ATP Collage the “Excellent Eighteen?”
The Army Trade Pattern (ATP) series of watches was made available at the commencement of WWll via a MoD contract with Swiss watch manufacturers in 1939. In an effort to demonstrate neutrality, the Swiss supplied almost identical watches to Germany, but with black dials. Some of these corresponding D-H watches are discussed below.
Leading into WWII the ATP watch was issued to soldiers and was supplied to the Ministry of Defence (MoD) by 17 Swiss suppliers, under brand names Buren, Cortebert, Cyma, Ebel, Enicar, Eterna, Font, Grana, Lemania, Leonidas, Moeris, Reconvillier, Record, Revue, Rotary, Timor, and Unitas. Ebel, Revue and Timor produced 2 types of watch, so about 20 watch types were in the ATP series. The catalogue number was VA/VC. 7471.
Most had the following characteristics:
15 jewelled movement with a round waterproof case about 31mm diameter in stainless steel or nickel chrome, white dial with railroad track chapter ring marked in minutes, luminous index spots, and broad lumed baton hands and a silvered subsidiary seconds register, with an accuracy +/- 30 seconds per day. They all were to have fixed bars between lugs.
On the dials only the Buren had a single sided railroad chapter ring, and only the Ebel (poire squelette) and Reconvilier (Dauphine) hands varied. The subseconds dials and hands varied more.
133,600 ATP watches were manufactured at an average price of £3. After WWll they were meant to be destroyed but many were decommissioned, and some continued in service. The ATP watch was deleted from the stores list by an amendment dated February 3, 1957, when the W10 watch designation was introduced.
Many ATP watches are engraved Bravingtons, indicating they were decomissioned stock.
A few have replacement dials, either sterile or signed, and Armand and GMT are such signed examples.
The MWR forum user Bobsy has listed ATP sales in the past 4 years, which gives some idea of availability of the 20 watch types.
The watches were supplied to the MoD without straps. They were then fitted by the MoD with open ended leather straps with folded metal butterfly clips as seen on the Grana ATP below.
The engraving on the case back was generally the pheon, together with A.T.P. and an issue number, although the issue number was sometimes missing.
Leather straps often perished in tropical conditions and canvas straps were used, particularly in Asia and the Pacific. The 44 pattern webbing was designed and issued for tropical conditions, and the AF0210 strap was issued in 1945 as part of this Jungle Warfare Equipment.
Below is a rare combination. The hard to find Reconvilier ATP watch on an original WWII period AF0210 canvas strap. ATP watches on AF0210 straps have recently sold on ebay with an approximate strap value of over $400. The strap fitted quickly and easily under the fixed bars of the ATP watch.
The various ATP watches are shown individually below on A.F.0210. straps.
The Buren ATP is reasonably rare, being 7th in the list of 20 watches above. The watch serial number was engraved on the case (14xxxx). The case number was 1021 and was engraved between the lugs, easily seen as the watch has spring bars. The watch had pencil hands with syringe tips, and a stick sub seconds pointer. The case back was a 6 slot screw fitting.
The Buren 410 movement is used with a sub second dial, and the crown wheel is engraved Buren Grand Prix. The Buren 411 movement has a sweep second hand.
Buren ATP on a VB Hygienique strap..
Buren Cal.420 movement and retaining ring. 6 slot case back. Case engraved 1021.
Buren also produced a German D-H watch, with a black dial in WWII. (D stands for Dienstuhr (Service Watch) and the H = Heer (Army)).
Just as there were desired characteristics for the ATP watch, with a few exceptions the basic D-H wristwatch had the following characteristics:
About 34mm outside case diameter.
Black dial with luminous numbers and hands
Fixed bars, either steel pins or cast as part of the case. There are a few exceptions with spring bars.
Threaded case back with 6 wrench slots
15 jewel movement with shock resistance.
The cases are mostly chrome plated brass, some are all stainless steel.
Of the various manufacturers, those who did not make there own movement mostly used the A.S. 1130 movement produced by Anton Schild, of Grenchen, and consequently some people call the A.S. 1130 the “Wehrmacht movement.”
Below is a Buren D-H watch which also used the cal 410 movement.
Buren was eventually taken over by Hamilton.
The Cortebert ATP is mid table in the above chart, 11th of 20 ATP watch sales.
The case is chrome plated brass with a scalloped edge stainless steel back plate numbered 8126 or 8135, and an internal dust cover. Serial numbers are 3xxxx, 7xxxx, and Pxxxx, but sometimes this is absent.
The watch has a railroad sub seconds dial, as well as a minute dial, and is sometimes found with a sterile dial. The original dial has a railroad track chapter ring and sub seconds dial, and flat topped 3 and an open 4. Some have 2 lume dots at 3 and 9. Later MoD redials have a closed pregnant 4, curved 3, sometimes an open 9, and a sub seconds dial with tick marks. Rarely Cortebert is in capitals.
Some Cortebert, Enicar, Font and Grana ATP watches have been re-issued marked 6E/385 with an Axxx serial number for the RAF.
Image courtesy : Luigi Bonifacio
Above is a MoD redial, with a heavier Cortebert signature, and different chapter ring.
And, CORTEBERT in capitals, and a sterile dial, both MoD redials.
And a dial with lumed numerals.
The movement was the Calibre 665.
Cortebert 8135 case back, with scalloped edge. Some models had a dust cap rather than a retaining ring.
More rarely, the case back can also be marked Waterproof Stainless Steel 8126 Antimagnetic. Perhaps an early version with 3xxxx serial number. No dust cover.
Cortebert was eventually taken over by Omega.
The watch is the smallest ATP watch at 29 mm diameter, and the case is stainless steel numbered 8983-xxxx on a 4 notch case back. Serial numbers are 48xxx to 51xxx. The Cyma ATP is rarely seen, but not because it is small, being 3rd on the chart above.
The dial has bold font numbers, and the sub dial has concentric circles and a tadpole shaped hand. The 15, 30, 45 and 60 are placed radially on the sub dial.
Cyma ATP on A.F.0210.® olive green strap.
The engraving 8983-xxxx on a 4 notch case back.
Below is a CYMA and a CYMA MoD redial. The latter has fewer lume dots at 3,6,9 and 12. The numbers are not in bold, with a flat topped 3 and an open 4, and the sub dial is simplified, with the 5 and 7 cutting into the subdial.
Several examples exist of a “downgrade” of the black dial WWW Cyma watch to the ATP standard as shown below. On the other hand, various ATP watches have been “upgraded” to WWW standard. The case back has either 4 or 6 notches.
The movement was Cal 162 with sub seconds, (Cal 166 was the sweep seconds model).
Ebel had 2 ATP models, both with a 32mm diameter stainless steel case with either with a push through back or a later 6 slot screw back.
The push-through Ebel serial numbers are mostly in the 34XXX-48XXX range, with some in the 90XXX range, whereas the screw-back versions are all numbered in the F0XXXX range.
The watch was the only ATP watch to have poire squelette or cathedral hands. Some dials have 3 dots at 6, and the sub seconds dial has at least 2 versions. The EBEL sometimes has a sterile dial.
Ebel ATP on A.F.0210.® strap.
Subdial variations include radial 15, 30, 45 and 60 above and horizontal 10,20,30,40,50, and 60 below.
The dial is usually as above, but variations exist , with the Ebel E being seen, and sterile dial.
Below is the push through case.
The Calibre 99 movement was derived from the Cal 232 Aurore-Villeret movement. The inside case back reads Brevet, Acier Inoxydable, 999901, and is stamped 1018.
Konrad Knirim’s book shows a simplified MoD redial and replacement hands.
Ebel is now owned by the Movado group.
The Enicar ATP, on an olive green A.F.0210.® strap above, is reasonably common and comes in a stainless steel case with scalloped back, and can be either sterile or more rarely signed Enicar. Also, it can be 15 or 17 jewels, with the AS984 calibre movement. The hands are syringe style, some with long needle points.
As mentioned above, Enicar ATP’s have been noted as being re-issued as 6E/385 with an Axxx serial number for the RAF.
Serial numbers are Fxxxx, 4xxx or ( )xxxx commencing with 4, 5 or 9.
The case back is stainless steel, scalloped, and marked either ENICAR STAINLESS STEEL with a serial number or BREVET+154571 with the initials JF (Jean Finger). The cases of the latter have drilled lugs.
The dial on the left is a MoD redial, with a sub-dial having a double railroad track, and marked radially 10, 20, 30, 40, 50, 60 as can be seen in sterile redials on other manufacturers. The right hand sub-dial is marked with numbers parallel to the 9-3 axis of the watch.
Eterna, well known for their WWW watches also supplied ATP watches.
A few Eterna ATP watches have been found with both black and white dials, mostly black and a central seconds sweep hand. Black dials and central seconds are inconsistent with the ATP characteristics, but enough Eterna ATP watches exist to conclude that about 600 may have been made from the known serial numbers in range 144xxx.
Eterna ATPs are listed in the VAOS in 1954 and 1956, and there is no doubt that a few were issued.
Below is one Eterna ATP case back, and a black dial Eterna, with a central sweep second hand. The movement is the 14 ligne Eterna 852S. 10.5 ligne Eterna 600S movements, and 11.5 ligne 1020S movements have been seen. Eterna have confirmed supplying the British Army in about 1940, but the variety of styles, and high serial numbers and movements used could indicate supply later in WW2 of the entire stock from a retailer.
Eterna 852S movement above.
A sterile dial, gold filled version of the Eterna ATP on an VB Hygienique strap.
Caseback number 144398 and Eterna 1020S movement S/N 2875251
And a white dial version.
The Eterna 1020 movement is seen in this 1943 advertisement.
Font (Fabriques d’Horlogerie de Fontainemelon)
The Font ATP is relatively rare and has a stainless steel case with 6 notch screw back stamped STAINLESS STEEL and a sterile dial. The dial has an elongated 4, and an open 9, and the sub seconds dial is numbered horizontally 15, 30, 45 and 60, with a stick pointer.
Font ATP watches have been noted as being re-issued as 6E/385 with an Axxx serial number for the RAF.
Fontainemelon ATP on A.F.0210.® strap.
The movement is Cal FHF 150, and like the Buren ATP above, the case has spring bars. Serial numbers are 10xxxx or 11xxxx usually with the ATP and pheon stamped on the case, and more rarely Pxxxx with engraving.
The Grana ATP is the 4th most common ATP watch , unlike the successor, the Grana WWW, which is scarce. It has a 32mm brass chrome plated case and a six-notch stainless steel threaded case back stamped on the inside either Grana 1516 or the later issue 1735. This number is also engraved between the lugs.
The dial may be signed or sterile. The 3, 9 and 12 are in bolder font on the later dial.
The Grana had two original dials.
The first model had 1516 engraved between the lugs, and on the inside case back, and the lume had 2 dots at 3 and 9, and a vertical lozenge and 2 dots at 12. The movement reference number, KF320, is stamped at 3.
The second later model is seen with WWW or ATP on the case back, and is engraved 1735 in the same places. The outside edge of the case back is chamfered, the 6 notches are deeper, and the military service number begins with an M. This dial has bold numerals at 3, 9 and 12, with only a lume lozenge at 3 and 9. The movement reference number is stamped at 2, but in reverse to the black dial WWW model.
The Grana MoD redial with open 9 and pregnant 4. Another MoD sterile dial version with a different sub seconds dial is shown in the last image of this post.
Grana MoD redialThe movement is a Kurth Freres/Certina KF320 with no magnetic protection.
Cortebert, Enicar, Font and Grana ATP watches have been re-issued marked 6E/385 with an Axxx serial number for the RAF.
Black and white dial Grana watches have been produced with ATP and WWW engravings on the case back. Shown below is a Grana with a black dial with pheon, and ATP engraving. Serial numbers Mxxxx are often seen on these models.
Grana W.W.W./ATP case back. The 1735 style case has been seen with W.W.W. on the case back in the later series of Grana ATP watches. The Grana W.W.W. watch also uses the KF320 movement, but this is flipped on the signed movement.
This is another common ATP sub seconds model with characteristic slim syringe hands, but uncommonly, the dial is sterile. The case is made of 31mm steel with a six-notched screw case back. However, there is also a Lemania ATP with a centre seconds sweep hand which is almost the rarest of the ATP models, made perhaps because Lemania needed produce more watches than the prior sub seconds model, later in WW2. This watch was issued in 1945-6 and is slightly larger than its subsidiary seconds ATP predecessor, and has been seen with a WWW overstrike.
Lemania sub – seconds watch. Some watches have double lume dots at 3 and 9 as above.
Another dial exists, with ghost numerals at 3, 9 and 12, and a more tadpole like second hand. The 15 seconds markers on the sub dial are horizontal, not radial.
The central seconds watch is much rarer. It has a flat topped 3, and the railroad chapter ring is broken into 1/5 seconds, shown below with 4 other Lemania ATPs.
Below is a Lemania MoD redial with an open 9 and radial seconds markers, 10, 20, 30, 40, 50 and 60.
Also, rarely the dial is signed. This is usually on Qxxxx numbered watches with drilled out lugs.
Image courtesy : Konrad Knirim
The Lemania ATP has a Tissot A27 caliber, which would also be used in the later WWW watch. The case back is engraved in concentric circles WATERPROOF, NON MAGNETIC, SWISS.
The case is chrome plated, and the inside case back is stamped, Fond Acier Inoxidable 6078-1, and a watch serial number.
The MoD serial numbers are Qxxx, Qxxxx and 12xxxx.
Below is a 6E/385 version with ATP struck out, and an A and 6E/385 added to the case back.
The Lemania centre seconds has also been seen as a WWW overstrike. The manufacturers case numbers of the Lemania centre seconds are in the range 5xxx to 6xxx indicating about 1-2000 were issued. Below is the case back of a Lemania WWW.
Serial numbers for the central seconds watches are 37xxx to 42xxx.
The movement of the Lemania CS ATP watch and the Lemania chronograph are based on the same movement, the Cal 27. The only difference with the ATP version is that the mechanism was never equipped with any of the wheels and levers associated with the more complicated chronograph.
Lemania used the Tissot CalA27 movement in the sub-seconds watch.
The Leonidas ATP has a chromed brass case of 31mm, with a threaded stainless steel case back with the usual six notches, with the case number 1018 inside the stainless steel case back. The case number 1018 is also between the lugs, and it has spring bars, both design elements like the Buren.
The dial is usually signed, although there are sterile examples. It has SWISS MADE on the dial between 5 and 7 inside the chapter ring, and a flat topped 3 and open 4. The sub-dial has a railroad ring with ticks at every 5 minutes, and a stick pointer.
Above, left the signed Leonidas ATP, and right, a sterile MoD redial Leonidas.
Case back marked ( )xxxx beginning with 10 to 12 or 41. Inside case back marked STAINLESS STEEL BACK, and stamped 1018.
The Leonadis ATP uses the 15j Fontainemelon FHF 186 calibre movement without magnetic protection. 8 tag retaining ring.
Leonidas is now part of Tag Hueur group.
Like the Eterna, a few small diameter sub and central seconds Mido ATP watches exist. These do not conform to the white dial sub seconds register definition of an ATP watch, but enough exist to raise the possibility that supply pressure in WW2 led to other Swiss watch manufacturers supplying ATP watches.
The case back is scalloped and carries UWC in a triangle.
The Moeris ATP is the easiest of all ATP watches to find. Poor chrome makes specimens look in very bad cosmetic condition, but the case back is screw in stainless steel with six notches. The case is 33mm diameter, the largest of all the ATP watches. The dial can be found signed or sterile.
Below, dial with Shock Absorber above the seconds sub-dial, watch on an original A.F.0210 strap, and dial, left, with nothing above the seconds sub-dial on an original 6B/2617 strap from 1954, thought to be an earlier model.
The case back is easy to recognize, and identifies unsigned copies, with STAINLESS STEEL BACK SWISS MADE, or STAINLESS STEEL BACK WATERPROOF in an outer circle and 6 notches. The serial numbers are Pxxxx, 5xxx, 7xxx, 8xxx, 11xxx, 5xxxx and 6xxxx.
The movement is the Moeris Cal 10.5 (the Moeris, 15 jewel, manual wind 10 1/2 ligne movement), with some later models having shock absorber on the crown wheel.
This case back can also read WATERPROOF
The Moeris was sometimes redialled with a simplified dial, and issued as a Moeris T, and engraved H.S.11
A black redial version also engraved H.S.11 is shown below.
Image Courtesy MWR forum member : Mark Wilson.
The Moeris D-H also has the Moeris caliber 10.5 lines, 15 rubies, Incabloc shock-proof balance axis, 36 hours power reserve movement. The crown wheel signature is sometimes BRUCHSICHER, but otherwise the movement is identical to that in the ATP watch.
The rarest ATP watch is also the largest with 33mm diameter plated case. The dial is unsigned but is clearly distinguished by Dauphine hands, the only ATP watch to use these, and the pregnant 4. The movement is the Reconvilier 120 caliber with magnetic protection.
Reconvilier with the 1954 6B/2617 strap, the first NATO strap designed by the RAF. (Gloster Meteor still in service in 1955).
Below are 2 Reconvilier ATPs, one on the original 6B/2617 strap from 1954, and the other on an original A.F.0210. strap from 1945.
The case back is a 6 notch screw in stainless steel with a chamfered edge to the back, marked 1xxxx or 2xxxx.
The movement is the Reconvilier 120.
The Record ATP has a rare black dial as well as a white dial which can be signed or sterile. The unsigned watch can be distinguished easily as it features an open 4, and the sub-seconds dial is an unnumbered rail track.
The case back is a 6 notch screw back, with no engraving other than the pheon, ATP, and the serial number..
And on a khaki strap.
Photo credit IG : zackes_mayer
The black dial specimens have serial numbers 3xxx and 3xxxx. The white / silver dial (?)xxxx where ? is 2, 3, or 7.
Signed dial below, possibly overprinted.
The movement is the Calibre 106.
6E/385 overprint on 6 notch case back.
The Record D-H watch has a dial marked in English, Record Watch Co, GENF.
The D-H watch uses the Record 022K anti shock Incbloc movement, also used in the WWW Record.
The Revue Cal 57 is the second most available ATP watch. The Revue 57 had either a thick crown, or a waisted crown and was only 30mm diameter, with mostly plated case, but sometimes stainless steel.
The Revue 59 was larger at 33mm and was a plated case.
The Revue 57 had a distinctive font for the hour numbers, and this has a flat topped 3, and tagged 1’s.
The Revue 57 had a castellated case back, below re-engraved as a W.W.W. watch. This watch has the thick crown.
Image courtesy MWR forum member : Peterd
Revue 59 above, has bold numbers at 3, the open 9, and 12, and is 3mm larger than the Revue 57.
If the case back has a serial number it is of the type Q3xx, Qxxxx, 3xxxx, 4xxxx, 9xxxx, or 12xxxx
Stainless cases were in the higher serial number series, and plated cases were often in the Q series.
The Revue 57 was produced with both plated and stainless steel cases. The lug below has C for nickel chromium plating. S was stamped for stainless steel. The inside case back reads either Nickel Chromium Plated, Stainless Steel Back, or just Stainless Steel, for C and S stamped watches.
Anecdotal evidence seems to suggest that the earlier production runs were plated and the later ones had stainless steel cases. A castellated case back was used.
The Revue 59 had a 6 notch screw back. Below with no serial number. The Revue 59 movement is used in the Vertex W.W.W. watch.
Vertex Revue 59 movement shown below.
The corresponding D-H watch was a Revue Sport with Cal 59 movement.
The Rotary ATP is rare. It is actually the largest at 33.5mm and the caliber, like that of the Enicar, is based on the AS984 without antimagnetic protection. The signature on the dial can be curved or flat.
The curved signature Rotary with block style numerals, and long thin rectangular syringe hands with short needle points. The sub dial is marked 10, 20, 30, 40, 50, 60 in horizontal style.
Rotary ATP on olive green A.F.0210.® strap.
The flat signature rotary is a later MOD redial, here with a more curved font for the numerals including an open 9, and simplified sub dial.
Image courtesy MWR forum member : bigbug1964
Below is another MOD redial with the flat signature, and an even more simplified dial.
The case back is a dodecagonal shape with a serial number of the type Mxxxx or 6xxxx.
The 15 jewel AS984 movement.
The inside case back reads Brevet 217547 STAINLESS STEELBACK SWISS CASE and a serial number
And a contemporary advertisement.
The Timor ATP is common with a plated case and stainless steel case back. About half use a slotted case back, and half a scalloped back. It uses a caliber 99 (99B Timor, based on Peseux 190) without antimagnetic protection. Timor, along with Moeris and Record, also had a rare black dial.
This is the only ATP with waterproof on the dial, positioned above the seconds sub-register. The dial has bold numerals, and a large railroad track chapter ring. The hands are pointed syringe style. The dial is also seen with rectangular lume at 3, 6, 9 and 12 (with a closed 9) and two dots at 3 and 9.
The dial can also be sterile, with a railroad track sub seconds register broken into 10 second intervals.
The two styles of dial with a 1945 Heritage Timor strap, buckle embossed Timor.
Timor ATP on 6B/2617 strap. This has a closed 9 and rectangular lume at 3, 6, 9 and 12, with 2 small dots at 12.
Photo credit MWR forum member kz1000
Perhaps the most famous Timor ATP is that of Sir Douglas Bader, ATP68012, sterile dial version, shown here together with his dog tag.
A black dial with case back, ATP17228
Movement, calibre 99, 17 jewels with TIMOR snail engraved.
Peseux 190 movement with 15 jewels.
Various serial numbers are used, but the serial number can be missing, Pxxxx, and ( )xxxx, with 2, 6, 7, 13, 14 and 16, 17.
Scalloped case back, sometimes with 15600 case back number.
Slotted case back, with notches just meeting the flat of the case back.
A variety of engravings have been seen. The 6E/385 overstrike is officially described as Army watch Ref. VA/VC. 7471. For R.A.F. Mountain Rescue Units.
Image courtesy MWR forum member : Peterd
It is among the largest with its stainless steel case 33mm diameter, stainless steel case back with six notches and 63717 case number with serial numbers between 9xxxx and 10xxxx. Pencil hands with a very thin minute hand.
The movement is the Unitas 173 calibre.
Striped Unitas 173 movement and BRAVINGTONS case back below, this has long notches and 63717. Many Unitas ATP’s are engraved Bravintons. The calibre 173 movement is capable of hacking, and is also used in the ARSA D-H watch.
The case back is most commonly engraved Bravingtons (in cursive) as below, and the back then has 6 short notches. 63717 case number also.
Below two MoD redialed watches, one sterile.
As mentioned above, some ATP watches went to other branches of the military. A selection are shown below. A sterile dial Grana, a Lemania, a Cortebert all re stamped 6E/385 and a Moeris T MoD redial re stamped HS11
Image courtesy : Konrad Knirim
The Vertex Revue 59 movement is used in the Revue 59 ATP as discussed above. Some call this watch the Vertex ATP, as the dial is sterile, and the movement is marked Vertex.
The Vertex WWW has been seen downgraded to an ATP standard. This is unusual, but has been seen above with the CYMA ATP.
There are a few Wyler ATP watches that were possibly made during a supply shortage, like Eterna and Mido. Again these do not conform the definition of an ATP watch.
Below is a Wyler Special, about 29mm diameter with 14.6mm lug width case back engraved ATP with pheon.
And a centre seconds white dial Wyler Extraflat engraved ATP and Bravingtons.
The Excellent 18
Image courtesy MWR forum member : bigbug1964