The VARIO 1918 WW1 Trench Watch 

This year’s Armistice Day marks 103 years since the end of the first World War – one of the most definitive events in history. From science and technology to art and culture, it changed the course of our daily lives in many ways, including how we tell time. VARIO commemorates the predecessor to the modern wristwatch with their 1918 Trench collection.

VARIO 1918 WW1 Trench Watch


When WW1 began in 1914, pocket watches were the standard personal timepiece reserved for those who could afford it. However, in the chaos of the battlefield, where careful synchronization and split seconds meant the difference between life and death, they were too fragile and cumbersome to operate efficiently.

The military’s solution? Remove the pocket watch chains and strap watches to wrists with durable materials so they can be read at a glance. Upsize the dial sizes and replace the Roman numerals with Arabic ones. Trade the delicate glass coverings for a shatterproof crystal. Add radium-lumed hands and dials so the soldiers can see the watches at night.

VARIO 1918 WW1 Trench Watch

In just a few years, the wristwatch became an enduring symbol of courage and bravery. By the end of the war, manufacturers would transition to civilian marketing and mass production, with new movements such as Art Deco and Pilot on the horizon.


VARIO pays homage to the Trench Watch by upgrading this classic concept for the contemporary watch lover. Made from marine grade stainless steel and state-of-the-art industrial enamel, the VARIO 1918 is a 100m water-resistant, double domed sapphire beauty with a robust Japanese automatic movement and non-radioactive Swiss Lume.

VARIO 1918 WW1 Trench Watch

This charmingly retro timepiece makes a great gift for your loved ones and has custom case back engravings available so buyers can add their personal touch. Despite its high-quality design, the price point is very affordable. Learn more about VARIO’s Trench Watch collection here.