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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
This is as good a time as any to begin discussing the back of the project watch. Should it be a display or solid back? Should there be engraving, and if so, what should the engraving be?

At the same time we should plan which finish the watch and case back should have. The same as the standard finish on the Laco B-Uhr or something different?

Please feel free to post your ideas on these elements. It would also be great if anyone with drawing or design abilities could give us a hand with preliminary sketches; we had a couple of talented individuals at the start of this project submit some custom dial designs, but I'm not sure if they're still with us.
 

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Sold case back is a no-brainer.

Non-decorated ETA movement gives us no reason to want to look at the internals.

As for finish, I've never seen a Laco in the flesh, so I'm not exactly sure how the finish looks, but from photos it seems it's a matte finish. Is this correct?

If so, I think the standard finish is appropriate.

As for case back engraving, I like the style of the standard engraving, but on the other hand....



So, I think we should combine the two like this:
  • Fl. 23883 engraved on the side of the case
  • On the back we should have, in standard Laco style:
    Beobachtungsuhr
    Bauart: [See note 1]
    Gerat-Nr. [See note 2]
    Werk-Bez. [ETA]
    Anforderz. [Fl. 238883]
    Hersteller: LACO

Note 1:
Not sure what to put for type. Maybe WUS-LE or something similar? I don't really have any creative ideas.

Note 2:
For device number, we could either go for X/50, or (I like this second idea better), use some other kind of model number and after the standard engraving have, in an italicised 'handwriting like' script, Nr. X of 50 (as can be seen in the W-SS watch photos, but with 'of 50' appended). Was there a model number or anything attached to the original watch?
 

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I think these suggestions are on the whole spot on.
I have just one question: What does the Fl. 238883 on the side of the case mean? Does it refer to something that would make sense for this LE watch?
And I have one comment:I think putting WUS-LE or something similar is absolutely a great idea.

Sold case back is a no-brainer.

Non-decorated ETA movement gives us no reason to want to look at the internals.

As for finish, I've never seen a Laco in the flesh, so I'm not exactly sure how the finish looks, but from photos it seems it's a matte finish. Is this correct?

If so, I think the standard finish is appropriate.

As for case back engraving, I like the style of the standard engraving, but on the other hand....



So, I think we should combine the two like this:
  • Fl. 23883 engraved on the side of the case
  • On the back we should have, in standard Laco style:
    Beobachtungsuhr
    Bauart: [See note 1]
    Gerat-Nr. [See note 2]
    Werk-Bez. [ETA]
    Anforderz. [Fl. 238883]
    Hersteller: LACO

Note 1:
Not sure what to put for type. Maybe WUS-LE or something similar? I don't really have any creative ideas.

Note 2:
For device number, we could either go for X/50, or (I like this second idea better), use some other kind of model number and after the standard engraving have, in an italicised 'handwriting like' script, Nr. X of 50 (as can be seen in the W-SS watch photos, but with 'of 50' appended). Was there a model number or anything attached to the original watch?
 

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I find it strange that those observarion pieces had the same FL number as the 55mm B-uhren.
In the requirements the watch should be 55mm and have a certain dial design ( 2 different designs)
This observation watch was 65mm, a different dial.

In the litterature, are there pictures of more than one piece, and is the FL numbers visibl on more thanone?
 

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The case seems to be brushed on that photo?

BTW: Solid caseback. We need pace for the engraving

I do not think we should have he same text in the square box as the 55mm B-uhren, not unless there is photographic proof those pieces had it. I do not see them having it, as only a very small handful were made. No serial production as such!

Is there not a reference these watches were used during the development of the Pennemunde programme?
 

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This is a document of the B-uhren, Wempe manufacture/assembly:


A thought: The photo of the "W-SS" watch, do we know if it is a 65mm, or a rebuild (new dial) 55mm?
The best way (only way, in fact) to check that, is to take a movement photo of the 4 different B-uhrs (not Laco, it is not the D5 movement) and compare the movements, and the size proportion movement - case.
 

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Reading thru Dr. Knirim's book:

  • In the opening part of the Waffen SS section, it was mentioned that -- though the watches were for SS use, they were designed for Luftwaffe operations. This maybe the reason for retaining the "Fl." designation (just my guess)
  • The photo posted by Luke above, was captioned as "...65mm silver case...". Also, initial watches were silver-cased, but there were also 22 items that were of nickeled brass case
  • The above is the only photo in the book that shows Fl. 23883 the engraving.
  • The next page however has another photo showing the back of another sample -- same inscription, this one though has "Nr. 3". The caption for this mentions "...markings of the case inside and on the edge are those of the Luftwaffe: device no. 127-560A and spec Fl. 23883...". So apparently there's more than one that has the Fl. marking.
  • One last case back photo simply shows "215653", and was captioned as a watch sent to the SS Artillery School (Glau).
BTW, I would go for the solid case back.

Cheers

EDIT: "Nr. 3"
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I have just one question: What does the Fl. 238883 on the side of the case mean?
The FL engraving is an official ordinance number. Aircraft instruments and clocks, for example, had to be built to certain specifications (see the spec sheet that Janne posted) and were then engraved with their specific part (or ordinance) number. All of the other period instruments in my collection have their own FL numbers on them somewhere. In the case of the B-Uhr it was engraved on the side of the case.
 

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Thank you for that excellent summary. In that case, is this ordinance number appropriate for the watch we are honoring?

The FL engraving is an official ordinance number. Aircraft instruments and clocks, for example, had to be built to certain specifications (see the spec sheet that Janne posted) and were then engraved with their specific part (or ordinance) number. All of the other period instruments in my collection have their own FL numbers on them somewhere. In the case of the B-Uhr it was engraved on the side of the case.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I'm also in favour of a solid case back, mostly because it would give us a place to really stamp the exclusivity of this watch.

The typical B-Uhr engraving list that Lukeaar quoted actually appeared on the inside of the case back of originals. We've all become accustomed to it being on the outside where we can appreciate its historical reference. I think something similar would be a step in the right direction.

The silver-cased example was a special version. I personally don't think we should use it as a template for our design, especially since there are other examples available for reference.

The back of the standard issued watch artillery watch was engraved in the same way that the LW B-Uhrs were. They only had a number that matched the one engraved on the movement.

In my mind this means we have a blank canvas to work from and are free to do what we want.
 

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Reading thru Dr. Knirim's book:

  • In the opening part of the Waffen SS section, it was mentioned that -- though the watches were for SS use, they were designed for Luftwaffe operations. This maybe the reason for retaining the "Fl." designation (just my guess


  • If the text is true, and the watches were designed for Luftwaffe, then they were 55mm B-uhrs, with a different dial.

    It does not make sense to have the same FL number on different items. That is not how the Armed Forces work. It would take me to long time to expain, but all Armies have the same system, which is very accurate and foolproof, in these matters.
 

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Thank you for that excellent summary. In that case, is this ordinance number appropriate for the watch we are honoring?
According to Dr Knirim's book it is. It is shown engraved on the side of one example and is mentioned in the caption accompanying another.

With regards to this point:
  • The next page however has another photo showing the back of another sample -- same inscription, this one though has "Nr. 3". The caption for this mentions "...markings of the case inside and on the edge are those of the Luftwaffe: device no. 127-560A and spec Fl. 23883...". So apparently there's more than one that has the Fl. marking.

I guess this means we should use 127-560A for the part number, making the engraving on the caseback:

Beobachtungsuhr
Bauart: [WUS-LE]
Gerat-Nr. [127-560A]
Werk-Bez. [ETA]
Anforderz. [Fl. 238883]
Hersteller: LACO
Nr. X von 50
 

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The Gerat Nr reflects the movement number. Or am I wrong?
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
In that case, is this ordinance number appropriate for the watch we are honoring?
I find it strange that those observarion pieces had the same FL number as the 55mm B-uhren. In the requirements the watch should be 55mm and have a certain dial design ( 2 different designs) This observation watch was 65mm, a different dial.
That's a good question, but I believe the answer is yes for the simple reason that there were originals that had the FL23883 engraving.

Janne, there seems to have been a number of permitted variances in the FL 23883 specifications. It's true that there were two main dial baumusters, but there were also variations in those dials - different fonts, indicies, etc... - other elements of the watches such as their crowns also varied from manufacturer to manufacturer. I can't find proof at the moment, but I seem to recall having seen earlier, smaller B-Uhrs that also used the same FL designation. We would probably need to know more about how the FL numbers were issued in general, but when I look at the ordinance lists they seem to concern themselves more with the purpose of the instrument as opposed to its exact design. Therefore, the 65 mm observation watch could easily fall into the FL23883 designation because of its intended use.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
The Gerat Nr reflects the movement number. Or am I wrong?
No, the "Werk-Nr." reflects the movement number.

"Gerät-Nr." is instrument number, which typically was either 127-560A1 or 127-560B. I used to think that the A and B might refer to the dial type, but then I came across Typ-B dials that were stamped with the 560A1.
 

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Yes, I was wrong!


I know this is OT, but the 560A1, could they have been upgraded A-dials? Originaly A- dials, retrofitted with the B-dial?

If yo have a pic,the casenumber (and to some extent the movement number) would date it.

Nerd as I am, I find this piece of history very interesting!
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
the 560A1, could they have been upgraded A-dials? Originaly A- dials, retrofitted with the B-dial? Nerd as I am, I find this piece of history very interesting!
That's an interesting possibility. I'll have to look into that a little further. I could use the movement numbers to test your theory, assuming of course that they would have been produced in chronological order. The only immediate weakness I see in this is that the early A-Muster watches already were stamped with 560A. Would they have already known then that there would be a B-Muster to follow and that there would be the need to stamp the additional A after the 560?
 

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Good thinking.
As far as I understand, the A dial was difficult to read in darkness and during the adverse conditions, so they devised the B-dial.
 

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This is a great direction we are going in.
 

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That was just an OT discussion.

I think the caseback depends on which dial/watch we will have as an example.
 
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