Important Modern and Vintage Timepieces

Geneva, Mar 11, 2012

LOT 261

IWC, REF. 431, B UHR, WORLD WAR II, GERMAN AIR FORCE (LUFTWAFFE) International Watch Co., movement No. 1014464, case No. 1033804, Ref. 431, request No. FL 23883. Made in 1940 for the German Air Force. Very fine and extremely rare, oversized, center seconds, anti-magnetic, anti-corrosion stainless steel military pilot?s wristwatch with indirect seconds and a very long aviator?s leather strap. Accompanied by the Certificate of Origin and the original numbered card box.

CHF 17,000 - 25,000

USD 18,000 - 27,000 / EUR 14,000 - 20,000

Sold: CHF 21,250

C. Four-body, matte gray, inclined bezel, concave lugs, large winding crown, stainless steel anti-magnetic lunette to protect the movement against magnetic fi elds, snap-on case back, band engraved ?FL 23883.? D. Black with luminous Arabic numerals and baton indexes, outer minute/seconds track. Luminous blued steel lozenge hands. M. Cal 52 T, gilt brass, 16 jewels, straight-line lever escapement, cut bimetallic balance, blued steel Breguet balance spring, swan neck micrometer regulator, hack mechanism. Case and movement signed. Diam. 55 mm. Thickness 17 mm.

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Grading System
Case: 3


Movement: 3*


Overhaul recommended, at buyer's expense

Dial: 3-01


HANDS Original


Die Grosse Fliegeruhr This model is one of the watches delivered to the Luftwaffe, the German Air Force, supplying their pilots with a wristwatch that was accurate, robust, and easy to read during missions. A good example of their fi rst use is the ?Battle of Britain? or operation ?Sea-Lion? (August 1940-May 1941). Only movement numbers between 1.013.801 and 1.015.000 and case numbers between 1.033.201 and 1.034.200 are considered correct for the 1940 ?Grosse Fliegeruhr?. The inside case back is engraved: - B-Uhr: Beobachtungs-Uhr (German for Navigation Watch) - Bauart, (German for Manufacture): IWC - Werk Nr, (German for Movement No.): 1014550 - (Anforderz, German for Classifi cation Number): FL 23883. The FL 23883 number indicates the watch?s assignation. ?FL? stands for fl ight qualifi ed; the fi rst two numbers indicate the department the watch was assigned to. 22 was the fl ight control department, 25 was radio surveillance, and 23 was the code number for the navigation department. The following numbers were given by the D.V.L. (Deutsche Versuchsanstalt Luftfahart), the German Aviation Research Institute. Cal. 52:produced in 1,200 examples in 19???, (height 6 mm), the caliber was designed in keeping with ?Observatory? watch quality and accuracy. Only 1,000 examples were delivered to the German Air Force. The remaining 200 were used for English deck watches. This caliber is considered to be the largest caliber made by IWC. The present watch comes in very good condition after a service by IWC in 2005 and is accompanied by reissued certifi cate of authenticity. Additionally, the watch features the original early style straight winding crown that are particularly rare to fi nd as most were replaced with the later conical crown.