It’s not an understatement to say that 1945 was a pretty significant year in human history, bringing to a close World War Two. That turbulent time saw some of the most rapid development in technology in all areas of life including horology. In particular the creation of the Dirty Dozen popularised the concept of the field watch, a robust and accurate timepiece designed to take a beating in the field. Paying tribute to this history is the Vario 1945 D12 Field Watch.
The new military design pays tribute in a number of ways, including right there in the watch’s name: 1945 a reference to the year and D12 literally being an abbreviation of Dirty Dozen. However, more important than that are the aesthetic similarities, which are particularly apparent on the Raven Black edition with its black dial, railway minute track and small seconds subdial. The other three colourways are less traditional but equally cool in Army Green, Sand Beige and Shadow Grey.
As for the case, it’s a 37mm diameter piece in stainless steel with a combination of polished and brushed surfaces across the flanks and flat bezel. The crown is positioned at 4 o’clock so that it avoids digging into your wrist during strenuous activity. And while it’s no dive watch, 100m water resistance will keep it ticking in any weather or following the occasional dip in a large puddle at the bottom of a trench.
Interestingly, there’s a choice of three casebacks that you can give the 1945 D12 Field Watch. The first, standard caseback is a solid steel piece with an engraving of a World War Two soldier silhouetted in the outline of a modern soldier. The second option is a solid caseback with a custom engraving for an extra £40 and lastly there’s a sapphire exhibition caseback for £25 that reveals the movement housed inside.
That movement is the Miyota 82S5, an automatic calibre with 42-hour power reserve and -20/+40 seconds per day accuracy. It’s a solid enough movement and with Côtes de Genève it looks nice through the exhibition caseback if you choose that option. Crucially, it also helps the watch to remain incredibly accessible with the standard model costing just £306.
The Vario 1945 D12 Field Watch manages to ride the line between being a faithful tribute to the Dirty Dozen while also introducing some interesting colourways. I particularly like the Shadow Grey edition, it reminds me of the Airain Type 20 Furtivé which is one of my favourite watches of the entire year. It really feels like the 1945 D12 is punching dramatically above its weight.
Price & Specs:
- Model: Vario 1945 D12 Field Watch
- Case/dial: 37mm diameter x 10.5mm thickness, stainless steel case, black, green, beige or grey dial, optional exhibition or custom engraved caseback
- Water resistance: 100m (10 bar)
- Movement: Miyota calibre 82S5, automatic, 21 jewels
- Frequency: 21,600 (3 Hz)
- Power reserve: 40h
- Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds
- Strap: Cordura
- Price/availability: £307