I’m definitely a fan of themed watches such as Hamilton’s Jazzmaster Regulator Cinema or Raymond Weil’s Freelancer AC/DC Limited Edition, and William Wood collections have an intriguing, ongoing British firefighter theme. We looked at the William Wood Valiant Collection last year and the attention to detail was impressive with a host of firefighting elements throughout the case, dial and strap. The brand is back with a trio of chronographs that bring even more to the table, along with a themed collector’s box and brass cufflinks. This new Triumph Collection offers a fun package for firefighting enthusiasts or anyone looking for something different. Let’s take a closer look.
The William Wood Triumph Chronograph come in three colourways and really up the ante with British firefighting themes seemingly everywhere. Colours include red (heat), blue (oxygen) and yellow (fuel), representing the three ingredients required for fire. These colours are seen on the rotating bezels, dial elements and straps, and are a firefighting theme themselves. Like the Valiant Collection, the bezel is functional for diving with a 15-minute scale and 12 o’clock marker filled with Super-LumiNova. The stainless steel case is 41mm in diameter and 15.5mm in height and features flat chronograph buttons with an antique brass plating. The end of the crown has an embossed firefighter helmet made from actual brass from a 1920s firefighting helmet.
A domed sapphire crystal with an anti-reflective coating and subtle tint protects the dial, while the exhibition caseback is truly one-of-a-kind. Mimicking a wall-mounted fire alarm, the perimeter features a red ring with white letters – IN CASE OF FIRE, BREAK GLASS. Of course, the exhibition centre is glass with a bright red rotor shining through. A very cool touch, but don’t actually break the glass!
The themed elements continue on the dial, starting with a checkered pattern around the perimeter that’s seen on British fire engines. The twin lines at 12 o’clock represent the Crew Manager’s rank, which would be seen on his or her collar. Under 12 o’clock is the brand’s logo, an antique fire helmet. There are two sub-dials at 3 and 9 o’clock (30-minute counter and small seconds, respectively), and they’re designed after a fire engine’s dashboard. The sub-dial hands are also modelled after pressure gauges. The lollipop chronograph seconds hand has a Super-LumiNova circle and counterweight shaped like a vintage fire bell. The hour and minute hands have Super-LumiNova inserts and the dial itself goes beyond the norm. Like the earlier Valiant Collection, it’s a sandwich dial with circular cutout indices and a Super-LumiNova layer underneath. Finishing things off is a date window at 6 o’clock. Water-resistance is rated at 100 metres, so you can confidently use the bezel for light diving.
The 20mm straps continue the theme as they’re upcycled British fire hose rubber in active use for at least ten years with a subtle, smoky smell included. Colours include London Fire Brigade Red, West Midlands Fire Service Yellow, Tyne & Wear Fire Service Blue and British Armed Forces Fire Unit Green. A stainless steel bracelet is also available.
Powering the William Wood Triumph Chronograph Collection is a Sellita SW510 automatic with 27 jewels, 28,800vph (4Hz) and a 48-hour power reserve. It’s a cam-operated chronograph based on the 7750 architecture and functions include central hours, minutes and chronograph seconds, small seconds at 9 o’clock, 30-minute counter at 3 o’clock and date at 6 o’clock. Seen from the exhibition caseback, the rotor is fire engine red with the brand’s firefighter helmet logo and movement decorations include Côtes de Genève and perlage.
It doesn’t end here as the unboxing experience is next level with a very functional collector’s case to boot. The red Italian leather box looks like a fire alarm pulled straight from a wall, complete with a clear window and BREAK GLASS. Upon opening it, you’ll find two levels with the first able to hold up to three watches on individual cushions. Pull the red “EMERGENCY PULL CORD” and the second level has individual compartments for extra straps, cufflinks and a certificate. And let’s talk about cufflinks for a second. The brand is also including a pair of antique brass cufflinks shaped after the firefighter helmet logo for the first 100 buyers of each model. All of this combines into a very special package.
The William Wood Triumph Collection watches sell for GBP 1,895 – about USD 2,650 or EUR 2,190 – a fair price for such well-thought Swiss-made chronographs. Deliveries are scheduled to begin in September 2021 and each is limited to 250 pieces with a three-year guarantee. Benefits for the first 100 buyers of each include a 12% discount, reduced delivery timeline, complementary antique brass cufflinks and a signed letter by the company founder. And why the firefighter theme? The founder’s late grandfather, William Wood himself, was a 25-year fire service veteran.
For more information, visit the William Wood website.