I’ve always been in love with military watches. I was fortunate enough to own a few pieces from the famous “Dirty Dozen” [Eds Note: The Dirty Dozen is reference to the series of timepieces commissioned by the British Ministry of Defense during World War II] including the Omega, Longines and Cyma. In my opinion, a collection cannot be static; I like to own new references and share experiences with passionate fellow collectors, so at one point I ended up selling these three watches to hunt down something new.
I was always looking at something that had a pure, simple and efficient design. A few months ago, a friend pointed me in the direction of this new micro brand called Serica, stating that this "was for me". My interest piqued, I started doing some research and soon enough, I was completely taken in by their story. Only one model, the hand-winding W.W.W. WMB edition was available. It invokes the spirit and design of the Dirty Dozen watches - simple, pure, and efficient. The waterproof wristlet watch (W.W.W.) was a standard issued by the British Ministry of Defense and was characteristic of mid-century military watches.
What impressed me was the fact that Serica did not copy the design of the Dirty Dozen, but adapted it to something more versatile and elegant. Notice the flat bezel and mix of polished and brushed finishing on the case. The 37.7 mm case size wears perfectly on any wrist - not too small, not too big. I also like the fact that the dial does not have any branding and there is no date window. This is a no-nonsense design - three hands, hour markers, and a minute track. The design is perfectly balanced and what you would expect from a tool watch.
The concept of value proposition watch is subjective and very personal. At $540, I do not know if this Serica is the best deal ever, but to me, it certainly looks like one. The watch also comes with a leather and a NATO strap from Parisian brand Joseph Bonnie. Incidentally, Joseph Bonnie and Serica have common co-founders.
As I had pre-ordered my watch, I had to wait for a couple of months to receive it, but was among the first 500 owners. The fact that the watch is powered by an ETA 2801-2 movement gives me a lot of confidence when it comes to repair and servicing. The watch is rather new, so I have not had any trouble with it so far. I should add here that Serica’s customer service is just off the charts, also a big part of why I love and would recommend this watch. I am regularly in contact with Jérôme Burgert, one of the two co-founders of the brand. Let me tell you, Jerome is truly passionate and very knowledgeable about what he does. He treats every customer as a friend and gladly talks about his passion.
Serica has also launched a Bonklip bracelet this month that they recreated to fit the W.W.W timepiece. A Bonklip bracelet paired with the Serica is a sexy combination and unlike anything else out there and perfectly invokes the spirit of vintage military watches. If you are in the market for a cool vintage military-watch inspired micro brand, I would urge you to consider Serica. You'll thank me later!
Guillaume Joly is a Muscat-based watch collector. You can read more about him here.