The fabled tale of the British military watches dubbed the “Dirty Dozen,” a group of 12 companies that provided watches made to the specifications of the UK Ministry of Defense, is one that should be common knowledge for the avid reader of Revolution.
Commissioned in 1944, about 4,000 of the watches were delivered in December that year and others throughout 1945, meaning that some certainly saw service during the Second World War, a factor that has helped the W.W.W. engraving on the caseback of these watches — or, “Watch, Wrist, Waterproofs” — to gain traction among military collectors.
And if you’re familiar with the story of the “Dirty Dozen,” then surely you were just as much caught in the wave of the sweeping success that the M100 was when Don Cochrane, the grandson of the final owner of Vertex, revived the family business and launched said watch, in 2017.
The M100 was a near replica of the “Dirty Dozen” Vertex watch. At 40mm in stainless-steel (an increase of 5mm) with a double-curved, anti-reflective sapphire crystal (as opposed to acrylic and) 100m of water-resistance) the watch was powered by a hand-wound, ETA-7001 movement.
As it was meant to be a recreation of a military-spec field watch, legibility was key to its identity. Therein, modern-day Vertex had the M100’s black dial fitted with white numerals molded in Super-LumiNova, which are one hand extraordinarily effective in the dark and on the other hand, an extraordinarily creative use of the lume material itself to form the Arabic hour markers.
Since then we’ve seen modern day Vertex grow from strength to strength with the M100B, a version of the M100 with a DLC coated stainless steel case; the MP45, which was a monopusher chronograph in both a manual winding and an automatic variation.
For 2020, Vertex is announcing yet another take on the M100, this time with a bronze case. The Vertex Bronze features a bronze CuSn8, which is prone to take on patina at a rapid rate. This is as opposed to the other variation of bronze that is commonly referred to as stabilized bronze, but is formally called, aluminum bronze CuAl10Ni5Fe4. Stabilized because the surfaces of these cases are less prone to oxidization (patina).
The case remains at the 40mm dimension, with the same matt black dial and the Arabic hour markers formed out of SLN 7501C. The movement used is the ever reliable, industrial workhorse, the ETA 7001. The same movement that powered the original M100. But go through the trouble of producing the same watch in bronze and not simply re-issue the M100 for a second release, to make it up to those who missed out on the watch during its initial 600-piece launch?
Explains Don Cochrane, “The bronze case represents a fitting tribute to our Military service during World War 2, but of more importance the Bronze 75 will not simply tell you the passage of time but also show you, as the patina of the case slowly changes to take on a richer hue as the next 75 years pass.”
The Vertex Bronze 75 is now available to buy on Shop.Revolution.Watch in limited numbers.
Manual wound cal. 10 1/2 ETA 7001; hours, minutes and small seconds; power reserve xxx
40mm bronze CuSn8 case body and bezel, stainless-steel case back; 20mm lugs; water-resistant to 100m
Vintage brown leather strap with 2 springbars with quick release system fitted with bronze CuSn8 18mm tongue buckle; Zulu Alpha ZA Vertex 75 Strap; A.F.0210. strap (replica of strap used in WW2)