‘Purity of Purpose’.
To many collectors of timepieces, a key factor to why a particular watch is in their collection tends, in my experience, to be an emotional attachment. Now that emotional attachment could be due to the watch and what it embodies, or the brand, it’s story and heritage. Many of the articles already written on ‘Just 2 Ticks’ have already covered the various forms of emotional investment to different watches.
In my opinion, Vertex embodies it’s heritage in everything that they do, and in turn; exude that heritage and story onto the owners of their timepieces. Vertex was founded in 1916 by Mr Claude Lyons in Hatton Gardens and the La Chaux De Fonds region of Switzerland. In 1938 Henry Lazarus, Claude’s son-in-law joins the company and at the outbreak of the Second World War joined the British military. It was through this connection during the war, that Vertex were able to supply watches and timepieces to the British military. This relationship would eventually culminate in the supply of the Vertex Cal 59 WWW.
The Cal 59 WWW was a part of the famous ‘Dirty Dozen’ watches. These watches are famous as they were the first mass produced watches made to tolerate the rigours of the battlefield. They met exacting specifications as set by the Ministry of Defence. These watches would go on to serve on the wrists of military personnel across all theatres of war. A point to note on Vertex’s heritage is that they were the only British watch company to supply WWW watches to the allied forces. They also never supplied timepieces to the axis powers.
After the war, Vertex continued to produce British timepieces. Due to the austere economic climate in post war Britain, Vertex went back to producing watches and timepieces for the civilian market. Developing various designs including their own line of diving watches in the 1960s. Unfortunately with the development of the quartz movement and then the ‘Quartz Crisis’ in 1972 Henry closed the doors at Hatton Gardens and the company ceased production. Fast forward to 2015, Don Cochrane, the Great Grandson of Claude re-incorporates the company and in 2016 the Vertex M100 is announced. Since 2016 Vertex has been continually producing high quality timepieces (some of which are considered exclusive). These watches offer traditional and timeless design aesthetic with modern watchmaking technology. Combine that with the familial lineage at the helm and the heritage of the brand, Vertex have gone from strength to strength.
The current line up of Vertex watches fall into two distinct models, the M100 and the MP45 chronograph. These watches have been “modernised” and I would describe them as “faithful continuations” of their forebears to which they pay respect to. Clearly it isn’t just my singular opinion, Vertex have gleaned a very stoic and proud group of owners, collectors and supporters.
Now this isn’t a strict review of the watches themselves (although that could be done). I wanted this article to highlight a company which is doing admirable things in the current watch industry. I believe that a lot to do with watch collecting is “emotional connection”. Whether that connection is to the watch or the brand. To me, Vertex embodies both in spades, and I believe will continue to do so, which is in line with their motto ‘Purity of Purpose’.
For further information go check out their website or even drop Don an email. I can tell you first hand he is a very personable man and is more than happy to answer and questions you may have.
Vertex Watches – https://vertex-watches.com/