The Timor Watch Company has been around for almost a century and since its inception in 1923 has endowed itself in creating timepieces that will stand the test of time. The phoenix-like resurgence of the watchmaker’s heritage-rich past has come to fruition with the Heritage Field, a timepiece inspired by traditional British military watch design. Coupled with the latest manufacturing techniques from Switzerland, the Heritage Field is as exciting as it is important for the brand. But, before we get into the piece, I think it’s importance to understand who the Timor Watch Company is.
Established in 1923, Timor was founded by Mr. Bernheim and Mr. Luthy in La Chaux-de-Fonds, located in the Jura mountains, Switzerland. By the end of the brand’s first year of manufacturing, it was exporting watches throughout Europe with Timor becoming renowned for producing durable, well-made watches. Through the 1930s the brand expanded, and so the focus intensified on quality, ensuring every single piece was tested before leaving the factory, guaranteeing that it would uphold the watchmaker’s strapline: ‘Trust Time, It’s Tested’.
In 1939 Timor became one of the first watchmakers to create a watch for the partially sighted. This particular reference was equipped with a hinged opening crystal and brail numerals to track time. The brand’s innovative approach to watchmaking continued through the 1940s where a relationship was formed with the British Army who was in need of timepieces capable of withstanding the harsh rigors of war for its troops. Prior to that timepieces provided to military personnel were usually civilian watches that were only slightly modified to meet the specifications issued.
This changed in 1945 during the Second World War, when the British Army issues strict new specifications for watches. This specification became known as W.W.W, with twelve companies fulfilling the order, thus immortalizing them as the ‘Dirty Dozen’, Timor Watch Company being one of them.
The 1960s brought a change in pace for the Timor Watch Company where it began to produce fashion-focused watches and minimalist dress watches with precious metals. This all came to a halt in the 1970s when the Quartz Crisis hit, forcing the Timor Watch Company to close its doors.
Fast forward to the early 200s and Timor Watch Company came under ownership of Mr. Bolzli who immediately began creating pocket watches inspired by heritage designs from the 1940s and 1950s, helping bring the famed watchmaker back from the brink.
In 2015, Timor Watch Company ceased production of its pocket watches to focus on producing the watches it was known for. The manufacture began working on watch designs based around its most iconic pieces from WWII, opening the doors to its new headquarters located in Newcastle on the Tyne in the North of England in 2018.
And now, 75 years after the legendary W.W.W was issued, Timor Watch Company presents its spiritual successor, the Timor Heritage Field!
Based on the original combat field watch from the ‘Dirty Dozen’, the Heritage Field combines a rugged, durable high-grade 36.50mm steel case that has been treated to bead blasted, building on its heritage-rich history. This is neither overly large nor overly thick, exacting its proportions to that of the original.
The dial features lumed pips at each of the hour indices, long, lume-filled hands and bold hour numerals. The small seconds sub-dial at 6 o’clock doesn’t obscure any of the detailing of the main dial, nor does it impede on overall legibility.
The Heritage Field comes with either a manually wound or automatic calibre, both coming from the Swiss ébauche movement maker, Sellita. In-keeping with the traditional look of the original piece, the Timor Watch Company has opted to remove the date window on both movements, giving the piece a more uniform look.
The Heritage Field comes with a vintage inspired AF0210 NATO strap, similar to the ones used by soldiers from WWII to strap their own Timor watches to their wrists. Interestingly enough, the AF0210 was the predecessor to the modern NATO strap.
The Timor Watch Company has executed what I feel is a supremely accurate, well designed and well put together rendition of what is an icon of watchmaking. The Heritage Field is anything but conventional, and the amount of thought, passion and devotion that was poured into its design is applaudable, to say the least.
The Timor Watch Company Heritage Field is available for £650 as a special early bird Kickstarter price. After the campaign finishes it will cost £950.