Heuer Bundeswehr
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Heuer Bundeswehr

Throughout history, manufacturers from Omega to Jaeger-LeCoultre have produced timepieces for the armed forces. Of these, chronographs hold the most desire among collectors, due to their association with flying aces and even astronauts. Among these, there's one Fliegeruhr that has attained a kind of cult-like status among collectors: the Heuer Bundeswehr. 

Like the IWC/JLC Mark XI, the Heuer Bundeswehr was designed for the sole purpose of use in military aviation. It was General Issue for pilots in the air forces of many nations (including the Italian Air Force, under the brand Leonidas, which Heuer acquired in the 60s) but is best-known for its use by the Luftwaffe of West Germany. From the 1960s to the 1970s, the "Bund" (as it's affectionately known) saw a range of dial configurations that baffle those not in the know.

Fortunately, the Heuer experts over at On The Dash have complied a comprehensive overview of these variations, which we'll summarize here.

From the 1960s to the 1970s, the "Bund" (as it's affectionately known) saw five different dial configurations. Shown here is the fourth version, which has no markings at all other than the Heuer logo at 12 o’clock. The first has the letters 3H surrounded by a circle and a small T over 6 o’clock, while the second only had the 3H symbol and no T. The third has a small T just over 6 o’clock, signifying that the luminescent material is tritium, and the fifth had the words “STERNZEIT REGULIERT” at 6 o’clock.

The 3H symbol and the small T indicate that the luminescent material on the numerals is tritium (Hydrogen-3). It’s also a good indication that the watch might have been military issue, or at least manufactured during the period when it was issued to the Bundeswehr. But the absence of that symbol doesn’t mean that it wasn’t.

After the 1970s, Sinn, a German company known for its military chronographs, took the contract with the Bundeswehr over from Heuer; therefore, when many watches were sent into the manufacture for service, the radioactive dials were often switched out, which seems to be the case with this watch.

As with many military watches, the Bund is a front-loader, with the movement being secured by the screw-mounted case back that is attached to the bezel. The Bund, being a manually-wound flyback chrono, used a host of Valjoux movements, from the Valjoux 22 to the Caliber 220 to the Caliber 230. Sturdy, dependable, it's the sort of watch you want strapped to your wrist whether you're dodging enemy fighters at 35,000 feet or engaged in more terrestrial pursuits.

Details

SKU: AS02273

Monocoque Steel Case is approximately 43mm (excluding the crown). Reference 1550SG. Valjoux manually-winding chronograph movement.

Overall Condition: Case is in excellent condition overall with very moderate signs of use and wear, including a small ding on the left bottom lug. Bezel is in very good condition with minor signs of wear. Dial is in fantastic condition overall with crisp printing. Correct unsigned crown. Case back has proper engravings.

Includes one 20mm NATO-style strap.

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