Lot #3163 Rare and Unusual Universal Geneve A. Cairelli Italian
Estimate: $4000 – $6000
Very rare and unusual stainless steel World War II Bombardier time recorder/countdown wristwatch. Originally made for the Italian Air Force by Universal Geneve and retailed by A. Cairelli Roma. Gilt-finished jeweled lever movement, black dial with outer luminous Arabic and baton 30 seconds register, inner luminous Arabic five minute markers calibrated form 5 to 60, single central hand or countdown activated by depressing the crown once, when depressing the crown twice the hand retrogresses counter-clockwise, stopped by depressing the push-piece to 1 o`clock and reset by depressing the crown, in large circular case with hinged back, revolving bezel set with a luminous triangular memory index pointer, case and movement signed by the maker, the dial signed by maker and retailer. Approximate diameter is 52mm without crown, 72mm with crown, and 22mm thick. This instrument is a rare version of a chronograph with a hand running both forward or backward. It was used by several Air Forces to calculate the elapsed time for throwing bombs. Superficial scratches due to normal wear and age. Overall condition is good. An overhaul is always recommended for used watches.
Bomb Timers “Countdown Chronographs”
Planes were used to drop bombs for the first time in World War One. The certainty of hitting a target from different heights and at different speeds could no longer be left to the “feel” of the pilot. This led to the construction of various indicators, view finding arrangements and stopwatches. The most significant characteristic of these stopwatches is that they reverse direction after a second push of the activator button (`count-down` or `ritorno` function). Konrad Knirim Military Timepieces page 152.
Condition: Superficial scratches due to normal wear and age. Overall condition is good. An overhaul is always recommended for used watches.