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Like one of the best superheroes, the best classic watches are normally those with essentially the most fascinating origin tales. Sadly, the higher the story, the extra individuals you’ll be competing in opposition to to attain your grail. (See: the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak, designed by the late nice Gerald Genta and regarded the primary high-end metal sports activities watch, or the Rolex “Comex” Submariner, which was field-tested by French scuba divers within the ‘70s.) Within the case of the Vaer A12 Dirty Dozen, nevertheless, you'll be able to add a real superhero watch to your wrist as simply as ordering a brand new pair of swim trunks—and at a big low cost to the unique.
The Soiled Dozen’s origin story goes one thing like this: again in 1944 on the top of World Battle II, the British Ministry of Defence put in an order for a watch to equip its troopers on the battlefield. The consequence was the WWW (which stands for Watch. Wrist. Waterproof.) a easy metal two-hander with white numerals on a black dial and a small seconds counter at six o’clock. Twelve Swiss watchmakers signed on to construct it, together with huge names like Omega, IWC and Longines and lesser-known ones like Grana, Timor and File. Greater than 140,000 watches have been made and distributed to British troopers, and someplace down the road they earned the nickname the Soiled Dozen—after the 12 authentic watchmakers and the 1968 Charles Bronson Nazi revenge film.
Very similar to Pokémon playing cards, a part of the attraction to the unique Soiled Dozen watches is amassing all of them, and a few are a lot rarer and extra beneficial than others. Whereas File and Timor items are nonetheless comparatively straightforward to seek out on the secondhand market, Grana solely produced about 1,000 WWWs, making theirs essentially the most collectible of the bunch (the first-edition Charizard, if you'll).
As a trustworthy homage to this WWII legend, the Vaer A12 retains the entire important particulars of the unique, together with the clear white-on-black dial, the small-seconds subdial and a period-correct 36mm case. It additionally provides a couple of refined upgrades like a sapphire crystal (which is more durable than the unique) and 100m water resistance (so that you don’t want to cover it within the toe of your sneaker once you go to the seaside). Just like the 1945 model, it additionally includes a Swiss-made hand-wound motion, which implies you’ll must wind it each 40 hours or so similar to they did within the olden days. Whereas the Vaer A12 comes with a selection of Horween leather-based straps, anybody searching for genuine wartime vibes ought to go for the one made from woven khaki nylon, which is a stable stand-in for the canvas net straps of the period (and likewise occurs to look wonderful with indigo denim).
So why purchase a copy when you'll be able to personal an authentic? For hardcore collectors, there may be actually no comparability to the actual factor. For the remainder of us, nevertheless, there are a few good causes. At $899, the Vaer might be a 3rd of the price of the most cost effective authentic Soiled Dozen, for one factor. For one more, proudly owning a 75-year-old watch shouldn't be in contrast to proudly owning a 75-year outdated automobile—it requires an entire different stage of care and a focus. (It additionally may or may not contain radioactive radium.) The Vaer A12 Soiled Dozen offers you all the things that made the unique the icon it's, with out having to fret an excessive amount of about dropping it on the toilet ground or unintentionally carrying it within the pool. Charles Bronson would positively perceive.