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I too would prefer a 42mm, but considering the extra numerals, it would look crap, too cramped and difficult to read.

B-uhr case - only one to consider.

I think the silvery finish is because it is a prototype and the Dial is the important part of that one.

Even if it is not as the WW2 requirement, I personally would like a gently brushed finish.
 

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Discussion Starter · #22 · (Edited)
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).
The silver case was not a prototype but a special model produced in 1942.

Is a Crown discussion pending?
I suppose it could be, but considering we're trying to make this a more affordable project, I don't think adding something like a new crown will help matters.

any chance of seeing the the three Artillery dial versions together (or perhaps that's best left for the Dial-thread...)?
I'm posting the images of all three for the purpose of discussing the CASE. Please, let's not go off on a tangent by taking on the dial or hands and this point. There will be threads for that once we've voted on the case.
 

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Thanks, Uwe, for the case/finish clarification and the additional photos; I will happily save dial work/conversations for a future thread. Re: Crown - just being curious, I'm certainly a member of the "let's save costs where we can" camp.
 

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All 3 watches have glossy cases.
In the specks, it is stated that the case should be matte'd Brass.
(in the case on the Laco B-uhr, the Brass cases were Matte Nickel plated)

There is another pic, of an Officer using the W-SS watch, and that case looks matt and dark.

Those pics, the prototype cases can not be made of polished brass. Wrong colour

Maybe gloss plated brass?

My point is, we can choose a polished B-uhr case.
 

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Discussion Starter · #25 ·
All 3 watches have glossy cases. In the specks, it is stated that the case should be matte'd Brass. (in the case on the Laco B-uhr, the Brass cases were Matte Nickel plated).

Those pics, the prototype cases can not be made of polished brass. Wrong colour
Maybe I should have uploaded higher resolution photos, but only the silver case is "glossy". The other two are clearly a matte gray, however, they do have a polished appearance in high wear areas such as the case back. In fact, in one of those you can clearly see the brass beginning to show through the worn nickel. Did you read my translation of the description of a production model in this post? I'm not sure how much of the case, if any, appeared in the photos the original watches were used for, but I'm sure you wouldn't want a highly reflective, shiny case in front of a camera lens.

And the watches in the photos are NOT prototypes. I'm not sure why everyone keeps saying that they are. The initial design for the Beobachtungsuhr für Messbatterie (Observation watch for test battery) was being worked on toward the end of 1940. The silver cased model was a delivered in May 1942. The model with the stubby hour hand has the second generation dial, so it was most likely made after the silver cased model. The third watch was delivered in October 1943.

Although not identical, the lugs on the original cases are very similar to those on Laco's B-Uhr, which is a very good starting point. Here's a better shot of the lugs on an original. Please note that not all of the cases had the FL engraving!


Photo: uhren-muser.de
 

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I did read your post (between patients).
It is supposed to be a matte Grey finish. (matte Nickel on Brass ?)
That finish is relatively soft, but would not wear everywhere to a glossy silvery finish, like on the production examples you show us. Caseback, sides, bezel yes.
But there should be plenty of matte areas left.

Frankly speaking, I can not see the matte finish you can see.

This one looks brushed:



Just to compare, a matte grey finish:


I think those watches have been polished.
Or, they were manufactured Glossy.

A normal B-uhr was used for much longer periods, and should exhibit much more wear, and the only glossy ones are the ones that have been polished. Of the 20+ examples I have seen over the years for sale on various auction houses (incl Ebay) the vast majority are still matte, even if they are heavily worn.
At the moment, there is a well worn Laco B-uhr on the German Ebay. Looks like ...., but the surface is still matte!

There is a possibilty that they used a different plating metal, but that sound strange.

Still, I do not think this issue does matter much. We can do what we like, right??

We have the following options:
Sandblasted (matte grey, standard Laco finish)
Polished
Brushed

Personally, I think more and more the polished surface looks cool...

The Laco drop lugs do look fine.
 

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Discussion Starter · #27 ·
Personally I'd like to match our watch as closely to the build description of the original as possible. Having said that, arranging for a different finish would only add to the project's cost.

It may be hard to tell on your computer monitor, but when I look at the images in Knirim's book the finish looks like matte gray to me, especially in the lug area. I disagree with your assessment that these M-B B-Uhren would have been handled less than a Luftwaffe B-Uhr. Some would have been around for as a long as many of Luftwaffe B-Uhren - and since there were fewer of the M-Bs in circulation - they might have seen more use. Then there's the question of how much they've been handled in the past 65 years. Take a look at that case in my previous post - there's brass showing almost everywhere. Think about how much handling that particular watch has received over the years for so much of its finish to have been worn away. No wonder it appears polished!

I would be opposed to a polished version. The silver cases were exceptions to the rule and only manufactured that way because of who they were presented to. Just like the Luftwaffe B-Uhr, the M-B B-Uhr was a tool watch and should look the part. To bling it out with some pimp-daddy chrome and silver sparkle is just wrong...:-d
 

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Interesting discussion on the case. While I also prefer 42 mm case over 45 mm case in general, in this particular situation, I do think we should use 45 mm unless we have to cut corner on everything to reduce the final cost of the project.
 

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Uwe, I respect your ideas and views, as your thinking seems logical.

So let's go Laco sandblasted 45mm (if the general democratic consensus agree!)

Redwatch, we must not cut corners too much in the visual part. Happiness lies in perfection.

FL inscription:
I wonder why the FL inscription have the same numbers for the W-SS watch, as the B-uhr FL specs were quite different from the W-SS watch.
In the FL specs, the case size was specified to 55mm, the diald has 2 varieties only.
Same precision time keeping, but different target group, airforce navigators contra artillery/rocket research and photography.

Or am I tinking wrongly?
 

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45mm seems to be most logical, given the details on the dial. It would have been good if the Laco 1969 was that size as it looks closer to the original. On the finish -- given a choice I would go for a brushed finish, neither dull nor shiny. A polished one doesn't seem to fit the overall visual effect. Just for reference, here's one of the Russian-made ones off eBay:

 

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That one must be the one Omega made specially for Comrade Stalin...
 

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Discussion Starter · #32 ·
Just for reference, here's one of the Russian-made ones off eBay
You mean a reference for what not to do? It looks horrid. They really can churn out the junk in Russia and the Ukraine; if nothing else they know how to keep the dial manufacturers busy with their fraudulent creations. I say fraudulent because they typically try to pawn this stuff off as being original.
 

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Do you not trust our Ukrainian friends, brother Uwe?

I am pretty sure is is a real faux W-GRU/FSB watch!!

I think volkswagen want us to see the brushed finish on the case.

(I hope you did not buy that Mickey Mouskij watch thinking it was real!!!)
 

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You mean a reference for what not to do? It looks horrid. They really can churn out the junk in Russia and the Ukraine; if nothing else they know how to keep the dial manufacturers busy with their fraudulent creations. I say fraudulent because they typically try to pawn this stuff off as being original.
Yes, a reference on what not to do by having a polished case -- too shiny in my opinion. Sorry for not being clear on that. They do try to pass it on as vintage, authentic -- but having a >$100 tag, one would easily have ??? on their minds. Cheers
 

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I see now it is polished, and not bushed. Sorry!
Ok, if you only paid $100.
Molnija movement?
 

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Discussion Starter · #36 ·
Do you not trust our Ukrainian friends, brother Uwe?
What can I say? Maybe I just feel bad for all those people that get ripped-off by them on eBay.

It seems like a lot of us are liking the 45 mm B-Uhr case. I'm surprised there haven't been more arguments for the 42 mm from small watch fans. However, I think the majority of watch wearers can pull of a 45 mm. Personally, I'd love to use the 55 mm B-Uhr case, but that would maybe limit the interest... hmmmm..... maybe only 50 people would be interested then! ;-)
 

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I joked, Uwe!
Those dicks should be banned from selling on Ebay, as they are misrepresenting the goods,
At 45mm, this will be my largest daily wearer.
My Sinn U2 is 44mm, the Pam 44mm.
 

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Discussion Starter · #38 ·
More Case Information

Laco has just contacted me regarding a few points about the cases that should be brought to everyone's attention (I'll also update the first post in this thread with the info):
  • The 1969 case can only be used with the Durowe movement
  • The 45 mm case can only be used with a handwinding movement (it's too thin to house an automatic)
  • The 42 mm case can be used with both automatic and handwinding
We will probably conduct the voting on the CASE next week (May 16). Hopefully we will know by then if it will be possible to use a different movement. Laco have requested that we give them a healthy lead time for which case we would like to use to make sure there aren't long delays in waiting for them later during production.
 

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Re: More Case Information

Laco did not mention if we could opt out from the laser engraving on the case?
(This would save some money for Laco and us)
 

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Re: More Case Information

  • The 1969 case can only be used with the Durowe movement
  • The 45 mm case can only be used with a handwinding movement (it's too thin to house an automatic)
  • The 42 mm case can be used with both automatic and handwinding.
In choosing between the 1969/42mm/45mm/other cases, are we also inherently selecting a see-through vs. solid caseback? Once the unit Case has been decided, will there be a subsequent conversation/vote on finishing details (i.e., FL engraving, Matte/Brush/Polish, etc.)? Thanks!
 
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