Military watches have become very collectable over the past few years, especially those especially those made specifically for the British War Department towards the end of WW2. These watches were all marked WWW for Wristwatch Waterproof and all had to meet very strict specifications. The watches had to have black luminous dials, highly accurate 15 jewel movements housed in a rugged shock resistant waterproof case with a screw in back and a Dial positioned beneath a perspex shatterproof crystal. The war department gave the contract to make these watches to 12 Swiss watch manufacturers the so called “Dirty Dozen”. The Dirty Dozen included well-known brands including Cyma, Eterna Buren, Jaeger-LeCoultre, Lemania, Longines, IWC, Omega and Record along with some lesser known brands including Grana, Timor (Figure 1) and Vertex. Of this later group, information about the Timor watch company is very scarce.
The Timor Watch Co.SA was first registered by Bernheim and Luthy (Bernhiem & Co) in La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland on the 30th may 1923 and was then later registered in 1927 in La Chaux-de-Fonds and Montilier. Switzerland (see Mikrolisk The Horological Trade Index) It seems that the company assembled watches from ebauches and cases supplied by other watch manufacurers and case makers. However, by 1939 Timor had developed and started to make its own high quality lever movement in their Montilier factory. The majority of the Timor watches were manufactured for export to England and the US. As a result of this Timor became an obvious choice for the British War Department as a supplier of wristwatch waterproof timepieces for the British military. The military watches they produced were very robust and fitted with the sturdy Timor Cal. 6060 movement, which was based on a highly modified A. Schild 1203 movement (Figure 2a).
Post war Timor seemed to use 17 jewel AS 1200 movements in their manual wind watches (Figure 2b). These watches, because of strong advertising campaigns, brand awareness related to the military connection and the rather catchy “trust Timor it’s tested” punch line acquire some popularity. During the 1950s Timor produced a range of watches in stainless steel, gold filled and solid gold (Figure 3) cases including the Voxor alarm watch fitted with the famed A. Schild 1475 Cal. movement. Post 1960 the Timor watch company seemed to steadily decline and disappear into obscurity.