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WWII German military issue service watches

Discussion in 'Uniforms, Personal Gear (Kit) and Accessories' started by jimmayor007, Jul 11, 2008.

  1. jimmayor007

    jimmayor007 recruit

    Dec 16, 2007
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    Wehrmacht issued WWII wrist watches were manufactured by many Swiss and German watch makers contracted by the German government. They are manually wound and most often have screw-on stainless steel case backs, are/were shock/water resistant and had a nickel plated brass (sometimes steel) watch case. The dial face was black with luminous (radium, long faded) numbers and hands with a sub seconds dial. Variations will be encountered including snap-on case backs for the German made watches. The watch case diameter will range about 34mm.​

    A common interpretation of the 'D' code is that it stands for Dienstuhr "Service Watch" taken together 'DH would mean Service Watch Army (Heer). Soldier's pay book records indicate that the 'D code referred to the service branch that contracted for the watches. There is evidence that 'DH coded watches were also issued to Luftwaffe personel and possibly other service organizations.

    DH: Dienstuhr Heer D: Dienstuhr Luftwaffe DRGM: Deutsches Reich Gebrauchsmuster
    RLM: Reichsluftfahrtministerium KM: Kriegsmarine DU: Dienstuhr (Verwaltung)
    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG] [​IMG]
    'DH code, stainless steel & water proof markings. REVUE Sport and PHENIX (Swiss) Wehrmachtissue watches. 1930's (Swiss)Luftwaffeaviator.​
    Wehrmacht issued GERMAN made watches did NOT have these 'D'codes, some German made watches for the Navy (KM, M or anchor) and Luftwaffe 'FI' (Flight) or 'RLM' (Reich Air Ministry) were coded.

    Imported contract watches were required to have these markings in order to facilitate contract documentation (the Wehrmacht excelled at record keeping). It is commonly felt that the GERMAN watch makers were not required to use D codes since they were closely regulated and inspected by the German Government as a matter of course.

    During the 30's (German re-arming) many watches were procured adhoc without the set pattern or DH codes that developed later; This is especially true of the early Luftwaffe "aviator" watches where different patterns were purchased during the 20's and 30's. These "old timers" were issued by the Luftwaffe to their pilots throughout WWII. At the beginning of the mission the watches would be issued to the flight personnel and then be RETURNED to the unit upon the completion of the mission. The issuing unit was responsible for maintaining and ajusting these valuable timepieces, these watches were never intended for "off mission" personal use.

    Towards the end of the war (and the decline of the Wehrmacht) specifications were often eased or ignored in order to meet the immediate needs of the Wehrmacht. Without a doubt, uncounted tens of thousands of timepieces that served the Wehrmacht durning WWII cannot be documented due to their being obtained outside the more "formal" channels.

    ...read the full guide with pics here
    Kai-Petri and PzJgr like this.
  2. PzJgr

    PzJgr Drill Instructor

    Dec 19, 2000
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    Jefferson, OH
    Excellent post. I wonder how much they go for. Thanks.
  3. C.Evans

    C.Evans Expert

    Nov 28, 2000
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    I echo Ikes comment to you.

    The last time I saw one for sale, it was going for about $80 bucks and was at Richard J. Williams Militaria. It's been awhile since I last bought from him but, if you want one, and in working order, he usually gets this kind of stuff and is decently priced. Same thing gose for him if you want to buy some Binoculars. I think his website is still; www.richardjwilliamsmilitaria.com but if not-just Google him and his site comes up.
  4. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

    Jul 31, 2002
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    Very interesting info ideed, thanx for sharing it!

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