IWC - The Hong Kong Watch Auction: FIVE Hong Kong Monday, November 27, 2017 | Phillips

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  • Manufacturer: IWC
    Year: 1940
    Reference No: 431
    Movement No: 1'013'917
    Case No: 1'033'317
    Model Name: B-UHR
    Material: Stainless steel
    Calibre: Manual, cal. 52 TSC, 16 jewels, dust cover
    Bracelet/Strap: Brown leather aviator's strap
    Clasp/Buckle: Stainless steel buckle
    Dimensions: 54.5mm diameter
    Signed: Case signed
    Accessories: With IWC Zertifikat confirming sale of the present watch on September 20, 1940 and Service Invoice dated September 9, 2017.

  • Catalogue Essay

    The present piece is a fascinating example of the legendary B-Uhr, the official navigation watch of the Luftwaffe (indeed B-Uhr stands for Beobachtungs-uhr: navigation watch). Five companies supplied these timepieces to the German army, four of them German (A. Lange & Söne, Wempe, Laco and Stowa) and the Swiss I.W.C, manufacturer of the present piece, who also supplied timepieces to Allied forces. All these pieces share common traits, such as the dial style and the military inscriptions to the inside of the case back, detailing manufacturer, movement number, and issue number, which was usually FL23883, repeated on the band. The present watch dates from 1940, and correctly features the so-called "Type A" dial, distinguished by an outer ring bearing the Arabic hour numerals. In 1941 the "Type B" will be introduced, moving the hour numerals to an inner ring, and featuring Arabic five minutes divisions to the outer ring.

    An astounding military and historical relic, this wristwatch holds all the details the connoisseur expects to find on such a timepiece:
    - Extremely large diameter, to increase legibility in all condition and also to allow the watch to be worn on top of the pilot's cuff, where it is always in sight.
    - Oversize crown, allowing winding while wearing pilot's gloves.
    - Luminous Arabic black dial, with luminous swords-shaped hands and luminous seconds hand: allowing - together with the large size - for perfect readability in all conditions and at any time of the day or night.
    - Movement surrounded by an iron band working together with the dust cover and dial to create a Faraday cage to make it amagnetic, a necessary requirement for a pilot's wristwatch.
    - Hack feature, for precise time setting.
    - Dust cover, for increased protection both from shocks and from external pollutant.
    - Large movement and consequently large balance wheel, for improved accuracy.
    - Military inscriptions to the inside of the case back, detailing model name, movement number and issue number.
    - Movement number repeated on the inside and outside of the caseback, case number repeated on the cuvette, to ensure the pieces of the watch are not inadvertently exchanged during service, and to be able to identify the watch without opening it.

    A rare timepiece and witness of history, the present watch has been brought back to its original, imposing splendor by the maker in 2017: an exceedingly rare occasion for the collector of military and technical wristwatches.

  • Artist Biography


    Swiss • 1868

    With a clear focus on technology and development, the Swiss watch manufacturer IWC Schaffhausen has been producing timepieces of lasting value since 1868. The company has gained an international reputation based on a passion for innovative solutions and technical ingenuity. One of the world's leading brands in the luxury watch segment, IWC crafts masterpieces of haute horlogerie at their finest, combining high precision with masculine design. Vintage wristwatches such as the oversized Portugieser, Aquatimer, Ingenieur and the B-UHR pilots watch are especially desirable for collectors.

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Ref. 431
An oversized pilot's wristwatch with sweep centre seconds and hack feature

54.5mm diameter
Case signed

HK$160,000 - 240,000 

Sold for HK$237,500

Contact Specialist
Ziyong Ho
+852 9386 2032
[email protected]

The Hong Kong Watch Auction: FIVE

Hong Kong Auction 28 November 2017