Men’s 1919 Misc. Swiss Military Trench Watch

Men’s 1919 Misc. Swiss Military Trench Watch

Item: W1852

Watch's origin: Swiss

Number of jewels: 15

Case: Borgel

Manufacturer: Misc. Swiss

Type of Watch:  Wrist

Type: Open-Face

Lug Width: 12mm

Dimension: 38mm lug-to-lug and 34mm

Composition: Silver

Other Attributes:   Military
 Wire Lug

Price: $1,995.00

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World War I saw the emergence of the wristwatch as a necessary addition to combat, not just a novelty worn by foppish European officers. Prior to this, wristwatches were worn primarily by women. Legend has it that the need to know what time it was at any instant forced one young German officer to tie his pocket watch to his wrist with cloth. From that awkward attempt, wire lugs were welded on small pocket watches, through which pigskin straps were laced

In addition to being an early wristlet probably made for the Great War effort, this extraordinary presentation timepiece happens to be housed in an early waterproof Borgel sterling case.

Borgel was decades ahead of wristwatch development with his water-proof watch case design. The back of the case is solid: gently pull the spring loaded split stem and pumpkin crown, and one can unscrew the entire movement through the front of the watch. It is a brilliant design that re-emerged years later as a futuristic watch design. These cases are exceedingly rare and most desirable.

Its solid porcelain dial, which is perfect and original, is ice-cream white and exquisite; as are its luminous, stylized Arabic numerals with a micro-graduated sub-seconds register, stained-glass hands and original pumpkin crown.

Measuring approx. 38mm lug-to-lug and 34mm in diameter, the sterling case has a poignant inscription: Presented by Royal Red Cross Society/to/Lieut. H.J. Beckett/in appreciation of valuable service voluntarily given/1919. The hand-engraving work of the inscription is a fine as we've seen. Delicate and gifted; the hand that engraved this watch was that of an artist. What became of Lieut. Beckett after The Great War has been lost to history. All that remains of his service to the war effort of the Royal Red Cross very well may be this timepiece.

We've taken the liberty of cleaning, oiling and calibrating the watch so that one may wear it as a dependable timepiece.

Please notice the two-part cordovan watch strap, which is our own faithful rendition of an original World War I watch strap, complete with a sterling silver hand wrought buckle.

Often we're asked what constitutes a first tier gentlemen's work of wrist art; something that belongs on the wrist of someone equally special. This watch is such an example.