Manufacturers of High Quality Military Watches Since 1974

Aeschbach WW2 Pattern German Airforce (Luftwaffe) 17 Jewel Hand Wound Military Pocket Watch

$262.00

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SKU: ABACH/RLMPW

Military pocket watches, along with their civilian equivalents, are seeing a huge increase in popularity. Historically, they were often employed for land-based, airborne, and naval applications. During WW2, they were frequently used by both the German Forces (Wehrmacht, Kriegsmarine, and Luftwaffe) as well as British and American forces. The primary reason pocket watches were so popular was that wristwatches at the time were usually very small and hard to read, with an average diameter of just 32mm. Hence, the pocket watch's large size of close to 50mm meant that the time could be seen much more easily.

This classic WW2 pattern Aeschbach* military watch with a small subsidiary dial second hand is based on the typical designs used by the German Luftwaffe and issued by the Reichsluftfahrtministerium (RLM / German Air Ministry). These watches did not remain in the possession of the Luftwaffe pilots and were issued to them on a mission-by-mission basis, to be returned to the quartermaster upon arrival back at the base. This watch is closely based on one of Aeschbach's WW2 designs. Although the original watches are now quite rare and tend to fetch high prices, this watch is outwardly almost indistinguishable from the factory’s WW2 models. It has a traditional 17-jewel hand-wound movement and has been upgraded to a glass crystal, which is superior to the acrylic/plastic crystals used in World War Two that were very easily scratched or damaged.

The original WW2 watches made for the Wehrmacht, Kriegsmarine, and Luftwaffe were produced by a large number of Swiss and German manufacturers, including Aeschbach, which was originally founded in 1923 and continues to exist to this day.

A group of military watch enthusiasts have compiled a list of the manufacturers of timepieces, which appears on their website at this link: WW2 German Watches. The list seems to be almost complete; no doubt they would appreciate it if anyone could fill in the few remaining gaps.

This particular pocket watch has a solid stainless steel case made from military-grade 316L stainless steel with a subsidiary dial second hand.

SPECIFICATIONS:

  • Diameter: 47.5mm
  • Length with crown: 58mm
  • Thickness: 14mm
  • Crystal Width: 40mm
  • Crystal Type: Domed Glass
  • Case Material: Stainless Steel
  • Caseback: Stainless Steel
  • Luminosity: Luminova
  • Movement: 17 Jewel Handwound Mechanical Movement
  • Complete with chain
  • The watch is delivered in its original box and has a 2-year factory guarantee.

The History of Aeschbach Watches

The original WW2 watches made for the Wehrmacht, Kriegsmarine, and Luftwaffe were produced by a large number of Swiss and German manufacturers, including Aeschbach, originally founded in 1923 and continuing to exist to this day.

Aeschbach watches was a leading WWII manufacturer but faced significant misfortune during the war because they were located in Pforzheim, a town in southwestern Germany that was heavily bombed. The largest and most devastating raid was conducted by the Royal Air Force (RAF) on the evening of February 23, 1945. This attack resulted in the deaths of approximately 17,600 people, or 31.4% of the town's population, and destroyed about 83% of Pforzheim's buildings. The raid devastated two-thirds of the town and between 80% and 100% of the inner city. The Aeschbach workshops were completely destroyed, meaning that the watches could no longer be manufactured.

However, the company saw a revival some years back when a family member, while sorting through an elderly deceased relative's belongings, discovered that many of the original technical drawings and a quantity of watches had survived. This find enabled him to devise a plan to restart the company, marking the return of Aeschbach watches.

MWC are factory authorized distributors for Aeschbach watches.

ESSENTIAL WINDING INSTRUCTIONS AND GUIDELINES

To wind the watch from an empty state to full, you'll need approximately 30 turns of the crown (most other handwound watches will need 40 or more turns, so this movement needs somewhat less). Once fully wound, the watch boasts an average power reserve of around 36 hours. It's crucial to exercise caution during the winding process.

For those who use the watch on a daily basis and wind it consistently, say, every morning, a slight variation in the number of turns will not significantly impact the overall power reserve because it will be well below the maximum of around 36 hours.

Some users have reported that 25 turns are sufficient when winding every 24 hours. This seems logical because the watch would not need a full wind after 24 hours. Nevertheless, individual preferences may vary, and most owners tend to develop a sense of the optimal winding routine within the first few days of ownership.

Above all, it's crucial to emphasize the importance of not overwinding the watch, which could lead to locking-up issues or, worse, damage or breakage of the mainspring. Adhering to the recommended winding procedures ensures the longevity and proper functioning of the timepiece.

To clarify, overwinding occurs when a mechanism is wound beyond its designated stopping point, posing the risk of damage or even destruction to the winding mechanism. It's important to note that overwinding is a concern primarily for manually-wound watches, not for their automatic counterparts which normally cannot be overwound.

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