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RAF Aircrew Wrist Watch 70's ?

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RAF Aircrew Wrist Watch 70's ?

Old 30th Jan 2019, 16:24
  #21 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by ian16th View Post
Not just any Rolex, but a GMT Master.
...brings back memories - see my earlier post about bringing back watches (Rolex GMT Masters) through customs at Lyneham in the early 1960's here:
Gaining An R.A.F Pilots Brevet In WW II
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Old 30th Jan 2019, 21:21
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Being a poor Cpl at the time, I did quite well when I bought this:





In Malta for £12/10/0 in 1959. It had a Fixoflex strap then.

My son has it now and it still runs quite well.
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Old 31st Jan 2019, 13:09
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Yes - but the issue straps were uninspiring.
RAF watches circa 1961 came with metal watch bands called Bonclip. They were very long bands and easily came undone. At the time, RAAF aircrew had nylon wrist watch bands which proved dangerous in fires as they would melt into the skin. Centaurus was tasked to evaluate new bands. He discovered the RAF used Bonclip metal wrist watch bands and ordered 200 items sight unseen. Turned out the bands were too long and could easily become undone. Soon after a RAAF Mirage pilot aborted a take off when his Bonclip band unravelled and caught on the throttle.

The RAAF withdrew the bands from service and wondered who the idiot was that evaluated the bands on behalf of the RAAF and had ordered a couple of hundred of them without proper testing. C'est moi, guilty as charged. Mea culpa etc
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Old 1st Feb 2019, 09:40
  #24 (permalink)  
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Centaurus, AFAIK that metal banded strap was on RAF Navigators' watches while the pilots had a different strap. Its advantage was its ability to be fastened over a flying glove whereas Biggles had a clock on the IP.

At the first opportunity we would swap to a nylon strap, especially when we found one in sqn colours. The next generation were issued with a brown nylon strap combines with a leather backing. The nylon strap could survive ejection and the leather avoid nylon melt burns.
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Old 1st Feb 2019, 11:16
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A recent visitor to the Manx Aviation and Military Museum at Ronaldsway wondered if we could tell him what the numbers/letter on the reverse of this Hamilton watch might mean. None of us have a clue except that we think it might be ex-RAF. Searching the 'net' hasn't helped! Can anyone help?
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Old 1st Feb 2019, 12:56
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I did a quick search for 'H-67 watch movement' and found a link with the following comments:-


In the mid 1960ís Hamilton began to supply the British military with watches which included the Hamilton 6B H-67 which were issued to RAF aircrew. These watches were produced to the same MOD specification as their more expensive and illustrious counterparts, the JLC and IWC Mark XI.
It is believed that only around 1,000 of the Hamilton 6B H-67 were ever produced which makes these watches extremely rare and highly collectible.
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Old 1st Feb 2019, 13:25
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Centaurus, AFAIK that metal banded strap was on RAF Navigators' watches while the pilots had a different strap. Its advantage was its ability to be fastened over a flying glove whereas Biggles had a clock on the IP.
Thanks Pontius. That explains things.
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Old 1st Feb 2019, 18:45
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The 6B is the RAF Stores Section reference and refers to Navigation equipment. The other numbers relate to the specific item, in this case this watch and known as the Ref. It is likely that other manufacturers also provided watches to meet the specification and shared the same section and ref.

Another example was a Douglas Protractor which had a very low number 6B/47.

Around 1967 all Service stores were recategorized with a NATO Section and Ref. Typically nnnn-nnnnnnn. In the case of the watch the section would have been 4 numbers followed by the same reference numbers.

The H 67 may be the company reference and the 3800 the individual serial number.

In theory you could go to any NATO Store and demand a piece of equipment using the unique Section and Ref. It could then be provided through the interservice system.

Last edited by Pontius Navigator; 1st Feb 2019 at 18:59.
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Old 12th Feb 2019, 23:42
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NATO Stock Numbers have the format 1111-22-3333333, where the 1111 is the stock class (similar to the old UK MOD 6B etc.), the 22 is the country of origin (00 & 01 USA, 99 UK, 12 Germany etc.), and the remaining seven digits are the identifier.
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Old 16th Feb 2019, 20:35
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I have found my Omega to be far superior to the Rolex.
Because I believe it is. Once saw an Internet expose from a watchmaker on the internals of high end watches including both Rolex and Omega. Rolex allegedly some of the most appalling craftsmanship internally on a watch as could be found, whilst the Omega was rated at number #1. in fact the watchmaker said Omega's were likely the best made general purpose watches ever produced, bar none.
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Old 16th Feb 2019, 21:11
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Speaking of Omega(Tissot), I was given this watch many decades ago but didn't wear it much if at all. I dug it out recently and wound it up to see if it still runs and it does...with remarkable accuracy. Never been serviced to my knowledge. It's not self winding so requires daily attention but I guess it's an OK watch:


https://www.google.com/search?q=tiss...DVdX7g9-5q7zM:
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