Omega WWW
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Omega WWW

Military issued wristwatches are one of the coolest subsets of vintage timepiece collecting, if for no other reason that they were built for exactly one reason- to kick ass. It's easy to forget in today's world of super precise digital timing and measurement, but a wristwatch was an extremely important tool, whether you were on land, in the air, or at sea.

Fortunately for the modern collector, the world of vintage military watches is a wide one, with a variety of styles, functions and eras to choose from. Among our favorites are these, the so-called "Dirty Dozen." If you don't know the story, class is now in session.

These watches- stamped W.W.W. for "Watch, Wristlet, Waterproof"- had to meet strict standards set by the British Ministry of Defence during the early 1940's. The specs were these: black dial; Arabic numerals; luminous hands (radium); 15 jewel movements; and waterproof.

Twelve companies met these standards, and manufactured the watches that would be dubbed the "Dirty Dozen" and fascinate collectors for decades. They were: Buren, Cyma, Eterna, Grana, JLC, Lemania, IWC, Omega, Record, Timor, Vertex, and Longines. Omega produced pieces under this contract, although none of them saw combat during WWII, as production wasn't completed until after the Nazis surrendered in 1945. The MoD continued to issue these pieces for many years after the war, however, and a great number likely saw action in conflicts around the globe.

Although manufactured by a dozen companies, Omega's models have proven to be among the most desirable versions for a few reasons. First, Omega utilized stainless steel for their version, despite the shortage caused by the war efforts going on around them, meaning that they've generally held up quite a bit better in the subsequent decades. Second, the Omega variants were powered by the 30T2 movement, an extremely dependable and reliable movement that remained in production until the 1960's and played a great role in Omega's post-war success and reputation.

This particular example has aged gracefully- the steel case shows even wear from age all around but retains its crisp edges. While some of the print has started to wear away, the dial and handset have gained a tremendous, even patina from age, and notably, the luminous paint does not appear to have been redone in the subsequent decades. Along with the requisite military engravings on the inside and outside (including the MoD "Broad Arrow") this piece really stands out as an exceptional example of military watch history.

Details

Stainless Steel case is approximately 35mm (excluding the crown). Omega 30T2 hand wound movement. Circa mid 1940's.

Overall condition: Case is in good condition over all, showing signs of wear consistent with age and use. Black dial is in good condition with deep, even patination. Unsigned crown and steel screw down case back with "WWW" military engravings.  

Includes two 18mm nylon straps by Crown & Buckle.

SKU: TT01042

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