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H.S 4 H. Golay & Son "Click" to Login or Register 
posted
I got this ww2 timepiece from an retired royal navy watchmaker, marked HS4 on the back and H.Golay and Son Ltd on the dial. H.S 4, as I understand, denotes aircraft instrument clock but after the war, according to the watchmaker, was used as a deck watch along side with other H.S3. It has a rotating bezel marked 0 to 360 and I have been wondering if anybody know what it was for. It has a Swiss Unitas movement, commonly found in other deck watches from the same era.

 
Posts: 39 | Location: Bdr Sunway, Selangor, Malaysia | Registered: June 08, 2005
posted
Case back

 
Posts: 39 | Location: Bdr Sunway, Selangor, Malaysia | Registered: June 08, 2005
posted
movement

 
Posts: 39 | Location: Bdr Sunway, Selangor, Malaysia | Registered: June 08, 2005
Life Achievement
Military Expert
Picture of Greg Crockett
posted
Hello again, Lau Siew Ming.

While your Fleet Air Arm Instrument Watch could have seen post-war duty as a deck watch, I don't think it would have been used as such for long. Otherwise, it would have eventually been re-marked with NATO codes on the back.

The bezel would have been turned to the position of the hour hand to mark the time of take off so that the pilot would have an idea of how long he had been in the air. The time of take-off was of use for navigation and fuel consumption.

This is an eye catching timepiece. The roman numerals and time of trip bezel make an attractive contrast.

The black bezel with locking nut is interesting. Maybe someone knows, where all H.S.4 watches set up with locking bezels?

Best regards,
Greg
 
Posts: 1819 | Location: East Lansing, Michigan USA | Registered: November 24, 2002
posted
The bezel is marked off in 360 degrees so I think it might be more for a compass then a watch,in a compass you would set the bezel ring for magnetic declination by rotation the bezel with the crown and then lock it in place.There is no need or use for this in a watch that I know of. I might be very wrong but I think that's a watch fitted into a compass case.
 
Posts: 110 | Location: Fort Wayne, Indiana U.S.of A. | Registered: April 29, 2006
posted
Here is something that I think most everyone who is fascinated by watches and clocks would be interested in knowing.

I don't know if the 360 degree outer dial on the illustrated watch was actually meant to be used for the following, but you can use any analog watch as a compass - of a sort. Assuming you are in the northern hemisphere and your watch is not set to daylight savings time, hold the watch flat and turn it until the hour hand is pointing at the sun. South will be on a heading halfway between the hour hand and the 12:00 marker. With a watch like this one, you could then rotate the watch to align the outer dial with the direction you just established and being careful to hold it in that alignment you could then determine a relatively decent compass heading. This will not be all that exact like a real compass but it is a nice trick to know for survival situations. On the other hand I would think it would be much simpler to just use the compass in the aircraft unless your machine has crashed and you are trying to travel light to find your way back to your side of the lines and you don't want to be lugging around a big heavy instrument from your cockpit - assuming it survived the crash. Another little trick is that if your watch has run down and stopped and you don't know the time, if you have a working compass you can do the above trick in reverse order to set the watch to the correct time - more or less. It will be off by at least a few minutes as you can not do this exactly enough but it will be close.

The reason this works is a watch is nothing more than an instrument to mark the 24 hour rotation of the earth around the sun. The sun rises in the east and sets in the west and mid-day is at 12. Think about the geometry for a while and things will start to make sense, or if it makes your head hurt, just trust me Wink

As I said though, I have idea whether this is the reason for the 360 outer compass dial or whether the case is really a pocket compass case.
 
Posts: 809 | Location: Baltimore, Maryland USA | Registered: September 20, 2004
posted
I concur with Greg that it should have a NATO code if has been used post-war for any prolonged period. However, I have also never seen a double issued HS4. From the same watchmaker I also obtained a Hamilton HS3 and was told that some of these Hamilton ww2 watches were in service up to mid 70s, which is really quite amazing for a watch. Would be interesting to confirm this if they were any service document to sight.

I am also more inclined to believe that the 360 deg marked rotating bezel is for navigation purposes but still clueless as how it was used.

Jim's explanation of watch as a basis compass is very interesting, something worth knowing.
 
Posts: 39 | Location: Bdr Sunway, Selangor, Malaysia | Registered: June 08, 2005
posted
If you find yourself in the southern hemisphere you can still use a watch as a compass but you have to reverse things to account for the different angle of the sun as seen from that region.
 
Posts: 809 | Location: Baltimore, Maryland USA | Registered: September 20, 2004
posted
Here is another example of this time piece type by Zenith. The marking reads "TIME OF BEACON NORTH" and "SECS." It is also a HS4. I received these images from another collector several years ago to identify and have to date been unable to do so. This time piece was used for navigation but exactly how is not clear to me. On the dial of this example is the number 2355. On the example that Lau shows I see the numbers 35, I wonder if this is the serial number?

HS4 in holder
 
Posts: 58 | Location: Auckland, New Zealand | Registered: February 28, 2005
posted
The number on the dial is 835 (8 got hiddend under the second hand) and the same also appear on the inner caseback and the rim of the case. They don't look factory applied and I assume it is the issue s/n.
 
Posts: 39 | Location: Bdr Sunway, Selangor, Malaysia | Registered: June 08, 2005
posted
Here is another H. Golay H.S. 4 to add to this topic thread:

#315 but with a DOXA movement instead. I have seen a few dial variations to the examples seen here. One other variation I have seen is the markings "A W" with a braod arrow between.

I find it facinating how one can navigate using
this timepiece. And such an attractive one at that. Regards all. M

 
Posts: 478 | Location: Southcoast Massachusetts | Registered: May 13, 2010
posted
Rear markings

 
Posts: 478 | Location: Southcoast Massachusetts | Registered: May 13, 2010
posted
Movement

 
Posts: 478 | Location: Southcoast Massachusetts | Registered: May 13, 2010
posted
Close up dial markings

 
Posts: 478 | Location: Southcoast Massachusetts | Registered: May 13, 2010
posted
Hi Michael, I just noticed...Your watch wasn´t delivered like that, case(side), caseback, movement and dial should have the same number, I suspect yours was a put-together, from a couple of other watches Wink

Here´s mine to compare:











My WWW collection is now complete, time to look for new ventures!
 
Posts: 700 | Location: Hannover in Germany | Registered: July 23, 2009
IHC Member 478
posted
Hallo friends
here a a few similar watches H.S. 4 assembled by Golay & Son with movements by EMT Tissot, Doxa and Zenith.

. Gruesse/Regards/Salute Konrad Knirim
PS: Have a look at my books on Military Timepieces:
. http://www.knirim.de

 
Posts: 83 | Location: Duesseldorf Germany | Registered: March 08, 2005
posted
I found another, but this time with the original Bakelite holder for the watch-case, which was screwed into the cockpit. The watch could be removed after flight and the holder would remain on the dashboard.





My WWW collection is now complete, time to look for new ventures!
 
Posts: 700 | Location: Hannover in Germany | Registered: July 23, 2009
Life Achievement
Military Expert
Picture of Greg Crockett
posted
Thank you Werner for the excellent photographs of your exceptional example of the H.S.4. I like seeing the original mounting units. These are often missing.
 
Posts: 1819 | Location: East Lansing, Michigan USA | Registered: November 24, 2002
IHC Member 1335
Picture of Tom Brunton
posted
I fully agree with Gregg,Werner. Nice watch and the photos nicely done !!!
 
Posts: 1756 | Location: Aylmer, Ontario in Canada | Registered: December 15, 2009
posted
Thank you Greg and Tom, I appreciate the feedback, it gives one a feeling that it's not all senseless to post here Wink


My WWW collection is now complete, time to look for new ventures!
 
Posts: 700 | Location: Hannover in Germany | Registered: July 23, 2009
IHC Member 1335
Picture of Tom Brunton
posted
Werner;are you going to post your Kieninger and Obergfell Kriegsmarine Nord See ships clock? It's a real beauty!!!! Big Grin
 
Posts: 1756 | Location: Aylmer, Ontario in Canada | Registered: December 15, 2009
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