The Leonidas CP-2 follows a long line of military watches issued to the Italian Armed Forces and this, without a doubt is a badass watch. Sized at a muscular 43mm, these were made and designed for military use only and is purely a utilitarian piece. This specific example is an issued piece, giving it interesting provenance and making it a seriously rare timepiece.
This CP-2, with its E.I markings on the caseback stands for Esercito Italiano, which translates to the Italian Army. As this is a CP (Cronometro da Polso/Wrist Chronometer) watch, it was issued to those involved in aviation. As the Italian Air Force had their own specific markings (A.M.I.), this Leonidas was not issued to the Aeronautica Militaire Italiano but instead to helicopter pilots in the Italian Army.
As mentioned, this is a big watch. With a thick aluminium bezel and a stainless steel case that is held together via four screws at the back, these were made to the same spec as the more common Heuer Bundeswehr and features the same black dial and hands layout.
Powering this watch is a Valjoux 222 chronograph movement with a flyback function. Most notably, this calibre was first used for the Breguet and other Type 20 watches that were issued to the French Air Force.
With all of the historical provenance aside, at the end of the day, this is just a downright cool watch with a complicated movement. With its heft, it is still a very wearable watch by modern standards and on top of this, you get to strap a piece on your wrist that was part of the Italian Army’s history.