Like the most effective superheroes, the best classic watches are normally those with essentially the most fascinating origin tales. Sadly, the higher the story, the extra folks you’ll be competing towards to attain your grail. (See: the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak, designed by the late nice Gerald Genta and thought of the primary high-end metal sports activities watch, or the Rolex “Comex” Submariner, which was field-tested by French scuba divers within the ‘70s.) Within the case of the Vaer A12 Soiled Dozen, nonetheless, you possibly can add a real superhero watch to your wrist as simply as ordering a brand new pair of swim trunks—and at a major low cost to the unique.
The Soiled Dozen’s origin story goes one thing like this: again in 1944 on the top of World Conflict II, the British Ministry of Defence put in an order for a watch to equip its troopers on the battlefield. The end result was the WWW (which stands for Watch. Wrist. Waterproof.) a easy metal two-hander with white numerals on a black dial and a small seconds counter at six o’clock. Twelve Swiss watchmakers signed on to construct it, together with large names like Omega, IWC and Longines and lesser-known ones like Grana, Timor and Report. Greater than 140,000 watches had been made and distributed to British troopers, and someplace down the road they earned the nickname the Soiled Dozen—after the 12 authentic watchmakers and the 1968 Charles Bronson Nazi revenge film.
Very similar to Pokémon playing cards, a part of the attraction to the unique Soiled Dozen watches is gathering all of them, and a few are a lot rarer and extra worthwhile than others. Whereas Report and Timor items are nonetheless comparatively simple to search out on the secondhand market, Grana solely produced about 1,000 WWWs, making theirs essentially the most collectible of the bunch (the first-edition Charizard, if you’ll).
As a devoted homage to this WWII legend, the Vaer A12 retains the entire important particulars of the unique, together with the clear white-on-black dial, the small-seconds subdial and a period-correct 36mm case. It additionally provides a number of delicate upgrades like a sapphire crystal (which is harder than the unique) and 100m water resistance (so that you don’t want to cover it within the toe of your sneaker while you go to the seaside). Just like the 1945 model, it additionally incorporates a Swiss-made hand-wound motion, which suggests you’ll must wind it each 40 hours or so similar to they did within the olden days. Whereas the Vaer A12 comes with a alternative of Horween leather-based straps, anybody searching for genuine wartime vibes ought to go for the one manufactured from woven khaki nylon, which is a stable stand-in for the canvas net straps of the period (and in addition occurs to look wonderful with indigo denim).
So why purchase a replica when you possibly can personal an authentic? For hardcore collectors, there may be actually no comparability to the true factor. For the remainder of us, nonetheless, there are a few good causes. At $899, the Vaer might be a 3rd of the price of the most affordable authentic Soiled Dozen, for one factor. For one more, proudly owning a 75-year-old watch shouldn’t be in contrast to proudly owning a 75-year outdated automotive—it requires an entire different degree of care and a focus. (It additionally could or could not include radioactive radium.) The Vaer A12 Soiled Dozen offers you the whole lot that made the unique the icon it’s, with out having to fret an excessive amount of about dropping it on the toilet flooring or by accident sporting it within the pool. Charles Bronson would undoubtedly perceive.