The first watch auction of the year by British firm Fellows features four highly prized Dirty Dozen watches.
The watches were designed by the British Ministry of Supply for the armed forces at the end of the Second World War and sourced from twelve different manufacturers.
They got their name following the release of The Dirty Dozen film directed by Robert Aldrich in 1967.
Fellows has examples from Vertex, Cyma and two Record timepieces that go under the hammer on Monday, February 10.
For watch collectors, acquiring all twelve is often a life-long ambition, particularly since they can be bought at reasonable prices.
“Collectively or individually, these watches are extremely sought after and collectable,”says Laura Bishop, watch manager at Fellows Auctioneers.
“The Ministry of Defence commissioned the production of watches for the British soldiers and twelve watch companies fulfilled the brief: Buren, Cyma, Eterna, Grana, Jaeger-LeCoultre, Lemania, Longines, IWC, Omega, Record, Timor and Vertex. In our February Watch Sale we have examples by Cyma, Record and Vertex. The watches were produced in varying amounts, a fact reflected in the different estimates placed on these examples.”
Of the four Dirty Dozen watches up for auction, there were only 15,000 Vertex watches created, 25,000 Record watches created and 20,000 Cyma watches designed.
The stainless steel watches are all stamped with the British Broad Arrow, alongside Arabic numeral hour markers and subsidiary seconds dials to six. The watches each feature “three W’s” engraved on the back – meaning Watch, Wrist and Waterproof.
Estimates range from £600 to £1,600.