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Luftwaffe "Beobachtungsuhr" (Observer's watch) by A. Lange et Son

Article about: The German term "Beobachtungsuhr" strictly translated, is "Observer's watch“ or "Observation watch“ These are huge watches... here it is compared to my Rolex Submariner:

  1. #1

    Default Luftwaffe "Beobachtungsuhr" (Observer's watch) by A. Lange et Son

    The German term "Beobachtungsuhr" strictly translated, is "Observer's watch“ or "Observation watch“




    These are huge watches... here it is compared to my Rolex Submariner:




    Made for the German Luftwaffe by only 5 manufacturers:

    A. Lange & Söhne

    Laco (Lacher & Co)

    Stowa (Walter Storz)

    Wempe (Chronometerwerke Hamburg)

    IWC

    *************************************************

    The movment calibres are as follows:

    * Lange & Söhne: cal. 48/1
    (due to limited capacities watches have been assembled by Huber/Munich, Felsing/Berlin, Schieron/Stuttgart, Schätzle & Tschudin/Pforzheim, Wempe/Hamburg).
    * Laco: Durowe cal. D 5
    * Stowa: Unitas cal. 2812
    * Wempe: Thommen cal. 31
    * IWC: cal. 52 SC (SC= „seconde central“)

    *************************************************


    The specifications for these watches was defined by the „Reichsluftfahrtministerium“ (RLM) – Imperial Air Ministry which resulted in the following specifications being used for all B-uhren watches:

    A case diameter of 55 mm

    Marked on the back with FL 23883 (FL = flight, 23 = navigation)

    Oversized crowns in order to be used with gloves and extra long, riveted (on) wrist straps expressly made to wear over sheerling flight jackets.

    Breguet balance spring

    Special springloaded movement "hack" feature (temporarily arresting the movement's gear train/ mainspring) to facilitate crew/flight synchronization between aircraft participating in any given mission.

    Regulated and tested as chronometers

    Long leather strap (to be worn on the sleeve of a flight jacket).

    ************************************************

    There were a few small differences from one manufacturer to the other noteably there are two different dials: the "type B ( like my watch ) has a 60 minute chapter ring with a 12 hour subchapter ring and the type A has only the single 60 minute chapter ring. The type A is the harder one to find.

    These watch were a Luftwaffe property, issued to observers before a flight and returned upon landing.
    It has been said that as few as 1200 Beobachtungsuhr were manufactured and who knows how many survive today. Actually a pretty cool piece of Luftwaffe equiptment.

    This is the only one I've ever owned.

    A little slideshow:

    B-uhrn
    Last edited by rynegold; 05-12-2012 at 12:31 AM.

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  3. #2

    Default Re: Luftwaffe "Beobachtungsuhr" (Observer's watch) by A. Lange et Son

    Nice post as very few of us have ever seen these pieces.I can imagine they fetch a good dollar as you don't see them around.Many were lost in the war when the Luftwaffe pilots were shot down.

  4. #3

    Default Re: Luftwaffe "Beobachtungsuhr" (Observer's watch) by A. Lange et Son

    Very nice watch ! Compared to the US A-11, it is a monster !
    The WWII US models could be described today as
    'boys' or 'youth' size watches.........

    ....Although nothing beats the classic, timeless look
    of a Rolex Submariner.........!
    Regards,


    Steve.

  5. #4

    Default Re: Luftwaffe "Beobachtungsuhr" (Observer's watch) by A. Lange et Son

    Steve, next to a B-uhr... my Rolex looks like it needs training wheels!

  6. #5
    CBH
    CBH is offline
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    Default Re: Luftwaffe "Beobachtungsuhr" (Observer's watch) by A. Lange et Son

    That is simply Beautiful ! And it puts your Rolex to shame . Big watches are in , so it would look great out clubbing .

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