The Bezelmeter was designed for pilots. It was essentially a cockpit instrument for the wrist. Two features incorporated in the design give clear evidence of this intent. The bezel on the case is an independent chapter ring graduated in counter clockwise hours. Rotating the ring to align the mission duration hours with the hour hand on the dial at take off gives the pilot a quick reference of the flight time remaining during any point in the mission.
The dial is essentially a 12 hour recording chronograph with 30 minute elapsed time recorder on the right. It also can track a second time zone with the 12 hour bezel by setting an offset to the hour hand of the actual time. These things are essential to a pilot from that area for both calculating way points for fuel stops and setting the 2nd time zone for crossing from one to another.
A Tachymetre on the outside edge and 60 sec counter around the center including the sub-dials.
The second feature is the red degreemeter scale on the dial, which is graduated from 0 to 180. The Aircraft have control settings to produce a standard turns rate of 3 degrees/sec, meaning that the chronograph function can be used to measure the amount of turn.
This is a large watch particularly for one that is 70 + years old, watches just weren’t made this big then but now it is just right.
The Jardur Import Company was started by Samuel Klepper in New York City N.Y. in 1937. It was located at 874 Broadway in the McIntyre Building. In 1945, based on the production of various aviation and flight accessories, the company changed their names to the Jardur Aviation Company.
After creating their signature Jardur model, the Bezelmeter, they began selling their watches in United States Army and Navy Post Exchanges (PX). The Jardur private label was never commissioned for any military branch, however, many aviators and military personnel wound up possessing one of these Swiss made watches.
Jardur distributed its watches and navigational flight plotters exclusively to the military through post exchanges and ships stores, clear evidence that the Jardur watch company regarded their watches as professional tools.
The Bezelmeter and Jimmy Doolittle
In 1942, the president of North American Aviation James Howard "Dutch" Kendelberger chose a Jardur Bezelemeter 960 to present to Jimmy Doolittle. This watch is now in the Smithsonian in Washington D.C. On the back is engraved: 'To Jimmie Doolittle and Shagri La from Dutch 6-1-42'
North American built the sixteen B25B Bombers which Lt. Colonel Doolittle led off the deck of the aircraft USS Hornet 600 miles off the coast of Japan. Shangri La was the Hornets code name.