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Last year, we brought you a first look at a vintage military inspired watch called the W.W.W. from the upstart brand Serica. That watch began life as a collaboration between the good folks at Les Rhabilleurs and The WM Brown Project, culminating in the W.M.B. Edition of the W.W.W. offered in white or black lacquered dials, alpha or broad arrow hands, and a heap of nostalgia for hand wound military watches of the ‘40s. That project has evolved into the new 4512 collection of watches being offered for Serica, which are now available for pre-order.
The 4512 collection consists of three dial options, along with a choice of crown placement on the case. Each dial is black lacquer and can be had in either California, Commando, or WMB flavors. That last option is the closest to what we saw last year, with a railroad minute track with each hour getting its own lume plot. The Commando dial is similar, but offers an open minute track at its perimeter. Each gets an internal 24 hour readout for quick reference, should you be accustomed to using military time. Finally, the California dial gets exactly that, splitting the dial into Roman numerals on top, and Arabic numerals on the bottom. The idea there is to minimize confusion regardless of your orientation, thus earning the “error proof” nomenclature we associate with it today. Even if you prefer keeping yourself in the upright position, it’s just a cool dial that’s rarely seen these days and has an interesting if a bit foggy heritage in Panerai and Rolex lore. The handset on offer here is the broad arrow style we saw on the WMB Edition.
The case of the 4512 watches remain 37.7mm in diameter with a lug to lug measurement of 46.5mm which, along with the 11.7mm thickness (including a domed sapphire crystal), make for a very approachable watch that’s faithful to its source of inspiration. The lug width is 20mm, which appears a bit larger when paired to a case of such small stature. The brushed flat surfaces are a welcome detail complimented by polished bevels. It all comes together thanks to the robust (drilled) lugs and bezel which give the watch some visual weight. Likewise, the oversized screw-in crown, which can be had on either the 3 o’clock or 9 o’clock side of the case, emphasizes the tool-ish nature of this watch. On that note, did we mention the 200m depth rating? The brushed flat surfaces are a welcome detail complimented by polished bevels.
Under the closed caseback of the 4512 we’re now presented with the manually wound caliber STP1-11 rather than an ETA or Sellita sourced unit. The STP (Swiss Technology Production, owned by Fossil Group) caliber offers 45 hours of power reserve, a hacking seconds, and an impressive -6/+6 level of accuracy. What’s of note here is that Serica has opted to use the barrel of the automatic variant of the STP1-11 movement rather than what you’d find on the hand-wound STP1-11M unit. This protects the movement from being overwound, as automatic watches will disengage the winding gears from the mainspring at full tension.
Serica is offering the 4512 collection on a Joseph Bonnie (also a Les Rhabilleurs brand) Bonklip bracelet. You read that correctly. The Bonklip is mostly associated with early 20th century watches, but feels strangely at home on the 4512. It’s use means there is no taper, so it’s 20mm all the way around your wrist, though it is offered in ‘standard’ 20 cm (~7.8 in) and ‘large’ 24 cm (~9.4 in) sizing. For those unfamiliar with a Bonklip bracelet, it offers a simple solution to varying wrist sizes. Slip your wrist in the loop, pull the loose end tight, fold it back on itself and clip the thumb between the links at your desired level of tightness. See the video linked above to see it in action. This is a unique addition which elevates this watch beyond your usual vintage military inspired homage, and shows a well considered approach to building a unique experience and personality with the 4512.
Each of the 4512 watches are priced at $650 regardless of bracelet length or crown positioning. A 2 year international warranty is provided. You can place your order at the Serica website and expect delivery sometime this November.