Timor is a well respected watchmaker, whom was born in the Jura Mountains of Switzerland. With their watches being worn during a time where hope was everything (World War 2), they provided a robust and affordable watch for the British troops to utilise. And now with a revelation of the brand, a new model has been released 75 years after the iconic W.W.W in the 40s.
We’re going to give you a brief overview/ history of Timor watches, and also discuss one Timor watch in particular, the British Army ATP Manual Vintage Watch. We’ll go into details of the specifications involved, and also raise some questions for you, as we don’t know everything in and around this timepiece, with some questions being left unanswered. This isn’t as so much of a “Watch review”, but it’s more of an overview of an old non-working vintage Timor watch.
The Brief History of Timor Watches:
With Timor watches being founded in 1923, it brings a great amount of heritage and history to each and every watch they produce. It was Mr Bernheim and Mr Luthy, whom founded the watch company almost 100 years ago – in La Chaux-de-Fonds. Being settled in the Jura mountains, gives this watch brand the ability to provide high quality Swiss-made timepieces… which is exactly what they have done.
Timor was one of the first watchmakers who accommodated the partially sighted, when it came to telling the time. They had hinged opening crystal and brail numbers, which allowed for people who have impaired vision etc. to track time in a completely different way than normal.
During the 1940’s – Timor began it’s relationship with the military, and at the beginning of World War 2, the Army were in need of watches, especially for those fighting overseas. They were given many watches by many different brands, whom of which slightly modified their everyday citizen watches, into more appropriate robust watches – in hope of meeting the specifications provided by the Army. However, Timor was one of the first brands to build a new watch specifically for the Army.
During the 1960’s – At a new point in Timor’s journey, and a point where the world of fashion was in an ever increasing demand – Timor began to adjust to the changes, and started to create dress watches with precious metals, at an affordable price. They were minimal, yet sophisticated. I mean, they didn’t have to prove their watches were reliable, as the years they spent during the war, sort of said it all.
During the 1970’s – Timor, just like many other watchmakers, were going through turmoil – with the quartz crisis slowly rising, it was time for innovation, and a lot of hope… a lot of hope.
During the 2000’s – The early 2000’s saw Timor still recovering from the quartz crisis, however they had made some new changes internally and externally throughout the brand. One of which, was the new owner, Mr Bolzli. During this time Timor had made success out of their 40’s and 50’s inspired pocket watches.
During 2015 – After they had successfully stayed afloat during the quartz crisis, with pocket watches being their saviour, it was time to take a step back, and get back on track. After adapting to the changes throughout the watch industry, they wanted to set back out on the mission Mr Bernheim and Mr Luthy, had previously strived for all those years ago – and that was everyday affordable watches. So, they re-focused on building watches which were most iconic during World War 2, the W.W.W and ATP watches which were used by British troops.
During 2020 – The year we had all been waiting for, 75 years after the release of the W.W.W – it was finally time to reveal the Timor Heritage Field.
What a stunning dial, albeit it’s not aligned properly, and has a lack of luminosity, it is truly remarkable to look at. It’s just so admirable, and is a piece of history which marks the production of a watch that British troops wore whilst overseas. The minute hand is slightly bent towards the end, however the hour hand is in good condition with only a slight curve.
The main central area of the dial is in good condition, with little to no marks etc. but if we take a look at the outer edge of the dial where the indices and numerals are located, we can see the lack of luminosity, as we mentioned above, along with some dirt which has built up over the years.
The case is in superb condition, with barely any noticeable marks, nor any corrosion etc. this goes for the lugs too. The lugs are slightly curved, but i think that is within the original design. So, apart from the dirt built up inner edges of the case, i’d say it’s in pretty good nick.
Contrary to this, if we take a look at the crystal, we can see there is a crack located towards the 12 o’clock position. Now, if we were to get this serviced, it would most likely need this replacing, but that just takes away that element of history and heritage etc. so that won’t be happening, for now anyway.
The movement found within this vintage Timor British Army ATP watch, is a… we don’t actually know! With some research and looking around, we found that the calibre 99b (P190) was most commonly found within this particular timepiece, but did’t find this particular one. It doesn’t seem to have the word “Timor” written across the plate, and has 17 jewels instead of 15. If you want to look at some images of the movement we found click here.
Apart from that, if we take a look at the overall condition of the movement, we can see it’s in a great state. We looked closely at the balance wheel, which had no bends etc. nor does any of the exposing teeth seem to be damaged. We haven’t taken it out, so we don’t know the full extent, but it’s admiring to look at.
Case material – Stainless steel
Movement type – N/A (Manual winding)
Case – Screwback
Case diameter – 30.5mm
Lug width –16mm
Reference number – A.T.P 240842
Some more images of the vintage Timor 1940’s watch: