Books & Gear

Christo­pher Ward C9 Me 109 Sin­gle Pusher Chrono­graph LE (Lim­ited Edi­tion – 100 pieces) www. christo­pher­ £2,950

Pilot - - CONTENTS -

A pi­lot’s watch with a WWII her­itage, 737 sim­u­la­tor flights, and aero mod­els

Pi­lot magazine has an in­volve­ment in Christo­pher Ward’s lat­est lim­ited-edi­tion pi­lot watch, in that its de­sign is based on an orig­i­nal WWII Jung­hans Bouk1 Fl 23885 blind­fluguhr (blind-fly­ing clock) be­long­ing to the Ed­i­tor.

The Bouk1 (il­lus­trated be­low with its bay­o­net-fit­ting cast al­loy back re­moved) was stan­dard equip­ment for Ger­man fight­ers – Me 109G ‘Black Six’, now in the RAF Mu­seum, is fit­ted with one - and other Luft­waffe air­craft of the 1940s. The clock has a ro­tat­ing Bake­lite bezel, which al­lows start/de­par­ture time to be in­dexed quickly and sim­ply with a gloved hand. The stop­watch sec­ond hand and in­di­ca­tor on the fif­teen-minute to­taliser dial are ac­ti­vated by a chromed push but­ton be­low the wind­ing crown. The move­ment is Jung­hans J30BZ that runs for 36 hours on a sin­gle wind.

The C9 Me109 takes not just its vis­ual de­sign cues from the clock, but op­er­ates in the same way, a sin­gle but­ton in the crown start­ing, stop­ping and re­set­ting the thirty-minute chrono­graph func­tion. In­deed, the mech­a­nism — which can be seen work­ing through the ex­hi­bi­tion back — is very sim­i­lar. Based on a Swiss-made Uni­tas 6497 cal­i­bre mod­i­fied by Christo­pher Ward’s watch­maker Jo­hannes Jahnke, the hand-wound JJ02 move­ment also runs for very nearly the same num­ber of hours — forty, to be pre­cise — as the wartime orig­i­nal. Of course, the C9 is a watch, rather than a panel clock — but even here there is a his­tor­i­cal link: when sup­plies of suit­ably ac­cu­rate watch move­ments be­came hard to ob­tain late in the war, the Bouk1 was adapted for use as a rather over­sized nav­i­ga­tor’s watch by adding a strap that al­lowed it to be worn on the arm or leg of a fly­ing suit. Fin­ished in durable black PVD and sup­plied with an ‘an­tiqued’ leather strap, the C9 Me 109 is beau­ti­fully made. While there are many other ex­cel­lent pi­lots’ watches out there, the thing that re­ally dis­tin­guishes this one is that it is so closely based on a gen­uine, his­tor­i­cal pi­lot’s in­stru­ment. PW

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