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C8 'Al Deere' TMB Limited Edition
DescriptionMany of the best watches have a fascinating story behind them, and the C8 'Al Deere' TMB Limited Edition is no exception: it incorporates metal originating from the Rolls-Royce Merlin engine fitted to Supermarine Spitfire Mk 1 X4276 (squadron letters KL-B) - a plane delivered just before the Battle of Britain, and flown by Lieutenant 'Al' Deere, now recognised as one of the most distinguished pilots in the Second World War.
X4276 crashed on December 28 1940, after a mid-air collision during a training exercise. 'Stick to me like glue', Deere had famously briefed trainee Sergeant Harry Squire before take-off. Squire, flying in X4650 KL-A, evidently followed this instruction a little too well, ramming him in the air and causing the collision, with both bailing out safely. Excavated in September 1987, X4276's Merlin engine has been cut and sits in the backplate of the C8, engraved with Deere's famous message, squadron and crash date.
The C8's dial is also inspired by the Smiths Mk III clock found in the Spitfire, whose distinctive 'time of trip' message is preserved intact inside the C8's small second subdial. Combined with SuperLuminova-filled Arabic numerals, a diamond-like carbon (DLC) case and a crown embossed with an image of the Farnborough wind tunnels - a facility that helped perfect the designs of planes like the Spitfire - the C8 'Al Deere' TMB Limited Edition celebrates the highly legible aviation designs of old.
Especially for this watch, two straps are provided: the first being a khaki canvas strap with the other an aged Italian oak leather strap.
A watch some eighty years in the making - one that combines British aviation heritage with modern day Swiss watchmaking prowess - the C8 is our tribute to the RAF and the brave people that have served throughout its ranks as we reach its centenary in April 2018.
MovementFor a watch inspired by the aviation designs of days gone by, a hand-wound version of Calibre SH21 provides the dependable heart of the C8 'Al Deere' TMB Limited Edition, while its second hand has been relocated to a subdial at 6 o'clock.
Just as impressive are Calibre SH21's technical capabilities, which can provide 120 hours of chronometer-certified timekeeping off one full charge. Every Calibre SH21 has been passed by Contrôle Officiel Suisse des Chronomètres, who test each in a variety of temperatures and positions. Only 6% of Swiss-made movements receive this certification, ensuring the C8 'Al Deere' TMB Limited Edition sits in an exclusive arena occupied by few other small second watches.
- Diameter: 44mm
- Height: 11mm
- Weight: 81g
- Calibre: Calibre SH21 hand-wound chronometer (COSC)
- Case: 316L stainless steel
- Water resistance: 5 ATM (50 metres)
- Vibrations: 28,800 per hour (4Hz)
- Timing tolerance: -4/+6 seconds per day
- Dial colour: Black
- Lume: Old Radium SuperLuminova®
- Strap: 22mm
- Canvas strap colour: Khaki
- Additional leather strap colour: Camel
- Lug to Lug: 53.2mm
- Special limited edition of 100 pieces
- Swiss made
- 27 jewel in-house Calibre SH21 hand-wound movement with small seconds complication
- Disc of Supermarine Spitfire Mk 1 X4276 KL-B precious metal with 'Al' Deere's "Stick to me like glue" quote engraving embedded below museum-grade sapphire into exhibition backplate
- 120 hour power reserve
- Spitfire cockpit instrument-themed small second subdial
- Museum grade anti-reflective sapphire crystal
- Original Spitfire instrument panel inspired dial with Old Radium SuperLuminova® markings
- Surgical-grade diamond-like carbon (DLC) sandblasted stainless steel case
- Sandblasted crown with Farnborough wind tunnel profile
- Premium quality canvas webbing strap with CW twin flag logo debossed in on reverse with black diamond-like carbon (DLC) sandblasted clasp
- Additional camel vintage oak leather strap included
- Unique engraved individual serial number
- Deluxe presentation case and owner's handbook with signed Certificate of Provenance