Leonidas German ww1-ww2 era INFORMATION please HELP!

Discussion in 'European & Other Pocket Watches' started by cheita, Jun 14, 2017.

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  1. cheita

    cheita Registered User

    Apr 13, 2015
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    #1 cheita, Jun 14, 2017
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 14, 2017
    I bought a lot of watches and found this german Leonidas I don't know much about it it has either 99 or 66 stamped on the back case. It has a pocket watch movement and a stop watch combination. Any information would be appreciated
     
  2. MartyR

    MartyR Super Moderator
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    Hi Cheita

    First of all, the watch is Swiss, not German. It actually says so in your 4th and 5th photos :whistle:

    The maker is Leonidas Watch Factory of St Imier, Switzerland, who seem to have operated from about 1903 and then conjoined with a number of other watchmakers including Bourquin, Jeanneret Droz, and finally Heuer in the 1940s. Mikrolisk has two pages referring to the firm here.

    My best guess anbout the "66" is that this was a watch purchased by the military of a mainland European country, and 66 was the refereence number they gave to the watch.

    I would date it to the 1920s or 1930s. It's a good-looking watch!
     
  3. LloydB

    LloydB Registered User

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    #3 LloydB, Jun 14, 2017
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2017
    If you do a search on...

    [ Leonidas chronograph pocket watch]

    ... you may find a movement
    of about the same vintage.

    Leonidas made plenty of those,
    over the years.

    On yours, the stampings
    (LEONIDAS WATCH FY,
    FIFTEEN JEWELS,
    UNADJUSTED, SWISS MADE)
    are in English, suggesting an
    American, Canadian, or
    British 'target' for its sale.
     
  4. MartyR

    MartyR Super Moderator
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    The "F" and "S" on the regulator suggest the same.

    But the "66"on the case front (as I said earlier) have a distinctly military look to me, and lacking the "WD" mark or the pheon this can't be a British military purchase ... can it? Does anyone know anything about American military markings?
     
  5. cheita

    cheita Registered User

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    I thought the markings on the back of the case were for german military not made in germany. I didn't realize this company made watches for other military forces during ww1 & 2.
     
  6. MartyR

    MartyR Super Moderator
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    You might be correct, Cheita; my first guess was that it could be a sale to a European military.

    I do not think it was made specifically for any military organisation - I would guess it may have been bought into military use. The style of the numerals on the dial are definitely not late 1930s or 1940s - they are probably not later than early 1930s. Also, if the watch had been made for military use the numerals would in any event have been made simpler and perhaps larger. Similarly all three hands would have been much thicker and not Breguet-style (your hour hand has been broken off by the way). My conclusion is, assuming of course that the "66" is indeed a military designation, that it would have been bought "off the shelf" by a military purchaser between the world wars, perhaps to be given to an officer for general use.

    I was not aware that Leonidas made watches for any military forces. Does you last comment mean that you are aware that they did?
     
  7. DaveyG

    DaveyG Registered User
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    Chronograph watches, made by Leonidas and other manufacturers were indeed used by the military of various nations over many years, in fact there is a picture of a very similar 17 jewel Leonidas in Wesolowski - 'Military Timepieces - 1880 1990' (Pg 126/127) marked for use by the German Navy (Kriegsmarine) and the version illustrated here is dated to 1938. The markings on the case of this watch do not conform to any style of military markings with which I am familiar where, almost always, the particular service and/or service branch will be identified. The illustrations by Wesolowski, for instance, is marked with the Nazi Swastika and M Artl 5551, indicating German Marine Artillery. Reference to books by Konrad Knirim, or contact with the man himself, will offer a better indication of any possible earlier military use.

    As pointed out earlier it is unlikely that a military watch would be fitted with decorative hands, but hands are easily replaced. In essence the watch could have been used by any number of industrial organisations who would operate a more simplistic identification methodology, like this watch, as the ownership volumes would be much smaller. I personally would doubt that it is an ex military watch - but I have been wrong before :chuckling:

    I would remove that plastic crystal as soon as you can and replace it with either a glass or modern acrylic.
     
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