Heuer Bundeswehr Flyback Chronograph “3H” 1550SG
So, you like Pilots’ watches?
Vintage Pilots’ watches? Then this is what you need.
Step forward, the “Bund”, or more precisely, a Heuer Bundeswehr Flyback chronograph “3H” 1550SG.
Bund, is less of a mouthful.
Heuer and Leonidas made legendary chronographs for many military Air Forces (in fact Heuer ended up buying Leonidas in the mid-1960s). Watches ‘issued’ to a force, most notably the German Bundeswehr, were returned regularly to the manufacturer to be serviced and repaired, often under licence by Sinn. After all, as a military pilot, you didn’t want a watch that wasn’t freshly serviced and reliable. Hence military watches are often not frowned on so much if they have service or genuine replacement parts. That’s why you see Bunds with any one of three Valjoux movements used inside that distinctive clamshell case. There were many variations produced over the years.
This example is known as the second Heuer version but is still an earlier production model. It has the simplest dial, just with a small ‘Heuer’ logo. This is the original dial, as well as the smaller logo, it has smaller, cleaner font than later models or those with replacement dials. Another sign is that the 2/4/8/10 hours are not “cut off” like later service dials. It’s gently ageing, with signs of patina on some of the hour numbers and some scratches on its bi-directional bezel, but that’s what we like!
At 43mm it is very much a modern-day size, sitting well even on smaller wrists. It looks absolutely great on just about any strap but especially NATOs like the one we are selling, leather straps or for the maximum ‘Top Gun’ look, a leather military cuff strap.
It was made by the hottest name in vintage right now but doesn’t cost the same money as a Carrera or Autavia, and it comes with that military background that broadens its appeal.
Once you own one of these, you’ll struggle to take it off, let alone sell it, even as it increases in value and rarity.