A-11 1940s WWII Pattern Military Watch (Automatic) with 100m Water Resistance and Sapphire Crystal
SKU Code: A-11/100
This recreation is based closely on the original World War Two design from 1943 but has the advantage that it is now equipped with a high performance self-winding 24 jewel mechanical movement, sapphire crystal, screw caseback and 100 m water resistance. The watches back in WW2 were made in a variety of slightly different styles by Elgin, Bulova and Waltham but were all based on an original US government specification laid down at the time. This watch is closest to the Elgin 539 which used a 15 or 16 jewel movement and were made for the USAAF between 1940 and 1945. The original watch was made from plated base metal (to save steel) but this modern recreation is solid stainless steel so it should stand the test of time better than the originals.
This particular recreation came into being because in January 2009 we were approached by a US veterans association who asked us to examine the viability of making a watch which was identical in appearance to the original watches which were made by Hamilton, Bulova and Benrus during the Vietnam War. We were sent samples of watches to examine and also the original specification sheets and the result was a watch which was very close to the original and used a high grade fully jewelled handwound movement, this watch was the GG-W-113 which we still make. As a result of making that watch we were contacted again with a view to recreating this even earlier model because these are now almost impossible to find in good sound condition. The reason that finding one is good order is difficult is primarily because as outlined above most were made from 1943 onwards when resources were limited and hence cheap metal was used.
This model was developed in 2019 to retain the appearance of the original watches but with multiple upgrades such as screw down crown, shatter and scratch resistant sapphire crystal, 100 m water resistance and screw caseback.
- Width Inc Crown: 40 mm
- Width Exc Crown: 38 mm
- Sapphire Crystal*
- Thickness: 11.5 mm
- Weight: 61g
- Lug Size: 20 mm
- Lug to lug is 45mm
- 100 m Water Resistance
- Screw caseback and crown
- 24 jewel, mechanical self-winding automatic movement, with "Hacking"
- 20 mm Canvas Strap
* A lot of people ask us what are the benefits of sapphire crystal over a standard mineral crystal? The answer is that synthetic sapphire is by far the best material for watch crystals because it is very strong and also shatter and scratch-resistant, these characteristics make it very appealing to military and security personnel, police officers and people who lead active outdoor lifestyles, these groups account for over 70% of our customers. To get things into perspective we find that when clients have accidents with watches resulting in a cracked crystal over 90% usually watches with mineral glass crystals, even factoring in that we use hardened mineral crystals they still do not come close to sapphire for durability under adverse conditions. The reason that sapphire crystals are so strong is that after the sapphire glass is manufactured it is also heat-treated to remove its internal stresses—which can cause weakness—it is then made into the watch crystals and two layers of anti-reflective coating are applied, interestingly sapphire crystal is now used on the latest iPhone. Of course, sapphire crystal comes at a price hence you find that it's normally only fitted to higher-end watches.