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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi just bought this watch, impulse really. It was priced right at £80. Bought from a site that usually is full of converted pocket watches, or redials. But this looked authentic. Afterward did alot of digging and found out that it was a type of watch known as the '1928 german military pattern'. basically aviator watches for german pilots, without military marking due to conditions of the versailles treaty. They where made by a host of makers, omega, oris, heuer, natalis, helvetia, seems around 10-20 all told. I've seen them on online sites go from $400-£10,000....there's reference in both Knirim's and Wesolowski's books about them.

Thought i'd share the pic's not sure if i should get restored. Have even managed to find the exact watch, which looks like it has been restored on the Farfo site.






below images of restored Helvetia found on Farfo. Not sure which has the original crown, the this one or mine. Seems this type of watch sported both types.


anyone have any thoughts on these types of watches? Known by some as early 'Luftwaffe' watches.
 

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First of all: congratulations on a very typical watch, and an aviation classic! :-!

I have been trying to do some research on this type of early aviation watches for some time: I am fascinated by them because they are basically rugged, with a time-measuring mechanism (the rotatable bezel), yet "tools" in a very subdued sense (black dials, luminescent numerals and hands) but perfectly wearable without being "in your face".

Not sure about the crown on your watch, but the triangle-shaped pointer appears to be missing from the bezel.

Can you tell us something about the crystal type? On many of those watches, both the pointer and the crystal were affixed to the bezel and turned with it, rather than the present-day system of having the crystal extraneous to the bezel and part of the case.

I am not sure to what extent these watches were exclusively "1928 german military pattern" - there seem to have been so many makers of this type of watches that I am inclined to consider them a generic type of the late 1920s to late 1930s, for many countries, and for both civilian and military pilots. (Of course, this would mean that the watch was used by the German Reichswehr in their aviation enterprises, many of them conducted in and with the aid of the Soviet Union, as well)

I'd be interested to learn where you found the "1928 german military pattern" designation.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
Hi, can't give you any details yet, as the watch is in transit, hopefully to arrive at my doorstep within the next week or so (touch wood). I'm guessing that like my Czech Longines, it will rotate with the glass. As to the reference '1928 german military pattern'. I read this regarding a Natalis and several other watches, Helvetia being one. indeed it was repeated on several Forum sites. One site of note being http://germanwatch.proboards43.com/index.cgi

Where i found a whole host of images and comments. Here's some great pics i found of a range of these fascinating watches.

Oh sorry, just seen that you've seen these beauties in an earlier discussion (several years ago!!)....hope readers still get a buzz out of looking at these beauties all the same. will post info on the watch when i get it.
 

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Congrats on a very special find! As an aside and out of interest - any chance of a few pics of that Czech Longines you mention? I have a soft spot for those amongst this type of early pilot watch.
 

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A wonderful find! You asked about restoration, Foilguy? In my opinion, I would ONLY have the movement restored/serviced and the dial cleaned ONLY. To restore it would remove its charm and history.
 

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Hi , I just wanted to share a few additions to my collection. Great watches. Thanks Jerry

As you can see I purchased "Zero Hour" and found it to be very interesting and informative. My only disappointment is that this type of watch is not mentioned even when a Zenith Special is found on the book cover. I wondered why ?
 

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Wonderful watches ! :-!

My only disappointment is that this type of watch is not mentioned even when a Zenith Special is found on the book cover. I wondered why ?
This type of watch, while being produced by a great number of companies and apparently very popular, is much underrated.

I wish someone other than IWC would make a modern homage to these unobtrusive yet highly functional and dignified watches which were tool watches without being "in your face". b-)
 

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Here are some pictures of my Longines . I know there are a few things that need to be changed because they are not original. In due time. This was a trade in Paris a few years back.
 

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Here are some pictures of my Longines . I know there are a few things that need to be changed because they are not original. In due time. This was a trade in Paris a few years back.
Fantastic all the same and thanks! I love these watches - must get one when I have a decent enough excuse!
 

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Hi , I just wanted to share a few additions to my collection. Great watches. Thanks Jerry

As you can see I purchased "Zero Hour" and found it to be very interesting and informative. My only disappointment is that this type of watch is not mentioned even when a Zenith Special is found on the book cover. I wondered why ?
Sorry to disappoint - the biggest reason i didn't include the Zenith Special was the fact i was only interested in covering watches i was certain were military issued examples (no military "style" or civilian counterparts). I never came across images of an example i was sure had been issued and thus left them out of the book.

Kind Regards - Billy
 

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There is indeed a huge gap of knowledge concerning this style of aviation watches (black face, Arabic numerals, small seconds, neutral bi-directional bezel with marker, distinctive fixed bars). The uniformity, and the number of makers, seem to suggest some sort of standardization which could in turn point to the military as a commissioning authority, perhaps with a spill-off of the design to the civilian market.

In Germany, these watches are usually described as issued by the German military pre-WWII (there is a reference in Knirim about this), but I have seen little, if any, evidence to that effect. So by Billy's strict standards, they are indeed very difficult to consider "issued" (and I myself don't describe them as such), unless you are looking at the CAF Lemania, which is of the same type and was indeed issued.

I am very keen to see if soemeone unearths more about the origin of the uniform design of these distinctive 1930s aviation watches, and their possible connection with military aviation.
 

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Just an idea (stupid): Could a guy like Helmuth Sinn know something? I know he is one generation too young, but maybe he knows something?
 

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Hi,
Very nice watch. Did you know the the name "Montbrillant" was used by Breitling in its early years. Can you show pics of the back cover and movement?
 
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