A World War One era 9 carat solid gold Officers (or Trench) watch in completely original working condition. This is a rare timepiece. Military men were the first group routinely to wear wristwatches before the fashion spread to the wider male population and eventually to replace pocket watches as the preferred timepiece of choice. A watch worn on the wrist was a much more convenient means of telling the time than rummaging through layers of damp clothing in the cramped conditions of the trenches. Therefore, although at the start of the Great War, the Military issued pocket watches, many officers bought their own wristwatches. Due to their popularity there was a rapid growth in the take up of wearing a wristwatch. Consequently a number of high end watchmakers were keen to meet this new demand and there remains to this day a wide range of officers watches in collections and occasionally coming up for sale. It was not until 1917, towards the end of the Great War, that the British War Office issued wristwatches in small numbers to its military personnel. These watches were marked with the broad arrow (pheon).
Case: 9K solid gold with a screw on rear cover, a decent size, measuring approximately 34 mm across excluding the onion crown. The case is in good condition with no dents or scratches of any significance that I could see. There is very slight waviness to the back cover. Like most gents watches from this period the case has fixed lugs.
Dial: double sunk porcelain dial in remarkable original condition for its age with no chips or hairlines that I could see when inspecting the dial with a loupe. The bezel unscrews to remove it. What I thought was a tiny mark on the dial near 9 o'clock (see the photos) was a speck of dust which I removed. The hours are marked by radium painted Arabic numerals with a red number 12 in accordance the fashion at the time. The cathedral hands are in very good condition and the glass crystal is clean and clear with one or two tiny light scratches.
Movement: Swiss 15 jewel movement in running condition, keeping good time for a watch of this age (within a couple of minutes or so a day).
Strap: new generic black leather strap.