This watch is one of a number made in the decade prior to WWII, which are collectively known as “aviator’s watches”, but more correctly as Pilot’s or Navigator’s Watches. The IWC Mk IX is probably the best known of the bunch but Zenith, Movado, Omega, Helvetia & Avia and many others also made similar watches.
Large size cases, black dials with radium numerals & hands and a rotating bezel with a movable pointer below the glass are the distinguishing features. Most of them seem to have been designed for and used by the nascent German Luftwaffe pilots although they were never really issued; however the overall design lived on in the Hanhardt chronographs used by the Luftwaffe during WWII.
An identical watch is shown in K. Knirim’s “Military Timepieces” on page 373 and what is most interesting is that this watch also has the very large winding tube protruding from the case side to enable winding while wearing flying gloves in the unheated cockpits of those early days.
The watch uses the brushed gilt finish in house manufacture Zenith Cal. 13-2-1, numbered 3059418, it has Manual Winding, and ‘snail shell’ micrometer adjustment of the regulator. Like all watches from this era, it has no shock absorption for the balance staff. The movement is protected by a dust cover; which, unusually, is made from mineral glass, allowing the movement to be seen in all its glory.
The alloy case is in not so good condition, the rotating bezel moves freely, but the screwed back has experienced some corrosion over time.
The Original Black enamel Dial has a sunken subsidiary seconds dial at the six position the indices are luminous bars, with double bars at the 12 position. The ‘pencil’ hands are luminous, but as can be expected with an 80 year old watch, none of the luminous still functions.
The dial is 90%, whilst the movement is 95% and the case is 80%.
The watch measures 35.2mm Diam, 39.5mm lug to lug, it is 12mm high and takes a 20 mm strap and a black leather strap is fitted.