Heuer. A Stainless Steel Flyback Chronograph for the German Airforce
Cal. Valjoux 22 automatic movement, 17 jewels, black matte dial, luminous Arabic numerals, luminous hands, outer minute divisions, two black subsidiary dials for 30 minute register and constant seconds, red “3H” and “T” above 6 o’clock, water-resistant brushed stainless steel case, bezel calibrated to 60 units, two round chronograph buttons in the band, case back engraved “Bundeswehr 6645-12-146-3774” and secured by four screws, case, dial, and movement signed.
In the early 1960’s, Leonidas watch company began producing chronograph wristwatches for the West German Federal Airforce, the Bundesluftwaffe. When Heuer bought the Leonidas company, they continued to produce some of the Leonidas designs, including the Bundeswehr models.
There are several configurations of the Heuer-branded dials. The present example is from the early years of production, featuring the smaller “Heuer” logo below 12 o’clock, and above 6 o’clock a small “T” and red “3H” to indicate the use of tritium for luminous material. As production continued into the late 1960’s and 1970’s, the Heuer logo and printing of numerals became larger.
Heuer also issued watches to other units of the German military, so the case backs for the watches issued to the Bundeswehr were engraved with numbers corresponding to the specifications for these watches. The Budeswehr cases were produced by Sinn, and both companies reached a deal where Sinn would be allowed to use the cases they produced as well as the movements to sell Sinn-branded versions. While production of the Heuer-branded watches ceased in the late 1970’s, Sinn continued to produce the Bundeswehr into the 1990’s and was responsible for servicing any of the military-issued watches after Heuer production ended.
The Heuer Bundeswehr is sought after for its functionality, with large numerals and flyback chronograph and modern design compared to many watches of the 1970’s. The present example is from an early issuing and is in mint condition.