Laco B-Uhr (Beobachtungsuhr) WW2 Luftwaffe Observers Wristwatch c.1942

Laco B-Uhr (Beobachtungsuhr) WW2 Luftwaffe Observers Wristwatch c.1942


Stock Number: W0039 Category:

Laco B-Uhr (Beobachtungsuhr) WW2 Luftwaffe Observers Wristwatch Type B dial c.1942

In 1935, with the storm clouds of war gathering over Europe, Adolf Hitler announced his plans to reconstitute Germany’s Air Force and officially created the Luftwaffe.

The German Air Ministry (Reichs-Luftfahrtministerium), which was responsible for aircraft production, began to design a suitable timepiece for its bomber navigators. Pilots required extremely accurate watches for navigational purposes. The watches needed to be precise, robust and easily read. This led to the iconic B-Uhr design being conceived.

The B-Uhr watches were very large in size (55mm) and were made to a standard specification. The movements were uniformly cased in a grey varnished, brass or steel housing with a snap-on back cover. Their dials were black with large luminous Arabic numerals and minute and second indicators. The hands were coated with radium so the watch would glow in the dark and the movement featured a hacking mechanism to aid precise time setting. The outer casing had FL23883 engraved on the left-hand side. FL designated Flieger, and 23 identified the watch as a navigation watch.

Before delivery, every watch had to undergo stringent testing for accuracy. Each watch was tested in six positions and at three varying temperatures before it could be certified by the German Naval Observatory.

There were five manufacturers who supplied the B-Uhren. These were A.Lange & Sohne, Wempe, IWC, Stowa and Laco (Lacher & Co).

The B-Uhr watches were not personally issued to aircrew in the usual sense. Instead, one was supplied to the navigator of the bomber crew before every mission or raid. It would then be returned to the stores following their return.

The beautiful Laco B-Uhr example for sale features the more elaborate Type B dial with an outer ring for minutes/seconds and an inner ring for hours, which was first designed and manufactured in 1942.

The Laco B-Uhr watch for sale is in excellent condition having been fully stripped, cleaned and serviced by one of our highly skilled and expert horologists.
The hands, dial and glass are all original and are in superb overall condition. The replacement crown is almost identical to the original. These watches are often found without their original crown or have been fitted with an undersized later replacement from a civilian pocket watch.
As expected, there are a number of fairly minor scratches and marks on the outer casing of the watch.
All the correct markings match and are present on both the outer and inner casing.
The very fine Durowe D5 calibre movement is in excellent condition and running extremely well.

The watch comes with a free six-month warranty having been newly serviced by Andy Leftley of Time World Services, who is one of the UK’s leading specialists in German military timepieces.

Please note that the leather strap on which the watch is presented is for display purposes only and is not included within the sale.

Diameter: 55mm (ex crown)