Rare and Early Luftwaffe Pilot's Watch by Hanhart
This is an Early Model crafted by Hanhart. Watch movements cased in 40.5 mm diameter steel housing, marked BODEN EDELSTAHL WASSERGESCHUTZT STOSSFEST (Ground Shock Resistant Stainless) and numbered "110653" on reverse. One chronograph button that allows for one timer action, controlling the start, stop and reset positioning. Untouched black dial face with large luminous Arabic numerals, plus minute and second indicators, face with two chronograph insets. Hour, minute and second hands coated with radium, fully functional, screwback, steel case refinished but dial completely original, on correct replacement strap, movement untouched, extremely fine. A rare example. Footnote: As well as the large navigation wristwatches worn by the navigators, wristwatch chronographs had also been worn by Luffwaffe pilots. The pilots' chronographs were produced by Uhrenfabrik AG Tutima of Glashutte, Saxony and by Hanhart of Schwenningen on the Neckar. These watches were similar in their outward appearance, though several case variants were produced. Time marking was carried out by a rotating bezel. The bezel with its red dot, or in earlier models, a marked arrow, was aligned with the minute hand, to record a given flying distance. It was also possible to obtain second precise time intervals of up to thirty minutes with the chronograph function. In the most part, these watches do not display any military markings. They were issued according to a pilot's mission requirements. When no longer required (e.g. when a pilot was injured), the watches were returned. The outward appearnace of all versions were similar because they had to meet certain set requirements. They had to be clear, even in poor visibility, and so had easily read black dial faces with radium coated luminous hands and Arabic numerals. The backs were screwed and in most cases, were lead sealed, in order to protect against exposure to dirt or moisture. This type of watch was not worn by every pilot. While on duty, many pilots chose to wear civilian watches, even if they did not have a chronograph function. The Hanhart company made the first aviator chronograph as early as 1939, and probably produced the most units. Tutima began producing chronographs in 1941. Hanhart produced variants with only one chronograph button, as per this example. This only allows for one timer action, controlling the start, stop and reset positioning.