended user base (largely technical staffer roles) and its late production date, the W.W.W. was manufactured (at least, by several of the companies that made it) to high standards for its time, and has become one of the most beloved military field watches of the 20th century.

Though several of the Dirty Dozen manufacturers were big players in the watch industry, such as Omega, some of them were smaller operations that went out of existence entirely during the Quartz Crisis of the 1970s, or simply went dormant for many years through the past few decades. Timor is one such brand. Established in Switzerland in 1923, the company largely disappeared in the 1970s, returned to manufacture some pocket watch models for the Asian markets in the early 2000s, and subsequently disappeared again. Now, Timor is back to revive its crowning achievement — one of the Dirty Dozen watches of 1945.

The new Timor field watch, which is celebrating its 75th anniversary this year in 2020, is dubbed the Heritage Field, and it largely retains the look and design of the original. Housed in a 36.5mm bead-blasted, stainless steel case is your choice of either manually wound (like in the original) or automatic Sellita movements, and a dial that, of course, uses Super-LumiNova paint rather than the radioactive radium utilized on the original. (Plastic crystals have also been replaced with scratch-resistant sapphire variants.) Each watch will come with both a modern NATO strap and an AF0210, the canvas webbing strap originally issued with many military watches during WWII.

Though MSRP on the new Heritage Field will be ~$1,231, you can order yours for ~$843 once the Kickstarter opens.

Finding an original W.W.W. watch isn’t all that difficult — certain manufactures produced them in limited numbers, and some produced roughly 20,000 pieces. However, if you love the looks of the original but don’t want to worry about banging up a real piece of military history (or having to pay to service one), then the Heritage Field looks like a great alternative, packed with modern tech and at a price that many can justify for something so damn cool-looking.

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