Festa - KM 720 - Kriegsmarine German Military Watch - Made by Alpina - c.1940
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Festa made by Alpina, A Kriegsmarine (KM) 720 German Military Watch - c.1940s - Silvered Dial with Patina - Charming and Charismatic
Watches and clocks for military purposes were specified and ordered by the Wehrmacht of the Nazi government: Kriegsmarine (KM, Navy).
Many of the watches and clocks came from the little town of Glashuette in the mountainous area of the Erzgebirge near Dresden in Saxony. This is the home of the famous pocket watch and chronometer firm of Lange & Sohne, as well as other brands like Assmann.
The German Bureau of Ships in Hamburg tested chronometers in Gesundbrunnen near Glashuette, far away from the coast. Many timepieces for the Navy were manufactured on the coast, e.g., the best known is "Chronometerwerke Hamburg," later owned by Wempe.
In some cases, they used movements by Glashuette, like those of the "eGmbH," a.s.o. Later, during World War II, chronometer production was contracted to the "Einheits-Chronometer" and built as well by Wempe and by Lange & Sohne. As they could not produce a sufficient number of chronometer movements, they reconstructed the pocket watch caliber 48 in a gimballed chronometer box, the well-known Lange-B-Chronometer.
Beside German-made items, there were many of Swiss origin, made like the very nice chronometer by Ulysse Nardin, or the navigation watches of IWC, Ulysse Nardin and Vacheron & Constantin. As well, there were German manufacturers, especially in the Black Forest, completing navigation watches with Swiss movements, such as Stowa (cal. Unitas). Lacher & Co. took the movement of Durowe (Deutsche Uhren-Rohwerke of Pforzheim) and Alpina had Minerva chronograph movements.
The Navy used some special watches for particular purposes, such as locating submarines with water bombs. The stopwatch used for this purpose has special scales to measure sea miles and depth of water. For normal use, there were more simple wrist and pocket watches of German and Swiss origin, (Alpina(Festa), Minerva, Berg, Zentra, Cortebert, Solvil...) marked "KM" on the dial. The Navy artillery used pocket chronographs with the "KM" for "Kriegsmarine" on the dial.
(By Konrad Knirim (Germany) 'NAWCC Bulletin' Dec. 1996.)
What’s On Offer
A polished silver finish with charming etches of age showing the solid brass casing underneath. The originally silvered dial has taken on a charismatic patina with a speckling of caramel tones, the lume in the syringe hands has turned a beautiful buttery colour and the 'KM' designation, and '720' Festa number are clear and legible.
The reverse with steel screw-on case-back, and issue number '143284' impressed deeply to the case-back. A 16-jewel movement signed 'Festa 720' to the main bridge, but these movements were not made inhouse by Festa or Alpina, but made in Switzerland by the company Kurth Freres of Grenchen and is a base caliber K.F. 321, which is very similar to the movements in our own British issued Grana www dirty dozen watches! The inside to the screw-back is marked Festa, and 'Rostfreier Stahlboden' which translates 'stainless steel'. This rare watch will certainly be of interest to the discerning Military Watch Collector.
Case: Solid brass with polished silver
Dial: Silvered with patina
Bracelet: Vintage black leather with pin buckle
Movement type: Mechanical
Calibre: Festa/Alpina 720 (K.F. 321)
Power reserve: 42 hrs approx.
Condition: Good with patina - 8/10
Model Reference Number: KM 720
Date of issue: c.1940s
Guarantee: 6 months by VWS
Lug width: 17mm
Lug height: (lug to lug) 38mm
Wrist size: Adjustable