A. Lange & Söhne. An oversized German military steel manual wind observation wristwatch accompanied by a pilots compass Circa 1942

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Lot 99R
A. Lange & Sohne. An oversized German military steel manual wind observation wristwatch accompanied by a pilots compass
Circa 1942

Sold for £ 4,000 (US$ 5,057) inc. premium
A. Lange & Sohne. An oversized German military steel manual wind observation wristwatch accompanied by a pilots compass
Date: Circa 1942
Movement: Matte gilt jewelled manual wind, bi-metallic compensation balance with gold compensation and balance screws, No.215397
Dial: Second pattern matte black, outer 60 second divisions and Arabic five second markers, inner 12 hour chapter, blued steel sword hands with luminous inserts, centre running white seconds
Case: Polished round case with snap on back engraved 215391, band engraved FL23883
Strap/Bracelet: Oversized grey NATO
Buckle/Clasp: Steel
Signed: Movement
Size: 55mm
Accompaniments: Compass numbered AK39, FL23235-1 with black leather strap, spare leather oversized strap

Footnotes

  • In the 1940's, the German Air Force or Luftwaffe, commissioned watches for their pilots from IWC, Laco, Stowa, Wempe, and A. Lange & Sohne.

    Produced to the Luftwaffe's specifications, the watches all have a mechanical movement with centre seconds, cases measuring 55mm to accommodate the large movements (which were typically used in pocket watches) and have an oversized crown. The watches would all be fitted on an extra-long leather strap so they could be worn over a flight jacket. The crown could be operated with gloves on pulling it out stops the central seconds. The movement would be surrounded by an iron core, making the watch anti-magnetic.

    These watches became known as the B-Uhr style, abbreviated for Beobachtungs-uhren, or "Observation" watch. The B-Uhr had two dial variations - Type A dials featured a standard outer minute track and large triangle at 12 o'clock, while the later Type B dials had an inner hour track and outer minute track as with the current example.

    The watch cases were engraved on the left side "FL23883" to identify the watch was for navigation. On the inside of the case back, it contained further identifying numbers and information: type (Bauart), production number (Gerät-Nr.), movement (Werk-Bez.), order number (Anforderz), and manufacturer (Hersteller).
Contacts
A. Lange & Söhne. An oversized German military steel manual wind observation wristwatch accompanied by a pilots compass Circa 1942
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R This lot is subject to import restrictions when shipped to the United States.