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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
It's time to discuss the CASE that we're going to use for the Special Edition Project. The project THEME voted highest by the majority of participants was the Artillery watch, so our case should best reflect the spirit of that theme.

Please feel free to discuss the use of the following Laco cases and which one you feel would be best suited to the Artillery theme.

Option 1: Laco 35 mm 1969 case (only available as is - no modifications to case available - can only be used with the Durowe movement)

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Option 2: Laco 42 mm B-Uhr case (with or without FL engraving - different finishes available - suitable for either auto or handwinding)

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Option 3: Laco 45 mm B-Uhr case (with or without FL engraving - different finishes available - can only be used with handwinding movements)

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Option 4: Laco 42 mm Navy case (different finishes available)

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Option 5: Laco 46 mm Squad Black case (only available as is - no modifications to case available)

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
how big is the Laco 1969? Cheers
A very good question and clearly something I overlooked. I believe it's 35 mm; I'll update my original post with the info.

I think for the artillery design, the 45mm b-uhr case will be the goer. Need as big a case as possible, I think, but I don't think the squad case suits the face design.
I fully agree. The only problem is that the 45 mm case has the FL engraving and the original Artillery watch, not being a Luftwaffe issued timepiece, wouldn't have had such a marking.
 

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Agree with the case.
Please keep in mind that the 42mm has a very large dial. I do not know how many of you have a Laco to see what I mean. 45mm is on the large side formost of us. (OK, you are an exeption, Uwe, but you are a Canadian Grizzly of a man...)


How about a brushed finish on the case? That would distinquish it from the other B-uhrs!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
The 1969 case, which I think would be useful for a civilian or plain military-style model, is only available in the finish shown. By the time Laco receives their B-Uhr cases the engraving has already been completed, which is why there's a caveat about the FL marking. However, Laco did say they would look into the possibility of a different finishing of the project watch; I would assume that if that's a possibility then maybe we could get a case without the FL engraving. I will certainly ask. I agree a case in a different finish would make it stand out from the rest of the collection.

As for the size, I'd like to see as big a dial as possible because there's a lot of information on it, not to mention it would nice to see a crisply divided sub-second indicies. The version I have from Aeromatic uses a small case (either 40 or 42 mm). I think Aristo has made two versions, a 37 mm and a 44 mm. Of interest, Aristo is also a Pforzheim-based company like Laco. A larger case size would really make this version stand out from anything previously attempted.

Although we'll have a thread dedicated to engraving, I noticed that the back of one of the Aristo models had an FL engraving, which seems weird to me. I'm going to have to look into that further as my FL chart is on another computer.
 

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Edited, I was totally wrong
 

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Oh, I missed that. My old post is edited now
So, one problem less (omitting the engraving) which is good.

On the pic, what kind of surface does it seem to have? Looks brushed on my screen.

City-dweller, any possibility to loosly and quickly translate the text? Do not worry about spelling and grammar.
 

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On the pic, what kind of surface does it seem to have? Looks brushed on my screen.
here is what I found in Knirim:
the watch shown in the picture apparently belongs to the first production (prototype?) series,
which featured silver (bead-blasted?) cases.

the case is quite worn, and therefore looks rather smooth on the photo.
a closer look shows a grainy surface structure -- therefore I would assume
it was originally bead-blasted.

in the later series (starting March 1941, 10 watches per month),
cases were made of nickel-plated brass.
 

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City-dweller, any possibility to loosly and quickly translate the text?
Janne, the document shown in the image
is a letter from A. Lange & Sönne,
which is a part of their correspondence regarding
the design of this watch.

Here is a quick translation:

===============================================
August 26, 1940

To:
Office of Armaments and Devices of the Troops SS
Berlin-Wilmersdorf

Re:
Your previous letter of 19.8.40
Az. Artl. Az. 422/B 9/40 Sch/St.
Observer's watch for the measurement battery with
a balance stopping device

Concerning the development of a dial, which can be photographically captured using
artificial lighting in day and night conditions, we notice that your design "a" appears
to be the best legible one. We believe the version with a matte black dial to be most
appropriate. Making the dial surface matte would prevent reflexes in the photographic
reproduction of the dial. The minute and hour digits can be made using a luminous
material. On the other hand, it is practically impossible to make either the 1/5-second,
or second, or 5-second ticks luminescent; the latter two, at least not as far as
they extend into the 1/5-second scale, because of lack of space to make an exact
1/5-second scale. The luminous material requires too much space for that.

Because of this, the 5 -, 1 - and 1/5-second ticks will be made simply white in color
(non-luminescent). The large second hand will be luminous by about 80 to 90 percent,
and the tip of the second hand will be white; by this means it will be very well
legible against the black background.

The crystal will be most likely made from plexi-plan-glass, otherwise from a strong
normal glass plate, which is completely flat.

On Wednesday, 28 August Mr. Otto Lange will be in Berlin. If it is possible, he will use
this opportunity to either visit you or talk to you on the telephone. Mr. Otto Lange will
stop at Hotel Excelsior. Perhaps the dial issue can be best resolved in a personal discussion.
Otherwise, we look forward to your written opinion, whether you agree with a non-luminescent
scale, or would prefer the inward-protruding parts of 1 - and 5-second ticks to be luminescent.

Using this opportunity, we acknowledge the receipt of the pilot watch mockup you
returned to us. It also needs to be clarified whether the size of the original pilot watch
mockup is sufficient for you, or whether the case must be reworked according to the size
indicated in your drawing.
===============================================

I looked more carefully at the photograph in the book, and indeed the inward-protruding parts
of 1- and 5-second ticks are clearly yellowish, which means they were covered with a luminous
material, whereas all the ticks in the 1/5-second part of the scale are completely white.
 

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Your translation is superb, and I venture to say the Dial design will be much easier now.

So, basically, the main issue was that the movement was hacking, and the dial was highly visible in all aspects, incl. photography.

What I want to say, on this Case sub Forum, that we can be creative.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
On the pic, what kind of surface does it seem to have? Looks brushed on my screen.
Knirim's book shows three examples of the Artillery dial. I'm still confounded by the FL marking, however, it appears that these watches were ordered to be built to the specifications laid out by the Luftwaffe for navigation instruments (Beobachtungsuhren), which would explain the FL marking. Knirim speculates that they were used as part of the V-Rocket program at Peenemünde, which is why Werner von Braun's name is often associated with this dial (the SS were in charge of the operation of the rocket program).

Of the three examples shown, one has a silver case and the other two nickel-coated brass. An attached invoice from A. Lange & Söhne for a 1943 production run of 22 watches details their construction:

"SS-Beobachtungsuhren, Werk Kal. 48 mm, Gehäuse als Fliegerarmbanduhr gearbeitet, aus Messing hergestellt und grau mattiert, mit Lederriemen, genäht und doppelt genietet, Uhr mit heraussiebarer Krone un Anhaltsvorrichtung, Werk durch Lederring in der Gehäuseführung gasdicht abgeschlossen, mit Spezialzifferblatt vie von der WaffenßSS vorgeschrieben, anstelle der Zahlen III und IV verlängerte Teilungsgestriche 15 und 45, mit Leuchtziffern und zeigern, Sekunde springend, Sekunderzeiger am rückwärtigen Ende mit leuchtenem Strich versehen."

Translated:

"SS Observation watches, movement caliber 48 mm, case built as an aviator's wrist watch, made of brass with a matte grey finish, with leather strap - stitched and double riveted, watch with pullable crown and hacking device, movement gas sealed by a leather ring in the housing, special dial as specified by the Waffen SS, instead of the numbers III and IV and extended partition using 15 and 45, with luminous numerals and hands, second jump?, second hand with luminous bar at its back."

What I do like is that we will have a choice of at least three different hand configurations and two dial variations when it comes down to that part of the project. The prototype sketch shows a set of oversized hands and the photographs of the actual watches show that at least three different types of hands were used with this dial.
 

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I can not wait for the dial work!
 

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Which BPH has the offered movement?
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Back to cases

I just heard from Laco that the 45 mm can be ordered without engraving if so desired and that other finishes would also be possible. I'd assume that the same would hold true for the 42 mm case. I've updated the first post in this thread to reflect this new information.

Depending on which case we select, should we look at using a different finish? The original 65 mm cases were described as being matte gray; although I love the look of the Laco B-Uhr case, I think it would be intriguing to use a different finish to make this watch stand out from the rest of Laco's collection.

Looking over the images of the 65 mm cases, they look to be quite smooth. A gray PVD would be interesting, but personally I wouldn't want to go down that road. Perhaps a different kind of bead blast that would leave a smoother finish and still give it a gray appearance? A titanium case would certainly give it an interesting look, but unfortunately that would be a cost prohibitive option - even if it were available, which it isn't.
 

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I feel the Artillery theme best fits inside one of the B-Uhr cases; I like the idea of working in the scale of the 45, but [personally] feel the 42 would be somewhat more practically wearable. I like seeing the FL engraving against the smooth, silvery finish of that first-run/prototype watch (understanding that the effect is likely the fruit of age). Is a Crown discussion pending?

city-dweller: that excellent translation will guide the dial work tremendously, thank you.

Uwe: any chance of seeing the the three Artillery dial versions together (or perhaps that's best left for the Dial-thread...)?
 
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