german wristwatch

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landser32
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Post by landser32 » 27 Apr 2005 19:14

Why not be different and use a "liberated" period American G.I. watch piece, especially if it is a western front battle? I have picked up several period 1940's dated G.I. watches and I wear two or three of them on one arm to make the impression more realistic. Jewelry especially watches is the one area where you definitely can cross lines over.


Landser32

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Oxlenstein
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Re: german wristwatch

Post by Oxlenstein » 07 Jan 2011 19:20

landser32 wrote:Why not be different and use a "liberated" period American G.I. watch piece, especially if it is a western front battle? I have picked up several period 1940's dated G.I. watches and I wear two or three of them on one arm to make the impression more realistic. Jewelry especially watches is the one area where you definitely can cross lines over.





Landser32
I agree with Landser. You can not go wrong with an original or replica World War II model American watch that might have been "liberated" for your use. tjelvar is correct with his information also. The wrist watches of the 1940's tended to be round instead of square or rectangular in shape. And, like him, I would rather wear a modern day watch that looks period correct instead of an original watch from the era. The reasons for this is because original watches are often worn out or are in need of repair. Many original watches from World War II are highly collectible today, and I'd hate wear one to a reenactment only to have it damaged while falling, crawling, etc.

For Chrismas, I got a Fossil FS 4528. Do a Google image search for one sometime. This is the perfect watch! The bezel and face size is correct, the style of the hands are correct, it has an exposed, unprotected winding crown, the crystal dimensions are correct, and the watch just has a timeless look. They originally retailed for $76.00 (U.S.), but mine was purchased for only $40.00. The only things that differentiate the Fossil FS 4528 from that of an original World War II time piece is that (1) it is a Quartz style watch. That means that it goes tick..,tick..,tick..,tick... Almost every watch from World War II was an automatic watch. Automatic watches have a sweeping second hand that move eight times per second (like a Rolex) and the watch does not require a battery because it is operated by the movement of your wrist. One other difference between the Fossil FS 4528 and that of an original World War II time piece is that it says Fossil on the face and, as we all know, Fossil watches didn't exist until the 1980's. The cloth band (3) will need to be replaced with either another cloth band that has an earth-tone color or a leather strap. But a watch strap can be had for as little as five bucks! World War II watches had both leather and cloth straps so either one will work just fine. I recommend that everyone goes out and gets one of these Fossil watches. They are very simple (no date-just or anything like that), and look spot on. Plus, you will be buying a quality time piece for little money. Alternatively, you could go out and get a World War II replica watch from eBay, but these are made by no name Chinese manufacturers so they may or may not be a rip off. I hope this helped. :milwink:

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Tanker Mike
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Re: german wristwatch

Post by Tanker Mike » 08 Jan 2011 06:14

I thought this pocket watch looks pretty good.

http://www.lilliputmotorcompany.com/bla ... egory_id=0

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Oxlenstein
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Re: german wristwatch

Post by Oxlenstein » 08 Jan 2011 11:24

Tanker Mike wrote:I thought this pocket watch looks pretty good.

http://www.lilliputmotorcompany.com/bla ... egory_id=0

That is a nice watch. But $260.00??? Eek! 8O

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Tanker Mike
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Re: german wristwatch

Post by Tanker Mike » 08 Jan 2011 15:22

Oxlenstein wrote:That is a nice watch. But $260.00??? Eek! 8O
It is pricy but I have not found any thing cheaper that looks like it is from WWII. I have a German WWII pocket watch and the Blackface Lepine appears to be a dead ringer for it. However, I have not seen one in person, so who knows!

I wonder which was more common wrist watches or pocket watches?


Mike

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Oxlenstein
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Re: german wristwatch

Post by Oxlenstein » 08 Jan 2011 19:14

Mike - I'm not too sure. That is a good question. I have seen more German wristwatches from World War II than pocket watches. Actually, I haven't actually ever seen a German pocket watch from the era.

dixieflyer
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Re: german wristwatch

Post by dixieflyer » 09 Jan 2011 21:37

Ox, I don't know where you got the idea that most watches during WWII were automatic and did not need winding. This is just simply not true. My father received a watch as a gift in the late 60's/early 70's, and it had the "motion of your arm winds the watch" feature. It was a relatively new thing at that time, and to be honest, it really sucked, and it was not a common feature on watches even then.
I have never seen a watch or pocket watch from the era of our interest that did not require winding. As to pocket vs. wrist watches, you must remember that wrist watches were the new, all the rage, thing during WWI, and were still considered a new, modern thing during the 30's. There are many men, I am sure, in the Wehrmacht that took to the field carrying a pocket watch. I seriously doubt the Wehrmacht would require a pocket watch pocket to sewn onto trousers if there were not a significant number of men still using them. (Not that I think they were a majority, they weren't, but they were still there.) Now, my spidey-sense tingles and tells me that the majority of those that did carry pocket watches were men of an older generation, the type of soldiers you would find in rear area support positions, and not the young, front line combat troops.

A quick search on evil-bay will net you a plethora of pocket watches from Germany and the rest of Europe from the 30's, etc. Many of these supposedly have provenance of having been carried by someone in the Wehrmacht as well.

The truly authentic thing for you to do however is for you to carry a condom in that pocket. :wink: :roll:

Warren

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HaEn
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Re: german wristwatch

Post by HaEn » 09 Jan 2011 22:12

Like everything else, mine (issued as a kradmelder) was taken "into custody" at our surrender; never to be seen again :( . For reenacting i would look for a watch with regular numerals, ONE second hand in a bottom part of the face, and ask the jeweler to blotch out (possible !!!) the "quartz" branding. It also should have a leather band.
For not so close looks a timex with regular numerals will do.
just a thought,
HN

cpittman
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Re: german wristwatch

Post by cpittman » 10 Jan 2011 02:48

HN, thanks for your valued input, it is much appreciated.

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landser32
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Re: german wristwatch

Post by landser32 » 10 Jan 2011 08:15

Komeraden,
This post brings back memories, now a little older and wiser! Now as for watches, there are two routes you can go, either original time piece or a decent repro of an original design.

When I decide to use a wrist watch for my impression, I use one of these three period wristwatches from the war period. Two are US Army issue which as I pointed out in 2005 were "liberated" during one of our great offensives in the west.

The third is known as a "tanker" and was used by men all over throughout the 1930's on both sides of the great pond, so if you can find an original or nice reproduction tanker, take into account the quick fixes that HaEn suggested and there you have a period civilian wristwatch.

If you wish to go the pocketwatch route again you can go either original or repro. I have two, one is an Illinois brand from 1917 with a low serial number, and the second is a modern pocket watch made by Colibri. Again once those little issues are resolved it will look the part and better yet, goes for about $20.00.
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Fern
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Re: german wristwatch

Post by Fern » 10 Jan 2011 17:31

The watches I use for my impressions. Both are Kienzle. One is a cheap Kienzle Aviator watch. It is very close to a Luftwaffe Beobachtungsuhr. The other one is an old Kienzle (50's or 60's I guess) which is also quite close to an original Heer watch (the one on the pic is an original Recta that was issued to a Blue Division vet). IMHO both are good enough for reenactment purposes.
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Oxlenstein
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Re: german wristwatch

Post by Oxlenstein » 10 Jan 2011 17:50

[quote="dixieflyer"]Ox, I don't know where you got the idea that most watches during WWII were automatic and did not need winding. This is just simply not true. My father received a watch as a gift in the late 60's/early 70's, and it had the "motion of your arm winds the watch" feature. It was a relatively new thing at that time, and to be honest, it really sucked, and it was not a common feature on watches even then.
I have never seen a watch or pocket watch from the era of our interest that did not require winding. As to pocket vs. wrist watches, you must remember that wrist watches were the new, all the rage, thing during WWI, and were still considered a new, modern thing during the 30's. There are many men, I am sure, in the Wehrmacht that took to the field carrying a pocket watch. I seriously doubt the Wehrmacht would require a pocket watch pocket to sewn onto trousers if there were not a significant number of men still using them. (Not that I think they were a majority, they weren't, but they were still there.) Now, my spidey-sense tingles and tells me that the majority of those that did carry pocket watches were men of an older generation, the type of soldiers you would find in rear area support positions, and not the young, front line combat troops.

A quick search on evil-bay will net you a plethora of pocket watches from Germany and the rest of Europe from the 30's, etc. Many of these supposedly have provenance of having been carried by someone in the Wehrmacht as well.


Uh-oh, Warren. I think that their might be some confusion here. Did your uncle have a quartz style watch? (i.e. a batter powered watch?) The first quartz/battery powered watches were created in the late 1960's. Even Rolex jumped on board and made a limited run of these. After that, watch makers began to make the automatic watch. These watches tick eight times per second and are powered by the movement of your wrist. The watches that existed during World War II were automatic watches, but they had a limited power supply. This meant that the time piece would have to be re-wound in order for it to work again. Some watches were better than others and could last longer once the watch was wound, but they all had to be winded first in order to work. One of the problems with these types of watches is that you could over wind them. If that happened, they wouldn't work at all. I'm not too sure what you're referring to here. All I was saying was that you would not find a watch from World War II that was battery powered. They were all mechanical. :idea:

dixieflyer
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Re: german wristwatch

Post by dixieflyer » 10 Jan 2011 20:53

No Ox, I was referring to this that you posted earlier:

"That means that it goes tick..,tick..,tick..,tick... Almost every watch from World War II was an automatic watch. Automatic watches have a sweeping second hand that move eight times per second (like a Rolex) and the watch does not require a battery because it is operated by the movement of your wrist."

My point was that watches from WWII were not automatic watches powered by the movement of your wrist. When my father, not my uncle, receieved one as a gift in the early 70's, it was still kind of a new thing, and as it was, worked terribly.

Bottom line up front: there are some decent retro watches out there, you just have to keep your eyes peeled. So far, the only ones I've found in stores have the little date window. (Arrrrggghhh!! I hate those things, even for my everyday watch!)

Warren

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dagda
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Re: german wristwatch

Post by dagda » 10 Jan 2011 22:41

Why wear a 'liberated' watch at all? Its a bit like having a trench knife, if captured you would be set aside to get 'special' treatment. IMHO you are better off with a good copy of an original German watch and there is plenty of good quality ones about. After all if reenacting German troops wear german gear.

DayBoy
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Re: german wristwatch

Post by DayBoy » 11 Jan 2011 03:06

Oxlenstein - Thank you for that post. I have been looking for a watch like that Fossil for a long time... I will be ordering myself one of them asap! Like you said it will be easy to switch out the band and get that logo blacked out.

All the real ones are either trashed or in mint condition which means they are $$$$. God for bid if you take it into the field and it gets smashed... talk about a sad story that would be.

All the "reproductions" are more for air crews and such. Or they have silly designs on them such as planes or tanks. Too bad because some of them are almost decent.

I always laugh because every German watch I see for sale has some BS story attached with it... and 95% of the time it is a post war watch!

Thanks guys again for the info!

Keep up the great work!

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