- YEAR : 1942
- Ref. ORD-554
|Version||US Army ORD Europe|
|Type of movement||Hand-wound movement|
|Content delivered||Travel case|
|Certificate||Certificate of authentification|
|New / Used||Pre-owned watch|
|Manufacturer's caliber reference||Caliber 820-b 17 jewels by general watch co.|
|Case size (mm)||34|
|Type of glass||Plexiglass|
|Dial||Black white lettering with luminescent numerals and hands|
|Strap Type||Bracelet type us Bastogne new black leather|
|Min. strap length (cm)||16|
|Max. strap length (cm)||24|
|Specificities||Rare dust-proof and non-magnetic stop-second watch, 18,000 vph, 40-hour power reserve.|
Helvetia US army ord dept military watch from 1944. A rare watch that benefits from the technical advances developed during the first years of the Second World War, this Helvetia, made in Switzerland by the General Watch Company, will be equipped with one of the best movements at the end of the war: 17 jewels movement, very shock-resistant, non-magnetic, dustproof and waterproof case, central seconds hand, high-visibility luminescent hands, 34 mm case middle with a low thickness, screwed bottom and equipped with grooves for easy maintenance the whole matched with ease of care which will allow it to be employed by the US army in Korea more than fifteen years later.
Another unique feature of this watch is the bracelet that accompanies it, a characteristic bracelet presented in a modern version but similar to period models. The strap has a leather band that surrounds the watch and protects it from vibrations from vehicles or machines used during combat, repetitive shocks due to shooting or shaking caused by the user's arm. This existing watch strap configuration for aviation watches was, towards the end of 1943, adapted to the rigours of war in winter with reinforced protection for the user's skin. Improved protection consists of widening the leather strip in contact with the skin until it extends behind the pin buckle to prevent frostbite when touching the metal.
This type of watch delivered in the middle of the war by the General Watch Company to the American Department of Defense will arrive at the right time to participate in the significant strategic offensives of the Allies of the years 43 and 44. Notably: the landing in North Africa to dislodge Rommel's Afrika-Korps, the invasion of Sicily and sealing of the Mediterranean, the conquest of the Italian peninsula, and the German army at the end of forty-three were under pressure. In 1944, Operation Overlord will see D-Day break through the German lines and push them back in a pincer movement that will relegate them for a time, before the final defeat, on their borderline.
It is in this context that the mechanised troops Patton will benefit from the best equipment available after the German offensive in the Ardennes, Bastogne and the heroic resistance of the US army soldiers, and made general officers aware that the rigours of winter put too much pressure on men and equipment, which added to that of the fighting. It was decided to continue the war effort with special care devoted to the equipment available to soldiers.
In this context, mechanised troops under the command of General Patton will benefit from superior quality watches, 17-jewel, waterproof and non-magnetic hack-watch type watches generally assigned to the air force and which Helvetia will deliver (about 5000 watches) to the US army just before the landing in Normandy. These watches will be assigned like the new Sherman tanks to units under Patton's command and will conquer Europe.
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