In for review: The Timor Heritage Field WWW
Way back in the times of the 2nd World War, a collection of brands were commissioned by the British Military of Defence to make a watch that would be suitable to be worn by its soldiers in the field. Amongst the likes of IWC, Smiths, Omega and Lemania were all tasked with making such a watch, alongside a lesser known brand called Timor. Now, alongside some of the other brands on the list, the likes of Grana, Buren and Record, Timor sadly died a death during the 1970's, with the introduction of the Quartz movement. However, some passionate people have taken it upon themselves to relaunch the brand in good ol' Blighty, and their first release is an absolute cracker.
The full collection of twelve! Credit: Monochrome...
The watch in question is the Timor Heritage WWW. Lovingly designed by a British Army Veteran and crafted using Swiss manufacture, the Heritage WWW stays incredibly true to the original design, and completely evokes the spirit of the watches worn 80 years ago.
The original (right) and the modern version on the left... (Credit: Worn and Wound)
Why WWW you might ask? Well when the original Dirty Dozen were commissioned to make these 'Mill-Spec' watches, they were given a fairly simple brief. The watch needed to be mounted on the wrist, as previously 'Wristwatches' were most often pocket watches that had had lugs soldered onto the case. This of course came with problems of fragility and frequently the lugs would simply bur off of the case. So the first 'W' stands for Wrist. The second 'W', which will not come as much of a surprise, stands for Watch, as it needed to tell the time (No sh*t Sherlock). The third, and maybe the most crucial given not only the application of the watch, but where it would be worn, is Waterproofness. Outside of these three main credentials, the watch had to be robust and legible, both of which are incorporated into the reissue's design.
Not only does the watch come with this military style certificate, but also a military commemorative coin! Lovely touch...
In terms of specifications, this watch is a real corker. It comes in at 36.5mm, which for me is just an absolute home-run. Not only an incredibly versatile size, but very true to the original Timor watches. 18mm lugs whilst slender, fit perfectly with the smaller case dimension, and the traditional spring bars instead of the traditional fixed bars means that unlike the originals which would have come with fixed bars, limiting you to single-pass straps, this modern version is significantly more versatile. Whilst the style of this watch certainly lends itself to single pass straps to be innkeeping with the military feel, you could put this on a leather, distressed suede or even a bracelet if you could find one which fits!
The Dirty Dozen hallmarks featured on the back with the signature 'W.W.W' ...
The case comes in a bead-blasted 316L stainless steel, with the bead-blasting offering a rugged, almost utilitarian feel, without detracting away from the beautiful charm that the overall watch gives. The case really is beautiful. One thing I love about bead blasted cases is they feel a lot more tactile than a polished steel case. They have a slight texture which not only looks great, especially in the sunshine, but feels wonderful on wrist.
What a fantastic case...
The watch, I assume to help the accessibility for modern collectors, comes with two movement options, both from the workhorse movement manufacturer Sellita. The SW-260, which is a 3-hand automatic, or the SW-216, which is exactly the same movement but manual wind. Again, you may poo-poo a Sellita, and I will not justify them in an article again for fear of sounding like a broken record. This watch needs to have a Sellita in. Simple, uncomplicated, incredibly dependable. What more would you want in a military watch? The automatic comes with a very healthy 38 hours of power reserve, whilst the manual wind pips it to the post with 42. I was lucky enough to get my hands on the manual wind version, which I prefer simply because of the nature of having to wind the watch up, further increasing the tactile nature of the piece. The watch has not lost a second since I have had it for this now extended loan period, and it never fails me even if I have not picked it up for a few days.
Now, the most recognisable feature of a Dirty Dozen watch is the dial. As I touched upon earlier, the two key features the original watches needed as part of their design language were simplicity and legibility. Both the original Timor and the WWW reissue have this in spades. As you can see from the photographs the watch fulfills both criteria, even with the sub-seconds on the manual wind version I have been luckily enough to get my hands on. The dial features a traditional black dial with Arabic numerals, with accompanying lume pips which have been faux-tina'd to give the illusion of a vintage piece. The lume is also present on the hands, and given it is Super Luminova, glows like a Christmas tree in the dark. The dial is crisp, and alongside the very simple dial printing of the Timor logo, features the most distinctive feature of any Dirty Dozen watch, the Broad Arrow. The term describes the stylised version of an arrow head that sits at the 12 o'clock position, which has traditionally been used in British heraldry and has been used for many years by the British government to mark its property. A feature that could not be missed on this reinterpretation, and a touch that really brings the whole watch together.
As you can see the dial is a superb reimaging of the original...
This watch really is a home run. It compares beyond remarkably to the original, and completely evokes the feeling of wearing a vintage version that would run significantly more than its cost. For context, this watch was launched on Kickstarter, and having been completely funded, is now in full production. It comes in at a touch under £1,000 at £940, irrespective of whether you choose the manual wind or automatic. At the time of writing this article they are still available on the website, but with production rumoured to be around 300 pieces a year, you best get one to not risk missing out! This watch really is brilliant, whether you love the Dirty Dozen, military watches, or simply just a watch that is slightly left of field, I cannot recommend it highly enough!
Editor & Co-Founder