Forums Latest Auctions Members
  1. rcs914

    rcs914 Jul 8, 2016

    Posts
    1,709
    Likes
    2,173
    It was not written as an attack on his character or professional credentials - it wasn't meant as an attack at all. But as you said, when someone has "skin in the game" it puts them in a much more defensive position. It also made me reconsider my reply that I was writing to his deleted comment. Essentially I wasn't trying to start an internet fight - I was surprised that he commented to me. But overall I find it fascinating that these kits have been discussed on an number of blogs, etc. in relationship to the re-issued timepiece, and no one even thought to raise the point "Ya know, that really doesn't look like a 1940s watch".

    This is what I was going to reply, until I thought better of it:

    "John - obviously you deleted your reply to me, and while I recognize that you are a professional historian, it doesn't mean that watches are your specialty. The Milus Snow Star that is included in this kit has a combination of features that simply didn't exist on any watch in 1942 - or even 1952, and didn't start to be common until the late 50s/early 60s. I'm not an expert myself, but the movement in this watch has been identified by others to likely be an ETA 2048, which wasn't produced until the late 1950s."

    I didn't delete my original comment - but I did soften how I wrote it:

    "Perhaps Vietnam era? That watch does not appear to be made in the 1940s - it has multiple features that were not common on watches till the 1960s."
     
  2. gatorcpa

    gatorcpa ΩF InvestiGator Staff Member Jul 8, 2016

    Posts
    9,521
    Likes
    9,221
  3. omg smstr

    omg smstr Jul 8, 2016

    Posts
    136
    Likes
    756
    My first thought in front of a cannibal, would not be to trade a swiss watch.
    May be a vegetarian cookbook? Though I'm not sure it would fit in this survivor kit.
     
  4. rcs914

    rcs914 Jul 8, 2016

    Posts
    1,709
    Likes
    2,173
    He sent me a PM on facebook with the following statement, as well as a number of links to the original auction documentation. I am not going to argue with him about it, because I feel that it would be an unproductive use of my time. I'm by no means an expert myself - just familiar enough with the various eras of watches to know that these weren't made when they are being purported to have been made. While I certainly sometimes have trouble restraining my desire to point it out when "someone is wrong on the internet" I also have to realize that I don't have a dog in the fight - what's the point? I probably should have realized this before commenting on his facebook post.

    His message to me, many of the links point to stuff already posted above:

    "These Escape and Evasion Kits were made and used only during WWII.

    The Milus “Snow Star” was made during WWII, the ones used in the kit were made in 1941 according to the Milus Records (date of sale as well as serial numbers), they were selected by the US Navy as the watch to be used inside what Pilots and Paratroopers referred to as “Barter Kits.”

    The Milus was only used in the “Pacific” Barter Kits as the “Atlantic” Barter Kits has French Gold Francs and British / South African Gold Sovereign Coins and Gold Rings.

    Officially they are called “US Navy Escape and Evasion US Navy Escape and Evasion Barter Kit, Atlantic” and US Navy Escape and Evasion Barter Kit South East Asia.”

    Here is the official photo of the “Pacific Kit” from the United States Naval History and Heriatge Command, with description.

    “US Navy Escape and Evasion Barter Kit, South East Asia Serial# 494

    2.88" H x 4.01" W x 1"D

    US Navy Escape and Evasion Barter Kits, South East Asia. The case of the kit is made from rubber which was sealed . The kit contains a gold swiss watch with a cloth watch band, two gold rings and a gold pendant with chain. The kits were used by service personnel when they were in enemy territory to aid their escape.

    US Navy Escape and Evasion Barter Kits, South East Asia. The case of the kit is made from rubber which was sealed . The kit contains a gold swiss watch with a cloth watch band, two gold rings and a gold pendant with chain. The kits were used by service personnel when they were in enemy territory to aid their escape.

    Collection of Curator Branch, Naval History and Heriatge Command”

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/usnhistory/5355238650

    Here are the “Escape and Evasion Kits”, which are located in the Smithsonian.
    http://collections.si.edu/search/results.htm?view=&dsort=&date.slider=&q=Escape+and+Evasion+Kit

    Here is the original paperwork from the Department of Defense Logistics Agency when they were auction on August 1st, 1979.

    http://i161.photobucket.com/albums/t209/smkngun27/E and E Kits for MILUS/7-8-2016 125015 PM.jpg~original

    http://i161.photobucket.com/albums/t209/smkngun27/E and E Kits for MILUS/7-8-2016 125354 PM.jpg~original

    http://i161.photobucket.com/albums/t209/smkngun27/E and E Kits for MILUS/7-8-2016 10318 PM.jpg~original

    http://i161.photobucket.com/albums/t209/smkngun27/E and E Kits for MILUS/7-8-2016 10925 PM.jpg~original

    http://i161.photobucket.com/albums/t209/smkngun27/E and E Kits for MILUS/7-8-2016 13251 PM.jpg~original

    http://i161.photobucket.com/albums/t209/smkngun27/E and E Kits for MILUS/7-8-2016 13347 PM.jpg~original "
     
  5. redpcar

    redpcar Jul 8, 2016

    Posts
    2,204
    Likes
    3,146
    So maybe we should blame a 1978 records clerk at the DoD who started this erroneous paper trail.
     
    Vitezi likes this.
  6. rcs914

    rcs914 Jul 8, 2016

    Posts
    1,709
    Likes
    2,173
    Honestly there's nothing in that paperwork that states a vintage, or what war they may have been produced for. I still think that they call it a "Southeast Asian" kit is telling. Wouldn't they have called it a "Pacific" kit if it were for WWII?
     
    Foo2rama and TNTwatch like this.
  7. Mouse_at_Large

    Mouse_at_Large still immune to Speedmaster attraction Jul 8, 2016

    Posts
    1,762
    Likes
    4,204
  8. TNTwatch

    TNTwatch Jul 8, 2016

    Posts
    2,849
    Likes
    1,866
    Exactly. I don't think any academic historian would want to say anything about the period of origin just based on those papers. The statements at the first half of his reply have nothing to do with those links at the second half. Over here recently, we have a Greek amateur historian who are way more professional than this.
     
    GuiltyBoomerang likes this.
  9. redpcar

    redpcar Jul 8, 2016

    Posts
    2,204
    Likes
    3,146
    DoD writing was too small to read on my screen and I can't copy paste from photobucket to enlarge :(
    Smithsonian makes no reference to age.
    Who started the 1942 story?
    The Milus team should know better. Any street corner watchmaker would know this watch is from the '60s. Surely someone else has brought this to their attention since the re-release of the Snowman. Snowball? Snowflake? Crap, I already forgot the name of the watch ;)
     
  10. flyingout

    flyingout Jul 8, 2016

    Posts
    697
    Likes
    695
    This has been fascinating. A thought I had was that the kits were upgraded with new watches at some point (rather than servicing). The kits themselves seem to me to be WWII era, similar to the Atlantic version, which wouldn't have made sense in the '60s.
     
  11. gatorcpa

    gatorcpa ΩF InvestiGator Staff Member Jul 8, 2016

    Posts
    9,521
    Likes
    9,221
    Really? Documentation of that statement? None were used during Korea or Vietnam?

    All we know is that the kits were military surplus and sold off to the public in 1979-80. The items inside certainly look genuine, including the watches. There is evidence that such kits existed during WWII, but we do not know when production ceased on these.

    That's interesting...;)

    Nowhere in any of the DoD sale documents does it make reference to WWII or any provenance of the kits to that time. Even the contemporary newspaper article from 1980 says that many of the kits were from WWII, but there is no way to know from the information provided which ones were and which ones weren't.

    Even the listings from the Smithsonian Museum do not list an issue date. One would think that if they were only issued during WWII as claimed, the Smithsonian would have noted it.

    Mr. Vargas states that Milus was able to search their records (that were destroyed in a fire in the 1940's per Mr. H) and determine that these watches were sold to the US Government in 1941. The movements do not have serial numbers, although the cases might. In addition, assuming that the Snow Star does have a quick-set date, the earliest reference I can find to a wristwatch movement having this feature would be an Eterna from 1953.

    There are too many holes in this story to be stated as unequivocal fact.
    gatorcpa
     
  12. Mr.H

    Mr.H Jul 8, 2016

    Posts
    92
    Likes
    117
    Very possible, my set has had it's original serial number removed (looks very like a DoD removal) & a new serial number applied & there is a penned number on the case (lower than 50) which may refer to the original stock number
    Sorry I was going to upload some pictures but have been working late this week .... will do this w/end

    Regards
    Mr.H
     
    gatorcpa likes this.
  13. Foo2rama

    Foo2rama Keeps his worms in a ball instead of a can. Jul 8, 2016

    Posts
    11,667
    Likes
    15,965
  14. TNTwatch

    TNTwatch Jul 8, 2016

    Posts
    2,849
    Likes
    1,866
    This contradicts with the story that Milus lost all their archives due to fire in the 50s and the story that the CEO of Milus told that it was a "military historian" who educated them about their watches in these E&E kits.

    This contradicts with the story both the OP and I linked to earlier that there were 2 watches in the Atlantic kits:

    [​IMG]
     
  15. TNTwatch

    TNTwatch Jul 8, 2016

    Posts
    2,849
    Likes
    1,866
    This is a possibility, that along with tagging the kit as for SE Asia.

    upload_2016-7-8_18-10-12.png
     
  16. ahsposo

    ahsposo Most fun screen name at ΩF Jul 8, 2016

    Posts
    3,021
    Likes
    14,617
    There's a voice in my head coughing Piltdown Man

    [​IMG]
     
  17. gatorcpa

    gatorcpa ΩF InvestiGator Staff Member Jul 8, 2016

    Posts
    9,521
    Likes
    9,221
    That paper is visible at 0:35 in the video above. It's just a modern round sticker, probably put there by Mr. Vargas when he sold one of his kits to Milus for identification.

    I don't think there was any assertion that it was original by Mr. Basha or Mr. Vargas.

    Based on the original DoD description and the listing from the Smithsonian, watches were only included in the Pacific/SE Asia kits and not the Atlantic kits. Gold coins were only in the Atlantic kits and not the Pacific/SE Asia kits.

    [​IMG]

    It would seem that the original poster of that picture (from 2008, apparently) had purchased at least three of these from the DoD sales and put them all together.
    gatorcpa
     
  18. Mr.H

    Mr.H Jul 8, 2016

    Posts
    92
    Likes
    117
    I think this one is put together from parts, no straps, & looks like a standard Atlantic size box

    Regards
    Mr.H
     
  19. Mr.H

    Mr.H Jul 8, 2016

    Posts
    92
    Likes
    117
    Very odd ... I only quoted the Milus lost records from the Calibremagazine article (http://www.calibremagazine.com/?q=node/588) ... although as I took that article as a co-operative advertisement presumed the story must have come direct from Milus

    I can find many examples of centre seconds watches from the early 1940's & even 1930's (Omega Medicus) Rolex Oyster/Athlete, Longines Weems etc etc ...... & late 30's early 40's date windows & slightly similar dial layouts Movada's & Zenith watches ... they all fall short of being a quick set date with Cyclops, diamond cut hour markers watch ..... so unless ETA copied a revolutionary Milus movement it must be post war .. I should have mentioned the removed serial number on the outside of my kits case earlier, but it's the only set I've seen like this so wasn't too sure on the kit upgrade with new watch theory

    The EE kit same as mine was used in part of a display recently at the Smithsonian I will ask them about the theme ...pretty sure it was WWII

    Regards
    Mr.H
     
    Edited Jul 8, 2016
  20. TNTwatch

    TNTwatch Jul 8, 2016

    Posts
    2,849
    Likes
    1,866