|Model:||- - -|
|Size - diameter excluding winding crown:||56mm|
|Size - length including lugs:||69mm|
|Price:||Price: Upon request|
Very rare Minerva WWII Cronografo a Ritorno pilot military watch. It was used in aviation to drop and time bombs. Planes were used to drop bombs for the first time in World War One. The certainty of hitting a target from different heights and at different speeds could no longer be left to the "feel" of the pilot. This led to the construction of various indicators, view finding arrangements and stopwatches. The most significant characteristic of these stopwatches is that they reverse direction after a second push of the activator button (“count-down” or “ritorno” function). Konrad Knirim Military Timepieces page 152.
This timepiece comes with a round inner black dial with graduated white Arabic numerals up to 50 hm. “hm” was the standard unit of measurement used by artillery and an outer white tachymeter graduated up to 30. At 3 o’clock, it has a white sub dial for minutes. The hand is blue with radium and “Feuille” design. The crown at three o’clock comes with an “onion” style and a mono pusher at 2 o’clock. The back case has the number 386911. It is a manual wind movement.
The company was founded by Charles-Yvan and Hippolyte Robert in Villeret in 1858. The initial objective was to assemble watch movement from the ebauche factory in Fontainemelon (FHF). The brand was trademark in 1887 with the V shaped with an arrow splitting the letters RF and V, standing for Robert Freres Villeret. At the beginning of the 20 century, the company manufactured movements for pocket watches. The first was the 18-ligne caliber 1 movement with cylinder escapement in production until 1941 as well as the caliber 2 with 18 or 19 ligne movement with a Swiss lever escapement. The first chronograph movement came in 1908 with caliber 9 CH. It was only in 1923 that the name Minerva appeared on watch dials, followed by the renaming as Fabrique Minerva, Robert Freres SA. In 1923 came the famous caliber 13-20 CH chronograph movement. In the early 1930’s the company goes out of business. Therefore the watch engineer, Jacques Pelot, and the mechanical technician, Charles Haussener took over. In 1940, Andre Frey, nephew of Jacques Pelot took over. The third generation of Frey gave up the company and its tradition in 2000, selling it to the Italian financier, Emilio Gnutti.
Manual wind movement.
Diameter excluding winding crown: 56mm
Length including lugs: 69mm