Kriegsmarine chronograph marine wristwatch by “Hanhart” 1940s

Single button chronograph wristwatch manufactured by the Societe Hanhart of Schwenningen-am-Nackar. Dial marked with the “Hanhart” logo along with the “KM” logo (Kriegsmarine contract abbreviation). Case in heavy nickle-silver plate over brass. Rotating ‘multi-tooth’ stamped bezel ring has red paint pointer. Matt black dial has constant seconds subsidiary dial along with elapsed 30 minutes dial. Dial outer edge also bearing seconds time scale along with inner telemeter indicator. Watch case has screw on back plate manufactured of high grade polished steel.
Outside of back plate bears machine impressed eagle and swastika with “M” (Marine designation) then the contract serial number for the Kriegsmarine and finally the wording “BODEN EDELSTAHL” (polished high grade steel), the inside of the backplate is free from any designation. Watch has a 15 Ligne chronograph movement, 17 jewels, mono-metallic screw balance, self compensating Breguet hairspring, silvered plates and bridges, copper wheels. The watch/movement number (113448) is stamped to the holding plate for the minute counter and centre chronograph wheel cock. The movement has a “shock-resist” system incorporated.

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Moon Phase Watch Complication

How many moons…
What is there left to say about the moon that hasn’t already been said a hundred times, or a thousand, since the dawn of time? The moon is nocturnal clock. The moon is a calendar. But the moon is also – and perhaps most importantly – the nearest celestial object to the Earth, which makes it the easiest to observe, and also the most mysterious. How many fantasies, stories, tales, legends, sagas, imaginary voyages, dreams, representations and poems has it inspired?

The watch community has added more than its share to the treasury. From its very beginnings, horology has sought ways to transcribe the rhythm, the cycles, the seasons and the waxing and waning of the moon. If the sun was our first clock, the moon was our second. It may tell us little about hours and minutes, but it anchors us to far deeper cycles. For how many moons did Ulysses travel the seas?

Leaving aside the mathematical achievements that gave watchmakers the ability to measure the lunar cycle, the moon also exerts a poetic influence over watchmaking. The moon is beautiful, mysterious and fascinating. Its surface can be represented in gold, stone, mother-of-pearl or lacquer, … Continue reading...

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Marine chronometer, with brass and mahogany case, by Jas McCabe

Marine chronometer, with brass and mahogany case, by Jas McCabe; London, England, mid-19th century; dia. 4” (10.7 cm.).

This typical marine chronometer is mounted in gymbals in a stout mahogany box with brass corners to protect it at sea.

The first maker named James McCabe died in 1811 and his business was carried on under the same name by his descendants till 1883, making it difficult to date any given piece.

The seconds dial is large and clear. Beside the figure XII is an indicator to show if the chronometer needs winding. It is imperative that a chronometer should not stop at sea. The key is kept in the top right hand corner of the case.

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8-day marine chronometer by Thomas Mercer

8-day marine chronometer by Thomas Mercer

A comparatively modern 8-day marine chronometer by Thomas Mercer Ltd, of St. Albans. This instrument is from their ‘Greenwich Chronometer’ series and is numbered 1208N. Made in c1980 the quality is reprensentative of the instruments made by the company who, since their foundation in 1858, have made over 31,000 marine chronometers.

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Japanese WW2 Military Timepieces

Japanese WW2 Military Timepieces

IT IS difficult for a European collector to deal with a topic such as this. First, there is a dearth of historical artefacts and collector’s pieces in Europe relating to this era. Second, the Japanese script, and the country’s cultural background, is so different to that of Europe.

Unfortunately, it is not possible to explain how the Japanese Army and Navy acquired and distributed the timepieces in question, as Japanese air power was just a component of the Army and Navy. It is also not possible to properly outline the origins of these watches in this article. For example, it is difficult to know just how much they were copied from Swiss models. From 1920s onwards, Japan was working to develop navigational timepieces of its own. However all prototypes were destroyed by fire as this process was still ongoing. This meant that the model built along the lines of Ulysse Nardin’s chronometer became the most important and predominant model to be used by the Japanese.

It has long been recognized that timekeeping plays an important role in both military and civilian life. Countries such as England, America, Germany and Japan had their own military timepieces, all … Continue reading...

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A History of USA Military Wristwatches WW2

To the World War II vet this may be a Hamilton, to the Vietnam vet it’s a plastic Benrus, and to the soldiers in the sandbox it’s anything from a Marathon to a Casio G-Shock. While many of the pieces are military specified, others are commercial watches favored by fighting men and women. What is a military specified timepiece? Essentially it’s a United States Defense standard, often called a military standard and abbreviated MIL-STD, MIL-SPEC or (informally) MilSpecs. These are used to help achieve standardization objectives by the U.S. Department of Defense. Standardization helps ensure that products meet certain requirements, commonality, reliability, total cost of ownership and compatibility with logistics systems. The military has been “specifying” equipment standards for well over a century. Virtually any company can make a product that conforms to published military specifications; however, there’s a difference between military spec and military issued. A military issued product is one that has been selected and awarded a contract for manufacture by the Department of Defense and becomes a line item on a government budget. Many commercially available watches conform to MIL-SPEC and may even appear in combat, but were never procured by the government. With MIL-PRF (Military Performance … Continue reading...

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