With copies of the original distribution contract in French and in Romanian and copy of the Romanian Army distribution list of 215 Longines aviator's chronographs. According to the Archives of Longines, the present watch was invoiced to the company's agent Weissbluth in Romania on 18 November 1937.
According to the Archives of Longines the present watch was delivered on 18 november 1937 to maison Weissblüth, their agent for Romania at the time.
At the beginning of the past century, the military and watchmaking world started to have much tighter relationships: the armies of various countries perceived the utility and efficiency of wristwatches, the manufacturers the large market potential. This process started in the late 1910s, with the advent of the famous Officier chronographs, and continuously evolved with the introduction, over the years, of aviator's watches, marine chronometers etc.
Soon, most of the armies of the world developed ties with one manufacturer or another and the resulting timepieces are extremely appealing and collectible because they embody historical importance, rarity, and remarkable aesthetical appeal, as they are usually large watches with luminous dials.
The present lot is a formidable example of such military production. In December 1935, the Romanian Air Force decided that, rather than fitting their planes with modified table clocks, it would be more practical and efficient to use wristwatches. Five watchmaking firms were contacted: Ulysse Nardin, Longines, Zenith, Omega, and at a later time Tag Heur. In 1937, following accurate testing which also included feedback from the soldiers that would become the final users of the pieces, Longines and Omega were selected as the official suppliers. Longines provided two models of aviator's chronograph which were a modified chronograph with a revolving bezel linked to a dagger indicator for marking an important hour (for example, the hour of take-off).
The present timepiece is from this production. Beyond its aesthetic and technical appeal, the historical importance of this watch is highlighted by the fact that it is delivered together with a copy of the original Romanian Army's distribution list of the first 215 such timepieces. The present lot is listed as number 141, given to Stoenescu D. Constantin serving in the Flotila 1 Bombardment. Further documentation provided with the timepiece includes copies of the original Longines supply contract in both Romanian and French, inclusive of all the details of the deal such as price, delivery methods, and special features of the watch (the bezel with luminous marker, the high grade luminous numerals, the different case finish available, the waterproof leather strap for usage in adverse weather condition, etc.).
The appeal of the watch, the historical importance, and the wealth of historical material it is delivered with make this piece a rare occasion for the avid collector of historical and military timepieces.