OMEGA: The watches worn from the trenches to Dunkirk

The CK2129 – As worn by Tom Hardy in Dunkirk

The CK2129 was the most commonly worn OMEGA timepiece for RAF personnel in the early days of the Second World War. Its unique rotating bezel was highly valuable for pilots and navigators during missions as it enabled the timing of specific intervals. On bombing raids, for example, these timing intervals became crucial. The rotating bezel could also be locked by the watch’s 2nd crown, so that the timing couldn’t be affected by accidental knocks. The newly released film “Dunkirk”, directed by Christopher Nolan, has correctly placed this model on the wrist of Tom Hardy’s RAF character. 2,000 of the models had been delivered to the MoD at the start of the war. The watch was made to be particularly easy to read, which is why it featured a contrasting cream dial with clear Arabic numerals and poire hands.

The CK2444 – The Waterproof Watch

 Towards the end of World War II, as warfare moved towards the Pacific Ocean, another OMEGA watch came into service. The CK2444 became known for its superb water resistance. In fact, the MoD gave it the w.w.w engraving on the caseback, which stood for “Waterproof Wrist Watch”. There was also a Broad Arrow marking on the dial and caseback which was typical of the British military.
The UK/CK2292 – The Spitfire Watch

As the war progressed, OMEGA delivered even more models to the MoD. The UK/CK2292 is perhaps the most famous and most widely used of all. These watches were supplied to the majority of RAF and Fleet Air Arm personnel. Inside was the innovative 30mm calibre, which had set numerous world precision records at observatory trials. It was far more resistant to magnetism due to a new alloy used in creating the balance spring. This greatly served the pilots flying the Hurricanes and Spitfires, who were sitting just two feet behind a huge magnetic field within their powerful engines.