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JAEGER LECOULTRE CHRONOFLITE

In 1930 LeCoultre designed the first CHRONOFLITE, a clock for airplanes with double chronograph, the “Air Corps”, predecessor of USAF, bought to Jaeger of New York this clock, it was the first clock with “elapsed time”.

It was the movement more widely used before WW II, Smith from England mounted a CHRONOFLITE movement just with elapsed time, and the Russian Wostok copied the movement without license and equipped from the Policarpov I-16 Rata, up till the MIG 15. It was also used in racing cars of the 30 and 40 decades.

The first models of Chronoflite was built with a 12 hour DIAL and without “civil date”. All of them have 13 jewels and only one mainspring barrel for eight days.

Both on top are from U.S. NAVY, 24 hours with date and 12 hours without date, engraved on the dial JAEGER.

At the left one from the U.S.A.F. engraved LeCoultre on the dial.

 

These two below are from Rusia, the one at the left has a Swiss LeCoultre Chronoflite movement dated 1939, it has a manual made electrical heating system made by a hole in the back, the one at the right is the Rusian Wostok Flyer, (Wostok means East), its movement is an exact copy of the Chronoflite (can be seen below), its electrical heating system is inside the clock cage. Note the minuter counter is calibrated in 5 minutes increments, and the window inside the upper dial is round, these are the main dial diferents with the Molnia.

These three ones were used by the RAF in World War II, they are Smith MK IIIA 12 hours and MK IIIB 24 hours dial.

The main disadvantage of this clock is the winding up, which is done counterclockwise. Frequently people would wind it up it in the wrong direction (which was the natural direction), and it would break.

Another inconvenient is that the minute hand move counter clockwise. Both of these problems were solved with Elgin Hamilton 37500 design.

THE MOVEMENT

Top-US NAVY 24 HR CHRONOFLITE (with elapsed time, chrono with minutes counter and date).
and date. Right SMITH MK IIIA only with elapsed time.
 
Here follows the back part of 4 movements the third is from the Rusian Wostok Flyer.
 
 
 

SMITH MK IIIA -- JAEGER US NAVY -- WOSTOK

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