Meylan - Racing Pulse New York Saturday, December 12, 2020 | Phillips

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  • Manufacturer: Meylan
    Year: Circa 1940
    Movement No: 238
    Case No: 132'459
    Model Name: Type A-7
    Material: Chrome plated
    Calibre: Manual, cal. 17""7, 17 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Leather
    Clasp/Buckle: Stainless steel
    Dimensions: 51mm. Diameter
    Signed: Case and movement signed

  • Catalogue Essay

    Collectors admire military wristwatches for their historical perspective, but more importantly because these rare timepieces were never offered to civilians, and were military issued meeting strict specifications requested by a military branch. These often included lugs with fixed spring bars for safety or luminous dials with large hands for ease of reading in the dark.

    In 1934 the US Army Air Corps, the predecessor to the US Army Air Forces (1941-1947), and later on renamed US Air Force (1947 – present) issued a request for a timepiece describing in detail the design and functions under “Specification No. 27748.” The watch was specified to have an offset dial, large crown and chronograph pusher to operate with a gloved hand, large Arabic numerals, 30-minute chronograph counter and continuous sub seconds dial.

    The present chronograph is a wonderful example from the United States Air Force, and their design and function under “Specification” 27748, Type A-7 “Avigation” was designed for aircraft navigation. As is often seen on military watches, the caseback is engraved with relevant information, and with the present watch the Type A-7 model, along with the serial number AG-37-77, order number 37-5263-P, specification and maker.

    Meylan, Longines and Gallet were the only three watch companies contracted to produce these Type A-7 watches, and it is believed the original procurement of 1934 was followed up in the late 1930s to early 40s. The Type A-7 was deemed obsolete by 1943.

    For the collector of military timepieces, the present Meylan Type A-7 is a true grail with its fully military marking on the caseback and “U.S. Army”-engraved movement. Considering their “tool watch” status, most of these watches were worn in adrenaline filled action situations and the present lot is in superb condition, with a movement that looks as it has just left the Meylan workshops.


An oversized, rare and historically important asymmetrical chrome plated pilots' chronograph wristwatch with black dial, single button pusher and military markings, made for the US Army

Circa 1940
51mm. Diameter
Case and movement signed

$20,000 - 30,000 

Sold for $22,680

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Racing Pulse

New York Auction 12 December 2020