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The GUB Stossgesichert (Shockproof) Calibre 64 – the Eastern Block Military Pilot Watch that Never Was

The GUB Stossgesichert (Shockproof) Calibre 64 – the Eastern Block Military Pilot Watch that Never Was

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This watch, the GUB Stossgesichert, was created behind the Iron Curtain somewhere in the range of 1954 and 1961, by what was left of the German watch industry after World War II and war reparations had stripped them of their resources. Various companies gathered under the name GUB (Glashütter Uhrenbetriebe or Glashütte Watch Companies) in 1951 to create German watches once more, including the respected A. Lange & Söhne situated in Glashütte, the home of German watchmaking. Here, I have invested some energy exploring what truly is the story behind this fascinating yet befuddling old relic of the GDR. At the point when these peculiar watches fired turning up online in the mid 2000s, the gathering community accepted it was a watch created for the Eastern Block Military – for the most part on account of its development, the Caliber 64, a development that got from watches delivered for the Luftwaffe during WWII.

The Caliber 64 is a more modest variant of the Urofa type 59, which can be found in Luftwaffe Tutima and Glashütte pilot chronographs from WWII. What was a bit of confounding about the watch was that most models seemed to have gold-plated cases, dissimilar to the War Time watches that were done in matte silver. Obviously not normal for a military-gave watch, all the more often seen with brushed or now and again matte-covered steel to stay away from glare and reflection. There are five diverse known variations in 35mm or 37mm cases, which were chrome covered or 20 microns gold plated. The prior watches included little chronograph pushers, were offered with white and dark dials. The dark dials had huge brilliant Arabic numbers loaded up with radium (common of 1950s watches). Maybe it was made as a political or military assistance commemorative blessing. Something for ‘Pro’ military pilots who were considered deserving of an extraordinary honor, in this manner related with military airplane combat and navigation.

The watch is a chronograph with a flyback work. This implies that once running, the chronograph can be reset by just squeezing the lower press button (at 4 o’clock) taking into consideration back to back timings, without playing out the exemplary stop-reset-start succession. This is a profoundly helpful system, generally found in pilot’s watches – permitting quick remedies, especially significant if flying in development during times of terrible weather and poor visibility.

The flyback work was at that point used by German WWII pilots with their Hanhart, Tutima and Glashütte marked watches, outfitted with Hanhart type 40 and Urofa type 59 developments separately. Truth be told, apparently post-war, the Hanhart’s supply of developments was shipped off France, where they were utilized to deliver flyback chronographs for the French Aéronavale, with the mid-1950s Vixa Type 20.

Most of the load of Tutima and Glashütte developments Urofa/Ufag went to the Moscow Watch Factory as a feature of war reparations yet maybe the manufacture’s unique tooling didn’t. As we have said, the development included in this GUB Stossgesichert is practically equivalent to the first Urofa type 59, found in watches marked Tutima, Glashütte, at times with sterile dials or Russian brands – see the comparison picture below.

These dials may have been spaces that didn’t wind up being marked as it was a pointless additional cycle for what truly was a pilot’s instrument. Notwithstanding, the GUB Stossgesichert type 64 watches were made by similar watchmakers, in a similar spot, just more modest in size at 28mm rather than 34 mm with the creation beginning about five years after the finish of WWII. Tutima delivered the “Tempostopp” in 2017 to commend its 90th Anniversary and this rich, top of the line watch highlighted a development dependent on the engineering of the Urofa Caliber 59.

The GUB Stossgesichert itself is very light in weight, as it is made of a metal base metal covered with a slim (20 micron) gold layer. Its measurement is 37mm across. The cases clearly were imported from France, Besançon, home of the French watch industry at the foot of the Jura mountains. In any case, as I would see it, having dealt with heaps of Eastern square and Swiss watches, the case appears to be well beneath that of the Swiss/French industry quality. The Caliber 64 was at first created without the Western planned Incabloc Shock Protection framework. That specific specialized progression was subsequently joined into the plan. This was either replicated by GUB or was pirated ‘over the divider’ as the specialized progressions of the West were not accessible toward the East during the Cold War.

When you open a Swiss watch of a similar time – or most watches created in the West – you’ll see a development holder ring that is perfect and specially designed to the case. Not with these German watches. They unquestionably function admirably, keep great time, run close to the ideal 36h force save however they simply feel somewhat light, less very much assembled. The dial completes seem like paper print and the hands are essential stepped metal. Eastern Germany was especially under-resourced after the Berlin Wall was raised in 1961 and, while incapable to exchange with the West, they abandoned the rudiments we underestimated.

So what might be said about this GUB Stossgesichert? What might be said about this watch that combines the most awesome aspect German assembling during the 1950s, its hand-wound chronograph flyback development, genuine military flight application, yet additionally a plan that looks too dressy to ever be a legitimate field watch?

The thought is that the watch was only for non military personnel use and was a fare item sold into the inner market of the Eastern Bloc, which is presumably evident – and the GDR had the best economy of these nations while as yet paying war reparations to Soviet Russia. I have perused additionally that this watch was talented to high ranking military staff and even an account of a military pilot wearing one while on a joint trade, post the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989.

I discovered this watch remembered for what I think about the German military-watch Bible Militäruhren by Konrad Knirim, as GUB made numerous watches for the NVA (National People’s Army). I know from research that the military individuals have consistently been near the watchmaking scene so I think the odd pilot and Squadron Commander wore one of these watches. I’m sure center ranking political officers wore them, as did neighborhood individuals from the Communist Party. Maybe an especially significant government worker or processing plant chief wore them for the brilliance of hitting their yearly amount. My assessment from the entirety of this examination persuades that they were utilized by both GDR regular citizens and NVA staff. The GUB type 64 is an intriguing piece for the military authority who is set up to stray from the beaten track to gain one.