Faster, further, higher – Aviation exemplifies man’s desire to fly and soar above the Earth…
It has been a little while in between articles but we are more than certain that this one will make up for it. Many people believe that watches are a status symbol and the more expensive the better and sometimes I buy into that approach. In this case with Avi-8’s Lancaster Bomber it is all about the story and we believe that if a watch means something to you or there is some sort of sentiment behind it then it is the watch for you. The Lancaster Bomber did this for us and as soon as I found out that UK based brand Avi-8 were doing a range of watches revolving around old World War Two era planes we jumped at the chance to get our hands on them.
The reason this pulls a heart string with us is that in WWII my grandpa, Raymond Lewis Merrill, was a rear gunner in a Lancaster Bomber and received a Distinguished Flying Cross for an incident that happened mid-flight. While dropping bombs there was an incident where the hatches didn’t open properly and a bomb got caught in the plane. Ray was able to manoeuvre himself out of his tight turret and get to the hatch, getting the bomb out of the plane before the bomb detonated. If he hadn’t have done this it would have more than likely taken the plane and crew down. Due to these events and also my great grandfathers being involved in World War One the concept behind these watches really hits a nerve.
Avi-8’s collection of watches ‘seeks to honor both the aircraft and the untold story of the airmen who have dedicated themselves both in and out of the cockpit to bring these incredible machines to life’. ‘The Avro Lancaster is a British four-engined Second World War heavy bomber designed and built by Avro for the Royal Air Force (RAF) The “Lanc”, as it was affectionately known, became the most famous and most successful of the Second World War night bombers, “delivering 608,612 long tons of bombs in 156,000 sorties’. We choose to take these sentences straight from Avi-8’s website because we thought that they were perfect the way they were.
Now we will get onto the information on Avi-8’s Lancaster Bomber. The design of the watch is actually quite nice to look at. The watch has a 44mm stainless steel case that has small details that got through both mine and Chris’ eyes on first inspection. One detail on the side of the case is made to look like a seam in the metalwork of the Lancaster Bomber complete with lookalike rivets. The second detail took my eye straight away and is really the main feature of the watch. This is the ‘bubble’ lens over the date which is put there to signify the 3 positioned “bubble” like turrets that were on the Lancaster Bomber and were meant to be used as 360 degree capable machine gun stations. The crown also has both a red and blue ring on it that in my opinion signifies the decals that used to be drawn on the Lancaster Bombers and other fighting planes. This small feature really set it off for me and showed us that Avi-8 had done something really special with this piece.
The case back of the watch has a beautiful sketch of the Lancaster bomber as well as Bomber Commands motto which is ‘Strike Hard, Strike True’. In describing all of these small features we haven’t had a chance to give the real details of the watch. These are that it is a Japanese Quartz movement which probably doesn’t make true watch enthusiasts too happy but as we said at the start it is all in the story with this one. The watch also has a leather strap giving it even more of a vintage look. There are five different versions of the Lancaster Bomber and at a price of AUD$290. It’s hard not to say yes when there is a story like this behind it.
We had a great time shooting this watch with my grandpa and our photographer Chris did a really good job of making them come to life. A few of the pictures you can see scattered throughout this post have some real meaning behind them. At the shoot we got to have a look through old photos, documents, to scale models of the Lancaster Bomber, my grandpas medals and even his flight log which in all of the pictures is opened to his flight on D-Day. As you can see from the pictures above they all come together to make one of our best shoots to date.
To see all of the Avi-8 range go toor check out their instagram at @avi_8.
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All photos are taken by Christopher Morrison. His details are as follows. Instagram- @_christopher_morrison
Email- [email protected]
And as always- Watch This Space.