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U.S. Navy GCT navigational watches... "Click" to Login or Register 
IHC Life Member
posted
Hello everyone. I just recently picked up another U.S.N. GCT Aircraft Navigational watch and was wondering if any of our members had any information on these watches. This is a picture that I posted a while back of my Waltham GCT.



My new watch is an Elgin GCT and as soon as I am settled and not traveling so much, I'll take some pictures of it for the forum. Same type of dial as the Waltham and white as well. Any info that you might have on these rare watches. Pictures of other examples would be great too!

Thanks,

James D.

For clarification... this is a request for information on the pre-WWII GCT with Up/Down dial indicators, not the more common WWII 24 hour GCT watches. Thanks again!
 
Posts: 101 | Location: San Antonio, Texas in the USA  | Registered: July 25, 2006
posted
If you got a copy of military timepieces by Whitney on page 384 they have a Elgin 21 jewel, 16 size,B.W. Raymond torpedo watch with a 40 hrs winding indicator lever set in a nickel case engraved on back ser.no.245,US Navy.Ca1919.So what you mite have is a torpedo watch I know Hamiton also made a torpedo watch for the Navy.They did competitive trails with elgin,hamilton,longines,Nardin,waltham and other's and a majority of these watches were purchased by the Navy from 1906-1922.And they also used the Elgin 18 size Veritas and Farther Time movements.Hope this info helps.
 
Posts: 523 | Location: Northern California in the USA | Registered: November 23, 2008
IHC Life Member
posted
Hello Mike and thanks for the reply. I do have Whitney's book but no, these are not torpedo watches. They are 16 size, USN Aircraft Navigational watches, hence the Bu. Aero designation on the dial. These watches date from the early 1930s and were in use right up to the begining of WWII.

Best,

James D.
 
Posts: 101 | Location: San Antonio, Texas in the USA  | Registered: July 25, 2006
IHC Life Member
posted
Hello all,

I just came across this picture in one of my USN navigation manuals. It is not a good scan but does show this type of watch as pictured in an official government publication.



I've got more info but unfortunately, I am traveling and without access at this time.

Best,

James D.
 
Posts: 101 | Location: San Antonio, Texas in the USA  | Registered: July 25, 2006
posted
First time I ever saw a level in a wooden shock-suspension case that mite be for use in a small boats I remember seeing on board ship on the bridge a level like that mounted to the bulk head that what we called walls in the Navy.It would tell you how mutch the ship was listing.We would rock and roll with the wave action.Post some photo's when you have time would like to see it.
 
Posts: 523 | Location: Northern California in the USA | Registered: November 23, 2008
IHC Life Member
posted
I believe that is a themometer, not a level. Will double check when I get back to my home site at end of October.
 
Posts: 101 | Location: San Antonio, Texas in the USA  | Registered: July 25, 2006
IHC Life Member
posted
This is a current eBay auction of the exact same watch as mine. The case is wrong, as it is a 1943 era case for a 24 hour GCT watch. My watch is just like this one only in the original case.

These up/down watches date to the early and mid 1930s.

 
Posts: 101 | Location: San Antonio, Texas in the USA  | Registered: July 25, 2006
posted
Saw that to.Let the seller know it had the wrong case.He don't care look at the price some one is all ready willing to pay for it.
 
Posts: 523 | Location: Northern California in the USA | Registered: November 23, 2008
IHC Life Member
posted
Hi Mike,

Current price is ~$1500. That is about right for this watch in the wrong case. An average up/down indicator pocket watch by Elgin would run in the range of $1200-$1600. A military example in the correct case would run in the range of $1800-$2200. My watch is in the correct case but the markings have been polished off but can still faintly be seen. The original case is a Silveroid case made by Keystone. Maybe the high bidder has a correct case for it, who knows? I do know that the movement has military engraved markings so it is somewhat more collectible and probably what accounts for the higher price. I wouldn't pay that much but I am a cheap ba$****!

I'll be back at my home site in about a week or so and will add pictures of my watch to this thread. These are beautiful watches with a military provenance. They certainly don't make them like this anymore and they didn't make a huge amount of them at the time.
 
Posts: 101 | Location: San Antonio, Texas in the USA  | Registered: July 25, 2006
IHC Life Member
Site Moderator
Picture of John J. Flahive III
posted
Hi guys,

Just a reminder that we typically don't discuss active auctions in open public forums. Please start a new thread under the Pitfalls area.

BTW: The seller is member Sham Agayev who is one of the most honest and trustworthy folks you will find.

John III
 
Posts: 1744 | Location: Wisconsin in the USA | Registered: October 17, 2005
Life Member
posted
Hi everyone.
My name is Dave and I'm the one that won the auction for the Elgin watch. I was going to be away for the end of the auction, so I placed a bidnapper bid on the watch and won. I wasn't aware of the wrong case issue, but since I have received the watch, I must say that it is a real beauty. I love it.
i sent pictures of it to a friend who served on the USS Hancock during Vietnam War. I wanted his take on the watch and to show some of his buddies. One such buddy is Capt. Hersch Pahl. He is a very interesting fellow and I greatly enjoyed his web site. Anyway, it's his opinion that the case is not necessarily from 1943 for the airforce because the airforce wasn;t formed until September of 1947. I would like to add his email to me and let you guys comment. so here it is:
Hi Gents:
There is nothing like a good watch. We used a excellent time piece in our F6F Hellcat fighters that was made by Waltham. As I recall they too had a Serial number on them. I agree with Ken's remarks about the Bu Aero part, but the serial number probably had nothing to do with the Air Force which wasn't even established until 1947. The letters in that serial number were part of the identification -- it very well could have been XY or ZB.
I am looking at the Waltham that I have (souvenir from WW-II) The serial number is not visible due to the way I have it mounted in a wood carving. This one still runs and keeps good time for 8 days as I recall, on each winding. To see mine, go to the "Trophy" section of "Things of Interest" in My web http://www.herschpahlbooks.com . Hang on to that watch as long as you can, it will be worth quite a bit more in another 100 years Ha! Hersch

Now, I don't imagine this gentleman is a watch expert, but I sure enjoyed his take on the watch and wanted to share his history with everyone.
Also, I would like any additional info on the watch that anyone may be able to provide.
Thanks
Dave
 
Posts: 60 | Location: Ontario in Canada | Registered: April 13, 2009
posted
Here is a web site with some info on the Army air corps.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/U...tates_Army_Air_Corps
After 1941 USAAF was formed and was a subrdinate from 1941-1947 and in 1947 the USAAF was on it's own from the Army.In the book military time pieces by Whitney AF stands for Air Force.
Here is another that tell's what AF stands for.
http://www.olive-drab.com/od_s...s_gear_watch_ww2.php
Here is some thing out of whitneys book.

And this is off a Hamilton but htis should be the type of case and marking for the 1930's

Here is the only US Navy Watch I have from the 1920-1930's era it has the same marking as from the book.

Nice watch by the way.
 
Posts: 523 | Location: Northern California in the USA | Registered: November 23, 2008
Life Member
posted
Hi Mike.
Thanks for the info. It's all great stuff and a good start for me to do research. main thing is I'm having lots of fun.
Dave
 
Posts: 60 | Location: Ontario in Canada | Registered: April 13, 2009
posted
The serial number is indeed suspect. As was mentioned, the Air Force was not created until September 18, 1947. The AF in the serial numbers of the day such as this one does correspond to a purported Air Force origin and it is not just a pair of arbitrary letters. In looking closely at the photo I see that the lettering does not appear quite as even as I typically expect to see on WW II era watches. That, combined with the mistake in the serial number makes me wonder whether this is an ordinary case that was 'improved' by someone somewhere along the way adding some military-like markings. I am not saying that this is definitely the situation here, but I am wondering given these issues.
 
Posts: 858 | Location: Baltimore, Maryland USA | Registered: September 20, 2004
posted
Jim you made me look at one of my watches I have one with the same case marking.Here is a photo of my elgin AN5740 navigation watch.



Same back cover as the wind indicator so may be the wrong case is a miss match of parts it does look like a Hamilton comparing watch case with the back cover off a AN5740 Elgin Navigation watch.

Here is a pair of Hamilton comparing watches.But it is hard to say Walthams AN5740 also use a case that looked like what Hamilton used on a comparing watch.Elgin did have two cases a A-13 and then the AN5740 and I got the AN5740.
 
Posts: 523 | Location: Northern California in the USA | Registered: November 23, 2008
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