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The Type A11 DD-45, the Dirty Dozen Watch according to Praesidus

A new and accessible field watch collection faithfully styled after the famous military issued Dirty Dozen combat watches.

| By Robin Nooy | 4 min read |

Watches have always been intertwined with big historical events all over the world. Many are connected to pivotal events or influential people, such as the Omega Speedmaster and the Apollo 11 mission that landed on the Moon or the watches worn by King Charles III of the British royal family. But some watches are not special because they are tied to a single person or event in time, but for having humbly served an entire nation or even the world. One type of watch that immediately springs to mind is the military issued “Dirty Dozen” watch. Even today, collectors are fanatically chasing these 12 different watches, issued by the British Ministry of Defense in 1943. This group is so popular today that other brands also take inspiration from the simple yet very effective design, which is exactly what Praesidus has done. Its all-new Type A11 DD-45 collection is a fitting salute to the original twelve that served so many during WWII.

Let’s immediately make it clear that the new Praesidus Type A11 DD-45 is not an official military issued watch, but it is a very close and compelling interpretation of the design codes drawn up by the MoD under the guidance of Commander Alan Brooks. Praesidus is still a relatively young brand and simply does not have decades of heritage. Nevertheless, it has wholeheartedly embraced the “Field Watch” style in watchmaking, evident by the A-11 Marston Mat L.E. we covered a while back. And where brands like Vertex decided to update the Dirty Dozen design into a slightly more modern style, Praesidus has taken the vintage path and created something that could have been issued as a combat field watch back in the day.

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This means that the design, materials and dimensions should reflect that era in watchmaking top to bottom, and although a few minor compromises have been made (understandably), it comes very close to an actual Dirty Dozen watch. Let’s start with the exterior, which comes down to a 316L stainless steel case of 38mm in diameter and 11.8mm in height from the caseback to the top of the domed sapphire crystal. That makes it slightly larger than the actual Dirty Dozen watches but still relatively compact on the wrist. The screw-down crown and solid caseback improve water resistance, rated at 100m. The finishing combines faceted and polished edges, radially brushed rounded lugs and straight brushed surfaces.

The Dirty Dozen watches stand out because of their uniformity in design, as all followed a specific set of criteria (you can read all about it here). The Type A-11 DD-45 falls in line with those specifications and comes with a lightly grained black dial in three distinct types of finishing. First up is the Factory Fresh look, with crisp white details. Secondly, the one we had for a short period is the Patina, which has UV and chemically aged numerals and hands. Lastly, the Tropical dial takes after vintage Dirty Dozen watches that turned brown over time. All share the same combination of a printed minutes track, sword- or obelisk-shaped hour and minute hands, luminous dots and numerals and a small seconds indication, exactly like the originals. Of course, there’s no Radium to be found in these, so it’s perfectly safe to wear them extensively.

Under the closed caseback hides a movement by Landeron, more specifically, the L24-6UHR calibre. This alternative to the ubiquitous ETA 2824-2 is produced by DEPA Luxury Distribution Gmbh, through its Landeron Swiss Movements subsidiary, which is not related to the historic Landeron brand. It runs at a rate of 28,800vph and has a power reserve of 40 hours when fully wound, which can be done manually and automatically. We don’t have much experience with this movement, as it’s not as widespread as its Sellita or La Joux-Perret counterparts, but it performed as it should during our time with the watch.

The new Praesidus Type A11 DD-45 “Dirty Dozen” watch is available on three types of straps or bracelets: a green Perlon-style textile strap, a vintage brown leather strap or a stainless steel Bonklip bracelet. Both straps will cost you USD 875, while the Bonklip bracelet bumps that to USD 925. That’s still quite reasonable, and given the attention to detail that Praesidus has put into this Dirty Dozen-inspired model, it feels like a very fair deal! The Bonklip bracelet might not resonate with everyone as it’s quite an unusual construction, but it does add to the vintage experience the Type A11 DD-45 offers. In my book, that’s the way to go with this one, but preferences are highly personal, of course.

For more information and to register your interest ahead of the official release date on the 14th of March, please visit

1 response

  1. I wish it had a manual wind movement. But under 12mm thickenss isn’t too bad. And the patina one looks pretty great. I have one of their AII-2 and it’s pretty nice for a low cost watch. I think it was $259, definitely under $300. If this dd-45 was closer to that price I would most likely order one at launch. But $875 when taxes are due? I’ve paid that much for uglier watches. So it’s a maybe, but not any time soon.


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