Note. I’m not talking about Union Glashütte watches here. Search “union flieger” usually leads you to some flieger watch produced by Union Glashütte. Here we have a small 24h brand called Union Flieger.
Name: Union Flieger
Model Reference: 2423/1
Movement: Vostok 2423, manual, 24h, 17 jewels, shock-resistant, 19800 Hz, power reserve 38 h
Time display: 24 hour, minute, seconds
Case: all stainless steel with screw on back, transparent caseback
Size: 41 mm diameter, with crown 44 mm
Height: 11,5 mm
Face: black, white world cities timezone bezel
Text on dial: Union Flieger
Text on back: Union Flieger Limited European Edition 50/100
Hands and markers: luminous hour and minute hands
Water-resistance: 50m (5 ATM)
Crown: 2 crowns, one at 3, the other at 10 to set timezone bezel
Crystal: flat mineral crystal
Lug: 20 mm
Bracelet: leather strap with buckle
Production: 100 numbered watches
In December 9, 2012, I was late as usual. Suddenly I discovered in eBay, that some happy person bought in December 3 a 24h watch I never saw before – Union Flieger. Even in 24hourswatch.info is nothing about this brand. I wrote immediately to the seller, maybe he has some Fliegers more. He had one. The last one! To get this, maybe the last existing NOS Union Flieger, I paid $333. Again too much!
This picture is from relojesrusos.com
Before the package came, I made some research. (I know that the right order is first research, and only thereafter payment.)
Union Flieger brand was announced in April 2007. Common for all four Union Flieger models are following characteristics: 24h, world timer, two crowns located at 3 (main) and 10 (timezone bezel), Russian Vostok movement. The introduced models were:
2431/1 – black dial, white timezone bezel – 2431 automatic – €199 – 50 numbered watches
2431/2 – black dial, black timezone bezel – 2431 automatic – €199 – 100 numbered watches
2416/1 – black lumed dial, black timezone bezel – 2416 automatic – €120 – 50 numbered watches
2423/1 – black dial, white timezone bezel – 2423 manual – €149 – 100 numbered watches
After September 2008 only the 2431-based models were offered. In June 2009 all the Fliegers were sold out and until today there is the same message – “sold out, wait for re-release”.
The last one I got, was leftover from series 2423/1. What a bummer – how can you pay $333 for a manual watch?
This watch came in a genuine leather and wooden box. To be honest, one of the nicest boxes I have. And fortunately not only the shell, but also the core is here OK and on the level.
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When you look at the movement, then it is not the common grey and inexpressive Vostok movement. Here we have nicely hand decorated 2423, glossy and with a yellow screws. On timing machine the results are OK too, as you can expect from Vostok. Here on the pictures you see, that dial up is +15 sec/day and the most common position, crown down, even +3 sec/day.
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I like the dial too. Very often the world timers have the cities in too small font and it’s useless for my eyes. Here the central dial, bezel, hands, everything is readable without problems. And as a result this is a watch I’m wearing quiet frequently.
The caseback is transparent as it should be – the movement deserves it. On the edge is written “Union Flieger Limited European Edition 50/100”. On the glass is written “World Time 5 ATM Water Resistant All German Stainless Steel”. And on the glass you can also see the map of Europe.
According to my research two models – 2431/2 and 2423/1 – had this “World Time” caseback. Other two had transparent caseback with text “Model Focke Wulf BMW 802” instead of “World Time”. And instead of map a plane.
So I see, that here we have a good Russian movement in a good German all stainless steel case. It looks (and probably is) very reliable. If you can get for less than was my price, fine. The series was very limited and sold mostly in Spain and Portugal, I suppose. This one I have, and the other one sold week before, are the only Union Fliegers I ever saw on the market.
$333? Poljot International is producing in Germany Basilika Polar Bear 24h watches for €500, with the same Vostok 2423 movement inside.
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