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Galea

Military Pocket Watches

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Anyone here collects military pocket watches?

Here are some pics of my GSTP's:

militarypw1.jpg

Buren, Damas, Cyma, Doxa, Elgin, Grana.

militarypw2.jpg

Helvetia, Leonidas, Marvin, Moeris, Jaeger Le Coultre, Omega.

militarypw3.jpg

3 Walthams, Recta, 2 Unnamed

Regards,

Joseph

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Superb. I've been meaning to get some GSTP pocket watches for ages but never seem to get around to it. The only similar thing I've got so far is this modern CWC

cwc_pocket.jpg

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Well, I finally got around to buying some of these. Some of you may recognise them from another online dealer's stock. I decided to bag the lot in one go... hey presto, instant GSTP collection! :D

CYMA

gstp-cyma.jpg

Helvetia

gstp-helvetia.jpg

Unbranded #1

gstp-f061471.jpg

Unbranded #2

gstp-m34915.jpg

Unbranded #3

gstp-q17529.jpg

I plan to get at least seven more as they came in a nice box with space for a dozen pocket watches :)

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Three more WW2 era, military pocket watches landed today :)

First up, a no-make 6E/50 RAF observer's/navigator's watch. Basically the same as the army issue G.S.T.P's above except for being non-luminous:

observer-6e50.jpg

Next, an American-made Elgin, 7-jewel, Grade 291, circa 1941, exported to England and issued to the British army as a GS MkII general service timepiece. This one appears to have an original (or very old, at least) lanyard and its original crystal which displays some scary Radium burns from the luminous dial:

elgin_gs-mkii.jpg

And lastly, a Zenith HS3. These were first issued to the Royal Navy Hydrographic Service around 1942 and, after the end of the Second World War, were returned to the admiralty at Herstmonceaux Castle where the original dials were replaced with ones like the example below. On this dial, basic time-telling functions were relegated to the small centre scale, with seconds/minutes being read from the middle scale, emphasised in red. The outer scale shows 10th's/100ths. of a minute. The casebacks had the orignal HS3 markings struck out and replaced by NATO stock numbers. The issue number corresponds to the last four digits of the movement serial number. I think you have to handle one of these watches to really appreciate what a serious peice of kit it is!

zenith-hs3.jpg

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Glad to see I'm not alone in appreciating them. And for those that are interested in what makes 'em tick...

Part 1 - G.S.T.P's:

CYMA

gstp-cyma-mvt.jpg

Helvetia (General Watch Co.)

gstp-helvetia-mvt.jpg

Unbranded #1

gstp-f061471-mvt.jpg

Unbranded #2

gstp-m34915-mvt.jpg

Unbranded #3

gstp-q17529-mvt.jpg

Edited by rhaythorne

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Superb. I've been meaning to get some GSTP pocket watches for ages but never seem to get around to it. The only similar thing I've got so far is this modern CWC

cwc_pocket.jpg

I see your cwc is no longer avaialble, what movt. does it use? (V. nice btw)

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Here are some of mine I am getting more into to collecting military watches these day's

012-5.jpg

Helvetia GS/TP

002-7.jpg

Hamilton 2794B comparing watch

049.jpg

Elgin GCT Navigation watch

005-24.jpg

Hamiton model 23

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@lebaron - the CWC pocket watches crop up on eBay occasionally, especially the older ones without the oval around the logo. I've never been able to get the back off to confirm which movement is used (I tried again just now with no success, it's on too tight to budge) but I'd be very surprised if it was anything other than a Unitas 6497 or 6498.

@river rat - very nice, especially the Hamilton chrono and the Elgin GCT. I might have to see about getting one of those. Is GCT "Greenwich Civil Time" or "General something Timer" perhaps? :huh:

@ValvesRule - I've wondered that myself. A type of swan neck regulator with micrometer adjustment perhaps? Not being a watchmaker, I don't know for sure.

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Your right about the GCT Greenwich Civil Time Elgin used the BW Raymond movement for there's you see less of these then you had the 4992B made by Hamilton another GCT watch.

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I've got a feeling my pocket watches are military related. I'd love to know something about them if anyone can help. I've no idea about the age of the Helvetia but I can see the numbers: 56, 14k (i found to be 14 carat), 0.585 and 3716285. Is it possible to work out a date from that I wonder.

The white faced clock seems to be from circa 1905, neal's st. brighton, 449028 D case, 44137, 7 jewels.

I suppose what I need is a valuation. Can anyone help? Otherwise any information would be greatly appreciated. Also, please let me know if you would be interested in them.

Thanks in advance. Will Ranoe

Helvetiafront.jpg

Nealsfront.jpg

bothinside.jpg

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Can someone explain to me why military pocket watches continued to exist after WWI? I always thought that it was the relative inconvenience of a pocket watch that caused it to be phased OUT of the military instead. Why were they continued to be made for the army/navy/air-force, if wristwatches were available?

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Can someone explain to me why military pocket watches continued to exist after WWI? I always thought that it was the relative inconvenience of a pocket watch that caused it to be phased OUT of the military instead. Why were they continued to be made for the army/navy/air-force, if wristwatches were available?

Pocket watches were used by the military by various branches that needed precision timing for artillery,airborne,transportation operations.And also better one's for the Airforce and Navy for navigation.And they varied in constuction in size apperance and parts for the American military Elgin,Hamilton,Waltham were the main brands remember pocket watches were still being made and sold up to the 1950's by these companies the military took any thing they could buy to get the job done and these watches did the job.Some had as little as 7 jewel to as many as 22 jewels.And they did keep better time than the wrist watch of the day.A plus for Navigtion no GPS in WW2.

Edited by river rat

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I have an old Zenith wrist watch with the same regulater, the wathmaker said it was a goose neck regulater because of the shape i suppose probably not the technical name though. :)

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rhaythorne

Just found this old topic with the GSTP watches. Yours is a nice collection, probably a lot bigger by now perhaps?

I have a watch which appears to be identical to your Unbranded #1

There are not many clues as to the manufacturer, but I notice that the movement back plate has a tiny "star" on it rather like the Zenith star logo.

Do you think there is any mileage in that idea? I know they made GSTP's of a different pattern signed Zenith.

Hope you pick this up.

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Hi and welcome to the forum.

Hmm, interesting idea.  I guess it's possible although neither of my Zenith branded pocket watches have the star on the movement and the Zenith logo is usually a shield containing a star above a "Z", I think.   But I suppose they might have produced a relatively anonymous movement with a single star on it.

Perhaps the best way to find out is to ask someone with a better knowledge of pocket watch movements if they recognise who made this:

gstp-f061471-mvt.jpg

Or, if yours is different in some way, post a pic of that and we'll take a look :)

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Hi - Apologies for delay in replying, I haven't been near a PC

Mine is identical, I can't find a single feature on the movement or the face that is different to yours. I can't get a decent photo unfortunately but it will look just the same.

I have asked Zenith if they produced watches with just a star on the movement at all. That was a week ago and they haven't said no yet, all I have had is an "out of office" reply for last weekend. When I hear from them I will let you know.

I have seen older Zenith wrist watches with just a star above the Zenith. It was seeing that that gave me the thought in the first place.

Thanks for your help

“Real knowledge is to know the extent of one's ignorance" - Confucius

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