Longines W.W.W. reference 23088 issued to British Ministry of Defense
Case. Two-body, polished, stepped bezel, screweddown case back, fixed bar lugs.
Dial Black with radium coated Arabic numerals and indexes, subsidiary seconds dial. Cathedral radium-coated pear-shaped hands.
Movement. Cal. 12.68, No. 699xxxx, gilt brass, 15 jewels, straightline lever escapement, monometallic balance, shock absorber, self compensating Breguet balance spring. Dial, case and movement signed.
Diam. 38 mm.
In 1945, at the end of the Second World War, the British Ministry of Defense (MoD) issued specification for a new wristwatch. The W.W.W. (Watch Wristlet Waterproof) was to be issued to British troops and needed to be water-resistant with a black dial dial and markers. Twelve manufacturers also known as the "Dirty Dozen" produced watches for the MoD among them IWC with a watch that is better known today as the Mark X but also other prestigious brands such as Omega, JLC and Longines. Also more obscure brands such as Vertex, Cyma or Grana produced watches to the British Military specs.
The Longines WWW has a few characteristics which makes it distinguishable from the lot. Firstly, the movement is the only one fitted with a shock absorber, this anti-shock protection makes it more suitable for daily wear today. Secondly, at 38mm, the watch has a more modern appealing size compared to its smaller Dirty Dozen siblings which are around the 35mmm range. Finally, the watch earned the notorious nickname "Greenlander" based on the false assertion that it was used in the 1950's British North Greenland Expedition.
This example of the Longines WWW has great condition, an unmolested case and dial with both case and case-back serial numbers matching. It is a great daily wear with real Military pedigree at an affordable price.