Heuer Bundeswehr 3H
Why We Love it
Why We Love it–
Though it may seem incongruous to wax poetic over a military watch, when speaking of the Heuer Bundeswehr, we here at Analog/Shift feel it’s completely justified.
At face value the Bund ticks all the boxes required of a military chronograph: sturdy steel case, stark black dial, reliable movement. But aesthetically, the Bund transcends mere functionality. In fact, it looks almost elegant despite its size: the juxtaposition of the chronograph registers, the 3H markings, and the Heuer logo at the poles of the dial give it an austere beauty.
First and foremost, however, the Heuer Bundeswehr was designed for the sole purpose of use in military aviation. It was General Issue for pilots in the air forces of many nations (including the Italian Air Force, under the brand Leonidas, which Heuer acquired in the 60s) but is best-known for its use by the Luftwaffe of West Germany. From the 1960s to the 1970s, the "Bund" (as it's affectionately known) saw a range of dial configurations that baffle those not in the know; fortunately, the Heuer experts over at On The Dash have complied a comprehensive overview of these variations, which we'll summarize here.
There's one tell-tale sign that a Bund might have seen military service (or, to put less fine of a point on it, is from the period in which the Bund was issued to the Luftwaffe). It's one little symbol, in bright red above 6 o'clock on the dial: the letters "3H" surrounded by a circle. This indicates that the luminescent material on the numerals is tritium (Hydrogen-3). As one can tell from OnTheDash's breakdown, the 3H symbol came in four different variations, with the characters in varying sizes. However, no matter the size of the 3H symbol, it meant one thing: the watch can be dated (most likely) to the 1960s to 1970s.
The Bund that we offer here, with the requisite 3H symbol, is classic Bund--in short, everything you want a pilot's watch to be. The dual sub-register layout of the dial is highly legible, in the way that the most iconic pilot's watches are: the chronograph registers are symmetrically-arranged on a horizontal axis, offset by the Heuer logo at 12 o'clock and the 3H symbol at 6. The numerals are big and bold, encircled by a 60-minute chapter ring.
And the matte case is, as you'd expect, substantial. At roughly 43mm it dominates the wrist, though not uncomfortable so (in fact, it feels surprisingly light on the wrist, particularly on a nylon strap). Like the Heuer Autavias of the period, the case is crowned by a rotating 60-minute bezel.
As with many military watches, the Bund is a front-loader, with the movement being secured by the screw-mounted case back that is attached to the bezel. The Bund, being a manually-wound flyback chrono, used a host of Valjoux movements, from the Valjoux 22 to the cal. 220 to the cal. 230. Sturdy, dependable, it's the sort of watch you want strapped to your wrist whether you're dodging enemy fighters at 35,000 feet or engaged in more terrestrial pursuits.
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Since our pieces are vintage or pre-owned, please expect wear & patina from usage and age. Please read each item description and examine all product images.
We back each Analog:Shift vintage timepiece with a one-year mechanical warranty from the date of purchase.
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Shipping & Returns
Shipping & Returns+
All of our watches include complementary insured shipping within the 50 states.
Most of our products are on hand and will ship directly from our headquarters in New York City. In some cases, watches will be shipped directly from one of our authorized partners.
We generally ship our products via FedEx, fully insured, within 5 business days of purchase. An adult signature is required for receipt of all packages for insurance purposes. Expedited shipping is available at an additional cost. We are also happy to hand deliver your purchase in Manhattan or you may pick it up at our showroom.
Returns must be sent overnight or by priority international delivery, fully insured and paid for by the customer. A restocking fee may apply. Watches must be returned in the same condition as initially shipped.
We welcome international buyers, please contact us prior to purchase for additional details on shipping and payment options.
Heuer Bundeswehr 3H