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    Sale 1357

    Important Watches

    17 November 2008, Geneva

  • Lot 49

    A. Lange & Söhne. A rare and large grey matted brass pilot's wristwatch with indirect sweep centre seconds and hack feature


    Price Realised  


    A. Lange & Söhne. A rare and large grey matted brass pilot's wristwatch with indirect sweep centre seconds and hack feature
    Signed A. Lange & Söhne, no. 214'565, manufactured in 1943
    Cal. 48.1 three quarter plate gilt-finished lever movement numbered twice, bimetallic compensation balance, black dial, outer luminous Arabic 60 seconds scale, inner ring calibrated for Arabic 12 hours, indirect sweep centre seconds, large circular grey matted brass case, snap on back, large crown, case and movement signed and numbered
    55 mm. diam.

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    Accompanied by Uhrenmuseum Glashütte Certificate dated 10 July 2008 and two copies of the delivery report confirming the sale of the present watch to the Amt für zentrale Verwaltungsaufgaben in Berlin on 18 May 1943.

    This watch part of a series of 136 "Grosse Fliegerarmbanduhr Kaliber 48.1" (large pilot's wristwatch calibre 48.1) model, delivered to the German Airforce's administrative headquarters in May 1943.

    The model was developed by A. Lange & Söhne around 1940 for the German Airforce, following strict specifications in regard to accuracy. The calibre 48 movement was fitted with an indirect sweep centre mechanism with hacking feature based on Junghans' patent. The balance is stopped and hands can be set while simultaneously depressing the button in the band and turning the large crown. The large size of the crown allowed winding and setting even when wearing gloves. The watches were fitted with a large and long leather strap, allowing the pilots to wear it on the tight over their outfit.

    As of around 1937, watches used by the German Airforce were fitted with a panel indicating manufacturer, serial number and "Fl" number. In order to disguise information regarding manufacturer and quantities produced, these indications were coded from 1941 onwards.

    The watches were primarily tested by the Deutsche Versuchsanstalt für Luftfahrt DVL (German Aviation Research Institute) and classified with a so-called "Fl.-Number". The Fl. stands for flight and the first two digits, 22, for flight control; 23 stands for navigation and 25 for radio surveillance, followed by the three digits serial number given by the DVL. The equipment number was 127-560 A or B.

    Watch number 214'314 from this series is described and illustrated in A. Lange & Söhne - eine Uhrmacher-Dynastie aus Dresden by Reinhard Meis, pp. 220 & 221.