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A Week On The Wrist: The Longines Heritage Military COSD

The Restoration Of The Girard-Perregaux Caliber 350, The Most Important Quartz Watch You've Never Heard Of

The abbreviated form of the story is that the Military COSD is based on a watch gave to the British military – in particular, paratroopers – during the Second World War. As such it hopes to have been an incredibly, straightforward watch, intended for two destinations: economy, and durability. According to auction notes from a September auction at Watches of Knightsbridge in the UK, casing material was steel and nickel plate, and COSD should have meant “Company Ordnance Supply Depot.” The development is Longines caliber 12.68N, an overlaid completed caliber that’s rather plain in appearance yet in addition gives the impression of the great functional quality for which Longines was known. In this particular example the development is suspended in the case in what seems as though the stun absorbing pad a few sources notice as being characteristic of the COSD and its utilization by paratroopers, and the case has fixed spring bars. They’re a fascinating cut of military history and as you would expect, the people over at the Military Watch Forum have on several occasions dove exceptionally deep without a doubt into this watch; here’s a decent place to start .

Now, one captivating open inquiry is whether COSD actually stands for Company Ordnance Supply Depot. It appears to be a reasonable assertion and Longines itself says that’s what it stands for, yet some criminal investigator work by the people at MWF leads to another piece of military hardware that carries the same initials: a rather mischievous weapon made for British Commando units, intended for quiet executing. This is the (in)famous De Lisle Commando Carbine. The De Lisle carbine was probably the calmest weapon at any point made; it had an integrated silencer (basically, the firearm resembles a giant silencer the size of two tennis ball cans taped together – all the more appropriately called a silencer – with a stock and recipient added as an afterthought) and shot a .45 caliber subsonic round. It was jolt action just (a quick firing firearm is characteristically noisier, because of the sound made when the action cycles) and was a lot of a secretive/special operations weapon.

De Lisle Carbine (image by Atirador from Wikipedia).

Combined Operations in the UK during World War II alluded in general to multi-administration branch operations, and all the more specifically, to operations undertaken by Commando units, which had been framed in the wake of the disastrous defeat of the French and British armies in France. In Winston Churchill’s words, they were to be ” . . . specially trained soldiers of the tracker class who can build up a rule of dread down the adversary coast.” For our motivations, it’s fascinating to take note of that the barrel of the De Lisle carbine is also marked COSD and it’s been proposed that it may actually stand for “Combined Operations Stores Division” or “Stop” – exactly such a fine, research-escalated, hard-to-establish point that makes vintage watch gathering so potentially interesting.

Whatever it may stand for, certainly the watches are classic examples of military hardware: almost brutally straightforward in general, and the originals were worked to be as accurate and durable as they could be, with absolutely nothing inessential to get among them and the mission. The originals all appear to have been white dialed (at least, I haven’t seen any vintage black dial examples) and those that endure the War occasionally had their cases swapped out for more pleasant ones by their presumably grateful owners.

The re-issue we have has a black dial, and other than the development, the main departure from the original is the presence of a date guichet. On the off chance that you are such an individual stirred to indignation by such a thing you already know it; I’m not personally awfully fundamentalist about a date window, but rather it’s a deal-breaker for some.

Another departure from the original is the utilization of conventional spring bars rather than the strong, fastened bars in the wartime COSD watches; I actually would have wanted to see fixed bars on the re-issue yet this is another situation where exacting loyalty to the original would probably have made the watch somewhat harder to sell. On the dial is the Broad Arrow mark, which indicates British government property – this, as well, has some intriguing history behind it. The Broad Arrow was first utilized by the Office of Ordnance, which was created by King Henry VIII; it’s idea to have been presented by Sir Philip Sydney, in whose family coat of arms the pheon, or heraldic broad arrow, can be found, in around 1585.

The original COSD watches I’ve seen all show all the marks you’d expect of heavy use, and the re-issue we have here is not normal for them in one pretty noticeable regard: it’s profoundly cleaned. That’s single direction among many that I guess watches planned for secretive military operations have changed throughout the long term; something that intelligent probably would not possess all the necessary qualities for today’s special/clandestine operators (who from what I’ve seen tend to – understandably – favor things like G-Shocks anyway). The high reflectivity of the completion may be a staying point for a few, however think of it as another connection back to an alternate time and a particular period in the advancement of special powers units, and their equipment.

Now, this should be a Week On The Wrist, so what’s with all the background information? Indeed, once in a while a gigantic piece of the fun in a watch is the back-story, and that’s the situation here. It’s a truly comfortable, exceptionally easy watch to wear, however taken alone, with just the background of other present day watches, it’s really plain-Jane. Notwithstanding, in the event that you understand what’s behind a ton of the plan signals, you really feel, when you put it on, the draw of history that makes wearing a mechanical watch intriguing. At the point when we got this in from Longines it appeared to be really unremarkable to me, I’ll be straightforward, yet find out about the original from which the re-issue is determined is the place where the pleasure is, and makes you see it from an alternate perspective – and  it’s an update that the most intriguing watches are usually those that have a story to tell.

The Longines Heritage Military COSD is available from Longines online here; cost, $1,700 . 40 mm stainless-steel case; sapphire crystal with antireflective coating. Automatic development, NATO type military strap; available with either opaline/white or black dial. Water resistance 30 meters/100 feet.

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