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Chikara Masuda's 1942 Bell Watch

This is a typical 30mm WW2 era wristwatch, sold by the Bell Watch Company in New York City.  This is an assembled watch, with a Kingston 17-jewel movement housed in a steel "Borel & Co SA" case. The military-style black dial features a 60-second "railroad track" outer dial and a red sweep second hand. Although the watch has not been serviced, it runs accurately for over 30 hours.

 

The center of the watch case is inscribed "Chikara Musuda"; along the top edge is Chikara's Army Service Number (ASN):  "ASN 39012973” 

The Bell Watch Company headquarters were in the Time-Life Building in Rockefeller Center, NYC.  There is no evidence that Bell manufactured their own watches; they appeared to have simply imported them from Switzerland. 

Bell advertised their watches to the military, to both men and women soldiers.  Their ads appeared in many popular magazines -- Life, Time, Popular Mechanics, and the American Legion.

Chikara probably bought his Bell watch at the PBX. It cost him $42.50 (about $750 in 2020...) -- equal to an Army Private's monthly salary.....

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