The triangle with two dots at the 12 o’clock marker explained
Welcome to our weekly edition of “A timely question”, where we take the time to answer common questions in the world of watches. This week, we tackle the meaning of the triangle and two dots at the twelve o’clock position of pilot’s watches. So what do these symbols mean and how did they come about? Read on to find out.
The history of the pilot’s watch dates back to 1904 when Alberto Santos Dumont – a pioneer in aviation – complained to his friend Louis Cartier about the struggle of checking the time on a pocket watch mid-flight. Instead of being able to keep focus with his hands on the plane’s controls, he was constantly fumbling for his pocket watch. Thus, an idea was born, and Louis Cartier created the first pilot watch – the Santos-Dumont wristwatch.
Some time later, the First World War intensified the need for navigation and precision during flight and, therefore, furthered the development of the pilot’s watch. In 1935, Germany began building its air force and specifying the standard criteria for military equipment. The Beobachtungsuhr or B-Uhr was manufactured by four German and one Swiss watchmaker, including A. Lange & Söhne, Stowa, and Wempe, and was supplied to the bomber navigators of the German Air Force. These pilot’s watches were regulated and tested to meet the high standards set by the German Naval Observatory in Hamburg, and could thus be easily relied upon for the utmost precision. An important feature that allowed pilots to ensure precision was a design element that is now commonly found in pilot’s watches – the upward facing triangle surrounded by two dots at the twelve o’clock position.
So here comes the important question: what does the upward facing triangle and two dots on a pilot’s watch signify?
Back in the day, it was only the indices of a watch and not the numerals that were created with a luminescent material. Thus, when in darkness and trying to determine the exact time, it was easy to be off by an hour or so. It was important for the twelve o’clock indicator to be marked differently so that it was clearly distinguishable, which was accomplished with two dots next to the upward facing triangular index. Not only did this design facilitate pilots in determining the upward orientation of the dial, it also helped them quickly and easily determine the twelve o’clock position in relation to the rest of the indices on the dial of the watch. Today, the feature has carried over into the design of countless pilot’s watches. So the next time you see this design on a pilot’s watch, you’ll know all about its history and its overall purpose.
Do you have any questions about fine timepieces that you would like us to answer? Email us at email@example.com.
Providing excellent customer service is one of our top priorities. We deliver your watch fast and with utmost attention to detail. Should you be looking for a specific model which is not in stock, we are happy to source it for you - free of any extra charges. If you would like to sell a watch, our experts will advise you on market developments and the ideal selling price for your timepiece.
Should you have any questions regarding delivery, price or history of a specific model, your personal advisor will be happy to help at any time.
We always guarantee a safe transaction. When you buy or sell a watch on CHRONEXT, your contract of sale is made directly with us. We take legal responsibility for every transaction and provide the highest data security standards, secure payment methods and fully insured shipment. In order to ensure the authenticity and quality of all watches sold through us, every timepiece is thoroughly checked by our watchmakers before it is ever shipped to our customers.
This is guaranteed through our Certificate which you will receive with the purchase of any watch from CHRONEXT - new or pre-owned.
Only the best is good enough for our customers. This goes for prices just as well as for service and security. Luxury watches are hardly ever cheap but there are still significant differences in price levels depending on where you shop. Thanks to our vast global network of suppliers and our low fixed costs, we are able to provide competitive prices at all times.
We scan the market daily for the best offers and always keep our prices up to date. Most important however is that our competitive prices will never lead us to compromise security and quality.