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Ingraham Pershing Pilots Watch


Wow, as a pilot I cannot believe my great fortune in obtaining this watch.


Many watch brands make a case for creating the first true pilots watch, or “THE” pilot’s watch.

Cartier has a real case for the Santos Dumont. It was created for the famous French pioneering aviator Alberto Santos-Dumont in 1904, to wear on his wrist. Pocket watches were the standard in that period, but were very difficult to utilize while flying an early aircraft. There was literally no taking your hands off the controls for even an instant, as these old airplanes were incredibly unstable.


Today it is Breitling that wears the crown in aviation, but then, there is this.


During the First World War Ingraham created a series of wristwatches for use by the military.  These were called the Pershing, the Foch, and the Kitchener, after three of the war's leading Generals.


The Pershings were also called "trench watches", and were used by artillerymen and foot soldiers alike. As such, a few survived and are these days considered great collector's pieces.


This little watch is a very special Pershing, one with a literal twist. It has been modified by Ingraham with a face and crown that are angled in relation to the right wrist, but present perfectly when your hand is on the control stick of the aircraft. This meant you did not have to raise your arm up to get a clear look at the time. It is a simple but quite clever modification created for WW 1 aviators, and I think, quite useful.


I have spent many hours in the cramped cockpit of an early biplane, and the one resource you invariably lack is room to do anything other than just fly the ship. This watch alleviated just a little bit of additional workload, but it could be significant. Having any means of making it easier to figure out how much fuel you have, while a Fokker is on your tail must have been appreciated.



David Charles Grainger





Brand: Elgin
Serial Number: 21454324
Bezel Material: Nickel 
Case Material: Nickel
Caseback Material: Nickel
Movement: Elgin, 462, Stem Wind, 7 Jewels
Markings to Inside: Nickel, 920791
Functions: Subdial


Clasp Style: Buckle
Bracelet Style: NATO
Bracelet Length: 9.25"

Case to case: 31.00mm
Lug to lug: 35.00mm

1919 Elgin Pershing Dial with Military Nickel Pilots Watch

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