These watches have become known as the B-UHR style, abbreviated for Beobachtungs-Uhren or ‘Observation’ watch. The oversized crown, used to stop the centre seconds for precise time setting, could be operated with gloves on while the extra-long straps (this one a modern replacement) meant they could be worn over a flight jacket.
The IWC watch had two dial variations: this one with the standard outer minute track and large triangle at 12 o’clock is dubbed Type A. The serial number FL23883 to the side of the case identifies the watch as one used for navigation.
These watches were property of the Luftwaffe, to be returned after service, but a good number were traded or ‘liberated’ by Allied soldiers.
This example was offered in a Macclesfield auction on December 3.