WWW British WW2 Mlitary Watch
'Dirty Dozen' watch
JLC cal. 479
Perfect Condition !!!
Beautiful and very desirable British Defense Ministry Issue Jaeger LeCoultre watch dated 1943-45 approx.
The watch is in great condition considering its age, the movement is keeping good time.
Both the case and the dial are in original, untouched condition as well as the hands.
The first large-scale attempt to standardize the design of military wristwatches came near the end of WWII when the British War Department published new requirements for an armed forces wristwatch. Twelve companies (Buren, Cyma, Eterna, Grana, IWC, Jaeger LeCoultre, Lemania, Longines, Omega, Record, Timor, Vertex) responded with conforming designs for what are commonly called WWWs (watch(es), wristlet, waterproof) or Mark X (after the IWC version?). Among the requirements were matte black dials with luminous hands, numbers and indicies, subsidiary seconds, shatter-resistant plastic crystal, a case resistant to water, dust and shock, and a high-quality, isochronal and robust movement. The Mark X and later Mark XI (for aviators, featuring center seconds) wristwatches have since become the prototypes for an entire sub-industry of modern watches of 'military' or 'aviator' style. Besides being interesting in themselves, this 50+ year run of admiration, emulation and development indicates that this configuation has a permanent aesthetic and practical appeal, and thus the originals are highly sought and collectable.
While the superficial distinctions amongst the twelve manufacturers' offerings are relatively minor (cases of stainless steel, nickel alloy, chromed and matted base (brass?), diameters from 33-38mm, and dial variations), each also supplied their own movements, then all of prorietary design. The most famous Mark Xs are of course those of the 2 companies with the longest military-supply traditon, IWC and Omega, featuring respectively their Caliber 83 and 30T2 movements. Both of these are beautiful and proven excellent, likely amongst the best high-production, handwinding, time-only movements ever, but my favorite Mark X movement is that of Jaeger-LeCoultre, the present Caliber 479. Perhaps because it has long been a 'movement house', while the other manufacturers simply used their best complying stock movement, JLC actually designed a new caliber which was used exclusively in their Mark X watches. While the population of both military and standard watches housing Cal. 83 and 30T2 movements probably runs into the millions, that of the Caliber 479 is likely closer to 10,000
Make: JAEGER LeCOULTRE, Switzerland
Model: British Military Issue - MoD Spec
Movement: Manual wind JLC calibre 479
Case: 34mm nickel plated metal case
Stainless steel case back marked
WWW in and out
Dial: Black military dial MoD Spec
Pilot type steel luminuous hands
Strap: 18mm leather strap