This Remembrance Sunday, perhaps more than any other given the current circumstances, I'm reminded of the sacrifice countless people have given in the service of their country. I think nobody needs reminding of the passion I have for military watches. Looking through my collection I was suddenly struck by the number of RAF issued watches I have available from my collection. Today it seems appropriate to share just a few of those with you.
To start with, take this stunning Lemania RAF issue from 1967, in my opinion one of the most wearable vintage military watches you could ever hope to own. (I promise, this really is a watch from 1967!). Lemania provided the RAF with chronographs from 1955 until 1970 and this piece which dates to 1967 is the last version, the Mk111 using the manual wind shock protected calibre 2220.
Few brands are quite as synonymous with flying watches as Hamilton. These two amazing examples from 1972 and from 1979 are also incredibly wearable and historically significant (aren't all Hamiltons?). If you want a military watch that is likely to have flown at Mach 2 and seen active engagement over their 50 year history then you can't go wrong with Hamilton.
Perhaps one of my favourite amongst my own collection is this 1970's CWC RAF issued chronograph, a watch that has, in actual fact, been fitted with a replacement case back from a 1970 Hamilton. I simply love these quirks of history that often tell a story of a watch, and the journey it has undertaken, far more vividly than I could ever recount. The fact is when the RAF specified their chronograph watches they inadvertently ensured that the manufacturers would create interchangeable parts. What happened to the original case back on this CWC we may never know. But the result is, at some point it must have ended up in a MOD stores department where the back was replaced with a 1970 Hamilton case back.
These are the stories that can often be inferred as a result of the living history represented by these watches. What I do know is that all of these incredible pieces will almost certain remind us that Every day is Remembrance Day.