Vertex MP45 Chronograph
Vertex is a brand defined by its heritage. There are plenty of watchmakers out there that’ll lean on their archives of course – a fair few in here in the Watchmaker’s Club – but for Vertex it’s the core of what they do. It’s exactly what led to the creation (or perhaps re-creation would be more appropriate) of the M100, the Dirty Dozen classic revisited. Now, it’s that focus on Vertex’s heritage that’s led to one of the coolest monopusher chronographs around: the MP45.
Just like the previous watch, the monopusher is directly inspired by a watch commissioned by our very own Ministry of Defence. They required an ordnance timing watch, which meant two things: it needed to be rugged enough to survive the battlefield and it needed to be incredibly accurate. It was literally a case of life and death.
Apparently, Vertex managed the commission with aplomb; I say apparently because the watch was never actually put into civilian production. Imported movements were limited after the war so Vertex focused elsewhere – until they disappeared off the face of the Earth, of course.
While the original version of the MP45 was powered by a Lamania movement (as were most stopwatches at the time), the latest uses a modified Sellita instead. That might mean that it’s not quite as faithful as the M100, but then that one actually made it into production back in the day. Either way, it’s a decent movement in a seriously cool case.
For me the MP45 ticks every box I have. I love military watches (I have a couple of the cheaper Dirty Dozen myself); I love monopushers and I love asymmetrical cases. To be perfectly honest I saw the earlier concepts of the MP45 last year, so I knew I’d like this release and I’m far from disappointed.
The monopusher hanging on the lip of the case is in the perfect place to use easily and even has that satisfying click that many a third-party movement skimps on. The Sellita (incorporating an additional module created specifically for this watch) is finished beautifully too; nothing too ornate, spiralled and bevelled, but more than Vertex could have gotten away with. Oh, and as a side note, it might be pictured on a rubber strap but ask for it on the Nato. It just works better.
Now, availability. The original M100 was notoriously part of a referral scheme. Sure, that worked nicely for Vertex in the whole secret club kind of vibe (not to mention they could build them on a case by case basis), but it was a bit frustrating if you saw it, wanted it and couldn’t get it.
There’s no such problem with the MP45. It’s limited to 400 pieces – 200 manual-wind, 200 automatic – but anyone can buy one. Obviously go for the manual-wind if you can, especially as they’re both the same price: £3,750. Yes, that’s a solid amount for a chronograph, but try finding a monopusher done this well in the same bracket. If you manage… well, what are you waiting for? Buy the thing!
Please note: The watch is currently in production and initial orders will be completed early 2019.