Intro To German WWII Watches

Written by  on October 16, 2014 

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GERMAN-MILITARY-WATCHES.pdf

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

THE QUESTIONS THAT FACE BOTH BUYER AND SELLER OF VINTAGE WWII GERMAN MILITARY WATCHES IS THEIR AUTHENTICATION. I MUST SAY, IF YOU INVEST IN A WATCH THAT IS BLACK DIALED, HAS OLD DEAD RADIUM ILLUMINATED NUMBERS AND HANDS, A SUB SECONDS REGISTER ABOVE THE 6 POSITION, HAS A STEEL OR CHROME CASE WITH WIRED LUGS AND A SCREW OR SNAP BACK AND HAS A CAPITAL D serial number CAPITOL H ENGRAVED/STAMPED ON THE CASE BACK YOU CAN BE SURE 90% THAT IT IS GERMAN WWII, THE 10% WOULD BE HOW THE BACK IS STAMPED AND WHERE THE WATCH MAY COME FROM. COUNTERFEITS EXIST FROM THE PLACE MOST GENUINE WATCHES WERE LOST, EASTERN EUROPE.

NOW, THE FACT IS, MANY WATCHES NEVER HAD THE D serial H ON THE BACK. ALSO MANY HAD SPRING BARS INSTEAD OF SOLDERED WIRE LUGS. ADDITIONALLY, THERE WERE ALSO SWEEP SECOND HAND MODELS. SO, RATHER THAN DOING WHAT SOME HAVE DONE, I DO NO DISMISS A WATCH AS BEING NON-GERMAN MILITARY BECAUSE IT DOES NOT MEASURE TO THE ABOVE STANDARDS. IN FACT, A SUPER NICE GERMAN WWII WATCH WAS PURCHASED FROM ESTATE WITH ORIGINAL “WAR BOOTY” APPROVAL CERTIFICATE ALLOWING THE PFC TO TAKE IT AND A HAND GUN TO THE US.

A FREE PDF IS AVAILABLE


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 SO, I WILL BE UPDATING THIS AS I GO. AND UPDATING THE PDF ALSO. I HAVE RESTORED THOUSANDS OF TIME PIECES. I HAVE 35000 PICS ONLINE. BUT GERMAN MILITARY HAVE BEEN SLIM DUE TO THE FACT THEY ARE SLIM PICKINGS. BUT OF THE 1000 PIECES, ONLY 35% WERE ACTUALLY MARKED WITH DH, DIH, KM OR ANY OF THE MARKS YOU WILL SEE BELOW. THERE ARE OTHER THINGS, MARKS, MAKE-UPS THAT DELIVER THE FACTS OF THE PIECES GERMAN WAR TIME USE,.

TAKE FOR INSTANCE THE TWO WYLERS I FOUND IN 9 YEARS. TWO WITH A RARE DESIGN. I DISCOVERED THEY WERE MADE DURING THE GERMAN OLYMPICS IN 1936. INTRODUCED ONLY IN GERMANY. DO I SAY THEY ARE/WERE NOT WAR RELATED? WELL BOTH CAME FRO WWII SOLDIERS ESTATES. RESCUED IN GERMANY FROM ACTIVE SOLDIERS. THUS I TELL THE STORY.

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Swiss and German watch contractors signed up with the German Military [ Wehrmacht] before and during WWII as watch and timer suppliers. It was these contractors who proposed the brands and not the watch making companies. The contractor would deal with the manufacturer and due to this fact, we find a host of brands that were utilized by the German Military:

Alpina, Arsa, Buren, Bruchsicher, BWC, Choisi, Civitas, Edo, Freco, Gala, Girard-Perregaux Glycine, Grana, Hanhart, Helbro, Helios, Helma, Helvetia, Junghans, Longeau, Longines, Mimo, Minerva, Moeris, Moser, Mulco, Nisus, Phenix, Record, Recta, Revue, Stabila, Titus, Zenith, General Watch&Co, Grana, Hado, Förster Pforzheim, Gustonia, Flora, Acacia, Bulla, Era, Onda, Onsa, Alpina, Siegerin, Pronto, Monitor, Stowa, Tritona, Wagner, Aeschbach, Para, Berg, Nila, Omega, Mimo, Natalia, Wempe, Geering, Bidlingmaier, Speck, Vogele, Wiemer, Tutima, Hanhart, Zentra, Selza, Aristo, Lemania, Titus, Breitling, IWC, Roamer,Record, Rellum

The watches were Manually wound movements that, depending on date, were cased in either Nickel Plate or STAHL BODEN [stainless steel], with WASSERDICHT [water resistant] STAHL BODEN [stainless steel] screw down or snap case backs. Movements were a minimum 15 jewels, and, depending on brand and model, some were shock protected. The dial faces were often black, but white was also utilized.

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All military/officer watches used on the U Boot [submarines “unterseeboot” = “undersea boat”] had Phosphorus Illumination , in many cases white dials were fully illuminated with black NON-LUME numbers.
THE U-BOOT WAS EQUIPPED WITH FLUORESCENT LIGHT CHARGING STATIONS READ: “IRON COFFINS”.

 I HAVE AN ORIGINAL SIGNED HARD BACK FIRST EDITION

IRON COFFINS. A BOOK WRITTEN BY CAPTAIN H.A. WERNER. THE TOP GERMAN SUB OFFICER WHO SURVIVED THE WAR. IN IT, THE BOOK DETAILS HIS RISE TO TOP OFFICER FROM 1939 TO 1945. AMONG TONS OF FACTS OF WAR, SUB WAR-FARE, AND HIS LIFE FROM BEGINNING TO POW TO ESCAPE TO COMING TO THE USA IN 1965. ONE OF THE TRULEY FIRST HAND RELIABLE ACCOUNTS OF GERMAN NAVEL SUBMARINE WARE. HE ALSO INFORMS HIS READERS OF THE USE OF WATCHES AND TIMERS AND HOW THEY HAD PHOSPHOROUS INSTEAD OF RADIUM AND CHARGED THEM UTILIZING FLUORESCENT LIGHT STATIONS

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PAGE D-H RADIUM GLYCINE D-H RADIUM MIMO D-H RADIUM

 Some of those used by the Wehrmacht and some PILOT watches had radium illuminated DOTS, AND/OR NUMBERS AND HANDS.

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UN MARKED RADIUM

LUFTWAFFE FAKE

HELOISA D-H RADIUM

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PHENIX NOTE BRAND STYLE OF LETTERS

PROPERTY MARKS
HALL MARKS
SERIALS

GERMAN LONG RADIUM
POCKET CONVERSION

 Most were issued with sub-seconds dial, but the sweep second was also invested in, especially for Pilot Watches, Sub Watches, Artillery and Intelligence And Towards The Last Two Years.

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D serial H
Dienstuhr Heer
Service Watch Army (Heer).

Depending on supplier, year, type and branch of service, watches could have a code stamped on case back, and/or the dial would be signed such as: D serial H, D.i. serial H,

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OWNERSHIP/PROPERTY/SERVICE codes for the German Army [Wehrmacht] were placed on all imported watches. A watch made for the German Army by a German company did not have to have the codes BUT ROCK RESTORED A STOWA [BELOW] POCKET WATCH CONVERSION AND IT HAD THE D serial H ON THE CASE BACK.

German Service Codes
Navy (KM, M or Anchor) Luftwaffe ‘FI’ (Flight) ‘RLM’ (Reich Air Ministry)

Branch Codes
DH
: Dienstuhr Heer D: Dienstuhr Luftwaffe DRGM: Deutsches Reich Gebrauchsmuster
RLM: Reichsluftfahrtministerium KM: Kriegsmarine DU: Dienstuhr (Verwaltung)

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Dienstuhr Luftwaffe

Dienstuhr Heer

Dienstuhr (Verwaltung)

Deutsches Reich Gebrauchsmuste

 Main German Made And Supplied Watches.
Alpina Hanhart Junghans Stowa

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JOHs HARTMANN OF BERLIN SUPPLIED
German Worked Minerva [swiss] Watches & Timers. SEE THE ROCK RESTORED FLYER WRIST WATCH
FURTHER DOWN

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ALPINA WWI FLIEGERTRUPPEN
[RESTORED BY ROCK ]
PURCHASED BY THE ALPINA WATCH COMPANY

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GERMAN WWI ACES

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Not All WWII German Military Watches
Were Property/Service Branch Marked

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THIS GERMAN MADE STOWA IS A NON-PROPERTY MARKED
GERMAN WWII MILITARY WATCH THAT BECAME WAR BOOTY & BROUGHT
TO THE US BY A US ARMY PRIVATE FIRST CLASS. ROCK RESTORED IT

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CERTIFICATE FOR NON-CODED WWII GERMAN STOWA “WAR BOOTY” WATCH
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B-UHR FLIEGER AVIATOR :
THE B-UHR FLIEGER AVIATOR IS RARE SO BE READY TO DISCOVER MANY REMAKES AND COUNTERFEITS

JOHs HARTMANN BERLIN
ABOVE IS A RLM
100 SEC TIMER
BY MINERVA
SUPPLIED BY
JOS HARTMANN

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WWII 48mm MINERVA JOHs HARTMANN BERLIN

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AGAIN, THE FACT IS NOT ALL GERMAN WATCHES WERE
STAMPED/CODED. PRIOR TO 1939 AND AFTER 1943

In the 1930’s, Germany was re-arming “under the table” due to the fact they were still under the WWI terms of the armistice. During this time, Germany was secretly developing the Luftwaffe and its crews. They were secretly developing the PANZA and it’s forces; subs and their crews. During this time, everything military was procured without any hype, note or code. The DH code did not exist. And, towards the last years of the war, when times got hard, especially on the Eastern Front.

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1937 German Army “Mimo” Watch
STEEL CASED GERMAN MIMO
Girard-Perregaux

WITH MIMO/GP
FIRST AS 1130
Wehrmachtswerk
NOTE-
A 1938 ORDER WAS FOR
7 JEWEL MODELS

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WAS GERMAN WATCH PROCUREMENT LIKE THAT OF THE USA?

The USA built a design on paper, then added all the scientific and mechanical specifics and aspects, then had companies sign a contract for that one, usually identified with specs, version; for instance the A-11 hacking pilots watch . **The German way was to contract with a supplier and the supplier contracted with manufacturer . The supplier chose the brands and models that met the German Military requirements. That is why we find over 50 companies/models with and without the property/branch codes. There was no specific “main design” written in stone, rather there were requirements. No mod, number or specific brand, just the basics:

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NOTE THE RARE SWEEPS SECONDS ON THIS ALPINA POCKET WATCH

GERMAN ARMY/WEHRMACHT
Steel or Chrome Case, Screw Down Case Back –early and late had Snap Back, many with Black Dials, brands purchased included illuminated and non-illuminated dials and hands, fixed wire lugs [standard were also supplied] and ***Sub Second Register.

IMG_5702-1.jpg (23705 bytes) Many of the watches produced in the 1930’s and 1940’s were available with white or black dials, raised radium numbers and most had ***sub-second registers.

***Sweep Seconds were more than useful and by 1942 were becoming popular.

In many cases, the same brands were sold to the British, directly to American Soldiers, and sold to Germany..

Germany utilized just about the same watches as the British and vice versa. While many were black dialed, white dials are also discovered.

 

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WWII GERMAN PARA BRUCHSICHER RADIUM
KM LEFT PANZER RIGHT

 Another fact is that prior to WWII and during WWII many pocket watches were converted to wristwatches by adding silver or steel wire to form lugs or by placing in large lug cases. The Minerva Flyers above was cased by Jos Hartmann of BERLIN and the STOWA “DH” below was a pocket watch also converted during the war to a wrist watch [i do not know who/what company converted it].

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MANY UNMARKED GERMAN WATCHES. THE ABOVE HELOSIA HAD GERMAN TRENCH ART . TRENCH ART SIGNATURES SS AND SERVICE NUMBERS CARVINGS BUTTONS ART . FROM USA TO JAPANESE MANY TIME PIECES WERE PERSONALIZED

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AS1130

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 Unlike the USA Military Watches with no “main movement”; with each model having a movement designed by each separate manufacturer, in the beginning, an individual Swiss movement was chosen for the first large Wehrmacht production orders . The German Military chose a solid, common movement manufactured by A Shield. The Swiss AS 1130. The AS 1130 would take on the name: Wehrmachtswerk or “German Army Movement”. This was/is an excellent movement used for commercial watches before, during, and after WWII. And due to the German Army, it can still be found in a host of different brands. A Phenix, Helios and Mimo are all separate private brands, yet we can discover all three with their own individual cases, dials and hands but each with the same AS 1130 movement. While German military watches can be discovered with the same movement, they are also found with different movements. In fact, while you can find 5 different brands with the AS 1130, you can also find three similar Phenix black dialed sub registered watches, all manufactured in the same year, but all three having different movements. WWII meant supplies were limited. Though many watches were produced, the lack of steel and other metals meant left over on the shelf movements were used and many steel cases were replaced with chrome plated brass.

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AS 1130 15 JEWELS
Features manual wind sub second power reserve 38h

Many WWII German Issued Watches contained the AS1130 movement. Due to its early exclusive use by the German Army the 1130 became known as the “Wehrmachtswerk”. Wehrmachtswerk translates as “Wehrmacht movement” German Army Movement.AS 1130 Features manual wind sub second. Data 13”’, Dm= 29mm H= 3.8mm, 15/18/17/21 jewels, f = 18000 A/h, power reserve 38h. Wehrmachtswerk (army movement) option: Reed’s regulator, various bridge shapes, sometimes separate escape wheel cock, differently beveled bridge and plate edges, later samples with ring balance and/or movable stud carrier,

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Fixed Lugs or Spring Bars

Some writers act as if SPRING BARS are a modern feature. Well, believe it or not, spring bars date from the first watch made for the wrist. In fact, the fixed lug, whether a set of lugs with a wire soldered between them, or, a wire formed into a lug and soldered on a case like that which is found on a trench watch or conversion, were used because the wrist watch was new – especially during and following WWI. By WWII the spring bar was already a fact; a conclusion, and on most wrist watches. Why were there wire lugs on some military and not others? Manufacturers could fix a wire or sell with holes. During the war years it was often simpler to weld a wire. The German Military liked the fact that the wire could not come loose. So, we find the fixed lugs on some but not all WWII watches. Is this a factor to consider when buying a vintage watch? Absolutely not. And, if the wires are broke they can be repaired.

AT THE END OF THE WAR WATCH SUPPLIERS HAD AGREEMENTS WITH THE ALLIED FORCES TO DESTROY WATCHES THAT WERE RECOVERED, WHETHER GERMAN OR BRITISH,. THOUSANDS OF WATCHES WERE COLLECTED AND THEN DESTROYED. IN ONE CASE, A WWII VET TOLD ME THE STORY OF THE 10,000 OMEGA WATCHES. HE LITERALLY WATCHED AS 10,000 WWII OMEGA POCKETS WERE PILED ON A RUN WAY AND WATCHED AS A STEAM ROLLER WENT TO WORK FOR AN HOUR FLATTENING THEM ALL

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POCKET WATCHES

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POCKET WATCH CASES
WWI AND POST WWI
WERE USED IN WWII
THE ABOVE RECORD
BELONGED TO A GERMAN
SOLDIER ON THE EASTERN FRONT

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THE DH AND THE HOST OF DIVISION MARKS CAN BE FOUND ON POCKETS
LOOK FOR MARKS ON CASE BACKS – DIALS – HOLDER CASES – AND MOVEMENTS

VINTAGE 1944 WWII GERMAN ZENITH
SINGLE SCREW CASE D 8409627 H [Deutsche Heer] MILITARY POCKET WATCH
SER# 3468591

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 THIS ROCK RESTORED ZENITH GERMAN “DH” MILITARY POCKET WATCH IS THE
BEST OF THE BEST AND THEY WERE PURCHASED BY GERMANY AT THEIR
WWII HEIGHT. NOTE TOOL INDENTS TO UNSCREW. THESE ARE “WATER PROOF”
THEY HAVE THE MILITARY INTERNAL CASE. THE MOVEMENTS ARE JEWELED
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DI serial H

WE DISCOVERED THE BELOW EXPLANATION FOR THE DI H PROPERTY MARKS: In 1942 the Italian coalition reorganized under Rommel were referred to as the Deutsch-Italienische Panzerarmee; a name which was soon to be again modified, to the Heeresgruppe Afrika. A watch was issued with the “I” PROPERTY MARK mark:

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BUT WE FIND,AND BELIEVE THIS TO BE THE FACT, THAT THE GERMAN MILITARY MARKINGS EXPLANATION THAT THE DI-H IS A PROPERTY MARK FOR THE ARMY INTELLIGENCE AND IT DENOTES A SWEEP SECONDS WATCH

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GERMAN-MILITARY-WATCHES.pdf

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the top pics of wrist watches shows the radium dial on left and the phosphorous dial on right.

FACT IS, WHILE THERE WERE GERMAN WWII MILITARY WATCHES ILLUMINATED WITH RADIUM, ALL WATCHES AND TIMERS ISSUED FOR SUBMARINES WERE ILLUMINATED WITH A PHOSPHOROUS COMPOUND AND MOST HAD THE DIAL ILLUMINATED WITH BLACK NUMERALS.

RARE IS THE GERMAN WWII PHOSPHORUS DIALED WATCH AND/OR TIMER, MOST WENT DOWN WITH NEARLY ALL THE GERMAN SUBS.

THE PHOSPHORUS COMPOUND USED BY THE GERMANS WAS 5 TIMES BETTER THAN MOST COMPOUNDS IN USE TODAY. WHILE THERE WERE WATCHES WITH RAISED PHOSPHORUS NUMBERS, THE FACT IS THE DIALS THEMSELVES WOULD BE ILLUMINATED AND OFFICERS AND SAILORS WOULD CHARGE THE PHOSPHORUS ILLUMINATED DIALS BY USING A PERMANENT FLUORESCENT CHARGING STATION …..

“AT MIDNIGHT GERLOFF RELIEVED ME FROM WATCH. I FELL THROUGH THE HATCH AND LOWERED MYSELF INTO THE BLACK HULL. THE CONNING TOWER WAS ILLUMINATED ONLY BY THE FEEBLE SHIMMER FROM THE PHOSPHORESCENT FACE OF THE COMPASS ….”

“THE SUDDEN SILENCE HURT OUR EARS. EVERYTHING SEEMED AMPLIFIED INTO POUNDING BLOWS: THE BEADS OF MOISTURE,DRIPPING ON THE DECK PLATES, THE DROPS SPLASHING IN THE BILGE, THE COUGHING OF HARD- BREATHING MEN, THE TICKING OF WATCHES….”

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FROM ROCKS COLLECTION.

Pocket Watch Conversions + Trench Watches
VIETNAM ERA US GOV ISSUE WATCHES
AMERICAN UN-ISSUED WWII MILITARY WATCHES

AN INTRODUCTION TO GERMAN WWII WATCH
INTRODUCTION TO JAPANESE MILITARY WATCHES
INTRODUCTION TO BRITISH WWI WWII MILITARY WATCHES
INTRODUCTION TO KOREAN WAR GLYCINE AIRMAN
A HISTORY OF AVIATORS WATCH
Rolex MARCONI Tudor history

 

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