Omega WWW Military Watch
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Omega WWW Military Watch

Military issued wristwatches are one of the coolest subsets of vintage timepiece collecting, if for no other reason that they were literally built to kick ass.

While military-issued Rolexes and the like can require a second mortgage (or the sale of several vital organs) to fund the purchase of, there are more affordable ways to enter into the realm of military watch ownership, such as with the Hamilton & Benrus Vietnam-era GI watches we so often curate for sale. But American-made military watches aren't the only point of entry into the field of military collectables, as is evidenced by pieces such as this: a British MoD-issued Omega WWW.

Ordered by Britain's Ministry of Defence during the Second World War, the WWW (Watch, Wrist, Waterproof) series timepiece was designed to be the general issue field watch for their military forces, and contracts to manufacture these pieces were picked up by twelve manufactures, including IWC, Jaeger-LeCoultre, Longines, and Cyma. Omega produced a small number of these pieces under 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, and a great number likely saw action in conflicts around the globe.

Although manufactured by a dozen companies (known as the "Dirty Dozen" by military watch collectors), Omega's models have proven to be among the most desirable versions. Their relative abundance has kept their market values from skyrocketing, but as with any vintage watch, finding one in good condition is key.  The best way to find one in good condition?  Get it from its original owner!

And that's just what we did with this beauty.  Originally obtained by a former British soldier in 1947, this watch was a single owner timepiece until just a few months ago.  While he was hesitant to tell us where it has been, there is no question in our minds that this was a watch that served its previous owner in both times of peace and war.  He wore it for decades after leaving the service, eventually opting to pair it with a leather strap instead of the issued one piece fabric nylon strap it once wore.  As the WWWs all had fixed spring bars, he pried up the ends of a black leather strap and re-glued them to fit around the bars.  Despite the years of wear that this strap now shows, we have left this layout intact - for some reason it just didn't seem right to remove it.

Conditionally speaking, this particular example is in excellent condition over all, with a nearly flawless case and stunning dial. The original luminescent radium plots on the hands loosened over time and were eventually removed and it has received a thorough mechanical sorting, but is otherwise just as it was when it was ordered up by the Brits: a tough as nails watch ready to wipe the floor with Jerry!

We are truly proud to offer such an incredible example of a genuine military-issued timepiece from the collection of its original owner, a true member of the Greatest Generation.

Details

Stainless Steel case is approximately 35mm (excluding crown). Military issue markings on dial and engraved on case back.

Overall condition: Case is in excellent original condition with only light signs of normal wear from age and use. Dial is in exceptional original condition featuring Arabic markers and outer track with no noteworthy blemishes. Luminescent plots on dial are original radium and have developed a stunning caramel patina. Broad arrow hands are missing luminous inserts. Original unsigned crown.

Includes custom fit black leather strap (shows wear and smells of Bay Rum) and a pair of 18mm nylon straps by Crown & Buckle.

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