Vertex WWW Dirty Dozen British Army Wristwatch c.1945

Vertex WWW Dirty Dozen British Army Wristwatch c.1945


Stock Number: W0437 Category:

Vertex WWW Dirty Dozen British Army Wristwatch c.1945

The WWW watches are perhaps the most popular and collectable watches amongst all those issued to the British Army. This is perhaps because they were the first to be specially designed and custom made for the British Army.

WWW stands for Watch, Wrist, Waterproof and was the descriptive code used by the British Army to identify it as a piece of equipment.
These watches began being manufactured and issued to the British Army in early 1945.

There were 12 Swiss manufacturers of the WWW watches and as such, the collection is commonly referred to by collectors and dealers alike as “The Dirty Dozen”.

The Vertex W.W.W. for sale was purportedly discovered during a recent house clearance and is believed to be the former property of the late Major Ivon Ralph Courtney (105896) of the Royal Regiment of Artillery.

Born on 4 July 1920, Maj. Courtney was commissioned into the Royal Artillery on 9th September 1939 and served throughout the whole of the Second World War.

Maj. Courtney appears to have primarily served overseas and rose to the rank of Colonel when he retired in 1970 following a military career spanning over 30 years.

Interestingly, Maj. Courtney was mentioned in dispatches in Burma on 19 July 1945. He was included in the late Queen Elizabeth II’s Birthday Honours list on the 8th of June 1968 having been awarded an OBE.

The watch is in superb overall condition and appears to retain its original wartime strap. Several of Maj. Courtney’s other personal items accompany the watch. These include Maj. Courtney’s original wartime identity card, five WW2 medal group including the Burma Star and Africa Star, Royal Artillery cap badge, railway ticket, metal cross and photo of Maj. Courtney in uniform.

All the items were apparently found within an elaborate hand-carved wooden box. Curiously, the regimental crest of the Royal Engineers has been carved inside the box.

The watch alone is an exciting find, particularly due to its remarkable condition. However, discovering it alongside the other items, purportedly belonging to its original owner, makes it particularly appealing to any avid military watch collector.

Only around 15,000 Vertex WWW watches were made for the British Army during WW2. As such, good original examples of these watches are highly sought after by collectors and are often difficult to find.

The Vertex WWW for sale is in excellent overall condition having been recently serviced by our highly skilled and experienced horologist.
The dial is in wonderful condition with no obvious flaws or blemishes.
The hands and crown are correct to the original specification of the watch.
It is common to find the outer casing of these watches in a bad state of repair. However, the casing of the watch for sale is in excellent condition with no major wear or tarnishing. There are some minor stress fractures to the glass.
Happily, the lug and case back numbers appear to match, which confirms they are original to each other.
The 59 calibre movement is in very good condition and is running well and keeping good time.

The watch comes with a free six-month warranty, two new NATO straps and a bespoke presentation watch box.

Diameter: 35mm (ex crown)