Timekeepers Club / March 14, 2023

Bremont Broadsword Recon Limited Edition

The new Broadsword Recon limited edition is an extension of Bremont’s sought after Armed Forces Collection, a series of ‘Dirty Dozen’ inspired timepieces born out of Bremont’s official partnership with the Ministry of Defence (MoD).

The ‘Dirty Dozen’ has become synonymous in the world of horology. Here, we take a deeper dive into this influential collection of timepieces.

What are the ‘Dirty Dozen’ watches?

The ‘Dirty Dozen’ - a name for a group of 12 watches commissioned by the British Ministry of Defence to be durable, accurate and reliable - were produced by 12 different Swiss manufacturers for use by the armed forces in World War II. These watches have become important to collectors all over the world because of their rarity and their place in horological and military history.

The practice of wearing a pocket watch on the wrist is recorded as early as the nineteenth century however, following the Boer War this practice began to be integrated throughout the military. It was during the First World War that soldiers started using watches to accurately coordinate manoeuvres - they became more accurate and an essential piece of equipment. Before this, pocket watches had been too rare and expensive to have any specific military value and the concept of time was not yet centralised, however following the First World War this changed and the watch became of increasing importance to the military.

Strapping watches to the wrist made things much more convenient and opened the door to change. By the time the Second World War began, a good quality watch was an essential part of a soldiers’ kit and a crucial tool for planning and organisation.

Due to the rigours of war the requirements for the ‘perfect soldier’s watch’ placed on the 12 manufacturers included:

  • Black dial with Arabic numerals 
  • Small second at 6 o’clock with railroad minuterie
  • Luminous hour and minute hands and indexes 
  • Precise movements regulated to chronometer standards 
  • Shatterproof plexiglass and shock-resistant case 
  • Waterproof, easy-grip crown (for use with gloves) 
  • Best possible water resistance

These military requirements and the advent of the ‘Dirty Dozen’ watches drove important improvements in watchmaking and design, cementing these developments in the history of the wristwatch.

Following the First World War and during the second, when Britain had lost many of its watchmakers to the cause or the armaments industries, Switzerland, who maintained armed neutrality, started to ramp up its watchmaking output. It continued to meet demands for civilian orders during this period however the MoD needed specific military timepieces built to their requirements to be durable, accurate and reliable.

The 12 watch manufacturers tasked with supplying these watches were Buren, Cyma, Eterna, Grana, Jaeger-LeCoultre, Lemania, Longines, IWC, Omega, Record, Timor and Vertex.

With the designation W.W.W – Watch Wrist Waterproof – on each watch case-back these pieces of military equipment have gone on to influence the design language of many watch brands since the 1940s.

Coined by watch enthusiasts as the ‘Dirty Dozen’, after the classic 1967 movie, this collection of 12 watches has become highly sought after. Until recent years, predominantly only known to the avid military collector, they have become one of the most sought sets within the watch community.

Bremont’s Armed Forces Collection – Inspired By The ‘Dirty Dozen’

The ‘Dirty Dozen’ military watches have a special place in the history of both watchmaking and Britain’s armed forces, and as such, have inspired Bremont’s own Armed Forces Collection.

In 2019, Bremont proudly to entered into a partnership with the Ministry of Defence (MoD) honouring Her Majesty’s Armed Forces. Through this partnership, Bremont became the sole luxury watch producer allowed to legitimately use the signs, symbols and Heraldic Badges of all three services. This marked the first time that civilians could purchase official Bremont Military timepieces.

Bremont’s well-respected heritage and reputation within the military, specifically with the British military, made us the natural partner of choice for the MoD. Bremont has created numerous special-order projects at the request of personnel from all branches of the British armed forces and is widely recognised throughout for its discretion, its patriotism and its reputation for supplying products that are fit for purpose.

As you would expect, Bremont’s Armed Forces collection builds on the specifications originally set out for ‘Dirty Dozen’ watches, however the Bremont DNA can be felt in every timepiece through the exquisite engineering and material selection.

  • Chronometer rated mechanical movements, tested to ISO 3159 regulation 
  • Black dial with Arabic numerals 
  • Small second at 6 o’clock with railroad minute track 
  • Hardened stainless steel two-piece case construction 
  • Up to 20 layers of Super-LumiNova® for optimal legibility


The Bremont Broadsword is a contemporary take on the three handed ‘Dirty Dozen’ watch design which houses the chronometer rated BE-95-2AV movement inside its two-piece 40mm hardened steel case as well as a sub-seconds hand at 6 o’clock. Multiple layers of luminous paint on the hands and dial complete the original specification for the British Army. Available in a variety of case finishes including stainless steel, DLC and bronze. The latest timepiece to be added to the Armed Forces Collection is the Broadsword Recon, limited to just 200 pieces with a sandwich dial construction.

Technical specifications

Bremont Broadsword Recon Limited Edition

Limited edition of 200 pieces


  • Material: Satin and polished two-piece MoD hardened stainless steel case with screw down crown.
  • Diameter: 40mm
  • Length: 47mm
  • Thickness: 12.5mm
  • Lug Width: 20mm
  • Glass: Domed anti-reflective, scratch resistant sapphire crystal
  • Case back: Stainless steel decorated with Armed Forces Heraldic Badges
  • Water-resistant to 100 meters (10 ATM)

Dial and hands

  • Matte black metal dial with vintage Super- LumiNova® (Green emission) numerals and gloss black edges.
  • Hands in matte black finish with vintage Super-LumiNova® (Green emission).


  • Modified Calibre 11 1/2’’’ BE-95-2AV
  • Number of jewels: 31
  • Glucydur balance wheel
  • Anachron balance spring
  • Nivaflex mainspring
  • Frequency: 28,800 vph (4Hz)
  • Power reserve of 38 hours


  • Central Hour/Minute
  • Running Seconds at 6 Hour
  • Date at 3 Hour

Strap and buckle

  • 20mm striped canvas NATO strap with stainless steel pin buckle.
  • Including a complimentary Black Temple Island Rubber Strap or a Dark Brown Vintage Leather Strap - please select your preference.

MSRP: EUR 3'330

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