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Universal. A very rare and unusual military oversized stainless steel split seconds chronograph wristwatch with 24 hour dial
On lots marked with an + in the catalogue, VAT wil… Read more UNIVERSALThe Property of an Important Private Collector
Universal. A very rare and unusual military oversized stainless steel split seconds chronograph wristwatch with 24 hour dial

SIGNED UNIVERSAL, GENEVE, RETAILED BY A. CAIRELLI, ROME, MILITARY RATTRAPANTE MODEL, MOVEMENT NO. 2'620, CASE NOS. 22'560-75, MANUFACTURED IN THE 1950S

Details
Universal. A very rare and unusual military oversized stainless steel split seconds chronograph wristwatch with 24 hour dial
Signed Universal, Geneve, retailed by A. Cairelli, Rome, Military Rattrapante model, movement no. 2'620, case nos. 22'560-75, manufactured in the 1950s
Movement: manual, Cal. 285, 17 jewels
Dial: silvered with dot and Arabic 24 hour numerals, outer fifths of a second divisions, blued steel hands, two subsidiary dials indicating constant seconds and 16-minute register
Case: snap on back, start/top and reset chronograph button in the crown, split seconds button in the band
Signed: case, dial and movement, dial further signed by the retailer
Dimensions: 44 mm. diam.
With: Universal Extract from the Archives confirming the Military Rattrapante specification, calibre 285 movement, 24 hour dial and the retailer A. Cairelli.
Special notice

On lots marked with an + in the catalogue, VAT will be charged at 8% on both the premium as well as the hammer price.
Many of the watches offered for sale in this catalogue are pictured with straps made of endangered or protected animal materials such as alligator or crocodile. These endangered species straps are shown for display purposes only and are not for sale. Christie’s will remove and retain the strap prior to shipment from the sale site. At some sale sites, Christie’s may, at its discretion, make the displayed endangered species strap available to the buyer of the lot free of charge if collected in person from the sale site within 1 year of the date of the sale. Please check with the department for details on a particular lot.

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Lot Essay

This extremely rare steel oversized split seconds chronograph wristwatch for the Italian Air Force (Areonautica Militare Italiana) is considered by collectors to be one of the rarest military wristwatches ever made. Furthermore, the present watch is an extremely well preserved and original example of this very rare model.
Featuring a 24 hour dial and a 16-minute chronograph register, these rare and unusual functions on a split-second chronograph were especially designed for astronomic navigation (course determination through the stars) for the aircrews of anti-submarine reconnaissance aircraft in the Mediterranean Sea.

The retailer A. Cairelli were, along with Panerai, the official suppliers to the Italian Ministry of Defence.

Another example of this model with the preceding movement number 2’619 was sold by Christie’s, Geneva, 10th November 2014, lot 112.
A further example is illustrated in: Military Wristwatches, Michele Galizia, 2008, p. 219.

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