Military issued wristwatches are one of the coolest subsets of vintage timepiece collecting, if for no other reason that they were literally built to kick ass.
While military-issued Rolexes and the like can require a second mortgage (or the sale of several vital organs) to fund the purchase of, there are more affordable ways to enter into the realm of military watch ownership, such as with the Hamilton & Benrus Vietnam-era GI watches we so often curate for sale. But American-made military watches aren't the only point of entry into the field of military collectables, as is evidenced by pieces such as this: a British MoD issued Cyma WWW.
Ordered by Britain's Ministry of Defence during the Second World War, the WWW (Watch, Wrist, Waterproof) series timepiece was designed to be the general issue field watch for their military forces, and contracts to manufacture these pieces were picked up by twelve manufactures, including IWC, Jaeger-LeCoultre, Longines, and Omega. Cyma produced a great number of these pieces under contract, although none of them saw combat during WWII, as production wasn't completed until after the Nazis surrendered in 1945. The MoD continued to issue these pieces for many years after the war, and a great number likely saw action in conflicts around the globe.
Although manufactured by a dozen companies (known as the "Dirty Dozen" by military watch collectors), Cyma's models are particularly desirable, as they utilized quality steel for their version, despite the shortage caused by the war efforts going on around them. Other brands had to make their cases from lesser metals, meaning many of them haven't held up in the subsequent decades. Their relative abundance has kept their market values from skyrocketing, but as with any vintage watch, finding one in good condition is key.
This particular example is in tremendous overall condition, with a nearly flawless case and stunning dial. The original luminescent radium plots have been redone (you know, to keep wrist mutation to a minimum), and it has received a thorough mechanical sorting, but is otherwise just as it was when it was ordered up by the Brits: a tough as nails watch ready to wipe the floor with Jerry!
For more information on the Cyma WWW, check out this great review by our friends over at Worn & Wound, HERE.