Watch collectors have a special relationship with Timor Watch Company because it was one of the 12 manufacturers commissioned by the British military in World War II to make simple, rugged and reliable wristwatches for the battlefield.
These manufacturers, and the watches they produced, are known as the Dirty Dozen, and collecting a full set is something of a rite of passage for enthusiasts.
That name recognition will be important as Timor, now by a quirk of fate headquartered in Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, is back with a modern re-issue of the WWW watch that is part of the Dirty Dozen.
Timor’s history is similar to many 20th century Swiss watchmakers. Founded in Chaux-de-Fond in 1923, it grew rapidly in the pre-war era before shifting production into the military issue timekeepers.
It limped through the post-war era of austerity and rationing, before finding its feet again in the swinging sixties as a dress watch brand for the dandies of the day, but was mothballed in the 1970s as cheap and accurate quartz watches blew away mechanical manufacturers.
The brand was briefly revived as a pocket watch business in the early 2000s and returned to making wristwatches in 2015. It moved its headquarters from Switzerland to the UK in 2018 after the brand was bought by its new owner Benjamin Briggs.
Mr Briggs is making full use of Timor’s back story, particularly its contribution to the war effort, and is launching a reissue of its iteration of Dirty Dozen watch, known as the Heritage Field, with a Kickstarter campaign that began this week.
The original Kickstarter target of raising £80,000 was smashed in its first day, and now sits at £89,000 thanks to pre-sales of the Heritage Field watch at a discounted price of £750 (it will sell for £950 after the Kickstarter launch).
There are hand-wound and automatic versions of the 36.5mm Heritage Field, both at the same price, using Sellita SW260 or SW216 movements and worn on a Nato strap.