Eberhard & Co.
Year of manufacture1945
EBERHARD “SISTEMA MAGINI” SPLIT-SECONDS MONOPUSHER CHRONOGRAPH, '40S
Three body circular case, n. 1023277, steel bezel and snap on back, chromed metal case side, concave lugs with fixed bars, coaxial monopusher on the winding crown, pusher for the split-seconds function at 4. Not original strap and buckle.
Signed silver dial, inscription “Mod. Mag.”, Arabic 24-hour indication alternated with circular indexes, minutes division with 1/5th of second fractions on a single rail, aperture for the date. Breguet hands, blued for the hours and gilded for the minutes.
Signed manual winding movement, nickel-plated caliber based on Valjoux 55, n. 1115, column wheels systems, lever escapement, monometallic balance with screws, Breguet hairspring, index regulator.
The only other know example is published on the book "Fero - 150 Steel Chronographs”.
Diameter Ø: 51 mm
Before the appearance of this watch, it was thought that the Eberhard Magini wristwatch model was a unique piece, with the only other known example kept in the private collection of one of the most important collectors in the world. Thus, this watch represents a sensational discovery, as well as the possibility of getting hold of an absolute rarity.
The Eberhard Magini model links its birth to one of the most interesting and lesser-known events of the Second World War.
In 1942 the Axis Powers began to suspect that the Americans and the English had decrypted their secret radio codes, so the Italian Royal Air Force was commissioned to make an air connection to transmit the new codes to the Japanese allies. In the absence of GPS, radar and radio assistance, the only way to do so was to rely on astronomical navigation, made possible by two watches: a Longines Lindbergh Hour Angle and a 24-hour split-seconds chronograph pocket watch, the Eberhard Magini model.
On 29 June 1942 a squadron of five of the best Italian aviators, including the navigator Publio Magini, set off for this secret mission which concluded successfully six days later in Tokyo, after only two intermediate stops in Rostov-on-Don (Ukraine) and Bao Tou (China). After the return journey, which followed the same dangerous route, the crew was awarded with all honours, although the mission was never made public.
Eberhard later received an order for an additional ten split-seconds chronographs, which were never delivered to the Royal Air Force, however, due to the end of the conflict. This rendered the pocket watch that played a major role in the mission a unique piece, in the same way as the wristwatch specimen previously known to the public.
The watch in the catalogue is in surprisingly excellent condition, and for the most refined collector represents a likely once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to obtain a piece of history.