Czechoslovakian military pilot's military watch (air force wristwatch): MAJETEK VOJENSKE SPRAVY (Longines Lemania Eterna)

If you want to know the history through video, click here.

Cakoslovakia was a federal state in Central Europe that existed from 1918 to 1992.

The story goes from 1939 until World War II, when Czechoslovakia was occupied by Nazi Germany and was like a vassal state.

As a result, they fought alongside the British in support of independence.

After the Second World War, Czechoslovakia became independent and then in 1992 it split into the Czech Republic and the Slovak Republic, which is how it is today.

Today, I will mainly be explaining about these Czechoslovak Air Force watches.

The article is divided into five parts

1. Characteristics of Czechoslovakian military watches

2. Explanation of Longines watches

3. Explanation of Lemania and Eterna watches

4. MAJETEK: Fighting alongside the Royal Air Force

5. Summary

It is as follows.


Wristwatches for the Czechoslovak Air Force were manufactured by three companies from the 1930s before World War II through to after the war: Longines, Lemania, and Eterna.

The case back of this pilot's watch is engraved with "MAJETEK VOJENSKE SPRAVY", indicating that it is official property of the Czechoslovakian Army.

It's not that they are pushed in absolute terms, and there are individuals who are not pushed.

The common features of the three companies are:

1. Large stainless steel cushion case

2. Black dial

3. Luminous Arabic numerals and hands

4. Railway Minute Track

Some examples include:

There seems to have been no clear standard for the second hand, so there are center second and small second versions.

Since only Longines uses small seconds and Lemania and Eterna watches are very similar, it seems likely that the required specifications changed along the way.

From here, we will focus on each brand and take a look at the history of World War II while exploring the appeal of these pilot watches.

Czechoslovak Air Force MAJETEK VOJENSKE SPRAVY engraved on the back


Longines Czechoslovak Air Force Watch

Longines was the first to supply watches to the Czechoslovakian government.

Longines' "MAJETEK" has three series based on the movement.

Czechoslovak Air Force Longines Watches Comparison from First to Third

What they have in common is that when you turn the rotating bezel, an inner pointer moves, allowing you to measure flight time.

There are two types of case backs: the first is a screw-fastened snapback case, while the second is a regular snapback case that is no longer screwed down.

I will explain each watch face, and although they are almost the same and you probably won't be able to tell the difference between them, I will try to explain them in words that are as easy to understand as possible.

The First has a porcelain dial and cobra hands.

Generally, dials are made of brass, with a base plating applied on top, and then a layer of lacquer is applied on top to add color.

Porcelain is a material made from ceramic.

Examples of porcelain watch dial materials

So, it's porcelain that looks like this.

This time, it has been coated with black lacquer.

So, if you look closely at a porcelain dial, you can sort of see the graininess of the porcelain.

Porcelain dials are rarely seen in modern watches, but they are still quite common in older watches.

Porcelain dials have become quite rare these days, but they have some weaknesses. They are not suitable for mass production, and being made of porcelain, they are prone to breaking.

Therefore, it is not suitable for use in situations where strong impacts are applied.

Moreover, since it is a military watch, it is a terrible match for a porcelain dial.

For that reason, the dials are made thicker, but that doesn't change the fact that they are prone to breaking.

However, when we look at it from our current perspective, it is clear that it is a wonderful piece that was made with great care and attention!

The First is equipped with Longines' manual-winding caliber 15.94.

MAJETEK Longines Caliber 15.94

This caliber was used in pocket watches from the early 1900s and was a large caliber with a diameter of 34.7 mm and a thickness of 5.65 mm.

The third watch contains a movement that was originally used in a pocket watch, but it is large and capable of producing high accuracy.

This means that the case diameter is also 40mm.

Nowadays, watches with a 40mm case size are common, but back then, the default was around 35mm, and when the movement alone is that large, the case inevitably becomes large as well, so it was probably a large watch for the time.

Now, let's introduce the second model, which has an enamel dial.

This is an evolution of the porcelain dial, and is made by painting a glassy liquid onto the porcelain material used to make porcelain and then firing it.

The glass then acts as a coating, giving the dial a glossy finish.

It looks like a black mirror dial, giving it a more luxurious feel than a porcelain dial, and is an extremely popular model among Czechoslovakian military watches.

The second model is equipped with Longines' manual winding caliber 15.26.

MAJETEK Longines Caliber 15.26

This caliber was developed in 1929, but due to the effects of the Great Depression, only a very small number were produced.

As a result, only around 500 Series 2 watches were produced.

Although it is the model with the smallest production numbers, it is the most popular model due to its glossy enamel dial.

Although the movement has changed, the contents have hardly changed and the case size has also remained almost the same at 41mm, with the second model having pencil hands.

For the third model, the dial is changed to the current style brass material with black lacquer paint to improve its fragility.

The metal dial is given a glossy finish using a special technique to replicate the luster of an enamel dial.

At the time, the dials had a glossy finish, but now most have lost their luster due to aging and have a matte texture.

It has finally evolved from a costly luxury watch to a military watch, but the design has more or less been naturalized by the First Movement, and the hands have returned from pencil hands to cobra hands.

The SARD was equipped with the Caliber 15.68Z.

MAJETEK Longines Caliber 15.68Z

The movement size is almost the same as the second Cal. 15.26, but it is thinner at 5.2mm.

The third model was the most numerous, with around 3,500 produced.

Longines Czechoslovak Air Force Watches: Differences in Movements from First to Third

Compared to Lemania and Eterna, which will be introduced later, the Longines "MAJETEK" has the largest case size of the three, with a diameter of 40-41mm, height of 52mm, and lug width of 24mm, and is also known as "Tartarugone" (meaning "big turtle").

As you can see, even though it is a military watch, it is made with great care and expense, so it feels like a luxury instrument.

By understanding this content, you will be able to understand just how good a watch it is.

Longines' Majetek watch was large, expensive and prone to breaking, so the Czechoslovak government decided to drastically revise its specifications.

Lemania and Eterna answered the call.

Now, let me introduce you to some Lemania and Eterna watches.

Comparison between Lemania and Eterna

Czechoslovak Air Force Watches: Comparison of Lemania and Eterna

Compared to Longines, the small second hand and rotating bezel have been eliminated, resulting in a streamlined design.

Both watches are nearly identical, with luminous Arabic numerals, black dials, pencil hands, center seconds, and nearly square cushion cases.

The only difference in the design is that the Eterna has numbers on the minute track.

As for the dial, the Lemania dial has had a matte color since it was manufactured, but the Eterna dial was painted using a special lacquer, so some watches still retain their glossy finish.

The Lemania case size is 38mm in diameter and 50mm in length.

The Eterna case size is 38.5mm in diameter and 48mm in length.

Compared to Longines, it is significantly downsized.

The back cover is now a screw-in type.

Now let's take a look at the movement.

Czechoslovak Air Force Watches Lemania Eterna Movement Differences

The one on the left is Lemania and the one on the right is Eterna.

The Lemania is a hand-wound Cal. 3050 with Incabloc .

The Eterna is equipped with a hand-wound Cal. 852S.

If you look at the Lemania movement, you can see that there is a ring around the movement.

You may have seen this ring on other watches, but its function is to secure the movement in place by closing the back cover.

Since it was designed to withstand strong impacts, it also acts as a shock absorber.

Lemania has a history of growing as a manufacturer of military watches and ebauches for chronograph movements, so I guess that's why they're able to include parts like this.

For more information about Lemania and the Royal Air Force, please see the following article:



The Lemania "MAJETEK" is equipped with a 17-jewel hand-wound Cal. 3050 with shock-resistant Incabloc.

The small second hand is a center second hand with a sweeping hand.

It features a small jewel set in the friction spring of the sweep seconds and a traditional yet beautifully finished crown wheel.

The case size has been successfully made relatively compact, measuring 38mm in diameter, 50mm in length, 22mm in lug width, and 9mm in thickness.

The dial is very simple,

There are no decorations other than the "LEMANIA" logo, Arabic numeral indexes, and minute track, making it highly visible.

It really feels like a military watch.

The Arabic numerals and pencil-shaped hands are radium luminescent.

This is the only model among the three that was not sold commercially.


Czechoslovak Air Force Eterna Watch


The Eterna "MAJETEK" is equipped with a 14 ligne (approximately 31.5 mm) 15-jewel hand-wound Cal. 852S.

It vibrates at 18,000 vibrations per hour, has a 50-hour power reserve, and is shock resistant.

The second hand is a center second hand. It is a center second hand with a sweeping movement.

The case size is 38.5mm in diameter, 48mm in length, and 21mm in lug width, almost the same size as the Lemania, but it looks more square.

The case is single-layered, the case back is screwed down, and there is no rotating bezel, making for a simple design.

The dial is a glossy mirror dial with no decoration other than the "ETERNA" logo, Arabic numeral indexes, and railway minute track.

Like the Lemania, the Arabic numerals and pencil-shaped hands were coated with radium luminescent paint.

"MAJETEK" who fought as the Royal Air Force

MAJATEK Two Swords Mark

Some of these "MAJETEK" watches, on a very rare occasion, have a "crossed swords" engraved on the 11 o'clock lug.

This was a marking used on Czechoslovakian military equipment and is similar to the British "Broad Arrow".

It is said that the reason this mark was engraved on the "MAJETEK" watch is as follows.

During World War II, when Czechoslovakia was occupied by the German army, many Czechoslovakian Air Force pilots defected to Britain and joined the RAF to fight against the Germans.

This is how some MAJETEK watches made the journey across the ocean with their owners.

It is said that the "two crossed swords" were engraved on the lugs of the watch to commemorate his brave fighting style.


The First Czechoslovak Republic was said to have had a very impressive air force considering its size.

Since the country is not bordered by sea, it may have placed a lot of emphasis on its army and air force.

I hope you understand that the three brands I introduced today have been created with great effort in order to meet those expectations.

Black dial, large cushion case, and highly visible center second hand.

Perhaps it is because watches like this one are so rare that we are drawn to this Czechoslovak Air Force watch, despite its simplicity.