The Vertex MP45 MonoPusher isn’t a watch that most of our readers might know but, in all fairness, they should take a look at it. First of all, besides its great execution, it comes with a very cool design, inspired by ancient British military watches – just like all the watches produced by Vertex. And for good reasons, since the brand has total legitimacy in this context. Next to an interesting 3-hand watch paying tribute to the Dirty Dozen, the brand also has another military piece, a single-pusher chronograph, the MP45, which is now available in two new editions.
We’ve already covered the military history of British brand Vertex in previous articles, so let’s keep it short. Founded in London in 1916 by Claude Octavius Lyons, Vertex established a reputation for its precise and reliable watches. So much so that it was selected as one of twelve watch suppliers to the British Military during World War II (one of the so-called “Dirty Dozen”.) That watch design – known as WWW’s (Watch, Wrist, Waterproof) – provided the inspiration for the M100.
The MP45 Monopusher chronograph also traces its origins back to around this same era. According to Vertex, the company was commissioned by the MoD to make an ordnance timing watch in conjunction with Swiss manufacturer Lemania (another member of the Dirty Dozen), using the latter’s in-house movement. If you look closely at this watch, you’ll immediately notice the resemblance to some of the old Lemania Military MonoPusher watches. It never made it past the prototyping stage though, thanks to the return of peace in Europe, and the design ended up gathering dust in the Vertex archives. But the young British brand thought it was still a pretty cool design and decided to bring it back, including its unusual chronograph function.
The new MP45 Artic and MP45S
Based on the black dial model and full-black editions MP45B we’ve already presented, Vertex is now adding some new designs to its MonoPusher collection. Two new dials, meaning four new watches in total, as these watches are available in automatic or manual versions.
The first model is the Vertex MP45 MonoPusher “Artic”. As you’ve guessed from its name, the dial is executed in bright white – quite a major difference to the other watches of the brand, almost all done in military black. The dial is thus reversed, with pitch-black numerals, markers, inscriptions and hands. One major difference with all other Vertex watches are the large Arabic numerals. Usually made in moulded Super-LumiNova, for a raised and luminous effect, here they are painted on the dial and don’t glow in the dark. Still, some white dots of lume have been added on the seconds track to keep decent night-time legibility.
The second new edition is the Vertex MP45S MonoPusher. Largely based on the classic black model, it retains the 3D moulded Arabic numerals with high-intensity lume and the great contrast of other black dial models. New are the contrasting sub-dials for the chronograph executed in snailed silver, as well as some red accents on the hands displaying the elapsed times, central seconds and 30-minute counters.
Both new versions of the Vertex MP45 MonoPusher retain the military-inspired case, made out brushed steel and measuring 40mm in diameter. Typical of these vintage chronographs, the case is asymmetrical with a buffier right side, acting as a protection for the crown and the sole pusher for the chronograph. Each watch will be delivered with a black leather strap and additional rubber and NATO straps.
Inside the case of the Vertex MP45S MonoPusher, you can choose between an automatic or manual-winding movement. The base will remain a modified Sellita SW-500 (Valjoux-based) with a single-button architecture. Other than that, the specs are classical, with 48h power reserve and 4Hz frequency. What is really cool is that you can choose between an automatic version of this movement or the even cooler hand-wound model – which makes it more historically relevant, but also thinner and offers a nicer view through the caseback. Movements are decorated with Geneva stripes, blued screws and perlage.
The Vertex MP45S MonoPusher and the Vertex MP45 MonoPusher Artic are priced at GBP 3,480 (incl. taxes), whatever the choice of movement. They are available directly from Vertex website here.