Sometimes I see a tribute watch and lament, “Yet another copy.” But there is sometimes a story behind a watch that makes a tribute—or homage, reissue, recreation, or whatever we decide to call it—special. The limited edition 42-millimeter, Valjoux 7750-equipped M3440 Professional Uni-compax Chronograph from Sweden’s Siduna may look nearly identical to other mid-century pilot chronographs, but its story is uniquely Swedish and rather compelling.
By the late 1930s, Sweden had a perfunctory military, was direly bereft of fuel, and found itself surrounded on all sides by Nazi-conquered countries. To ward off a Nazi attack, Sweden strategically provided iron to the Nazi’s, a fact that reveals the problematic complexity (impossibility, really) of remaining “neutral” during wartime. Not wanting to get caught unprepared again, Sweden unconventionally diverted the majority of its Cold War nuclear weapons budget into its airborne capabilities. Remarkably, by 1968 Sweden touted the world’s fourth most powerful Air Force. The Siduna M3440 is a recreation of the 1973 chronograph (nicknamed “Viggen” after a Swedish fighter jet) issued to that rapidly expanding Air Force, or Svenska Flygvapnet.