Jardur Watch Company (previously known as the Jardur Import Company) was founded by Samuel Klepper in New York City N.Y. in 1937. Samuel was a pilot and the watches he designed were for a special class of users for whom the management of time was an important element of their profession.

Based in the Maclntyre Building at 874 Broadway in New York City, NY, the Jardur Import Company was the exclusive importer from Switzerland of the well-known Jardur aviation waterproof Bezelmeter chronographs and the Jardur aviation waterproof wrist-watches.

In 1945, based on the production of various aviation and flight accessories, the company changed its name to the Jardur Aviation Company. The Jardur precision timers were especially designed for pilots, and incorporated outstanding features necessary and desirable in all flying procedures. These aviation timepieces were greatly appreciated by the top Military officers of those times.

Under the guidance of Jardur Watches President CC Shermer and Vice President Dr. James Wingfield, the brand made a comeback in 2012 with their Degreemeter watch. This timepiece pays homage to Jardur Bezelmeter 960 watch of 1940’s.

Originally designed for pilots, the iconic Bezelmeter 960 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.

Jardur Bezelmeter 960
Jardur Bezelmeter 960

On the dial was a red degree meter scale graduated from 0 to 180 degrees of angle. Aircraft have control settings which will produce a standard turn rate of 3 degrees per second.

By starting the chronograph sweep second hand at the initial point of turning, the sweep second hand position indicates the instantaneous course deviation in degrees on the red degree meter scale. This information is more reliable than using magnetic compass instruments which are subject to inertial forces during turning manoeuvres.

History of Jardur Watch Company

Brothers, passionate aviators, & owners of the Jardur Import Company, Samuel and Herman Klepper, were first employed by the Hamilton Radio Company before venturing out and designing one of the most iconic tools of WWII, the Bezelmeter 960.

In 1934, with brother-in-law Wolf Kalmin at the helm of the Hamilton Radio Company, the Kalmin’s and the Klepper’s decided to change the radio company name to the Pilgrim Electric Corporation.

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. Research into the history of the era reveals numerous occasions when the Jardur Bezelmeter also was the watch tool of choice.

In 1941 just prior to WWII a privately sponsored mission to South America called the Inter American Escadrille was under taken to strengthen diplomatic ties and explore the feasibility of extending commercial air travel throughout Latin America: a Pan American skyway. Lawrence Rockefeller loaned his amphibious Grumman G21 (tail number NC37000) and his crew was lead by James Evan Ferris. Jardur supplied the watches they wore.

A Jardur Vintage Watch
A Jardur Vintage Watch

In 1942 the president of North America Aviation James Howard “Dutch” Kendelberger chose a Jardur Bezel meter 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 Shangri La from Dutch 6-1-42’ (32267).

In between those events which circumstances happened to capture were countless others which drummed along without fanfare and many Jardur watches also went along.

Among fine Swiss quality Jardur chronographs, Jardur also provided many pilots multiple aviation accessories such as Jardur Super Flightmaster (Designed for the primary or advanced pilot; Air Navigation Computer) and Jardur Flight Plotter (Designed exclusively for Jardur by Leut. Ernest G.)

In 1946, the Jardur Aviation Company presented Gen. Spaatz a 995G Aviation Chronograph during the “Aviation Men of the Year” ceremony in Philadelphia.

Official website: http://www.jardur.com

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