History of military VC watches?

I was reading on The Purist about the vintage military styled VC watches you see on Ebay now and then. It was stated the those watches was old pocketwatch movements that was re-cased in bigger cases by independed watchmakers. I always thought that the miltary VCs was very cool but this puts the genuinety in a different light. The dials (and cases) of those watches was in other words not made by VC? That would explain the 48mm cases that was not the trend at the time (except B-Uhr and other tool-watches).

Did Vacheron Constantin, like Lange or IWC, change their production under WWI & WWII in any way or was it running on regular basis? I would like to now more of VCs history under this dark, yet exciting, time.

/rgds

/lloyd

VC does not really have a millitary past certain watches were made
06/19/2007 - 01:33

for military use but mainly pocket watches (I have yet to see a wrist watch specifically developped for the army but that doesn't mean that none exist) used in the navy such as the precision Deck watches such as the one below:

http://www.thehourlounge.com/index.php?module=Thread&action=view&threadid=1042&id=1042

There were also the Corps of Engineer watches made from 1918-1919 made for the US Army Corps of Engineers (scan courtesy of Antiquorum)

During the Second World war the brand produced pocket chronometers for both the British and German governments. In 1941 when the Italian government passed a law forbidding the trade of precious metals VC started making steel time pieces!

I think one reason VC's history or lackof history in military watches was that at the time the brand's production capacities were not such to meet the large production numbers requested by the army.  The watches you see here and there on ebay are Frankenwatches basically recased (at a later date) pocket watches where often only the movement is genuine sometimes also the dial but never the case.

Nice scan!
06/19/2007 - 21:27

Very informative post Alex - interesting stuff to know. I guess that darling on the scan dont come for free...

/rgds

/lloyd

not free but ain't too expensive either. depending on condition the
06/20/2007 - 00:12

Corps of Engineer watches can be had for anything between €2000-4000.