The outsize stainless chronographs supplied to navigators and observers of the Luftwaffe are particularly popular – the example offered by Mallams (20% buyer’s premium) on March 21 made c.1940-41 by the Swiss maker Universal. The case back is inscribed RLM-Nav. 5607, a reference to the German Ministry of Aviation, the Reichsluftfahrtministerium.
Many of these watches were ‘liberated’ by Allied soldiers from German pilots during the war.
This example came by descent from Captain Joseph Henry Brown Jewitt (1903-87) who, although officially ‘retired’ in 1938 after long service in India, was recalled to the British Army and made a lieutenant in the 52nd Anti-Tank Regiment, Royal Artillery.
Initially posted with the British Expeditionary Force in France and evacuated at Dunkirk, he was later posted to the Middle East and then Italy where he was mentioned in Dispatches twice. On his return to civilian life, Jewitt wore this wristwatch regularly, using a local horologist for its servicing and maintenance.
Estimated at £3000-4000, it sold at £4600 to a collector on the phone.