WWII 1940 Pattern American Army Ordnance / ORD Watch (Automatic)
In WWII Ordnance watches were made for the US military by Waltham, Hamilton, Bulova and Elgin. The original watches were made of nickel-plated brass because wartime conditions and shortages of raw materials precluded the use of stainless steel, as a consequence the original watches were not very durable hence finding one in good and sound condition today can be very challenging. The original watches were very small and measured 33/34mm but we increased the size slightly to 36.5 mm excluding the crown and 39 mm including the crown.
The US Army Ordnance Department watches were intended for use by non-aviation personnel; the A-11 which is similar but with a black dial was the USAAF equivalent for aircrew.
The interesting thing about the designs for the U.S military is that the British War Office procured a very similar timepiece in 1938 which was two years before the ORD watches hence the reason the watches both look pretty much identical.
Before WWII and particularly during WWI soldiers adapted all sorts civilian pocket watches and trench watches to their needs, this situation also existed with American military personell. It was only just before WWII that the British War Office decided to procure watches designed specifically for military use and the U.S Army Ordnance Department went down exactly the same route two years later.
During WWII U.S Army personnel were issued with watches by the "ORD DEPT" In 1940, the Ordnance Department published the specific requirements and specifications for military watches hence ORD and ATP watches are very similar in basic specification and design in order to meet the key objective which was to standardise the timepieces in use by those serving in the military at the time.
The original watches were handwound, this particular watch is a self winding automatic although we also make a hand winding manual version for buyers who prefer this feature which makes it closer to the WWII originals.
For comparison the last two images were sent to us by a watch enthusiast and show original WWII watches made by Elgin which are ORD watches the third image is a Grana which is a British military ATP watch, as you can see they followed a very similar design with minimal differences.
- Case Diameter: 36.5 mm exc crown, 39 mm incl crown
- Lug to Lug 43 mm
- Thickness 13.5 mm
- Lug Type: Spring Bars
- Dial Colour: Off White
- Case Material: 316L stainless steel
- Caseback: 316L stainless steel
- Crown: 316L stainless steel
- Water Resistance: 5 ATM (50 m)
- Movement: 21 Jewel Automatic
- Subsidiary second hand
- Glass: Plexiglass / Perspex
- Luminous Material: Luminova
- Serial number on caseback
- Strap: 18 mm Canvas
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