Manufacturers of High Quality Military Watches Since 1974

WWII 1940 Pattern American Army Ordnance / ORD Watch (Hand Wound Mechanical Version)

£239.00 GBP

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SKU: ORD1/HW

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 precluded the use of stainless steel as a consequence the original watches were not very durable hence finding one in good and sound condition is 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.

The interesting thing about the design generally 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 and this situation also existed with American troops. It was only following World War One that the British War Office decided to procure watches designed specifically for military use and the US Army Ordnance Department went down exactly the same path.

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 were very similar in basic specification and design which met the key objective which was to standardise the timepieces in use.

The original watches were handwound, this particular watch retains the hand winding mechanical movement, there is also a self winding automatic version for buyers who prefer not to wind the watch by hand each day.

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.

Specification:

  • 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 Mechanical Handwinding
  • Subsidiary second hand
  • Glass: Plexiglass / Perspex
  • Luminous Material: Luminova
  • Serial number on caseback
  • Strap: 18 mm Canvas
  • 24 Months Guarantee
ESSENTIAL WINDING INSTRUCTIONS AND GUIDELINES

To wind the watch from an empty state to full, you'll need approximately 30 turns of the crown (most other handwound watches will need 30 to 40 turns so this movement needs significantly less). Once fully wound, the watch boasts an average power reserve of around 36 hours. It's crucial to exercise caution during the winding process, because when the locking crown is being secured it adds an additional 3 or 4 winds while it is being screwed down so this must be factored in, especially given that most handwound watches of this type lack a screw-down crown which is something we decided to add to these watches to increase the water resistance.

For those who wear the watch on a daily basis and wind it consistently, say, every morning, a slight variation in the number of turns will not significantly impact the overall power reserve because it will be well below the maximum of around 36 hours.

Some users have reported that 25 turns is sufficient when winding every 24 hours, this seems logical because the watch would not need a full wind after 24 hours. Nevertheless, individual preferences may vary, and most owners tend to develop a sense of the optimal winding routine within the first few days of ownership.

Above all, it's crucial to emphasize the importance of not overwinding# the watch, which could lead to locking up issues or, worse, damage or breakage of the mainspring. Adhering to the recommended winding procedures ensures the longevity and proper functioning of the timepiece.

# To clarify, overwinding occurs when a mechanism is wound beyond its designated stopping point, posing the risk of damage or even destruction to the winding mechanism. It's important to note that overwinding is a concern primarily for manually-wound watches, not for their automatic counterparts which normally cannot be overwound.

 



 

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