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????? 1928 German Air Force Pattern ????? "Click" to Login or Register 
Hello all! Has anyone heard of this designation before for this style watch? The one I have is a Doxa. I also know several other companies had made this same style with the same specifications and movement quality, usually 15 jeweled. Other companies that produced this style watch that I know of are Oris, Helvetia, Zenith and Omega. The name “1928 German Air Force Pattern” makes no sense to me at all given the submission of the German forces in the Treaty of Versailles during that time. There are no military markings on the watch aside from a 7 digit serial number on the case back. But for no reason can I think of that during the late 20’s and early 30’s there would be a market for this type of watch other than military and also given it unusually large size (41mm not including the extended crown). The rotating departure marker is something that would have no other use than military too. Does anyone know the specifics of this watch….Who used it? When did they use it? For what purpose? When did they produce this watch? For as long as I have owned this watch I have only been able to speculate and find little tid- bits on this piece. And of course the dealers that have sold then can make something look like its not. Does anyone that is registered in this forum have this style watch too? I would love to see more examples aside from the usual recased, redialed and relumed ones. My watchmaker has three generations of experience behind him and he told me he has never seen a Doxa quite like this one. Is it really that special? I need your input and experience. Thank you.

Posts: 478 | Location: Southcoast Massachusetts | Registered: May 13, 2010
Another photo of rear case

Posts: 478 | Location: Southcoast Massachusetts | Registered: May 13, 2010
Another rear shot

Posts: 478 | Location: Southcoast Massachusetts | Registered: May 13, 2010
Thank you Lindell for the assistance in the photo editing program!
Posts: 478 | Location: Southcoast Massachusetts | Registered: May 13, 2010
I was wondering if you could show a photo of the movement?
Posts: 523 | Location: Northern California in the USA | Registered: November 23, 2008
movement photo...bad quality.

Posts: 478 | Location: Southcoast Massachusetts | Registered: May 13, 2010
Here is another poor quality photo with the watch disasembled.

Posts: 478 | Location: Southcoast Massachusetts | Registered: May 13, 2010
Well, this kind of watches were quite popular and common during the first two three decades of the XX century.
They are the typical pilot watches of that era.
It was the time of the air show and of the rush of the flight. Every day here and there, all around the world, new records were tried, new records were made.
Every day a lot of veteran pilots of the 1st world war, uneploied, but well trained and with a high level education to the flight, opened flight school or air transport companies or offered air taxy services or air show all over the world.
Have flight lessons was maybe relatively less expensive and less difficult than today.
Air clubs raised and grown up very often here and there.
Many makers made those watches: some were famous and noble, and their products were quite good, but many others were more modest. Sometime the producers simply assembled new cases with old cylinder escapment small pocket watches's movements to recycle.
Anyway, they are civilian and no military air force seems to have never issued them officially.
The German Luftwaffe, or airforce, was born in May of 1935. Many of the first flieger were from the pilot clubs of Germany and continuexd to use their own old civilian watches, but nothing related to any official issue and no official markings.
The presence of the rotating departure marker is not tipical of military timepieces. I would say, on the contrary, that it is quite rare in the military timepieces. It is typical of pilot timepieces, but not absolutely and strictly necessary, since many military and many pilot watches didn't have this feature.
Posts: 69 | Location: Italy | Registered: May 12, 2009
That seem like a good explanation to me. But is does seem quite odd that several manufactures would make a post WWI civilian pilot watch with all the same specifications. For what I have learned is that watch manufactures tried to separate themselves from the rest and make their watches different and more apealing than others. Having several watch manufactures all making the same watch with the same specs is more than a coincidental to me. Do have such a watch...I would love to see more examples and other ideas.
Posts: 478 | Location: Southcoast Massachusetts | Registered: May 13, 2010
Well, the most common and wellknown of these watches is maybe the Helvetia.
This manufacturer is a classic: it made at least three or four different models of this type of watches. Only one of them has the pointer, if I remember well...
Then many others made them: from Arsa to Zenith.
In my collection I have got a Lancet, a Techno, a Watch Co., a Rellum and two different Helvetias.
I don't know what you mean and I haven't maybe understood what make you doubtful, but, even if my english is maybe not able to tell what I mean, I will try to tell what I meant.

Those watches were very trendy and popular. They were made by many producers, brands and retailer.
Quality varies a lot: from good level watches to very poor.
Never officially issued, expecially by Luftwaffe in 1928, simply because the Luftwaffe in 1928 didn't exist. I wonder who and why did he definy them in this manner...
In the '30s there were many pilot and flight associations and clubs, in Germany, and maybe some bought some stocks or lots of those watches for the associates. Some of those clubs or associations were paramilitarized or politic nazy associations. Many associated THEN become Luftwaffe pilots and officers, but they were not the Luftwaffe. Many served in the luftwaffe wearing their own old and beloved watches, but they were never officially issued.
Yes, those watches are very similar each other and everyone looks like the others.
Yes, but this was because this type of watches were popular, trendy and desiderable.
Well... I mean: texan cowboy boots are all very similar each others and every brand looks like the others. Quality varies. But this don't means that any armies have ever issued texan cowboy boots.
We could say the same with many other things: safety boots, for example: very similar all over the world: sturdy, with steel inner cover of the point, the most part of them are black. Vivid colours are very unusual. This cannot mean that they are all adopted by an armed force.
As the "flieger watches" or "pilot watches" I wouldn't say:
1) that they have all the pointer. This wasn't a rule. the pointer has an important function in low range flight. It is useful in flight navigation. But, in that period, long range flights were not very frequently made.
If you read the very good Ziggy Wesolowski's book, there is a section about true pilot watches. Well, the most of them are with no pointer. British 6B, USA Type A-11, most of the Czech, all th B-uhren etc, are with no pointers.
2) that they were issued. They were born when military pilots were much more rare than civilian ones.
It seems that today we are living a similar situation: the flieger watches are different from those old types, but they are very very popular once again.
Made by many producers all over the world, they are very similar each others.
Fortis, Stowa, Laco, Poliot, Sinn, Heuer, Oris, Hamilton, Omega, Breguet, Bell & Ross, IWC, Breitling, Junkers, Wakmann, Longines, Wempe, Glycine, Zenith, Graham, and dozens of other producers make pilot watches.
SOME are issued. Some are simply used by military personnell because privately purchased, but I wouln't definy them ALL military watches.
Posts: 69 | Location: Italy | Registered: May 12, 2009
Thank you Claudio. If you have the chance might you post some photos to share with me. I would be interested in seeing them. Mike
Posts: 478 | Location: Southcoast Massachusetts | Registered: May 13, 2010
Here are the mine. As you can see, they are not the usual recased, redialed and relumed ones. Some are in poor "as found" conditions.
They will remain in these conditions, for two reasons: first of all, I don't like to restored timepieces. They lost they genuinity. Second: I don't consider them military watches. So, I think they don't worth the pain and the cost of restoring.
I don't collect them and I don't look for them. I buy them only if they're cheap. I consider them usually overpriced: there is no reason to pay them high prices.
I always prefer issued watches. Of course, it is my personal, modest and maybe wrong opinion, not science and not a rule!

Note: from left to right:
Lancet, Watch Co. and Techno.
the Lancet has one of the hands replaced. But I cannot say which one.
The Techno's pointer is fake. Someone added it in recent times, maybe to make it more desiderable... Of course, it doesn't rotate: on the contrary, the bezel is screwed, so, if you try to rotate, it will be dismounted... (no comment)..
the Watch Co. has got an old nice movement, but cylinder escapment makes it obsolete.

Posts: 69 | Location: Italy | Registered: May 12, 2009
From Left to right:
Rellum, Helvetia and Helvetia.
These are in worse conditions, but the two Helvetias maybe worth to be fixed, in future. They are two different models, but the movement is the same.
The mine are all from Germany and Austria.
Your Doxa is nice and not often seen.
On the contrary, the Helvetias are maybe the most common of all. Their quality is better than the others I have got, so I bought the second to be canibalized repairing the first. Anyway I don't know if I will.
All those watches have chromed cases, not very long lasting against the acids of skins...

I still wonder who have used the 1928 Luftwaffe pattern designation for the first time: never heard before, but I think it is quite a fantasy designation.
Until 1935 (some say may, some say 11 march...) the luftwaffe din't exist and did exist only the Luft Hansa and the Deutsche Verkehrsfliegerschule (VFS)... how could we say that they were military if the armed force that should have adopted them... simply still didn't exist...?
Some interesting images are here: http://forums.watchuseek.com/showthread.php?t=157995

Posts: 69 | Location: Italy | Registered: May 12, 2009
Thank you Claudio. It is nice to other examples.
Posts: 478 | Location: Southcoast Massachusetts | Registered: May 13, 2010
Allow me to add one of mine that hasn´t been mentioned up till now!
early 30´s Roamer
41mm without the onion crown
black enameled dial, design is so called "Watch Arabian Gravity"
movement marked "swiss made"
The watch is equipped with a bimetallic compensation balance, flat hairspring, direct drive eccentric seconds and 15 jewels.
The watch has a pressed back.

My WWW collection is now complete, time to look for new ventures!
Posts: 699 | Location: Hannover in Germany | Registered: July 23, 2009
That is a beutiful watch Werner. I would love to own that example. Unfortunatly finding "working" "non restored" examples like yours is getting more difficult. Usualy we see the examples that are all chopped and redialed. Thank you for your photos.
Posts: 478 | Location: Southcoast Massachusetts | Registered: May 13, 2010
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