The A-11: Changing the Course of History One Tick at a Time

The A-11 has captivated many historians and horologist. Developed almost 80 years ago, It is a remarkable wristwatch that was designed for a specific purpose at a turning point in history. Let’s take a closer look at this fascinating watch so we can appreciate the development of its reincarnation.

What is the A-11 watch? The A-11 watch is one of the most iconic US military watch. It is famous for its instrumental role in helping the Allies win the Second World War.

What was the purpose of the A-11? In the mid-1940s, the A-11 was designed as a navigation timepiece and a tool to survive in the rough conditions of the battlefield. It helped the Allies win the Second World War, allowing the Air Force, Navy, and Marines to coordinate their military plan. While some American infantry soldiers were equipped with these watches (hence their presence on D-Day), they were mainly provided to pilots.

How precise was the A-11? The A-11 watches used during World War II had a precision of more or less 30 seconds and a power reserve ranging from 30 to 56 hours.

On June 6th, 1944, all A-11 watches were meticulously coordinated to the second, allowing the Allies to launch their air assaults at the same precise moment. The need for military precision pushed the manufacturers to add an extra bridge and an extra ruby in order to move the second’s hand from the 6 o'clock position to the central position.

Who made the A-11? The A-11 model was initially produced by three American watch manufacturers: Elgin, Waltham, and Bulova. Tens of thousands of watches were produced, but in spite of this, models in very good condition are almost impossible to find because of their age, and because watches during the war were made using cheap, basic plated metal.

What did the A-11 look like? Simplicity is an art form that the A-11 perfectly embodied: intuitive and refined, minimalist yet functional. While this watch was not designed with the intent to be commercialized or showcased in an auction-house catalog or in a retail store, today it could easily top the list of the most inspirational designs. The A-11 simplistic design checks all the marks of an elegant, everyday watch.

Do A-11 watches still exist? While the US military designed and produced thousands of A-11 watches, they are today nearly non-existent because the materials used were not a durable as traditional timepieces.

What is the Praesidus A-11? The Praesidus A-11 is a remarkable reincarnation of one of the most important timepieces crafted for World War II. Combines bravery, strength, and beauty, the Praesidus A-11 is a masterpiece that honors the men’s bravery in one of the most important times in military history.