IWC 'WWW'

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Manual-winding
35 MM
– Show less
SKU AS09083
Article Number 40970085
case size 35 MM
movement Manual-winding
approximate age 1940s
dial color Black
material Stainless Steel
style Military
category Vintage
lug width 18 MM
Includes Includes a black Phoenix pass-through nylon strap with stainless steel keepers and pin buckle.
overall condition Case is in good overall condition showing honest wear and signs of previous polishing. Dial shows even patination, matting and Radium burn. Handset professionally color matched.
Manual-winding
35 MM
– Show less
SKU AS09083
Article Number 40970085
case size 35 MM
movement Manual-winding
approximate age 1940s
dial color Black
material Stainless Steel
style Military
category Vintage
lug width 18 MM
Includes Includes a black Phoenix pass-through nylon strap with stainless steel keepers and pin buckle.
overall condition Case is in good overall condition showing honest wear and signs of previous polishing. Dial shows even patination, matting and Radium burn. Handset professionally color matched.

Why We Love it

Military watches hold a special place in our vintage-loving hearts — especially when there’s provenance and a story built into every mark and scratch.

The story of the ‘Dirty Dozen’ watches probably needn't be repeated here. But for those who don’t know the rich history embedded in this particular collection of watches, here’s a brief bit of backstory. During the wartime years of the late 1930s and 1940s, when all industrial resources and manufacturing were used for armaments and other wartime production, the British Ministry of Defence turned to Swiss watchmakers to produce military-spec wristwatches for use on the battlefield.

Contract labeled as ‘Watch, Wristlet, Waterproof’, or ‘W.W.W.’, these watches had to meet certain specified criteria mandated by the MoD, including a black dial with Arabic numerals, luminous indices with a ‘railroad’ minute track, and a shatterproof crystal. Twelve companies were commissioned to produce these watches, ranging from humble brands like Cyma and Vertex, to more prominent brands like Longines, Jaeger-LeCoultre and IWC.

This particular member of the ‘Dirty Dozen’ comes from the Schaffhausen-based manufacture, IWC, and is one of the rarer iterations of the ‘WWW’ - as only 6,000 pieces were produced (the fourth lowest in production numbers among the twelve) and confirmed by IWC’s records. It features a 35mm stainless steel case with fixed spring bars, an acrylic crystal and a sterile winding crown. 

The dial features all the ‘WWW’ hallmarks including a set of white Arabic numerals, a railroad minute track, a matching ‘sword’ handset and a subsidiary seconds register at 6 o’clock, as well as an encircled IWC logo and the MoD broad arrow insignia at 12 o'clock.

Appropriately paired to a pass-through nylon strap and powered by a hand-cranking manual movement, this stunning piece of WWII history shows excellent patina throughout -while retaining the rugged good looks of its original specification. Don't misunderstand us - we love WWWs and usually have one or two on offer. But IWC versions do not surface often and shouldn’t be slept on!

Brand Story

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When an American watchmaker named Florentine Ariosto Jones arrived in Schaffhausen, Switzerland in 1868, he found a city almost frozen in time. Though the Industrial Revolution had swept through America, in Switzerland the situation was very different. Watchmakers still plied their trades by their own firesides, as they had done for centuries. But Jones had in mind something different — an American-style factory where the watches would be designed and assembled in keeping with the old Swiss ways. His methods caught on, and soon there were 196 people employed at his factory.

Though the International Watch Company was founded 35 years before Wilbur and Orville Wright’s first flight, the association between IWC and aviation began just as the age of flight dawned: A pocket watch made by the company in the 1890s found its way into the pocket of one Robert Albert Lotter, a pilot in the German Luftwaffe who served with distinction during the First World War.

Two decades later, in 1936, IWC released a watch that set the standard for pilot’s watch design, the Spezialuhr für Flieger, or Special Pilot's Watch. Another would follow in 1940, the Beobachtungs-ühren (“observation watch”), which spawned an entire model line in IWC’s current collection called the Big Pilot. However, despite the Big Pilot’s current popularity, it was the Special Pilot’s Watch that would lay the cornerstone for IWC’s most iconic line: the Mark series of pilot’s watches.

IWC released the Mark XI in 1948 according to specifications set forth by the British Ministry of Defense. These watches had to be legible, compact, and able to withstand exposure to the magnetic fields emitted by instruments in an airplane’s cockpit. The Mark XI, therefore, had a black dial with large luminous Arabic numbers, while its incredibly robust Calibre 89 movement was encased in an iron cage. (Later, in the 1950s and 1960s, IWC would produce myriad dress watches in steel and gold based upon the Calibre 89 movement, which remain relatively plentiful on the vintage market.)

The Mark XI served as the basis for design inspiration for a robust line of pilot’s watches still being produced today – easily identifiable by their clean, uncluttered dials, robust cases, and outstanding quality.

A:S Guarantee

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Our Pledge

Analog:Shift stands behind the authenticity of our products in perpetuity.

Condition

Since our pieces are vintage or pre-owned, please expect wear & patina from usage and age. Please read each item description and examine all product images.

Warranty

We back each Analog:Shift vintage timepiece with a one-year mechanical warranty from the date of purchase.

International Buyers

Please contact us prior to purchase for additional details on shipping and payment options.

Shipping & Returns

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All of our watches include complementary insured shipping within the 50 states.

Most of our products are on hand and will ship directly from our headquarters in New York City. In some cases, watches will be shipped directly from one of our authorized partners.

We generally ship our products via FedEx, fully insured, within 5 business days of purchase. An adult signature is required for receipt of all packages for insurance purposes. Expedited shipping is available at an additional cost. We are also happy to hand deliver your purchase in Manhattan or you may pick it up at our showroom.

Returns must be sent overnight or by priority international delivery, fully insured and paid for by the customer. A restocking fee may apply. Watches must be returned in the same condition as initially shipped.

We welcome international buyers, please contact us prior to purchase for additional details on shipping and payment options.

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IWC 'WWW'

IWC 'WWW'

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IWC 'WWW'

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