Between 1971 and 1973, the Swedish Air Force, otherwise known as the Svenska Flygvapnet, issued a military chronograph produced by Lemania. About 400 units with the ordinance number M3440-051010 were issued to the pilots of the Saab J37 Viggen, an incredibly advanced fighter jet at the time. At the end of their service, most of these watches were returned, but a small number (an estimated 50 – 65 units) escaped retirement. As you can imagine, these “Viggen” chronographs are quite rare, and they’re beloved by military watch collectors worldwide. When they occasionally pop up at auction — and it’s quite unusual that they do — they don’t sit around for long. This history is part of the context for the watch that we’re looking at today — the Siduna M3440 Professional Fly-Back Chronograph.
Siduna, it should be noted, is not a new brand. Siduna came into existence at the end of 19th century in Bienne, Switzerland with a focus on pocket watches. In 1929, Siduna became Siduna Aktieselskab and was incorporated in Copenhagen, Denmark. The firm was primarily known for producing 18k gold chronographs with Landeron 51 movements before going the way of the dodo during the Quartz Crisis. In 2006, Stockholm-based watchmaker Folke Bertil Ingerlund purchased the trademark, and held it until his retirement in 2017.
That’s where the story of today’s Siduna picks up. Francis Jacquerye, an industry veteran and former chief designer for Longines, took over the brand and decided that he, along with the help of Swedish watchmaker Peter Wadrbo, would bring Siduna back, continuing operation out of Sweden and shifting focus to iconic Scandinavian watches. And what’s more iconic than the “Viggen” chrono?
Editor’s note: the watch here is a prototype and features kinks that will be ironed out in the final production model. I’ll note any issues in the review below.