The Culling Collection of Military Watches

Date of Auction: 9th June 2020

Sold for £120

Estimate: £120 - £180

German military: An Aero pilot’s watch, by Titus, 1930s, the signed black dial with large luminous Arabic numerals, outer minutes track, luminous hands and subsidiary seconds dial, with 3mm glass and rotating marker bezel, unsigned 15 jewel movement, the nickel chrome case with hinged snap close cuvette and cover, and single lugs, to broad brown leather strap, dial diameter 33.5mm. £120-£180


Following the end of WW1, the Peace Treaty of Versailles limited the number of German troops to 100,000 and strictly prohibited Germany from the use of any aircraft; German aircraft that survived WW1 were dismantled and not even the German police was allowed to have or use aircraft. German aviators, airmen and hobbyists were restricted to non-mechanical ‘aircraft’ like non-powered gliders. However as the mid 1930s approached and the rise of the Third Reich began, German pilots and aircraft began to reappear. In 1935 Germany created its own airforce, the Luftwaffe. 
This pattern of aviator’s wristwatch, with black and luminous dial, 3mm thick crystal glass, rotatable marker bezel (which can be used to note starting times, etc.) and large winding crown (which can be wound with gloved hands), were produced in Germany in the mid 1930s, to supply this newly emerging field of German aviators. They predate the iconic B-Uhr German wristwatch commissioned for use by Luftwaffe pilots.

See: Wesolowski, Z. M., A concise guide to Military Timepieces, 1880-1980, Crowood Press, 1996, p92.