Leonidas Flieger Chronographe Val. 22
1940’s Leonidas Flieger Military Chronographe (Pre-Heuer)
Some might consign this watches dial to the bin on account of the degradation, but I think it has a charm all of its own. When I first got my hands on this watch my first thought was to get it re-dialed, but I’ve grown to love the patina. The tachymeter scale around the edge of the dial has all but disappeared, but it comes alive in daylight and is absolutely beautiful when direct sunlight catches it. I tried my best to capture it on this dull day, but in the flesh it is even more spectacular. As light plays across it, you can see the ‘band’ that the hour numerals sit on, then the sub-dials darken – see the 3rd & 4th photos below.
It’s powered by the excellent hand wound Swiss Valjoux 22 movement with 30 minute chronograph, has fixed military style lug pins, steel snap back case and still keeps excellent time. The inside of the caseback is stamped with ‘244367’, which could be the model no., but more likely to be the serial number.
It’s a nice size too, the case being 36mm (38 with the crown), and 44mm lug to lug. The dial is marked with the French spelling ‘Chronographe Leonidas’.
The previous owner inherited it from his Father who served in WWII, who was part of a Warwickshire based regiment/unit.