If you’re a watch aficionado you’ll likely have heard the thrilling story of Vertex by now. Founded in 1916 by Claude Lyons, the brand made its name supplying the war office with reliable, hard-wearing timepieces and, in the process, found many fans among civilians as well.
When the Second World War rolled around, Vertex was once again called upon to do its part, becoming one of the ‘Dirty Dozen’ watchmakers the British military turned to in its time of need. However, post-WW2 the company’s fortunes floundered and the business shuttered in 1972.
And it would have remained that way was it not for Don Cochrane, the enterprising great-grandson of Claude Lyons, who revived the Vertex name in 2015. Cochrane set about making a splash with the M100, a military-inspired timepiece based on the original Vertex calibre 59 from World War II, which was available on a members-only basis, with each owner recommending the next.
Since then the Vertex range has expanded to the easier-to-obtain M100b (a limited edition DLC version of the M100) and the MP45, a modern take on the mono-pusher designed by Vertex in 1945 but never produced due to rationing. For summer 2020, Vertex is returning to the M100 once again to create a special edition timepiece to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II: the Bronze 75.
At its most basic, the Bronze 75 is a simply a bronze cased version of the M100 but, explains Cochrane, the significance behind it is so much more. “The bronze case represents a fitting tribute to our Military service during World War 2,” he explains. “But of more importance, the Bronze 75 will not simply tell you the passage of time but also show you, as the patina of the case slowly changes to take on a richer hue as the next 75 years pass.”
In addition to the new 40mm bronze case and matching bronze hands, the Bronze 75 also features a new tone of Super-LumiNova coating to the indices in order to compliment the case colouring. And, while the timepiece is powered by a modern calibre 10 1/2 ETA 7001 movement, great care has been taken to preserve the look and feel of the original Cal 59 WWW watch it is based on.
The caseback, for example, is an exact replica of the vintage timepiece, featuring the same Broad arrow and WWW markings, as well as the military serial number and edition marker. Three straps are also available for the Bronze 75 – a modern brown leather design, a green NATO strap emblazoned with the Union Jack made for Vertex by strap specialist Zulu Alpha and a replica of the A.F.2010 strap used during World War II.
“To know our watches were on the wrists of the soldiers, sailors and aircrew who, 75 years ago, through their bravery, tenacity and purpose liberated Europe and Asia is of profound importance to Vertex,” explains Cochrane of the brand’s desire to create the Bronze 75. We can’t think of a more fitting tribute and, what’s more, you won’t need high-profile connections to get your hands on one this time. The Bronze 75 is available from vertex-watches.com now.
Vertex Bronze 75