2 weeks ago
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Lots of contemporary pilot’s watches are “inspired” by timepieces, wars and aviators of yore.
But how’d you like a timepiece actually made from a WWII Spitfire fighter plane — battle scars and all? Because that’s exactly what you get with the new RJM collection from REC.
But first, a little history lesson.
The British Supermarine Spitfire was the most celebrated fighter plane of World War II — if you’ve seen Dunkirk, that’s what Tom Hardy glided down to the beach behind enemy lines. Director Christopher Nolan shot the dogfight scenes with three: two Mark Is and a Mark V version, all provided by the Imperial War Museum. After 70-plus years, 53 remain airworthy. Many others found a home in museums.
Others rest in Russian forests. Several Allied nations flew Spitfires, including the Soviets (who lost many to friendly fire, due to visual similarities with a German plane). One of those planes crashed to the ground following a dogfight near the end of the war; it was recovered by a farmer, who stored it until 1998 when it was discovered by a Briton, and later passed into the hands of Peter Teichman, a wealthy “wartime airplane fanatic” who made international headlines after crashing his nearly $2 million Hurricane Mark II bomber.
Around 4,000 watches will be made from Teichman’s Russian Spitfire by boutique watchmaker brand REC, which specializes in integrating material from historically significant vehicles into watches. This model — the RJM, for R.J. Mitchell, the Spitfire’s chief designer — is REC’s first aviation-focused watch. The number of watches depends on how much metal will be salvaged from the plane, which is currently being restored. Only parts deemed not necessary for the restoration will be remade into watches. Untreated aluminum from the Spitfire will be used in the date window frame.
For all that, the price — $1,295 — seems fair enough to us. That’s some historical value right there.