Watch's origin: Swiss
Number of jewels: 15
Type of Watch: Wrist
Lug Width: 10mm
Dimension: 38mm by 33mm
As many of our clients know, we particularly enjoy rare and unusual military timepieces. We pride ourselves on offering historic examples from around the globe; watches that were created by famed watch houses for the purpose of keeping the war running on time.
Few people realize the effort put into military timepieces. Often, they were manufactured out of a sense of duty for a particular cause: sometimes they were produced reluctantly, an effort that took away from day-to-day business and the bottom line. They were, however, the product of a great effort, often representing the most advanced engineering of the day.
Officers tended to wear timepieces from better watch houses, while enlisted men wore standard military issue produced wholesale by strong, but lesser regarded manufacturers. Both genres are highly collectible today.
We are delighted to offer this remarkably handsome, World War I era Patria wrist watch. As many of you may know, Patria movements were produced by Omega and marketed under the Patria name. During World War I, Omega made a brilliant marketing decision by entering a still unproven wristlet market created by soldiers in Europe. Their Patria name became synonymous with the trench watch, and by the end the war, every man recognized the advantage of having a watch on his wrist — instantly accessible — versus a pocket watch that one would have to fumble to retrieve. The move proved to be quite profitable for Omega: today they remain one of the finest watch houses in the world.
This example, in a solid sterling silver case, was the pride of a World War I solider who was presented the piece by volunteers in his regiment. Inscribed "Sergt.Willis/4/1st herts/from 15th West Riding Volunteers/1917," the watch is as historically significant as it is attractive. During the era this watch was presented, wristwatches were in their infancy - not issued until World War II: if you were soldier and wanted to a watch, you were either presented a watch by family or colleagues, bought one for yourself or did without. Measuring 38mm by 33mm, this example is quite impressive on the wrist. Engraving is gorgeous and free-hand and as handsome as the day the watch was presented.
It features a magnificent and restored porcelain dial — marked Patria — with glorious oversized numerals, sub-seconds register, and stained-glass hands. Open its hinged back and you'll find a completely and professionally serviced, 15 ruby jewel Patria movement that is as remarkable today as it was what was manufactured.