Gerlach, a newly-minted Polish watch company run by the aptly-named Krzysztof Zegarek aka Chris Clock, has just announced a real beauty. Called the Pm36 this hand-winding railroad watch commemorates the Pm36, a steam locomotive designed in 1936 at the first Polish locomotive factory, FABLOK.

The watch has giant, luminous hands and numerals and everything is hand-applied. It is hand-wound and looks as big and beefy as a nice pocket watch. It runs a Seagull ST3620 movement movement.

Zegarek writes that the locomotive on which this watch was based was a true marvel.

?Before World War II only two prototypes were built. The first of them, Pm36-1, had an aerodynamic cover. Aerodynamic cover was tested in a aerodynamic tunnel in Warsaw University of Technology. The second one (Pm36-2) had a standard look. Top speed of aerodynamic version was 20 km/h higher then the version without fairing, archiving astonishing for that time 140 km/h.

The Pm36-1 won a gold medal at the 1937 International Exposition of Art and Technology in Paris (Expo). It was a great success for a growing industry of independent Poland between World Wars.

Only one locomotive survived World War II. It was Pm36-2. It was in service until 1966. Later it was transfered to Warsaw Railway Museum. In 1995 it went through a major overhaul and returned to the service as a tourist attraction in the Wolsztyn Museum. It was named “Pi?kna Helena” or “Beautiful Helen.”

It’s a pretty cool story and a pretty cool watch.

By John Biggs

John lives in Brooklyn and has loved watches since he got his first Swatch Irony automatic in 1998. He is the editor of WristWatchReview.

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