Longines C.O.S.D. “Tuna Can” British Military Wristwatch c.1945
These very rare and unique timepieces were originally thought to have been produced for British WW2 special forces and paratroopers for use during D-Day and Operation Market Garden.
However, this long-established theory now seems unlikely and it is now believed these watches may have been designed and issued for use by specialist underwater demolition teams.
The design of the watch, with its iconic oversized crown and “Tuna Can” waterproof casing, certainly lends itself to the notion it was manufactured for use in underwater activities.
The markings on the case back, C.O.S.D, stands for “Combined Operations Stores Depot”.
The Combined Operations Command was established in 1940 by Winston Churchill immediately after the evacuation of Dunkirk and its sole objective was to undertake offensive operations against the enemy via a combination of land, sea and air forces.
Full details regarding The Combined Operations Command can be found on their website, a link to which is as follows: https://www.combinedops.com/
Intriguingly, very little is known for certain about these wonderful watches and their specific history and purpose remains unclear. However, what we can be sure of is they are exceptionally rare and very difficult to find, especially in such lovely original condition as the example offered for sale.
Due to the increasing appreciation and awareness of these special watches, Longines has recently produced a homage watch based on the unique wartime design of the C.O.S.D “Tuna Can”. Naturally, this has further enhanced the interest and demand for good original examples, such as the one listed for sale.
The watch for sale will, therefore, be of great interest to any serious military watch collector or vintage Longines enthusiast.