For sale we have an original example of a Helios watch from WW2, which was issued as a service watch to the Wehrmacht. It comes with signed provenance. It is in original condition with signs of its age. It has a 34mm case, with a lug-to-lug width of 41.5mm giving it significant wrist presence. The black dial is attractive and clear with railroad minute track and sub-seconds. The clear syringe style hands and white painted with radium lume in-fill. The Arabic numerals are bold, with radium lume in-fill. The chrome case has brassing associated with wear to the plate, whilst the screw back has the correct relevant signing. Inside is the AS 1130 movement which has shock proofing, a different regulator and a higher level of finishing than standard. It is in good condition, keeping time to within +25 seconds a day.
Wehrmacht issued WW2 wrist watches were produced by many Swiss and German watch makers, who were contracted by the German government.
They are manual wind, tend to have Steel screw backs, are shock proof, are water resistant and have nickel plated brass (sometimes full steel) cases. The dials were black with radium luminous numerals, lumed hour and minute hands and a sub-second.
The ‘D’ code stands for Dienstuhr (Service Watch) with the ‘H’ making this Service Watch Army (Heer). German made watches did not have these exact markings, this was reserved for imported contract watches to allow for contract documentation and record keeping.
The watch comes with original provenance from the family, explaining how it was obtained during liberation of a concentration camp.
We cannot ascertain if this watch was worn by an SS officer, with little knowledge on the watches they may have worn during WW2. But provenance is the only thing keeping tales such as this alive.
It is accompanied with the following signed writing and photograph;
“This is a photo of my Uncle, Ambrose Sebastian Martin. My dad’s memory is fading as to which concentration camp Ambrose liberated. But there is no doubt in his mind, that my uncle shot an SS officer for strutting around the camp and complaining about his treatment .. despite the horrendous things, this offer had done to the prisoners. He then removed this watch from the dead German Officer. In these days, that would certaintly have been a war crime. My uncle turned to alcohol after the war and he died before I was born.
He now rests in Great Hardwood Cemetery Lancashire”.
Military watches are already collectable due to their design and importance during wars. However, such a unique piece of provenance makes this a very interesting watch from a collectors perspective.
The watch has seen a life and this was considered, with the watch only having been cleaned lightly, with a light polish to the original crystal.
Full condition report below. Please see the images as these compliment and aid the description provided below.
The dial is original and is in good condition for the age. It is a matte black tone and has some speckled ageing to the tone. The minute track, signing and sub-second dial are all good, with original radium lume on the hour markers.
The hands are original, with a white painted finish and radium lume in-fill. They are in good condition with some discolouration to the white paint. The original lume is complete and has aged. The sub-second hand is also original.
The acrylic crystal is original and has been polished. It has a small fracture to the bottom but has been kept to maintain originality.
The crown is original and has wear to the chrome finish.
The case is chrome plated brass and is in worn condition. The chrome is worn with significant brassing. There is scratching to the case.
The screw back is in average condition with a circular brushed finish. It has some deeper marks from poor opening attempts in the past. It has some light surface scratching associated with ageing. The DH engraving is clear and original with serial number and associated signing.
The watch is on a new Nato style strap in Black. It will fit any wrist size.
The movement is an AS 1130. This is an early example with shock-protection. It also has a higher standard of finishing to the bridges and a more advanced regulation system. It is a manual wind movement, with a jewel count of 15 and has a frequency of 18,000 BPH.
The service history is unknown, but the movement is in good condition and is keeping good time. It’s keeping time to within +25 seconds a day with an amplitude of 230 degrees and a beat error of 3.4m/s.
Case width: 34mm
Case width with crown: 36.5mm
Case length: 34mm
Case length lug to lug: 41.5mm
Case Depth: 10.5mm
Lug width: 18mm
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