My first experience with the modern incarnation of Vertex came last year at London’s SalonQP. I already knew the name, mainly as one part of the “Dirty Dozen,” and then later when the brand was revived — under the stewardship of Don Cochrane, the great-grandson of the brand’s founder — with the release of the referential M100.
Whereas the M100 took direct inspiration from what is now regarded as the most historically significant watch the brand ever made, their newest, the MP45, is a contemporary reworking of a watch from the same period that was, in fact, never made. In 1945, the War Office commissioned Vertex to make an “Ordinance timing watch” with a Lemania monopusher chronograph movement. After the end of the Second World War, however, Vertex faced restrictions on how many movements they would be able to import, so the watch was ultimately shelved. The MP45 brings into existence the essence of that original watch, this time powered by a new movement from Sellita.
The introduction of both a new monopusher chronograph caliber and watch is fairly rare (though Bremont’s timely announcement of the Arrow provides some fairly direct competition), so naturally I jumped at the chance to get to know it in a little more detail. Let’s take a closer look.