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Ju 52 Aviator Chronograph / Junkers

Junkers Ju 52 Aviator Chronograph

Aviation legend for the wrist
The Pilot Watch Magazine
Junkers
12 March 2024

An impressive tribute to the legendary Aunt Ju

The legendary Junkers Ju 52 – often affectionately referred to as Aunt Ju – was the world’s most successful commercial airliner for many years. Lufthansa alone had an impressive fleet of more than 100 of these elegant aircraft – almost like every other renowned airline of the 1930s. The three-engined beauty opened up new horizons for global air traffic and thus made a significant contribution to realizing the dream of its visionary inventor: To bring the world and people closer together. With the Junkers Ju 52 Aviator Chronograph, Junkers launched an impressive tribute to the legendary Aunt Ju in October 2023.

Junkers Ju 52 Aviator Chronograph – a legend for the wrist

The design

Like no other timepiece, the Junkers Ju 52 Aviator Chronograph embodies the spirit of one of the most famous aircraft of the 1930s, the spirit of adventure and ingenuity – the spirit of the famous Aunt Ju. The silver dial hints at the elegance of the Ju 52’s wave-shaped aluminum. The 42-millimetre chronograph is fitted with a rustic, vegetable-tanned and hand-stitched cowhide strap, or alternatively with a modern metal bracelet on request. With the latter, the flat, interlocking elements are individually adjusted to the wrist and closed with an invisible butterfly folding clasp.

The case

The stainless steel case of the luxury chronometer has a diameter of 42 millimetres and a height of 15 millimetres. The screw-down crown ensures water resistance of up to 10 meters. The crown guard protects both the crown and the pushers from damage. Sapphire crystal protects the dial on the upper side and allows a view of the high-quality inner workings of the sporty, elegant yet extremely robust timepiece through the screwed-in glass back.

We don’t just build watches, we build a feeling – the feeling of adventure, of inventiveness, of taking off and flying.

Junkers

The movement

Inside the Junkers Ju 52 Aviator Chronograph is a mechanical ETA Valjoux 7750 caliber from Switzerland with automatic winding and a 44-hour power reserve. Developed back in the 1970s, the movement has an excellent reputation among manufacturers and watchmakers worldwide. It is considered to be absolutely reliable, robust and accurate. Characteristic features of this movement include the 12-hour display at 6 o’clock, the small seconds dial at 9 o’clock and the 30-minute counter at 12 o’clock.

The legendary Aunt Ju

The history of aviation is marked by a multitude of iconic aircraft that are characterized by their elegance, their performance or their versatility. The Junkers Ju 52, affectionately known as Aunt Ju, is undoubtedly one of these aircraft that has captured the hearts of aviation enthusiasts around the world with its characteristic corrugated metal skin and unmistakable design. The aircraft was originally designed by Junkers Flugzeugwerke in Dessau as a single-engine cargo plane. Particular emphasis was placed on the simplicity of all components and the lowest possible maintenance requirements. Under pressure from Deutsche Luft Hansa, among others, the decision was made in the early 1930s to also include the now familiar three-engine version as a passenger aircraft in the construction program.

Equipped with the patented Junkers double wings – here a small wing is attached behind the actual wing as an additional control surface and lift aid – the aircraft was to offer the possibility of operating with 15 passengers even from poorly secured makeshift airfields. The model known as the Ju 52/3m is the three-engine version that emerged from the single-engine version Ju 52/1m. The Ju made its successful maiden flight as a three-engined aircraft in March 1932. In addition to the twin wings, characteristic design features of this aircraft included the corrugated metal planking, the rigid undercarriage and the three radial engines. Both the military and civilian versions of the aircraft were particularly impressive due to their robustness, reliability and low landing speed.

The famous Lufthansa “Aunt Ju”
Junkers Ju 52 / Lufthansa
Junkers Ju 52 / Lufthansa
Junkers Ju 52 / Lufthansa

Of the approximately 4,800 Ju 52s originally built, only a handful are still airworthy today – and the number continues to decline. In the early 1980s, Lufthansa pilots discovered an example built for the airline in 1936 at an air show in the USA. They convince the Executive Board to acquire the aircraft so that it can be presented in Germany in 1984 to mark Lufthansa’s 60th anniversary. The transfer flight took sixteen days, including stopovers in Greenland and Iceland. After extensive restoration work under the auspices of the Lufthansa Berlin Foundation, the Auntie Ju with the traditional registration number D-AQUI was used for sightseeing flights for over 30 years from 1986 to 2018. After its final decommissioning in 2019 and temporary storage, the vintage aircraft – now on the ground as a popular museum piece – is once again delighting Ju fans from all over the world. The Lufthansa Ju 52 is on display in the Quax hangar of the Association for the Promotion of Historic Aircraft at Paderborn Airport, Germany.

Short and sweet

  • Pilot watch: Junkers Ju 52 Aviator Chronograph (Ref. 9.30.01.03)
  • Case: Stainless steel, ⌀ 42 millimetres, sapphire crystal, water-resistant to 10 bar
  • Movement: Automatic, ETA Valjoux 7750, 44-hour power reserve
  • Functions: Chronograph, hours, minutes, small seconds, date and weekday display
  • Strap: Leather / Metal
  • Price: 2,230 Euro / 2,285 Euro
  • Year: 2023

More information at junkers.de

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