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Thread: SwAf watches

  1. #1
    Grr! Argh! meijlinder's Avatar
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    SwAf watches

    This really isn't my area of expertise but being Swedish (only one on IWL?) I got to investigating some Swedish military issue watches.

    Thought I'd share a bit.

    In the beginning of the 70's the Swedish Air Force commissioned a chronograph for use by the Swedish fighter pilots. Namely the ones flying the AJ 37 Viggen. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saab_37_Viggen)
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    "Saab AJ 37 Viggen 23" by Piergiuliano Chesi. Licensed under CC BY 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons - https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/F..._Viggen_23.jpg


    The watch was a Lemania 817. Nicknamed Lemania Viggen. It uses the Lemania 1872, has lumed numerals on the bezel. These are engraved on the case back with the three crowns (sign for the Swedish military) and an M-number (material number for the swedish military). It is thought about 400 of these were made and the watch was actually withdrawn from service since the bezel had a tendency to fall off during flight.
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    (pics from http://scubawatch.org/lemania.html)

    The Lemania 817 was also made in different versions. Branded Chronograph Swiss or Tissot Navigator.

    It has become a very sought after piece for collectors of military watches and have gone for upwards of 4000 euros as of late.

    After the Lemania the Air Force switched to Seiko quartz from the 80's
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    (pic from Klocksnack user SjööSandström)

    This model is the Seiko 7123-823B (should also have m-number on back)

    Also a Citizen quartz have been used, but know very little about it
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    (pics from Klocksnack user krämbulle)

  2. #2
    MWC is that my watch's Avatar
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    looking good
    one night I dreamed I was locked in my fathers watch, with Ptolemy and twenty one ruby stars mounted on spheres and the primum mobile coiled and gleaming to the end of space and the notched spheres eating each other's rinds to the last tooth of time and the case closed - John Ciardi ...

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  3. #3
    Grr! Argh! meijlinder's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by is that my watch View Post
    looking good
    Thanks. Most info on these in Swedish so thought I'd share what I have learnt

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  5. #4
    wind-up merchant OhDark30's Avatar
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    Thanks for this, meijlinder!

    Its interesting to see how different countries' militaries solved a common problem, i.e. pilots' watches.
    Clearly you want accuracy and legibility, and an aid to timing is nice, whether a rotating bezel or a chrono.

    The Seikos remind me that the Czechs went for a local Prim Sport diver in the mid 70s, after running a tender where the competing Western watches cost on average more than a pilot's annual salary :-)

    I like the little Citizen ana-digi: proof that pilot watches don't have to be huge to do the job

    And appreciate your translation, we anglophones can be ignorant of information that's out there in other languages - tusan tack!
    Last edited by OhDark30; Aug 18, 2015 at 09:48 AM.

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  7. #5
    wind-up merchant OhDark30's Avatar
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    Forgot to say - great pics of the Viggen, one of my faves back in the day :-)
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    I was fascinated visiting Swedish friends when they explained that some roads were designed for use as runways by the Air Force in wartime
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    Last edited by OhDark30; Aug 18, 2015 at 09:47 AM.

  8. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by OhDark30 View Post
    I was fascinated visiting Swedish friends when they explained that some roads were designed for use as runways by the Air Force in wartime
    Am I right in remembering that the network of interstate roads built in the US after the war was designed to be able to land large military cargo planes?

  9. #7
    Grr! Argh! meijlinder's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OhDark30 View Post
    Forgot to say - great pics of the Viggen, one of my faves back in the day :-)
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    I was fascinated visiting Swedish friends when they explained that some roads were designed for use as runways by the Air Force in wartime
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    When driving you really notice when you hit one of those roads. It just opens up, all vegation on the sides gone and the road almost twice as wide.

    Was fascinated by planes as a kid. My father spent 35 years in the air force (as a training officer for fire fighters) so I have had the opportunity to see quite a few up close and sit in a few cockpits. Favourite thing though was getting to try the Viggen flight simulator as a teen. Not the full-size cockpit version mind you, just the stick and computer version but still a lot of fun. And incredibly difficult, even for someone who had spent many an hour in front of computer flight sims.

  10. #8
    wind-up merchant OhDark30's Avatar
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    Re US interstates, I must admit I'd not heard that one. Maybe one of our American friends can chip in.
    Good to hear your memories, m, and lucky you, getting a go in cockpits and sims :-)
    I was plane crazy too, and got excited by the sections of our motorway network built over old airfields, also seeing on tv the trials of the Jaguar on the new built M55
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    pic and more here

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  12. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by OhDark30 View Post
    Re US interstates, I must admit I'd not heard that one. Maybe one of our American friends can chip in.
    Good to hear your memories, m, and lucky you, getting a go in cockpits and sims :-)
    I was plane crazy too, and got excited by the sections of our motorway network built over old airfields, also seeing on tv the trials of the Jaguar on the new built M55
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    pic and more here
    Ah, I wish I had had the internet to check things up on during my childhood spent listening to made up BS. No, the US interstates weren't designed with this capacity in mind. As you were


    PS Wikipedia has an interesting page called Highway Strips
    Last edited by Der Amf; Aug 18, 2015 at 10:17 AM.

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  14. #10
    Good research there meij, cheers/

    The pilot's paw is ace too

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