Best Vintage Military Watches | Ranking The MOD "Dirty Dozen" WWW

Military watches have become extremely popular and sought after in recent years. From the dirty dozen, we have ranked all the brands according to our preference.

Military watches have gained popularity in recent years with prices being driven to astronomical heights. These watches are so sought after by collectors because they are made to be tool watches, and hold an enormous amount of history. Most of them have seen battle, and unsurprisingly, it is the ones that do and in the best condition that command the highest price. A few familiar names come to mind when we talk about vintage military watches, in particular the Tudor MN, Rolex Submariners, Longines Tartaruga and many others. However today, we would like to focus on a very particular group of military watches, 12 in particular, famously known as the dirty dozen and rank them according to our personal preference and provide the reason why we have ranked them in this manner.

The dirty dozen is the name of a movie from the 1960s that features 12 fictional soldiers and plots their adventure. Each of them wears one of these military watches. In real life though, these were watches commissioned by the MOD (Minsitry of Defence) and used mostly by British soldiers in WWII. These watches are all time only watches and are very similar other than some variations in hands, case design and size. They all feature a black dial with arabic numerals and hands with luminosity. They also have a shock proof movement, shatter proof acrylic and their cases are all made of stainless steel. For more information on the watches, Hodinkee has written a in-depth article on the dirty dozen watches which can be found here.

Without further ado, let us jump into the ranking of our 12 infamous military watches, the dirty dozen. Forewarning: The way the watches are ranked are all based on the writer's personal preference. If for some reasons you disagree or feel that are justifiable reasons one should rank over another we hope you do not take offense and feel free to let us know how you would rank the watches! (Photo Credits: Hodinkee)


12 - Buren

Buren Military WWW Watch - Dirty Dozen

Why we ranked this 12th:

1) Personally do not like the Grand Prix signature below the Buren signature as it detracts some of the military feel to the watch

2) Fairly hard to find in good condition, in particular the hands

11 - Eterna

Eterna Vintage Military WWW Watch - Dirty Dozen

Why we ranked this 11th:

1) Compared to brands like Vertex or Record, Eterna has more presence in the collecting world today, however for the WWW, the syringe hands are not our ideal choice

10 - Record

Record Watch Company Military WWW - Dirty Dozen

Why we ranked this 10th:

1) Personally like Record as a brand

2) Small details like an open 9 differentiates from rank 11 and 12, slightly more unique factor to it

9 - Timor

Timor WWW Military Watch - Dirty Dozen

Why we ranked this 9th:

1) Ranked higher than the other 3 brands despite being a brand less known due to the case shape mainly.

8 - Vertex

Vertex WWW military Watch - Dirty Dozen

Why we ranked this 8th

1) The fonts are relatively larger width wise giving more presence on the dial

2) The Vertex signature has more structure in the font compared a few other brands giving the dial more balance

3) Swiss made signature sites above the railroad track which is different from most of the other WWW watches

7 - Omega

Omega Military WWW - Dirty Dozen

Why we ranked this the 7th:

1) Brand recognition wise, it ranks top 4 but for some reason, these are more commonly seen and thus we ranked it a lot lower than it should be

2) Dial and case configuration leaves more to be desired

6 - Lemania

Lemania Military WWW Watch - Dirty Dozen

Why we ranked this the 6th:

1) Personal bias towards the Le mania brand, the dial has more symmetry and balance than Omega and it was a close fight for this spot as Omega ranks higher in terms of brand recognition

2) Coin edge bezel and stepped case

3) Broad arrow hands

5 - Grana

Rarest Dirty Dozen Grana Military Watch - Dirty Dozen

Why we ranked this 5th:

1) The rarest and most sought after due to it's small numbers in circulation.

2) Aesthetically not the nicest but purely due to it's desirability, we ranked it higher than the Lemania and Omega

4 - IWC MK X

IWC Mark X International Watch Company - Dirty Dozen

Why we ranked this 4th:

1) Because of it's brand, IWC is synonymous with most people, even those not in the watch industry

2) Relatively smaller bezel, giving an illusion of a bigger dial

3) Would have ranked this high if the IWC was in the long signature form, and also not a huge fan of syringe hands

3 - Cyma

Cyma Military Watch - Dirty Dozen

Why we ranked this 3rd:

1) Mainly due to the case size, military watches are relatively small but this is a good size by modern standards, sitting at 38mm

2) The case has also a coin edge step which makes it pretty unique

2 - Jaeger-LeCoultre

Jaeger Le Coultre Military Watch - Dirty Dozen

Why we ranked this 2nd:

1) Mainly because it is JLC with the long signature

2) Leaf hands

1 - Longines Greenlander

Longines Greenlander Greenlantern - Dirty Dozen

Why we ranked this number 1:

1) Stepped case

2) Leaf hands

3) One of the more recognized brands

4) Historically important (Used on the Greenland British North Exploration Expedition)

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