The original A11 military watches had a plain black dial with white Arabic numerals and hour hands. These watches were issued to navigators, pilots, and bombardiers during WW2. Post-war, the A11 watch remained popular among military and watch enthusiasts.
Watch brands have also started making their versions of the legendary timepiece. Praesidus, a watch brand with a military background, decided to revive the A-11 after hearing the story of Tom Rice who lost his watch while parachuting from a C-47.
A-11 – The Lost Watch
Tom Rice was 22 when he joined the Jump School in 1943. Shortly after, he found himself in the 101st Airborne Division. He participated in WW2 as an American paratrooper and platoon sergeant until he parachuted on the 6th of June 1944 for the Battle of Normandy.
Unfortunately, Tom’s static-line failed to detach from the chute in time. He lost his watch while trying to free himself. The WW2 veteran would once again parachute from a C-47 to commemorate D-Day’s 75th anniversary in 2019.
A Modern Take on the Legendary A-11 Watch
The Praesidus A-11 is a modern take on a classic timepiece that has endured the test of time. Praesidus retained the vintage vibe of the A-11 military watch while adding a few functionalities to keep up with modern demands. This masterpiece is ideal for military fans and watch lovers who want an upgraded military-inspired timepiece.
The Praesidus A-11 is available in two different sizes – 42mm and 38 mm. Both sizes are larger than the original A-11. Apart from the size, Praesidus has also changed the casing material. The original A-11 had a chrome-plated brass case, while Praesidus’ version features a stainless steel case. The brand has also released several versions of the A-11 Tom Rice Edition.
- Black Dial Military Watch With Nylon Strap Tom Rice A-11
A watch designed to honor the heroism of Tom Rice and WW2 veterans who fought in the war, this version of the Praesidus A-11 features a black dial devoid of any logo or writings. The watch was assembled in the US and powered by the Seiko NH35 movement.
Both the cream-filled hands and indexes and green Arabic numbers have been treated with lume so that you can check and read the time even in dark environments. The watch comes with a thick brown nylon strap that can withstand any environment. And since it’s lightweight and breathable, you can wear it all day without any discomfort.
- Black Dial Military Watch With Leather Strap Tom Rice A-11
Featuring a jet-black dial and luminous cathedral-style hour hands for quick visibility and legibility in dark environments, this edition is a hallmark of an all-out military-inspired piece. The Arabic numerals’ soft green glow is noticeable due to the uncluttered black dial. The other details on its dial include the numbers 10 through 60 that appear at a 10-minute interval and 4 white indices placed in between luminous cream-filled dots at every 5-second interval.
This watch comes in a solid minimalist case with a sandblast finish. Praesidus decided to create a wristwatch that doesn’t deviate from the original A-11, so this version doesn’t have a bezel and logo on its dial. This feature highlights the circular curvature of the case. The crown and case rim have vertical knurls, adding more dimension to the watch. This watch is a true hallmark of reliability, durability, and style with its vintage aesthetic, rugged brown leather strap, and an uncluttered dial.
- Black Dial Military Watch With Canvas Strap Tom Rice A-11
The legendary A-11 was a military timepiece that could withstand harsh environments. Like this iconic timepiece, the Praesidus A-11 comes with a solid stainless steel case and double dome glass to protect its components from dust, dirt, water, and other elements. This version features a green canvas strap and clean matte-black dial to emphasize its green luminous Arabic numbers and cream-filled hour hands. A commemorative inscription of Tom’s name, the 101st Airborne Division, and the D-Day date also appears on the caseback.
The watch doesn’t require batteries since it uses the NH35 movement, reducing the need for professional servicing during its lifespan. Wear it daily, and the watch will deliver accurate time. With its large power reserve, you can use the watch for 41 hours straight without winding it. And with its 5ATM water resistance, this watch is the perfect accompaniment for men who are always on the go.
Apart from its durability, reliability, and historical significance, the Praesidus A-11 Tom Rice Edition is offered at a fair price. So if you’re a fan of the vintage aesthetic and ruggedness of military watches, this remake of the legendary A-11 is just right for you.