The ATP watch – no longer on a pigskin strap
The Army Trade Pattern (ATP) series of watches was supplied to British forces at the commencement of WWll via a MoD contract with Swiss watch manufacturers in 1939.
Leading into WWII the ATP watch was issued to soldiers and was supplied to the Ministry of Defence (MoD) by 17 Swiss suppliers, under brand names Buren, Cortebert, Cyma, Ebel, Enicar, Eterna, Font, Grana, Lemania, Leonidas, Moeris, Reconvillier, Record, Revue, Rotary, Timor, and Unitas. Ebel, Revue and Timor produced 2 types of watch, so about 20 watch types were in the ATP series.
The image above is for a generic homage ATP watch and it, like the original 1939 watches, has the following general characteristics:
15 jewelled movement with a round waterproof case about 31mm diameter in stainless steel or nickel chrome, white dial with railroad track chapter ring, luminous index spots, and broad lumed baton hands and a silvered subsidiary seconds register, with an accuracy +/- 30 seconds per day. They all were to have fixed bars between lugs. As could be expected, there are exceptions to these specifications.
At least 133,600 ATP watches were manufactured at an average price of £3. After WWll they were meant to be destroyed but many were decommissioned.
ATP decommission advertisement. Courtesy MWR Forum user : dave
The decommissioned watches were engraved by the wholesaling jeweller to the MoD, Bravingtons, as shown below, and then onsold. The original case back was generally just engraved ATP, often with a serial number for the watch.
The MWR forum user Bobsy, has listed ATP sales in the past 3 years, which gives some idea of availability of the 20 watch types.
The watches were supplied to the MoD without straps. They were then fitted by the MoD with open ended leather straps with folded metal butterfly clips as seen on the Grana ATP below.
The engraving on the case back was generally the pheon, together with A.T.P. and an issue number, although the issue number was sometimes missing.
Leather straps often perished in wet and tropical conditions and canvas straps were used, particularly in Asia and the Pacific. The 44 pattern webbing was designed and issued for tropical conditions, and the AF0210 strap was issued in 1945 as part of this Jungle Warfare Equipment.
Below is a Revue 59 ATP watch on a WWII period AF0210 canvas strap. ATP watches on AF0210 straps have recently sold on ebay with an approximate strap value of over $200. The strap fitted quickly and easily under the fixed bars of the ATP watch.
Image courtesy MWRforum user : Shane Reed
Some early WWII watches are shown below, together with a modern A.F.0210. watch and an US Army A-11 watch.
The twenty ATP watches are shown individually below on A.F.0210. straps.
The Buren ATP is reasonably rare, being 7th in the list of 20 watches above. The watch serial number was engraved on the case and was also engraved between the lugs (14xxxx). The case number was 1021.
The Buren 410 movement used with a sub second dial, and the crown wheel is engraved Buren Grand Prix. The Buren 411 movement has a sweep second hand.
While producing the white dialled ATP watch, Buren also produced a similar German D-H watch, with a black dial in WWll. (D stands for Dienstuhr (Service Watch) and the H = Heer (Army)).
Just as there were MoD requirements for the ATP watch, with a few exceptions the basic D-H wristwatch had the following characteristics:
About 34mm outside case diameter.
Black dial with luminous numbers and hands
Fixed bars, either steel pins or cast as part of the case. There are a few exceptions with spring bars.
Threaded case back with 6 wrench slots
15 jewel movement with shock resistance.
The cases were mostly chrome plated brass, but some were all stainless steel.
Of the various manufacturers, those who did not make there own movement mostly used the A.S. 1130 movement produced by Anton Schild, of Grenchen, and consequently some people call the A.S. 1130 the “Wehrmacht movement.”
Below is a Buren D-H watch which also used the cal 410 movement used in the ATP watch.
Buren calibre 410 DxxxxH issue.
Buren was eventually taken over by Hamilton.
The Cortebert ATP is mid table in the above chart, 11th of 20 ATP watch sales.
The case is chrome plated brass with a stainless steel back plate numbered 8135, and an internal dust cover. Serial numbers are 7xxxx, and Pxxxxx.
The watch is sometimes found with a sterile dial. The sub seconds dial had no numbers.
Some Cortebert, Enicar, Font and Grana ATP watches have been re-issued marked 6E/385 with an Axxx serial number for the RAF.
Cortebert ATP on A.F.0210. strap.
The movement was the Calibre 665.
Cortebert was eventually taken over by Omega.
The watch is the smallest ATP watch at 29 mm diameter, and the case is stainless steel numbered 8983. The Cyma ATP is rarely seen, but not because it is small, being 3rd on the chart above.
Cyma ATP on A.F.0210. strap.
Even more rare is a “downgrade” of an WWW Cyma watch to an ATP as shown below. Various ATP watches have been “upgraded” to WWW. The case back has either 4 or 6 notches.
ATP downgrade of CYMA WWW.
The movement was Cal 162 with sub seconds, (Cal 166 was the sweep seconds model).
CYMA cal 162
Ebel had 2 ATP models, both with a 32mm diameter stainless steel case with either with a push through back or a screw back.
Ebel ATP with poire squelette hands on A.F.0210. strap.
The watch was the only ATP watch to have poire squelette or cathedral hands.
Ebel push through case.
The Calibre 99 movement was derived from the Cal 232 Aurore-Villeret movement, with the crown wheel marked Ebel Fab Suisse.
Ebel is now owned by the Movado group.
The Enicar ATP is reasonably common and comes in a stainless steel case with scalloped back, and the dial is most commonly sterile, or more rarely signed Enicar. Also, the AS984 calibre movement can be 15 or 17 jewels. The hands are syringe style, some with long needle points. The minute ring is smaller diameter than other ATP watches.
As mentioned above, Enicar ATP’s have been noted as being re-issued as 6E/385 with an Axxx serial number for the RAF.
Serial numbers are Fxxxx, 4xxx or ( )xxxx commencing with 4, 5 or 9.
A few Eterna ATP watches have been found with both black and white dials, mostly black, and a central seconds sweep hand. Black dials and central seconds are inconsistent with the ATP characteristics, but a handful of Eterna ATP watches exist and it is thought that about 600 may have been made from the known serial numbers.
Below is an Eterna ATP case back, and a black dial Eterna, with a central syringe sweep second hand. The movement is the Eterna 852.
FONT (FABRIQUES D’HORLOGERIE DE FONTAINEMELON)
The Font ATP is relatively rare and has a stainless steel case with screw back stamped STAINLESS STEEL and a sterile dial. Font ATP watches have been noted as being re-issued as 6E/385 with an Axxx serial number for the RAF.
Font ATP on A.F.0210. strap.
The movement is Cal FHF 150, and unusually the case has spring bars
Font FHF 150 movement.
The Grana ATP is the 4th most common ATP watch , unlike the successor, the Grana WWW, which is scarce. It has a 32mm brass chrome plated case and a six-notch stainless steel threaded case back either Grana 1518 or 1735. The dial may be signed or sterile.
The movement is an unsigned KF320 with no magnetic protection.
This is another common ATP sub seconds model with characteristic “pointed” needles, but uncommonly, the dial is sterile. The case is made of 31mm steel with the six-notched screw case back. However, there is also a Lemania ATP with a central seconds sweep hand which is almost the rarest of the ATP models, made perhaps because Lemania needed produce more watches than the prior sub seconds model. The watch is slightly larger than its subsidiary seconds ATP predecessor.
Lemania ATP sub seconds above and central seconds below on A.F.0210. strap.
The Lemania ATP has a Tissot A27 caliber, which is also used in the later WWW watch. The case back is engraved in concentric circles WATERPROOF, NON MAGNETIC, SWISS.
The serial numbers are Qxxx, Qxxxx and 12xxxx.
The movement of the Lemania CS ATP watch and the Lemania chronograph are based on the same movement. The only difference with the ATP version is that the mechanism was never equipped with any of the wheels and levers associated with the more complicated chronograph.
Serial numbers for the central seconds watches are 37xxx to 41xxx
The Leonidas ATP has a chromed brass case of 31mm, with a threaded stainless steel case back with the usual six notches, with the case number 1018 between the lugs, but it has spring bars.
The dial is usually signed, although there are sterile examples.
Case back marked ( )xxxx beginning with 10 to 12 or 41.
The Leonadis ATP uses the 15j Fontainemelon FHF 186 calibre movement without magnetic protection.
Leonidas is now part of Tag Hueur group.
Like the Eterna, a few small diameter central seconds Mido ATP watches exist.
The case back is scalloped and carries UWC in a triangle.
Mido ATP case back.
The Moeris ATP is the easiest of all ATP watches to find. Poor chrome makes specimens look in very bad cosmetic condition, but the case back is screw in stainless steel with six notches. The case is 33mm diameter, the largest of all the ATP watches. The dial can be found signed or sterile.
Black dials exist.
Moeris ATP on A.F.0210. strap.
The case back is easy to recognize, and identifies unsigned copies, with STAINLESS STEEL BACK SWISS MADE in an outer circle. The serial numbers are Pxxxx, 5xxx, 7xxx, 8xxx, 11xxx, 5xxxx and 6xxxx.
The movement is simply Cal 10.5 (the Moeris, 15 jewel, manual wind 10 1/2 ligne movement), with some later models having a shock absorber on the crown wheel.
Moeris movement and case back.
The Moeris D-H also has the Moeris caliber 10.5 lines, 15 rubies, incabloc shock-proof balance axis, 36 hours power reserve movement. The crown wheel signature is BRUCHSICHER.
The rarest ATP watch is also the largest with 33mm diameter case. The dial is unsigned but is clearly distinguished by Dauphine hands, the only ATP watch to use these. The movement is the Reconvilier 120 caliber with magnetic protection.
Reconvillier ATP on A.F.0210. strap.
The Record ATP has a rare black dial as well as a white dial which can be signed or sterile.
Record ATP on A.F.0210. strap.
The black dial specimens have serial numbers 3xxx and 3xxxx. The white / silver dial 3xxxx and 7xxxx .
The movement is the Calibre 106.
The Record D-H watch has a dial marked in English, Record Watch Co, Genf,
The D-H watch uses a Record 022K anti shock Incbloc movement used in the WWW Record.
The Revue Cal 57 is the second most available ATP watch. The Revue 57 had a waisted crown and was 30mm diameter, mostly plated case, but sometimes stainless steel.
The Revue 59 was larger at 33mm and was a plated case.
Revue 57 ATP (top) and 59 ATP (bottom) on A.F.0210. strap.
The cover bears the expected marks and does not carry a number of series, and if it is of the type Q3xx, Q3xxx, 3xxxx, 4xxxx, 9xxxx, and 12xxxx
Stainless cases were in the higher serial number series.
The Revue 57 was produced with both plated and stainless steel cases. The lug below has C for nickel chromium plating. S was stamped for stainless steel.
Anecdotal evidence seems to suggest that the earlier production runs were plated and the later ones had stainless steel cases. A castellated case back was used.
The corresponding D-H watch was a Revue Sport with Cal 59 movement.
The Rotary ATP is rare. It is actually the largest at 33.5mm and the caliber, like that of the Enicar, is based on the AS984 without antimagnetic protection.
Rotary ATP on A.F.0210. strap.
The case back is a dodecagonal shape with a serial number of the type Mxxxx or 6xxxx.
Rotary ATP case back.
The Timor ATP is common and about half use a slotted case back, and half a scalloped back. It uses a caliber 99 (99B Timor, based on Peseux 190) without antimagnetic protection.
This is the only ATP with waterproof on the dial, positioned above the seconds sub-register.
Timor ATP on A.F.0210. strap.
Timor ATP scalloped back above, and slotted back below.
Cal 99B movement.
Various serial numbers are used, Pxxxxx, and ( )xxxx, with 2, 7, 13, 14 and 16.
It is among the largest with its stainless steel case 33mm diameter, stainless steel case back with six notches and 63717 case number with serial numbers between 9xxxx and 10xxxx.
Unitas ATP on A.F.0210. strap.
The caliber is a Unitas 173 movement.
The calibre 173 movement is also used in the ARSA D-H watch.
We have listed about 20 ATP variants above, and they all look at home on the period A.F.0210. strap.
This article has been slightly modified from that seen on : af0210strap.com where faithful reproduction A.F.0210. straps are available.