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Proud to support firefighters - Donated £123,000

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Become Part Of History

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Dunkirk Watch

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Why purchase from us?

3 Year Warranty

Your watch is covered by a 3 year warranty with service centres local to you in the UK, North America and Asia.

Fast Worldwide Shipping

With our premium trusted courier UPS we can ship to the US East Coast in 24 hours and West Coast within 48 hours of collection.

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We are proud to be rated Great Britain's Number 1 Watch Manufacturer on Trustpilot.

A LETTER TO YOU

founder message

Dearest Friend,

I write to you with the greatest sense of pride I have felt over the last 8 years at the helm of William Wood Watches.

We have built the greatest watch in our company’s history. A watch that keeps the memory alive of The Massey Shaw Fire Boat, a British maritime vessel that saved the lives of over 600 troops off the beaches of Dunkirk in World War II.

This is reason why our brand exists. To go back into history and give materials that have played a part in shaping the world as we know it, a new life on your wrist.

Not only will our Dunkirk Watch owners own an incredibly special part of World War II history, but their names will go down in the history books, engraved onto a plaque placed on the Massey Shaw as she sails over the channel in 2025 to commemorate the 85th year anniversary of the Dunkirk Evacuation.

I wish you best of luck securing one of these special timepieces.

Best,

Jonny Garrett

Founder & CEO, William Wood Watches

DUNKIRK EVACUATION

operation dynamo

In May of 1940, Britain and its allies faced annihilation. Barely a year after entering the war, some 338,000 British, French, Belgian troops, including the entirety of the British Expeditionary Forces, had been pushed back to the English Channel at Dunkirk. They stood on the precipice of defeat that would hand the vicious Nazi war machine total control of Europe.

The Royal Navy sprung into action, seeking retreat and salvation. On May 27th, Operation Dynamo commenced, calling up a handful of Naval vessels and the 850 “Little Ships” of Ramsgate Harbor, the little resort town some 47 miles across the rough Channel from Dunkirk.

LITTLE SHIPS EXTRACTION

massey shaw fire boat

One such rescue ship was already on hand:

The Massey Shaw.

This London Fire Brigade Fireboat was commissioned by the London County Council and launched in 1935. It had sailed to Dunkirk in the days before as a fire support vessel. In addition Massey sailed to Dunkirk to put out the fires in the Oil Refineries outside the town. Now it was one of the first of non-military ships to embark on “The Dunkirk Miracle.”

As Operation Dynamo commenced, the Little Boats braved enemy artillery and aircraft fire to reach British soldiers who waded into the surf, chest-deep, where a flat-draft boat like the Massey Shaw could pick them up. Once aboard, the soldiers laid in the ship’s hose room, regaining their strength and taking cover from artillery. The crew of the Massey Shaw served mugs of tea. Over the next several days, the Massey-Shaw and its crew continuously worked to save some 600 soldiers, crossing the channel three times and pushing its two main engines to the limit.

Operation Dynamo and the Little Ships rescue were smashing successes, rescuing some 331,000 soldiers from the jaws of defeat. Their Dunkirk Spirit rescued the British Army and was a turning point that eventually led to Allied Victory over the Nazi war machine.

WHEELHOUSE SPEEDOMETER

telegraph dial

The one-of-a-kind dial in bronze, black, and red was inspired by the unique twin telegraphs of the Massey Shaw, which are used to operate both the fire pumps and the main engines of the ship.

Boat Engine Room Red Pipes

engine room inspired case

The red-painted “pipes” making up its 41mm case honor the powerhouse engine and pumping system of the Massey Shaw—which, though pushed to the limit, kept the boat running throughout the evacuation.

MASSEY SHAW'S ROLE IN HISTORY

saved st paul's cathedral & formed the nhs

The role The Massey Shaw Fire Boat played in history is significant. Not only did it saved over 600 lives off the beaches of Dunkirk, but it also saved St Paul's Cathedral, an iconic building on London's Skyline during the Blitz, plus it was the secret meeting locations for the National Health Service (NHS) to be formed.

In late December of 1940, during raids that sparked The Second Great Fire of London, German bombers dropped a hail of incendiary bombs on St. Paul’s. Brave firefighters fought day and night to douse them. All the while the Massey Shaw allowed them to fight by pumping water from the Thames nonstop. It’s said that 28 bombs hit St. Paul’s that night. It did not burn.

The Massey Shaw’s crew space, with comfortable bench seating and tables, was meant to protect firefighters from harsh conditions. In 1947, though, it served another purpose — a secret meeting place that helped found the NHS.

Several members of parliament, in discussion to create the NHS, approached Herbert Morrison of the Fire Brigade about a low-key meeting place. He recommended the Massey Shaw. Around these very tables the foundations of the final bill to create the NHS was formed. The bill was passed the following year.

WWII HISTORY ON YOUR WRIST

1940's engine part inside watch

The silhouette of the Massey Shaw on the Operation Dynamo scene caseback is in fact made from an original piece of the Massey Shaw’s engine, which has been melted down and carefully poured into the case.

BECOME PART OF HISTORY

your name part of history

Several plaques already adorn the crew space of the Massey Shaw, including one marking the names of all the crew participating in the Dunkirk evacuation in 1940, plus plaques presented to the boat and its crew from past commemorative journeys back to Dunkirk with the Little Boats in 1965, 1985, 1990, 2000, and 2015.

A new plaque will be added in 2025 to commemorate the 85th Anniversary of the Dunkirk Evacuation and Little Boats — along with the name of every individual who purchases a Dunkirk Watch to support the continued care and maintenance of the Massey Shaw. In this way, William Wood watch owners can become a part of the Massey Shaw’s storied history.

BOAT RESTORATION COSTS

donated £10,000 to the massey shaw

We have made a £10,000 GBP donation towards the necessary repairs and retrofit of the Massey Shaw’s engines. Not only will your name be engraved on a plaque permanently installed on the boat—you’ll be powering the ship’s return, along with the other “Little Boats” that still remain today, for their historic re-crossing celebrating Dunkirk’s 80th anniversary in 2025.

We love the Massey Shaw and Britain’s incredible history of firefighting. And the William Wood Dunkirk watch is about more than just luxury timekeeping. It’s proof that we shall never forget those who sacrificed, who gave their lives or who risked them, from the beaches of Dunkirk to the banks of the Thames and beyond. If you enjoy our watches, we hope you’ll join with us in this celebration. You’ll be strapping a special piece of British Firefighting history on your wrist if you do.

The Miracle Of Dunkirk

winston churchill

Winston Churchill wanted to rescue 30,000 troops from the beaches of Dunkirk. In the end 338,000 were saved thanks to the brave actions of British and allied troops by sea, air and land.

"When the whole world seems to be against you, never give up. There is always a glimmer of hope." - Winston Churchill.

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