A companion piece to the WWII German B-Uhr watches, this is (in fact) a much rarer item. It is a Luftwaffe wrist compass specification number FL23235-1. Normally worn on the right wrist, it was used in conjunction with maps and the Navigator’s watch for the dead reckoning calculations.
Larger than the (already huge) B Uhr watch in every dimension and made from easily breakable Bakelite it is no wonder that so few of them have survived.
The compass is made from two sections, a black Bakelite base and a rotating transparent top housing. Contained inside the base is the compass ring, which is also made from transparent Bakelite and which has a floating circle with the compass points painted in black. Interestingly the degrees have the final 0 omitted (so 330° is shown as 33) each of the 30° makers has a small radium dot next to it and the North indication is marked with a large red N and a luminous triangle and large dot. The base is stamped with the serial number 4043
The top of the rotating “bezel” has two sights, the black one having a “V” cut in it enabling it to be used to “draw a bead” on the red one like a gunsight. There is a thin black line painted under the glass which must be lined up with a similar one on the floating compass rose. On the bottom of the unit is a rotating shutter, which enables light to come through to enhance visibility.
This is only the second one of these I have seen, however I have seen about a dozen Panerai ones, as the Panerais were made from metal the survival rate is understandable. However every Panerai compass I have ever seen had badly discoloured liquid which made them unreadable and therefore unusable. This German one is as clear as the day it was made & works like a dream.
The whole of this item rates as 90+%
Diameter 62mm; Lug to Lug 74mm; Height 22mm., it takes a 17mm strap and the original strap is still fitted.
£1,500.00 (approx. $2,400.00 US)
Please note that the information in the above description draws heavily on two publications “British Intelligence in the Second World War Volume 1” ISBN 0 11 630933 4 and “German Military Timepieces of World War II Volume 2” ISBN 0 9529103 6 5.