Universal. A large and unusual stainless steel World War II bombardier time recorder/countdown wristwatch, made for the Italian Air Force
This lot is offered without reserve. On lots marke… Read more
Universal. A large and unusual stainless steel World War II bombardier time recorder/countdown wristwatch, made for the Italian Air Force

SIGNED UNIVERSAL - GENÈVE, RETAILED BY A. CAIRELLI, ROMA, REF. 39901, CASE NO. 742'668, CIRCA 1939

Details
Universal. A large and unusual stainless steel World War II bombardier time recorder/countdown wristwatch, made for the Italian Air Force
Signed Universal - Genève, retailed by A. Cairelli, Roma, ref. 39901, case no. 742'668, circa 1939
Cal. 19 mechanical jeweled movement, black matte dial, luminous Arabic five minutes markers calibrated from 5 to 60 hectometres, outer 30 seconds register, luminous hand, large circular case, hinged back, revolving bezel set with a luminous marker, hinged lugs, one timer stop button in the band, combined crown and pushpiece, hinged crownguard locked by a screw, case dial and movement signed by maker, dial further signed by retailer
52 mm. diam.
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This lot is offered without reserve.
On lots marked with an + in the catalogue, VAT will be charged at 8% on both the premium as well as the hammer price.

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Lot Essay

According to the Archives of Universal, the present piece with gilt calibre 19 movement with autocompensating Breguet spring, black dial, indication 5 to 60 hm, seconds 360 graduation on 30 sec, turning bezel with luminated hand, marked at 6 Universal Genève, A. Cairelli Roma, was manufactured in 1939 and sold to A. Cairelli Roma, Military Air Forces

Used by bombardier airplanes operator during WWII, the present tool is an exotic and rare find highlighted by its remarkable condition, highly unusual for a war tool. The crown operates the start/reverse/reset functions. The button stops the hand in its track. The hand makes one revolution of the dial every 30 seconds. The luminous numerals indicate the distance travelled by a dropped bomb in hm (hectometer: 100 meters). The operator, knowing the launch altitude, would set the arrow at the corresponding distance. Then, he would use the crown to start the timer, and press the button once the hand reached the desired distance to stop it. When the bomb is dropped, one more push on the crown would set the hand in motion counterclockwise, thus starting the countdown to the moment the bomb would reach the ground. At this point, another push on the button would stop the timer, and a last activation of the crown would reset the hand.

This model is illustrated in Universal Watch Genève Chronographs and Complicated Wristwatches by Pietro Giuliano Sala, pp 471
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