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My Grandfather's 1938 13ZN Mono-pusher

  1. River McK Dec 31, 2019

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    Greeting OF members! I recently joined and posted about my watch in the "Show us your Longineses" thread. It was recommended that I start a separate thread to increase visibility. I've copied and pasted much of the text from the previous thread, with some helpful edits thanks to members of this forum. Excited to learn more about this piece through a little show and tell...

    Below is the 13ZN I recently inherited from my grandmother who passed three years ago. From the Longines Archive, it has an invoice date of 22 September 1938 from their Cuban agent "Cuervo Y Sobrinos".

    The story of this watch is still under investigation within my family, but so far this is what we've pieced together. The watch belonged to my grandfather, Walter L. Glass, jr. who was a B-17 captain in the 483rd Bomb Group (815 Squadron). It is believed the watch was purchased by his father in Cuba as a high school graduation gift to him. Walter Sr. was an avid outdoors-man, enjoying hunting and fishing. It is surmised that while down in Cuba on a fishing trip, he procured this piece for Jr.

    I do not know if my grandfather ever wore the watch during his time in the European theater, but if he did, this watch would have seen some serious action...from his first mission on 7 October 1944 (which was almost his last) to the Berlin Mission (longest escorted bomber mission of WWII). He passed away when I was one, so I never got to know him or hear of these stories firsthand. Aside from the photos given to me by my mother, and the stories of him as told by family members, his watch is all that I have by which to remember him.

    The watch still works, which for almost 82 years old is incredible. The only things I've noticed that might be problematic is the oxidation on the case where the snapback cover mates, and the mono-pusher button has lost some of its "springy-ness" in its return function when pressed. I have the archive record from Longines, and the serial number on the movement matches that on the inside of the cover. It has been confirmed on the OF that due to the monopusher button, it does not have the innovative flyback feature. In my lengthy google image searches and across other watch forums, I have not seen a similar looking watch. Could this be a significantly unique and valuable piece? Not that I intend to sell it any time soon, it would be nice to know if I should insure it.

    On a side note, for all those WWII enthusiasts out there, the last image is of my grandfather (left in picture) shortly after returning from his first combat mission. I've added another picture of a write up that details his first mission and the heroics performed by him and his co-pilot to get their wounded back to base safely.

    Thanks for enduring the long post :) I'm excited to hear what others may know and think based on the images below.

    Thanks!
     
    13ZN_1.jpg 13ZN_2.jpg 13ZN_3.jpg First mission.jpg WLG II.png
  2. janice&fred Dec 31, 2019

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    oh man!
     
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  3. w154 Dec 31, 2019

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    oh boy!
     
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  4. Larry S Color Commentator for the Hyperbole. Dec 31, 2019

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    ::love::Correct H hand though? Minute = Leaf Faceted Luminous? Hour hand does not appear in the hands chart.
     
    Edited Dec 31, 2019
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  5. w154 Dec 31, 2019

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    I think you’ll have to wait for meaningful feedback. Jaws are on the floor.
     
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  6. Radiumpassion Dec 31, 2019

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    As I said it`s a lovely piece and provenance. I`d love to see some better
    closeups of the dial and those interesting lug bars if possible:)

    What ref. number is it btw?
     
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  7. River McK Dec 31, 2019

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    THanks again Radium. Reference number is 3504. More pics will have to wait as it is in my mother's possession currently. She offered to have it appraised at a reputable auction house to determine whether it was worth insuring.
     
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  8. Radiumpassion Dec 31, 2019

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    Really, a steel stepcased 13ZN with an exotic double signature multi color/scale
    dial can`t be worth much:whistling:
     
    MTROIS, Mark020, Syrte and 6 others like this.
  9. Rumar89 Dec 31, 2019

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    This watch is unbelievable. So glad you came here to share it with us.

    It is absolutely worth insuring.
     
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  10. Larry S Color Commentator for the Hyperbole. Dec 31, 2019

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    There is a thread sticky dedicated to these. Yea this needs insuring. Longines is great at extracts so I’d request one. A movement only service is also in order but only after you insure it. Some folks here might know appraisers but I’d start with a call to your insurance agent. I’d suspect that your in box is busy right now.
     
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  11. 77deluxe Dec 31, 2019

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    Incredible watch. Superb.
     
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  12. Jonathan40 Dec 31, 2019

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    So interested in seeing how this story works out.
    You have an amazing piece of history that just happens to be useful and tells time to this day.
    Someone here will have some information about the watch I’m sure but definitely get it sympathetically serviced and get an insurance valuation at the same time.
    Then work out the insurance premium vs how prices have changed over 10 years for your model of watch and make a decision if you are going to wear, keep or sell and bank the money for college fund money.
    Hero grandfather.
     
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  13. River McK Dec 31, 2019

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    Is it safe to assume such a service should be left to the specialists in St. Imier? With regard to a busy inbox, only one offer to take it off my hands (if I was interested of course). I think it will stay in the family for now. I'd love to wear it once I find a suitable band to pair it with, but I also fear the potential for damaging it would hamper my ability to enjoy the moment.
     
  14. Rumar89 Dec 31, 2019

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    I would not make that assumption. If you let us know what part of the country you are in, I’m sure members can recommend places to get it serviced.
     
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  15. PNW206 Dec 31, 2019

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    Wow what a story and what a watch! :thumbsup:
     
  16. Larry S Color Commentator for the Hyperbole. Dec 31, 2019

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    Tell us where you are and we can recommend a good watchmaker. Also this watch uses female spring bars. Your watchmaker will need to measure and order these for you and install the strap you choose. Do not agree to have these removed in favor of drilled lugs for male bars as it will impact the value. While Longines seems to understand how to maintain their vintage watches, I don’t see this as necessary or worth the shipping risk.
     
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  17. murph Dec 31, 2019

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    Priceless
     
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  18. alphabeta81 Dec 31, 2019

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    As everyone has said, WOW! Awesome story, and a killer watch.

    Here is where it gets interesting. Longines has said that not all Fab Suisse dials went to France. That said, I have always searched for one that had provenance, such as a Longines extract confirming delivery to a agent with that agent's signature on the dial. Here you have just that! A Fab Suisse dial with Longines confirming it was delivered to Cuba to Cuervo y Sobrinos and the dial has that signature on it as well! That's just wonderful!
     
  19. Fabrice M Dec 31, 2019

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    I love Monopusher, I am actually wearing my Vertex MP45 right now. Like Vertex, Longines was part of the “dirty dozen”.
    Fantastic watch you have. And yes it is valuable depending on condition.
     
    Edited Dec 31, 2019
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  20. vujen Dec 31, 2019

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    Amazing. True congrats.
     
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