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

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 deliver German watches once more, including the admired 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 intriguing yet befuddling old relic of the GDR. At the point when these particular watches fired turning up online in the mid 2000s, the gathering community accepted it was a watch delivered for the Eastern Block Military – predominantly as a result of its development, the Caliber 64, a development that got from watches created for the Luftwaffe during WWII.

The Caliber 64 is a more modest form of the Urofa type 59, which can be found in Luftwaffe Tutima and Glashütte pilot chronographs from WWII. What was a touch of befuddling 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 common for a military-gave watch, all the more frequently seen with brushed or some of the time matte-covered steel to stay away from glare and reflection. There are five diverse known variations in 35mm or 37mm cases, which were chromed or 20 microns gold plated. The prior watches highlighted little chronograph pushers, were offered with white and dark dials. The dark dials had enormous brilliant Arabic numbers loaded up with radium (normal of 1950s watches). Maybe it was made as a political or military assistance commemorative blessing. Something for ‘Expert’ military pilots who were considered deserving of an uncommon honor, hence connected 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) considering sequential timings, without playing out the exemplary stop-reset-start grouping. This is an exceptionally valuable component, for the most part found in pilot’s watches – permitting quick rectifications, especially significant if flying in arrangement during times of terrible climate and poor visibility.

The flyback work was at that point used by German WWII pilots with their Hanhart, Tutima and Glashütte marked watches, furnished 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 create 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 superfluous additional interaction for what truly was a pilot’s device. In any case, 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 exactly five years after the finish of WWII. Tutima delivered the “Tempostopp” in 2017 to praise 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 slight (20 micron) gold layer. Its measurement is 37mm across. The cases obviously were imported from France, Besançon, home of the French watch industry at the foot of the Jura mountains. Notwithstanding, as I would see it, having dealt with heaps of Eastern square and Swiss watches, the case appears to be well underneath 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 snuck ‘over the divider’ as the specialized headways 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 slick and uniquely designed to the case. Not with these German watches. They positively function admirably, keep great time, run close to the ideal 36h force hold however they simply feel somewhat light, less all around constructed. The dial completes seem like paper print and the hands are fundamental 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 essentials we underestimated.

So shouldn’t something 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 be in any way an appropriate field watch?

The thought is that the watch was only for regular citizen use and was a fare item sold into the inside 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 likewise that this watch was skilled to high positioning 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 positioning political officials wore them, as did nearby 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 exploration persuades that they were utilized by both GDR regular folks and NVA staff. The GUB type 64 is an intriguing piece for the military gatherer who is set up to stray from the beaten track to gain one.