14 (1940) PI­LOT’S WATCH FOR GER­MAN ARMY BY IWC, A. LANGE & SÖHNE, LACO, STOWA UND WEMPE

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Five man­u­fac­tur­ers pro­duced the of­fi­cial pi­lot’s watch for the Ger­man army in the 1940s, which was housed in a ro­bust 55mm case and bore the tra­di­tional black dial and white mark­ings of a typ­i­cally leg­i­ble avi­a­tion watch. It also boasted a riv­eted leather strap and a huge oignon-style crown so that it could be wound or set while wear­ing gloves. Col­lec­tors and his­to­ri­ans agree that this is per­haps the most im­por­tant his­tor­i­cal pi­lot’s watch, a de­sign that has been reused in the 21st cen­tury for a plethora of avi­a­tion-style watches. Un­for­tu­nately, faith­ful re­pro­duc­tions of it have also con­trib­uted to re­cent his­tory’s vul­gar size hys­te­ria, which has thank­fully de­clined over the last cou­ple of years.

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