- YEAR : 1943
- Ref. E-43-98
|Model||Navigation hack watch|
|Version||554 th bomber sq d-day|
|Type of movement||Mechanical movement with manual winding|
|Content delivered||Mostra travel case & certificate of authenticity|
|Certificate||Certificate of authenticity|
|New / Used||Pre-owned watch|
|Manufacturer's caliber reference||Caliber Elgin 539 with 16 jewels with non-magnetic bell|
|Case size (mm)||34|
|Type of glass||Plexiglass|
|Dial||Black with white inscriptions|
|Strap Type||Pilot-type bracelet|
|Min. strap length (cm)||14|
|Max. strap length (cm)||23|
|Specificities||Watch with military markings, screwed back, non-magnetic bell|
American military aviation watches Elgin a-11 of the 554th bomber squadron, a pilot's watch provided in the units which took part in the D-DAY, the landing of the allies in Normandy in 1944. The landing in Normandy comes in the continuity of Operation Torch, which sees the Allies land in North Africa. A necessary step for the encirclement of the forces of the German-Italian Axis, especially after the Russian front's opening and the Italian peninsula's invasion in 1943. This will definitively mark the withdrawal of the German forces and their passage into defensive mode. This operation, also called Overlord, will mobilize all the amphibious and airborne troops of the Allies in Europe to create a western front that will put the axis forces in a vice that will lead them to defeat.
This massive assault operation, planned since May 1942, will mobilize until the early hours of 1944 many manufacturers of equipment of all kinds across the Atlantic. A formidable logistical operation, the landing mobilized quantities never before equalled equipment, weapons, and men (in total, more than a million men will participate in the operation). In this context, the watch manufacturers Elgin, Waltham, and Hamilton are contributing significantly. The A-11 standard watch is chosen to equip the American forces in Europe, and this hack-type watch (synchronizable) will meet rigorous specifications from the US Department of Defense, which will also take into account the needs of the Asian front...
The watch A-11 Elgin is made of steel with a semi-waterproof (dust-proof) case, a black dial with white inscriptions, and hands protected by anti-reflective plexiglass. 18 mm between lugs, 34 mm diameter with an oversized winding crown to be operated with gloves. The watch has a screwed back, and, to work in vehicles or aircraft equipped with radios, the movement is protected by a metal bell with anti-magnetic properties. The movement is the Elgin calibre 539, with 16 jewels, a robust movement, withstanding shocks and vibrations very well. Nevertheless, like the example offered here, the combat units, as well as the pilots, had taken the precaution of wearing pilot-type bracelets (with a leather band under the watch to dampen any vibrations while piloting the machines)
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