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Part of an iconic collection of watches, known as the dirty dozen.


In 1943 Commander Alan Brooks recognised the value of standardised general-use timepieces for the armed forces. Until this point, with the exceptional of ATP watches and specialised pieces such as pilot watches, most service watches were personal items.

The specification for the Dirty Dozen was created by the MOD. It needed:

  • A black dial with Arabic numerals, subsidiary seconds at 6 O’clock and railroad style minutes
  • Luminous hour and minute hands, plus luminous hour markers
  • Movements with 15 jewels, 11.75 to 12 ligne in diameter
  • Shatterproof Perspex crystal
  • Waterproof to the standards of the era
  • Precision movements that had to be regulated to chronometer criteria in a variety of conditions
  • Rugged case capable of diminishing the impact of shocks
  • Water resistant crown of good size



In order to produce the 150,000 watches needed, 12 manufacturers were needed, delivering the watches in 1944 and 1945. They are very collectable due to the relatively few original examples and the different levels of production from watch to watch.


Only around 20 complete sets are known to exist worldwide, with a cost of purchase for all 12 sitting somewhere around £40,000.


The number 9 on the Record dial is different from the other Dirty Dozen watches, being open ended. There were 25,000 of the Record watches manufactured.


This particular example is very good in terms of it’s dial. It is original, not the MOD replacement and also has it’s original radium lume plots and in-fill on the hands.


The case is losing its chrome plating, revealing the brass below, but this is common on these watches.

The crown is also correct and original which is not always the case.


Full condition report below.

Please see the images as these compliment and aid the description provided below.



The dial is in average to good original condition. Many examples have been refinished or have had the lume replaced. The dial is a black matte base tone which has speckled aging consistent with age. The Sub-second track is inset and has it’s original markings, whilst the railroad track around the outside of the dial is clear and original. The dial is signed with record and the broad arrow at 12 O’clock which is also original. The white Arabic numerals are clear. The lume plots are completely original and are radium. They have aged to a lovely pumpkin tone. The dot at 8 O’clock has degraded. There is a slight circular marking around the hands, likely from the hands being out of position in the past and catching the dial.



The hands are original. They are of sword style and maintain a good, even silver tone.

They have completely intact original Radium lume. The sub-second hand matches and is original too.



The crystal appears to be original and it fits the profile of the watch so well. It has one crack from 5-6 O’clock, but otherwise it is in good condition for the age.



The crown is original and is Stainless Steel. It has a beautiful coin edge finish and is very large for ease of use with gloves on.



The front of the case is chrome plated brass which has wear as expected with the age of the watch. The sides have more pitting, with more brass exposed, with the worst on the non-crown side. This is very common for these pieces due to the wear they received.



The case back is Stainless Steel and its in very good condition with only light surface scratches. It has a lightly circular grained finish. It is signed with the W.W.W. and broad arrow mark. It has the serial numbers L27492, 545339.


The inside has peerlage finishing and is signed W.W.W. with broad arrow mark, with the serial number 545339.



The strap is a new NATO strap, of a similar colour to the original.



The movement is a calibre 022K movement, which is original to the watch. It is a well-crafted and has a neat finger bridge layout, with the ratchet wheel engraved Record.


The service history of the watch is not known, but the movement is in very good condition both cosmetically and mechanically.

It has a daily gain of +3 seconds, with an amplitude of 285 degrees and a beat error of 4.6 m/s.


Case dimensions:

Case width: 36mm

Case width with crown: 39mm

Case length: 36mm

Case length lug to lug: 47mm

Lug width: 18mm

Case Depth: 12.5mm

WW2 Record Dirty Dozen UK Military issue watch WWW, Broad Arrow, Original lume

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