#TBT – Junghans Bundeswehr Chronograph

#TBT – Junghans Bundeswehr Chronograph

As the majority of you realize we attempt to bring a different choice of vintage watches to #TBT after quite a while after week. Clearly among vintage watches we (in any event Mike and I certainly) have a weakness for complications. These days the most pursued of these end up being chronographs, however all of you know this at this point. So what is cooler than a vintage chrono? A vintage military chrono!

Junghans Bundeswehr

As a large portion of you realize we attempt to bring a different choice of vintage watches to #TBT after quite a while after week. Clearly among vintage watches we (in any event Mike and I certainly) have a weakness for complications. These days the most pursued of these end up being chronographs, yet all of you know this at this point. So what is cooler than a vintage chrono? A vintage military chrono! Presently we have managed such watches in the past on the pages of #TBT. Simply consider my article on the Angelus L.E. gave to the Hungarian Air Force or Mike’s article about the Heuer and Leonidas military watches .

Leonidas and Heuer were a joint company some time ago (in actuality Tag Heuer actually possesses Leonidas). While Leonidas delivered looks for the Italian military, Heuer was providing them toward the West-German Bundeswehr (German military). Presently, the German military had a great taste when it came to watches. Companies like Tutima, Orfina Porsche Design, Sinn and Heuer obviously were all among the brands picked to give them watches. The current week’s #TBT is really the watch the Bundeswehr utilized before the previously mentioned Heuer chronographs. Probably the biggest industrial facility of the time created it: Junghans. Down in the paunch of the Black Forrest lies the plant (we have covered their story some time prior here) that gave the Junghans Bundeswehr to the world.

Historical background

German watchmaking connections to Switzerland with 1,000,000 ties. There are numerous companies that had German originators or a lot of German watchmakers working for them. Additionally various German families put resources into Swiss watch companies. As a result of its overall nearness to Switzerland the Black Forrest got one of the watchmaking center points of Germany.

The Junghans processing plant covered up in a valley of the Black Forrest

This turned out to be much more obvious after the II. World War when Glashütte fell behind the Iron Curtain. The post-war period considered a new beginning for brands like Hanhart, Stowa and Junghans who had a self-contradicting history after their inclusion with the war. After the Wermacht was canceled in 1946 Germany had no military left. Anyway because of rising pressure between the west and the Soviet Union in what turned into the Cold War it got fundamental for Germany to build up another military. 9 years in the wake of dismantling the remainder of its military, the Bundeswehr came to presence again in West Germany. Junghans was the subsequent company to give watches to the recently collected German army.

A page of the first plan of type J88 by Junghans


The just defect of this watch is the situation. While we love steel watches the Junghans Bundeswehr models had metal cases with chrome-plating. This gives a dim titanium-like look to the watch yet additionally ages severely with the metal at last appearing under profound scratches. The size is 38mm, which is sufficiently large to be contemporary even these days and with the thickness of just shy of 13mm it actually sits comfortably on the wrist. The prior models had round edged bi-directional pivoting bezels, like their archetypes; the Hanhart bund watches (Hanhart’s likewise served during the war and were recognized by their rimmed bezels and infrequently red painted chrono pushers). This model as of now has the destined to-be famous 12-sided adjusted bezel with minutes scale. There is a tritium triangle at the 12 o’clock. The short and fat siphon pushers and the huge crown polish off the military look of the Junghans Bundeswehr chronograph.

Once you flip the watch over, and eliminate the Bund lash cushion to see the case back, you at long last can confirm the military provenance of the watch. In the focal point of the back you can peruse the accompanying: “Bundeseigentum 12-124-8591” signifying “Public property” trailed by the model grouping number which is seen previously. The more seasoned forms had an alternate number (12-120-9351) and with this you can plainly recognize which model are you grasping. Around this content there is data about the situation back being steel or that the watch is stun and water-safe. They engraved a similar star logo with the “J” in the center, you see on the dial, to the back The case back is obviously screw-in with a plain inside.


The Junghans Bundeswehr watches came on 2 distinct ties. The purported bund tie was the more normal adaptation. It is fundamentally a 2 piece dark calfskin lash with an additional cowhide cushion and 2 holders that go under the watch. The watch sits on the cushion when worn and the 2 bits of the lash are bound under the holder of the cushion. On the posterior of the cushion you could likewise locate the model characterization number of the watch. The other alternative was a steel expandable arm band from the brand Kiefer. This was very much like the celebrated (or scandalous) turn o-flex groups. The Kiefer had little square connections, it felt truly light and modest and broke or disfigured without any problem. Because of this these arm bands are uncommon to come by anyway they don’t actually hold a lot of significant worth either.

Dial and Hands

There isn’t a lot to say about the dial. It is straightforward and simple to peruse exactly how you would need it from a military piece. Over time there have been a couple of various dial varieties for the most part concerning the logo. At times just the brand name was on the dial, different occasions the average Junghans star logo as well. This model is one of the last forms with both the name and logo beneath the 12 o’clock. Similarly as with all Junghans Bundeswehr watches the dial has all numbers noticeable with thick radium covering. The enormous brilliant numbers on a dark dial are normally the qualities of most military watches and the Junghans Bundeswehr is no special case. The dial on this watch is as yet beaten up pretty bad with without a doubt, minor hints of wear. The hands have coordinating patina else they are all have white cover for simpler time reading.


The plan to build up a chronograph development at Junghans dates to the mid-40’s. In 1946, watchmakers at Junghans previously began work on what later became type J88. This was the development Junghans utilized in their venture watch for accommodation when the Bundeswehr was looking for a watch. Junghans delivered the J88 from 1950 until the mid-60’s (1964 or 1965) and it was initial incorporated into the Bundeswehr observes yet later disclosed accessible for the in other regular citizen chronographs. To say that the type J88 is a piece of workmanship would be putting it mildly. It is a stun evidence 19 gem gold plated werk (German for ‘development’) with Breguet springs and section wheel obviously. The force hold is 40+ hours. A Bundeswehr model is in plain view in Junghans’ gallery where a mirror is put behind the watch so onlookers could appreciate the front of the watch just as its astonishing movement.


Good to know

The cost of the Junghans Bundeswehr chronograph is everywhere. From 1,000 Euros up to 3-4k, I have seen them all over. Remember that while the J88 is an overly sweet in-house segment wheel development by Junghans that is a show-stopper the watch additionally has a few blemishes. Simply think about the chrome plated case, which is a torment to fix if the plating is absent. After the Bundeswehr models the brand incorporated the J88 type into a non military personnel adaptation. These come available to be purchased all the more regularly and you can get a good model for significantly not exactly a bund chrono.

A while back I evaluated the Junghans Meister Telemeter . It is a re-version of a 1960’s model and that unique watch had a similar J88 development. So in the event that you at any point see a vintage Junghans chrono from the 60’s possibility are, you are most likely taking a gander at the type J88. That would be something insightful to buy.

I might want to say thanks to Junghans for their assistance in this venture. I utilized   Dr. Konrad Knirim’s Military Timepieces book for a portion of the research.


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