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WW1 Trench Watch

Kickstarter campaign launching on 11 Nov 2020, 11am Singapore Time

 

 

When World War I began in 1914, soldiers faced a novel problem. In the chaos on and off the battlefield where precise timing was integral to routines, communications, and synchronizing attacks, reliable and accurate timepieces were vital. Many officers had pocket watches, but these had many shortcomings on the battlefield. They were cumbersome to pull out and to open the protecting lid with gloved hands, requiring officers to pause their duties. The dials were impossible to read at night, and the glass crystals broke easily. In a setting where a second could be the difference between life and death, it was clear that an alternative was needed. Thus, in the muddy trenches of the First World War, the wrist-watch was born.

vario 1918 trench field watch

1918 trench watch

vario 1918 trench watches

vario 1918 trench watch

Until that point, wristwatches were feminine accessories called “wristlets”, but militaries took the design and upsized it, adding more durable materials and useful features to create the modern design. The shift from Roman to Arabic numerals made it easier to read the time at a glance, and the shatterproof crystal was introduced to protect the watch. Radium-lumed hands and dials were also used to make them easier to read them at night. By 1917, most officers owned one, and they would eventually become accessible to infantrymen.

Towards the end of the war in 1918, trench watches had become a symbol of courage and bravery, which signaled their push towards the mainstream and opened up a mass market in the post-war era. The VARIO 1918 Trench Watch pays homage to this period and the innovations that followed.

vario 1918 trench field watch

1st row left to right - White Dial with White Lume, Grey Dial with White Lume, Black Dial with White Lume
2nd row left to right - White Dial with Orange Lume, Cream Dial with Orange Lume, Black Dial with Orange Lume

vario 1918 field trench ww1 37mm watch

vario trench 1918 field watch vintage inspired watch

vario trench 1918 field watch vintage inspired watchWhite Dial with White Lume

vario trench 1918 field watch vintage inspired watch

vario 1918 field trench ww1 37mm watch

vario trench 1918 field watch vintage inspired watchGrey Dial with White Lume 

vario 1918 field trench ww1 37mm watch

vario trench 1918 field watch vintage inspired watch

vario trench 1918 field watch vintage inspired watchBlack Dial with White Lume 

vario trench 1918 field watch vintage inspired watch

vario 1918 field trench ww1 37mm watch

vario trench 1918 field watch vintage inspired watchWhite Dial with Orange Lume

vario trench 1918 field watch vintage inspired watch

vario 1918 field trench ww1 37mm watch

vario trench 1918 field watch vintage inspired watchCream Dial with Orange Lume

vario trench 1918 field watch vintage inspired watch
vario 1918 field trench ww1 37mm watch
vario trench 1918 field watch vintage inspired watchBlack Dial with Orange Lume

 

vario 1918 trench field watch 

Today, we upgrade the classic concept to what no-one could have dreamed of, a century ago:
• Scratch and shatter-proof double domed sapphire, AR-coated underside for clarity, instead of the original fragile glass;
• 10ATM water resistant case of marine grade stainless steel (316L), when 1910’s soft silver or brass couldn’t bear any water, and little shock;
• Latest generation, non-radioactive non-fading Swiss lume, instead of old radium paste which slowly poisoned the dial painters, and needed re-coating after ten years;
• State of the art modern enamel, when last century brittle vitreous glaze chipped off or aged with hairline cracks;
• A modern, robust Japanese automatic movement with hand-winding and hacking seconds, a “complication” envied as a rare luxury back in the days!

 

vario ttrench watch caseback design 

vario trench watch casebackCaseback design will be simplified to show up well

empty case back for engraving

empty case back for engraving

vario trench watch caseback

Empty casebacks with be available at extra cost for customers who wants to engrave them. We will provide laser engraving service on empty casebacks for customers as a chargeable service as well. This is the best time to engrave the casebacks as we're doing it in 1 lot which means more cost savings than doing it individually. They make good gifts and help you bond with your watch.  

vario trench watch signed crownSigned screw-down crown (10ATM Water Resistance). Real wire lugs to capture the spirit of WW1 Trench watches

We did keep an iconic signature of the classic design, though: the true curved wire lugs. You won't see them often on other modern trench watch revivals. They look charmingly retro, but still make sense today as more secure than springbars. This is why modern “mil-specs” issue watches keep fixed bars, thus imposing single-piece a.k.a. ”nato” straps.

vario trench watch lume c3

vario trench watch 1918 lumeC3 Lume in action (Faux lume takes a longer time to charge)

 
So, the Vario 1918 Trench may be a modern interpretation, but far from a novelty. It remains truthful to the spirit of the original classics: a tough, functional, state of the art tool watch. Versatile too, as it will suit both your fatigues or cocktail attire.

vario trench watch bund strapvario trench 1918 watch single pass leather strap

vario trench watch strap

Crazy horse leather gathers scratch marks and patina easily and contrast the classy 1918 Trench well. Crazy horse leather with bund pad (80mm/120mm) or single pass (270mm) width for Trench 18mm / width for Medic 20mm

Please note bund is suitable for up to 7.2 inch wrist and up to 7.5 inch wrist without the bund. Folks with bigger wrist should choose the single pass leather straps.

 

vario 1918 medic pulsometer watch 

vario 1918 medic field watch

1918 Medic Watch (40mm diameter, 20mm strap, 48mm lug to lug, Seiko NH38 Automatic movement) in White/White Lume, White/Orange Lume and Cream/Orange Lume colour will be offered as an option on Kickstarter and it will be delivered in May 2021. The medics in WW1 would have loved this pulsometer function that only seem to be introduced in the 1920s. White strap is just for illustration and not part of our offering.

We are also considering to offer a quartz version with a Seiko VD78 movement, brass options in 40mm. Please mark your interest and we will offer it if we get enough support.

 

vario 1918 trench field watch

1918 Trench
Case diameter: 37mm 
Case thickness: 10mm 
Dial: Enamel
Crystal: 2mm double domed sapphire with inner AR applied
Lug width: 18mm 
Lug to lug: 45mm 
Lume: C3 Lume
Case Material: 316L stainless steel
Caseback: 316L stainless steel with option for empty caseback and laser engraving at additional cost
Crown: Screw-down crown (enlarged in final version for easy handling)
Movement: Miyota 82s5 automatic movement with hand-winding and hacking seconds. 21 jewels 21.6kpbh
Water resistance: 10 atm
Strap: Crazy horse leather with bund pad (80mm/120mm) or single pass (270mm)
Warranty: 1 year global warranty

 

1918 Medic
Case diameter: 40mm 
Case thickness: TBC 
Dial: Enamel
Crystal: 2mm double domed sapphire with inner AR applied
Lug width: 20mm 
Lug to lug: 48mm 
Lume: C3 Lume
Case Material: 316L stainless steel
Caseback: 316L stainless steel with option for empty caseback and laser engraving at additional cost
Crown: Screw-down crown (enlarged in final version for easy handling)
Movement: Seiko NH38A automatic movement with hand-winding and hacking seconds. 24 jewels 21.6kpbh
Water resistance: 10 atm
Strap: Crazy horse leather with bund pad (80mm/120mm) or single pass (270mm)
Warranty: 1 year global warranty

 

vario trench watch ww1

vario 1918 trench watch

vario trench 1918 ww1 field watch

 

S$26/US$20 EXPRESS SHIPPING FOR WATCHES
FREE FOR SINGAPORE ORDERS
S$8/US$6 OVERSEAS SHIPPING FOR STRAPS
S$3/US$2 SINGAPORE SHIPPING FOR STRAPS

The default caseback will be the illustrated soldier caseback. Topping up an empty caseback means you're buying an empty caseback (without illustration) for your watchmaker or us to replace for you and we will include the removed illustrated soldier caseback and send it to you with your watch. We will also provide laser engraving service at an additional cost for those of you who can't find a watchmaker/engraver to do it for you. If you want a caseback with a message, you will need to pay $20 + $28 for us to engrave on your caseback and swap the caseback for you. The original illustrated soldier caseback will be sent to you with your watch. We are providing these options for your convenience and have to factor in material cost, excess and labour costs.

For customers buying 2 or more watches - If we can’t allocate your 2nd watch to you in Feb 2021, we will send both watches to you in May 2021 unless you are happy to pay 2 delivery charges and we will send out your first watch in Jan and 2nd watch in May. We reserve the rights to use a cheaper form of shipping for customers living in remote areas. Customers from Europe can request for us to send by registered mail but if the item is marked delivered, there will be no dispute or claim against us.

WATCH FUTURE RETAIL PRICE US$368 (30% OFF ON KS)
SINGLE PASS STRAP FUTURE RETAIL PRICE US$22 (30% OFF ON KS)
BUND LEATHER STRAP FUTURE RETAIL PRICE US$34 (30% OFF ON KS)


Customers who want to back more than 3 watches can contact us directly.

 

 

 

 

Some possible stretch goals include

vario trench 1918 twill nato

Free Twill NATO Strap (36mm Prototype shown in photo)

vario brass trench field watch

1918 Trench Brass (40mm) 82s5 in Cream/Orange Lume, White/Orange Lume and Black/Orange Lume

1918 Trench Quartz (40mm) VD78 in Cream/Orange Lume, White/White Lume, Black/White Lume

1918 Trench Quartz (40mm) VD78 in White/Orange Lume, Black/Orange Lume, Grey/White Lume,

1918 Medic Quartz (40mm) VH31 sweep seconds in Cream/Orange Lume, White/Orange Lume, White/White Lume 

All watches stretch goals will need to be a high stretch goal (over S$100k) since we're already committed to 400 Automatic watches. Do bookmark and follow our KS campaign to keep track if we will release the Quartz models for sale.



We will allocate a limited quantity of 40 pieces for each variant so the 1st 40 backers for each 1918 Trench variant will be assured an earlier delivery in Feb 2021. Customers who are topping up a 2nd watch may need to wait till May for their top up watches. 1918 Medic watch will be fulfilled in May 2021. Customers are encouraged to back early to avoid waiting longer for their watches. 

 

vario 1918 trench field eclipse empire dress watchLeft to right: Vario Eclipse (38mm), 1918 Trench (37mm), Empire (38mm)

vario 1918 trench

 

vario 1918 trench

vario 1918 trench field watch

vario 1918 trench field watch

Loren from TheTimeBum

 

vario 1918 trench watch

vario trench watch ww1

vario 1918 trench watch

Siva from @horologyportraits

 

1 x 1918 Trench Watch to be given away!

 

1918 Trench Watch Giveaway