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01034 Minerva. An extremely rare and oversized military single button chronograph wristwatch with black gloss dial, probably delivered to the Yugoslav Air Force.

 

 

 

01034 Minerva

Only a few timepieces bear as much aesthetic impact and historical interest as early oversized Minverva chronograph wristwatches. According to the archives of Minerva, the present timepiece was manufactured in 1941 with a production quantity of 144 pieces.

 

Manufacturer: Minerva
Year: 1941
Reference No: JIP9A80
Case No: 521.451
Material: Stainless steel
Calibre: Manual, cal. 16-29
Bracelt/Strap: Leather
Dimensions: 41.5mm diameter
Signed: Case, dial and movement signed
Accessories: Accompanied by a letter from Minerva confirming the date of manufacture September 1941. The document is dated August 1999 and is signed by none other than Mister Frey, a member of the family, who ran the company until 2000

 

 

The present watch, a single button chronograph is extremely oversized with a diameter measuring 41.5mm, and is fitted with a massive crown – two important qualities for a pilot’s watch to possess. One can assume the size of the crown and pusher was made so pilots could engage the chronograph function with ease while wearing gloves in cold climates at 20,000 feet in the air. The silver printed scales are clearly visible against the black dial, providing stunning contrast and giving pilots the ability to quickly and easily read it. Watches such as the present one are not easily found in today’s market, making it a true find for the pilot’s watch enthusiast.

Brothers Charles and Hyppolite Robert founded H. & C. Robert in 1858, ultimately becoming Minerva in 1887. The brand achieved worldwide recognition for their exceptional military chronograph wristwatches. After the death of the brothers, the company passed into the hands of another family, the Freys, who ran it from 1935 until 2000.