4.1368 Leonidas Bomb Timer, 1940’s

£1,450.00

Rare 1930’s WWII trophy LEONIDAS Bomb Timer, intended for the multi-seater bomber crews, who all had a dedicated bomb gunners. Features an unusual return chronograph function and unique caliber movement with two chronograph wheels systems. The radium phosphor lume has been replaced with safe, glow-in-the-dark non-radioactive lume phosphor. Has undergone full servicing with disassembly. Comes with 6-month warranty and optional military style strap.

SKU: 41368 Category: Tags: , , ,

Key Features and Information

A rare World War II trophy, combining not only collectible value, but also an unusual unique function of the return chronograph. These devices began to be produced in the 1920’s, used until the end of World War II. The chronograph timer was intended for the multi-seater bomber crews, who all had a dedicated bombing gunner.

The Italian Air Force possessed quite advanced technologies – the creator of the first aerial bomb is considered to be the Italian Lieutenant K. Tsipelli. For aiming bombing, an optical device with gyroscopic stabilisation was used, which prompts, based on the height and angles, the time to drop the bomb. The gunner turned on the chronograph, waited for a second to approach the target, then the second press – and the hand goes back to zero two times slower (see the video at the bottom of the page). When the arrow was zeroed, bombs should be dropped. The chronograph could either be worn on the hand over a jacket or mounted on the brackets of the aiming device.

Due to its rarity, this chronograph will be a very interesting item for collectors of military aviation watches. The prices for such items are quite high, for example see the link from the auction, and the offered price is almost half the market average. The kit for wrist use also had a bracket on the crown, but when mounted on a targeting device, the device worked without a bracket (we have it without a bracket). The staple, if desired, can be made.

The radioactive radium phosphor on the dial and hands has been replaced with a safe phosphor, which still glows in the dark. The movement is fully operational, and has been cleaned and lubricated. A custom-made military style strap can be made available. This device will perfectly complement the collection any PANERAI connoisseur and fan of the Italian military vintage theme.

 

Note: This item is unavailable to view in person as it is currently in our Moscow workshop, however it can be shipped to you at your convenience.

About Leonidas

The Leonidas brand has been known since the end of the 19th century, its main specialisation is chronographs, split-chronographs, and military watches. It was one of the main suppliers of watches for the Wehrmacht in the 1930-40’s, at the same time it supplied watches for the British army with the GSTP mark. In the early 1960’s, the company was incorporated into TAG HEUER , marking the first time that their watches were called Leonidas-Heuer.

Servicing and Guarantee

This timepiece has been serviced with full disassembly. There is a 6-month guarantee, subject to the usage and care guidelines.

Case

  • Original, large case with thick sidewall.
  • Nickel case.
  • Convex mineral crystal with facet.
  • Hinged caseback.
  • Large winding crown on sidewall, protected with a chronograph push-button function.
  • Additional button for stopping the chronograph.

Dimensions:

  • Width w/o crown 57 mm.
  • Width w/ crown 72 mm.
  • Height 77 mm.

Dial and Hands

  • Original black dial.
  • Military style Arabic numerals.
  • Unusual irregular marking 5 – 60 hm hectometres (the measure of length used in artillery).
  • “Cronografo a Ritorno – Leonidas” signature.
  • ‘Modern’ style blued hand with safe, glow-in-the-dark lume.

Movement

  • Swiss-made movement.
  • Unique caliber (description in notes below).
  • Gilt plates and bridges.
  • Polished wheels.
  • Matte finished screws.
  • “Depose” punched on bridge.

Note on the Movement:

The movement is of a unique caliber, with two chronograph wheel systems assembled on one base. One works at double speed, the second reverses at normal speed, but in the opposite direction. Due to the two chronograph systems, the hand first runs forward quickly, then backward slowly. This function is no longer ever found in timepieces.  The technical preservation and aesthetic condition is close to ideal.

Servicing and Guarantee

Links and Resources:

Catalogue of Bomb Timer with an Explanation of the Principles of Operation (Similar to Leonidas in the Review Dated 1937).

Leonidas Engineering and Navigation Chronograph. 

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Case material

Nickel

Dial tone

Black/dark

Origin

Swiss

Size grade

50 mm and more

Year approx

1930