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Thread: First Post: Advice for building a WWII collection

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    Default First Post: Advice for building a WWII collection

    Hello all, new member here. I'd like to build a collection of watches that represent all the major nations in WWII. A big task, I know. So far I have a 1942 Rolex Speedking, Hamilton 4992B, 1941 Soviet Type-1 Kirovskie, and a Seikosha.
    My focus is primarily on pieces that were used in combat or are unique in some way, not strictly military-issue. For example, my Rolex is engraved with the name of a Red Army officer who received it just after the battle of Berlin when his unit linked up with US forces north of the city.

    First, I'm putting a list together of what I'll be looking at in the future, and there are a couple countries giving me trouble:

    -Italy: It's safe to say that an original Panerai will probably always be out of my budget; any other options?

    -France: Other than some dodgey-looking "free-French cross" watches that I see pop up on eBay, I'm at a loss. Did LIP produce anything specifically for the army?

    Second, I think my next priority is going to be a German Kriegsmarine watch (as Das Boot is one of my favorite movies). I'm aware of the minefield that is buying from Eastern Europe, so are there any good resources for authenticating things?

    Thanks in advance. I'm looking forward to learning a lot!

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    Moderator lambstew's Avatar
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    Hi & Welcome. If you check out the sticky section at the top of the main page you'll see recommended military watch reference books by Konrad Knirim & are excellent resources all around.

    Using the Search function will also bring up good information..

    I'm not aware of the Italian army being issued any wrist watches as the German Wehrmacht was, only know of the Navy issued Panerai pieces as far as wrist watches go..it would have been mainly civilian private purchase watches otherwise..

    Ditto for the French Forces during WW2 (please correct me if I'm wrong), but possibly units attached to Allied formations may have received UK or US mil watches..

    Im not sure if the KM marked wrist watches made it into U-boots but issued pocket timers certainly were used while Navy ground formations would have received the KM marked wrist watches..

    Good luck

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    Senior Member river rat's Avatar
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    What I did was go the clock rout I do have a lot of US issued wrist watch like all three brands of A-11 Waltham, Elgin, Bulova but for the axis clocks were more easy and cooler in the house

    Italian Navy Lemania this one mite of been after WW2

    German Navy U-Boat clock

    Japanese Navy Deck Clock made by Seikosha

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    Hi ZaRodinu,

    Welcome aboard. You have set yourself an ambitious but achievable task. The advice on reference books is sound. I would also suggest choosing a focus for your collection, as you have done, but being open to whatever comes along that fits the brief.

    You didn't mention them, but British service watches are numerous, so are relatively easily covered. However there are also commonwealth countries you should also consider, Canada (RCAF Waltham 6B/150) and India (West End CSI).

    Happy hunting

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    Any recommendations on Kiwi watches? Spent lots of time in NZ. Love the place!

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    Moderator lambstew's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lc130 View Post
    Any recommendations on Kiwi watches? Spent lots of time in NZ. Love the place!
    I only know of three Kiwi types - IWC MKXI, Omega '53 (also found dated '56) with RNZAF markings added below the standard UK markings, and an unusual type marked 6B-N90 owned by raymondo5508. If he sees this post hopefully he will show his very rare collection..

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    Thanks for the replies. I'm planning on at least one Dirty Dozen WWW at some time in the future. For Canada, I'm probably going to seek out one of the commonwealth sub-brands made by Rolex (Solar Aqua, Unicorn, Oyster, etc). Or possibly an Air Lion, Air King, Air Tiger - whatever fits the bill. Most of the RCAF Walthams I've seen have been post-war; did they issue that model during the war as well?

    It's a good idea to seek out ship clocks - I didn't know the KM watches weren't issued to submariners. I'm planning on building a wall display once the collection has enough pieces to justify it, so ship clocks would fit in well. And for Italy, it would certainly be more workable than a $100K+ Panerai.

    My great-uncle was nearly killed during a Nazi bombing raid when he was serving in France. The Elgin he was wearing at the time is still in the family - so that will be treasured if I can add it to my collection. He was in the Canadian army, now that I think of it.

    What's the best way to date the West End watches? Or do you just have to go by features and dial style?

  8. #8

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    Hi Konrad
    Yes i have a few pictures of my RNZAF watches as you mentioned above.
    Cheers.
    6B-N90 RNZAF.






    IWC Mk 11 RNZAF 1956





    Omega RNZAF 6b/542 1956




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    Super Moderator dave's Avatar
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    Russell, you need to rethink your image hosting.

    your images may be cached and are showing fine for you but in reality your PB is now U/S -


    Last edited by dave; 07-14-2017 at 05:23. Reason: grammar.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ZaRodinu View Post
    Thanks for the replies. I'm planning on at least one Dirty Dozen WWW at some time in the future...

    What's the best way to date the West End watches?...
    welcome to the MWR forum.

    strictly speaking the British WWWs, although 1944/45 production with 1945 deliveries, were in reality post WW2 watches.

    you should be looking at some of the following British marked watches -

    ATP

    GSTP

    6B/159

    6B/234


    as for West End watches if they are fitted with a Longines movement they can generally be dated from the movement serial number.

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    Member lc130's Avatar
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    Konrad

    None of your pics are viewable. I'd love to see these. Also, how did you come across these and how rare are they?

    Charlie

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    Super Moderator dave's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lc130 View Post
    None of your pics are viewable. I'd love to see these...
    please see post #9 Charlie..

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    Quote Originally Posted by lc130 View Post
    Konrad

    None of your pics are viewable. I'd love to see these. Also, how did you come across these and how rare are they?

    Charlie
    What Dave said: please see post #9 Charlie..

    -they belong to Russell..

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    Moderator lambstew's Avatar
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    Russell - try switching image hosting to Imgur see discussion here: http://www.mwrforum.net/forums/showt...-hosting-sites

    I'm now using Imgur too which is simple to use and at no cost for third party image hosting. If you aren't aware, Photobucket now charges for third party image hosting and blocks previously hosted images if you haven't upgraded which is what happened with your pics..

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    Thanks Konrad i will get this sorted when I get some time today. Should I email you pictures in the mean time?
    Cheers Russell.

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    Moderator lambstew's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lc130 View Post
    Any recommendations on Kiwi watches? Spent lots of time in NZ. Love the place!
    Russell's RNZAF pics:







    Last edited by dave; 07-16-2017 at 04:09. Reason: added the Z to RNZAF.

  17. #17

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    Thanks Konrad for doing this. Once I master imgur I will be away. You left the "Z" out on RNZAF.
    Cheers Russell.

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    Amazing NZ collection. Thanks for posting!

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