King of Earth and Oceans - The Vertex M60 AquaLion

King of Earth and Oceans - The Vertex M60 AquaLion

For those that don’t know the Dirty Dozen watch story for World War 2, here is a very brief recap. During the second world conflict, the British Ministry of Defence needed a large number of field watches to issue to its troops. They issued a set of specifications for the watches under the WWW code – “Watches, Wrist, Waterproof” with the timepieces needing to have a black dial with Arabic hours, luminous hands, a small seconds dial, easy to operate winding crown (for use with gloves) and as high a water resistance as possible. Twelve brands eventually produced the watches, hence the “Dozen”. They were, Buren, Cyma, Eterna, Grana, Jaeger-LeCoultre, Lemania, Longines, IWC, Omega, Record, Timor and Vertex. You can read more, here.

The complete set of the "Dirty Dozen" watches created by the 12 watch companies who were tasked by the UK Ministry of Defence (Image © Watches of Knightsbridge)
The complete set of the "Dirty Dozen" watches created by the 12 watch companies who were tasked by the UK Ministry of Defence (Image © Watches of Knightsbridge)

The Vertex story begins in 1912, when founder Claude Lyons used a £1000 loan from hus father-in-law to establish Dreadnaught watches. The watches were well received and by 2015 they were supplying the British military during World War One. In 1916 Lyons founded Vertex and began capitalising on the trend of time-telling gradually moving from pockets to wrists. By World War Two, Vertex was a well-regarded manufacture of good quality watches which led to them being one of the Dirty Dozen producing the iconic WWWs. However, by the early 1970s the brand was shut down.

Learn more about Vertex, here.

The Vertex M60 AquaLion No-Date
The Vertex M60 AquaLion No-Date

Like all great comeback stories, Vertex was revived in true style by Claude’s great grandson Don Cochrane in 2016 to great enthusiasm by fans old and new. Taking the WWW theme one step further, Vertex has now launched its first purpose-built dive watch the M60 AquaLion. Paying homage to Claude Lyons’ initial brand, Dreadnaught, the watches feature the original AquaLion logo which Vertex has adopted as its trademark and the name for this new line of COSC rated divers.

The Vertex M60 AquaLion Date
The Vertex M60 AquaLion Date

Housed in a 40mm stainless steel case, the AquaLion is available in either date (D) or none-date (ND) versions and complies with the latest international ISO standard for professional dive watches. In keeping with the brands rich military history, the uni-directional bezel is made from matte ceramic with a knurled edge based on the sight adjustment mechanism that was feature of the Bren light guns used in World War Two. The no-crown-guard case has a very cool 1950s vibe and the painted Arabic hours from the WWWs are back at the quarters with a cool red-writing depth rating in the lower half of the dial.

The Vertex M60 AquaLion Date on a rubber strap
The Vertex M60 AquaLion Date on a rubber strap

All tastes are covered when it comes to wearing the watch, with all models having stainless steel bracelets and also coming with both a rubber strap and nylon strap. Changing between the three looks is super simple thanks to Vertex’s quick release system. Says Vertex CEo Don Cochrane, “Since I re-launched Vertex in 2016 – over a century after it was founded by my great-grandfather, Claude Lyons – I have sent our watches to all corners of the globe and have had hundreds of messages from owners around the world telling me of the adventures they have had with Vertex on their wrists. The M60 Aqua Lion marks the opening of a new chapter in Vertex history and I’m very much looking forward to hearing about and seeing some of the incredible places that I’m sure wearers will take them. Both above the water and, of course, beneath its surface!”

The Vertex M60 AquaLion No-Date on a rubber strap
The Vertex M60 AquaLion No-Date on a rubber strap

All tastes are covered when it comes to wearing the watch, with all models having stainless steel bracelets and also coming with both a rubber strap and nylon strap. Changing between the three looks is super simple thanks to Vertex’s quick release system. Says Vertex CEo Don Cochrane, “Since I re-launched Vertex in 2016 – over a century after it was founded by my great-grandfather, Claude Lyons – I have sent our watches to all corners of the globe and have had hundreds of messages from owners around the world telling me of the adventures they have had with Vertex on their wrists. The M60 Aqua Lion marks the opening of a new chapter in Vertex history and I’m very much looking forward to hearing about and seeing some of the incredible places that I’m sure wearers will take them. Both above the water and, of course, beneath its surface!”

Tech Specs

Movement: Sellita SW360-1 (with or without date).
Case and Dial: 40mm stainless steel case with matte ceramic uni-directional bezel. Matte black with moulded Super-LumiNova X1 Grade hour markers and hands.
Strap: Stainless steel bracelet plus both rubber and nylon strap.
Price: £2,850

More information: vertex-watches.com

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Ross Povey

Ross Povey, the founder of TudorCollector.com is regarded as the world’s leading expert on vintage Tudor watches. Although an expert on Rolex and Tudor watches primarily, Ross’s work covers the entire field of horology and he is currently Editor-in-Chief of Revolution magazine in the UK. He writes for and has contributed to some of the most influential horological publications, including; The Telegraph, The Rake, Bulang & Sons, Watchonista, Hodinkee, QP and is the co-author of the book Daytona Perpetual, a celebration of the automatic Rolex Daytona released through Pucci Papaleo Editore. Ross is also an international speaker and regularly hosts watch events in the UK and Europe.

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