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RFC Aircraft Watches - Mark V Letter Codes "Click" to Login or Register 
posted
Hello Enzo. As of this point in time no one knows who was the maker on the C.C. Mark V watches. I have seen a two C.C. watches up until recently, but now I have just seen a third. None of the three have any indication as to who was the maker. Sometimes you can tell by the shape of the plates in the movement, but I am not enough of an expert on Swiss makers to be able to say. Please let us know if you find out.
 
Posts: 854 | Location: Baltimore, Maryland USA | Registered: September 20, 2004
posted
All Jim and All,

despite i consulted several books i have been unable to identify this beautiful and unusual mvmt of the CC1439 so in hope somebody would i post the pics, sorry for the poor quality.

tnks rgds

enzo

 
Posts: 285 | Location: Rome, Italy | Registered: May 19, 2005
posted
I'm adding 10 more Mark V's and two more Mark IVA's today. Nothing breaks the molds with these, though we have a new low number for BK at 135 and a new high numbers for BL at 1230 and CC at 3834.

The Mark IVA's added include a new letter code of S that stands for Smith and Sons. This makes two letter codes for Smith - S and F. I'm not sure why they have two at this point. Perhaps there were separate orders?


MARK V Cockpit Watches

Summary:

B.B. Omega 1266/6385 total 5119
B.D. Invicta 1022/4436 total 2690
B.E. Doxa 179/10,576 total 10,397
B.G. Octava 953/3,553 total 2,600
B.H. unknown 172/823 total 651
B.K. Electa 135/6,864 total 6,729
B.L. unknown 173/1,230 total 1,057
C.B. Zenith 211/7,389 total 7178
C.C. unknown 773/3834 total 3061

Details:

A.A. ? Smith and Son - maybe - no example yet ?

B.A. -
B.B. - 1266; 1568; 3124; 3162; 3404; 4070 all marked Doxa 30 hour non-luminous; 4282 30 hour and luminous dial in incorrect non-military case movement marked Omega; 6124; and 6385 marked Omega 30 hour non-luminous; and ???? a 30 hour, luminous with the B.B. marking but no number after it and with the movement marked Omega.
B.C. -
B.D. - 1022; 1746; 3033; 3388; 3823; 3828 all 30 hour non-luminous marked Invicta; and 4436 marked Doxa (this Doxa may be a switched movement/dial situation)
B.E. - 179; 2729; 4366; 4673; 5429 all marked Doxa 30 hour non-luminous; 5956 case not opened - maker not identified 30 hour non-luminous; 6184 30 hour non-luminous unknown maker; 6303; 6423 marked Doxa 30 hour non-luminous; 6540 unknown maker; and 10576 marked Doxa 30 hour non-luminous
B.F. -
B.G. - 953 8 day non-luminous marked Octava; 1122 on non luminous dial with 8 day movement marked Octavia in unmarked replacement case; 1389 non-luminous marked Octava; 1481 marked Octava; and 3553 8 day non-luminous marked Octava
B.H. - 172 (unmarked movement, 30 hour non-luminous); 403 (movement marked Record); and 823 (30 hour, non-luminous, movement unmarked)
B.I. -
B.J. -
B.K. - 135; 793; 828; 996; 1397; 1952; 6009; 6065; 6073; and 6864. All marked Electa and all 30 hour non-luminous.
B.L. - 173; 1097; 1230 unknown maker.

C.A. -
C.B. - 211; 539; 774; 894; 1022; 1389; 1510; 1643; 2181; 2262; 3959; 4181; 5447; 5660; 6184; 6257; 7389; and 7xx9 (could not tell from the photo what the middle two numbers are) all marked Zenith and 30 hour non-luminous
C.C. - 773; 798; 1439; 3834. All unknown maker and 30 hour, non-luminous.

MARK IV A Cockpit Watches

1877AC H. Williamson Ltd., 8 days, white dial, WD on back

8020F 8Days, S. Smith W↑D on back
9077F S Smith

219R Grimshaw, Baxter & J.J. Elliott, Ltd.
Ocatava marked dial, 8 day non-luminous
722R Grimshaw, Baxter & J.J. Elliott

575S S. Smith and Sons (MA) Ltd. 8 day luminous

1043Z S.Alexander & Son, 8 DAY, Octava marked movement
2539Z S.Alexander & Son, 8 DAY, Octava marked movement, luminous dial, "A↑S" marking on the back of the case.
 
Posts: 854 | Location: Baltimore, Maryland USA | Registered: September 20, 2004
posted
I was looking at our list again and a couple of thoughts crossed my mind.

We have 72 examples of Mark V watches seen in the 16 months I have been keeping this list.

While this is not a huge sample, I am beginning to wonder whether may be nearing a statistically significant point where it may mean something that we have not yet seen a single example from the following letter combination codes:

A.A. or any A.?. series
B.A.
B.C.
B.F.
B.I.
B.J.
C.A.

I am also wondering whether we may be nearing a statistically significant point where it may mean something for not having seen a single example with a one or two digit number.

Time will tell whether these emerging trends will hold.
 
Posts: 854 | Location: Baltimore, Maryland USA | Registered: September 20, 2004
posted
I'm adding 19 more Mark V's and 1 more Mark IVA today. We now have 91 examples of the Mark V watches.

Some observations on this latest group are we have a new low number for B.D. and new high numbers for B.E., B.G., B.H. and C.C. If we leap to the conclusion that all of the serial numbers between the low and high numbers were used, this means that we now have an indication of a grand total of at least 46,278 Mark V watches having been supplied to the Air Ministry from the various makers/suppliers.

A puzzle seems to be developing within the B.B. maker where we currently have 6 with Doxa marked movements and 10 with Omega marked movements. The four possibilities I can think of at the moment are 1) the two companies were given blocks of the B.B. serial numbers by the Air Ministry when the orders were placed; 2) one company supplied a large number of replacement movements to the Air Ministry which were used in the course of normal repairs; 3) most (not all) of the Doxa numbers are lower than the Omegas - perhaps Doxa was unable to meet their contract and they purchased movements from Omega to complete their contract; or 4) some person in the recent past or currently is replacing Doxa movements with Omega movements in Mark V watches to obtain higher prices since the Omega name sells for higher prices these days even though they are not actually higher quality movements than the Doxas.

The Mark IVA is a new maker's code letters of "AG" but unfortunately the maker is not known,

Here is the list as it stands today:

MARK V Cockpit Watches

Summary:

B.B. Omega 1266/6385 total 5,119
B.D. Invicta 440/4436 total 3,996
B.E. Doxa 179/10867 total 10,688
B.G. Octava 953/4060 total 3,107
B.H. unknown 172/5098 total 4,926
B.K. Electa 135/6864 total 6,729
B.L. unknown 173/1230 total 1,057
C.B. Zenith 211/7389 total 7,178
C.C. unknown 773/4251 total 3,478

TOTAL 46,278

Details:

A.A. ? Smith and Son - maybe - no example yet ?

B.A. -
B.B. - 1266; 1568; 3124; 3162; 3404; 4070 all marked Doxa 30 hour non-luminous; 4282 30 hour and luminous dial in incorrect non-military case movement marked Omega; and 1094; 1664; 1855; 3082; 5751; 6080; 6124; and 6385 marked Omega 30 hour non-luminous; and ???? a 30 hour, luminous with the B.B. marking but no number after it and with the movement marked Omega.
B.C. -
B.D. - 440 (30 hour non-luminous unknown maker); and 1022; 1746; 3033; 3388; 3823; 3828 all 30 hour non-luminous marked Invicta; 3360 marked Electa and 4436 marked Doxa (the Electa and the Doxa may be a switched movement/dial situation as they do no follow the pattern of B.D. being used by Invicta)
B.E. - 179; 1302 in unmarked replacement case; 2380; 2729; 4366; 4673; 5429 all marked Doxa 30 hour non-luminous; 5956 case not opened - maker not identified 30 hour non-luminous; 6184 30 hour non-luminous unknown maker; 6303; 6423 marked Doxa 30 hour non-luminous; 6540 unknown maker; 10576; and 10867 marked Doxa 30 hour non-luminous
B.F. -
B.G. - 953; 1122 Octavia in unmarked replacement case; 1389; 1481; 3189; 3553; and 4060. All are marked Octava and 8-day non-luminous
B.H. - 172 (unmarked movement, 30 hour non-luminous); 403 (movement marked Record); 805; 823; with unmarked movements 30 hour non-luminous; and 5098 with unmarked movement 30 luminous
B.I. -
B.J. -
B.K. - 135; 793; 828; 996; 1397; 1952; 6009; 6065; 6073; and 6864. All marked Electa and all 30 hour non-luminous.
B.L. - 173; 501; 1097; 1230 unknown maker.

C.A. -
C.B. - 211; 539; 774; 894; 1022; 1138; 1389; 1510; 1643; 2181; 2262; 3959; 4181; 4465 (marked luminous); 5447; 5660; 6184; 6257; 7389; and 7xx9 (could not tell from the photo what the middle two numbers are) all marked Zenith and 30 hour non-luminous (except for 4465 which is marked luminous)
C.C. - 773; 798; 1439; 3834; 4251. All unknown maker and 30 hour, non-luminous.

MARK IV A Cockpit Watches

1877AC H. Williamson Ltd., 8 days, white dial, WD on back
3820AG 8 Day maker not known

8020F 8Days, S. Smith W↑D on back
9077F S Smith

219R Grimshaw, Baxter & J.J. Elliott, Ltd.
Ocatava marked dial, 8 day non-luminous
722R Grimshaw, Baxter & J.J. Elliott

575S S. Smith and Sons (MA) Ltd. 8 day luminous

1043Z S.Alexander & Son, 8 DAY, Octava marked movement
2539Z S.Alexander & Son, 8 DAY, Octava marked movement, luminous dial, "A↑S" marking on the back of the case.
 
Posts: 854 | Location: Baltimore, Maryland USA | Registered: September 20, 2004
posted
I am adding another fourteen Mark V watches to our list today. I have added the first B.C. code I have seen so far - it has an Invicta movement. Otherwise there are no other surprises in terms of makers and letter codes, though there are small expansions of possible ranges of some and hence potential total number of these made. They continue to be uncommon but not at all rare and regularly show up on Ebay.

MARK V Cockpit Watches

Summary:

B.B. Omega 1266/6443 total 5,177
B.C. Invicta 4028
B.D. Invicta 440/4553 total 4113
B.E. Doxa 135/10867 total 10,732
B.G. Octava 953/4060 total 3,107
B.H. unknown 172/5098 total 4,926
B.K. Electa 135/6864 total 6,729
B.L. unknown 173/3040 total 2,867
C.B. Zenith 211/7389 total 7,178
C.C. unknown 773/4270 total 3,497

TOTAL 48,326 (total equals differences between lowest and high serial numbers in each letter code set)

Details:

A.A. ? Smith and Son - maybe - no example yet ?

B.A. -
B.B. - 1266; 1568; 3124; 3162; 3404; 4070 all marked Doxa 30 hour non-luminous; 4282 30 hour and luminous dial in incorrect non-military case movement marked Omega; 4876 with 30 hour luminous dial and Omega moverment; and 1094; 1664; 1855; 3082; 5751; 6080; 6124; 6385; and 6443 marked Omega 30 hour non-luminous; and ???? a 30 hour, luminous with the B.B. marking but no number after it and with the movement marked Omega.
B.C. - 4028 30 hour Invicta movement
B.D. - 440 (30 hour non-luminous unknown maker); and 1022; 1746; 3033; 3388; 3823; 3828 all 30 hour non-luminous marked Invicta; 4553 30 hour luminous marked Invicta; 3360 marked Electa and 4436 marked Doxa (the Electa and the Doxa may be a switched movement/dial situation as they do no follow the pattern of B.D. being used by Invicta)
B.E. - 179; 135 (in incorrect replacement case)1302 (in incorrect replacement case); 1448; 2380; 2729; 4366; 4673; 5429 all marked Doxa 30 hour non-luminous; 5956 case not opened - maker not identified 30 hour non-luminous; 6184 30 hour non-luminous unknown maker; 6303; 6423 marked Doxa 30 hour non-luminous; 6540 unknown maker; 10576; and 10867 marked Doxa 30 hour non-luminous
B.F. -
B.G. - 953; 966; 1122 (Octavia in unmarked replacement case); 1389; 1481; 3189; 3553; and 4060. All but 1122 are marked Octava and 8-day non-luminous
B.H. - 172 (unmarked movement, 30 hour non-luminous); 403 (movement marked Record); 805; 823; with unmarked movements 30 hour non-luminous; and 5098 with unmarked movement 30 luminous
B.I. -
B.J. -
B.K. - 135; 793; 828; 996; 1397; 1952; 5219; 6009; 6065; 6073; and 6864. All marked Electa and all 30 hour non-luminous.
B.L. - 173; 501; 1097; 1230; 3040 unknown maker.

C.A. -
C.B. - 211; 539; 774; 894; 1022; 1138; 1311; 1389; 1510; 1643; 2181; 2262; 3959; 4181; 4465 (marked luminous); 4585 (marked luminous) 5447; 5660; 6064; 6102; 6184; 6257; 7389; and 7xx9 (could not tell from the photo what the middle two numbers are) all marked Zenith and 30 hour non-luminous (except for 4465 and 4585 which are marked luminous)
C.C. - 773; 798; 1439; 3834; 4251; 4270. All unknown maker and 30 hour, non-luminous.

MARK IV A Cockpit Watches

1877AC H. Williamson Ltd., 8 days, white dial, WD on back
3820AG 8 Day maker not known

8020F 8Days, S. Smith W↑D on back
9077F S Smith

219R Grimshaw, Baxter & J.J. Elliott, Ltd.
Ocatava marked dial, 8 day non-luminous
722R Grimshaw, Baxter & J.J. Elliott

575S S. Smith and Sons (MA) Ltd. 8 day luminous

1043Z S.Alexander & Son, 8 DAY, Octava marked movement
2539Z S.Alexander & Son, 8 DAY, Octava marked movement, luminous dial, "A↑S" marking on the back of the case.
 
Posts: 854 | Location: Baltimore, Maryland USA | Registered: September 20, 2004
IHC Member 478
posted
Hallo Jim,
I can add a few items with their numbers too.




==> And Jim, would you please contact me by mail?
. Gruesse/Regards/Salute Konrad Knirim
. konrad.knirim@t-online.de
. http://www.knirim.de
 
Posts: 85 | Location: Duesseldorf Germany | Registered: March 08, 2005
posted
I have just bought a Mark V on Ebay, and did not know it what it was. I bought to use as a working watch, but it is much too good for that. It is an unnamed, 30 hour, Non Luminous, Mark V, B.H. 653. The back has machine turning patterns inside, with a roundel saying "Pure RW Nickel". The inside back has the same machining and just a letter S. When bought there was some glue or resin type marks on the back, as though to stick it to something. This staining came off with silver polish after a while. The watch is in very good condition.
North Yorkshire, UK.


willyglen
 
Posts: 1 | Location: Harrogate, Yorkshire United Kingdom | Registered: December 10, 2006
posted
Very interesting site. Have recently acquired a Mark V 'Record' Cockpit Watch B.H.889. Would seem to fit in with B.H.403.
 
Posts: 1 | Location: United Kingdom | Registered: January 23, 2007
posted
Many thanks to Konrad, Will, and Glyn. I have a few more entries that I will be adding in the coming days and will update the overall list with everyone's information as well.
 
Posts: 854 | Location: Baltimore, Maryland USA | Registered: September 20, 2004
Life Achievement
Military Expert
Picture of Greg Crockett
posted
BE Aircraft Numbers

I don't know if there is/was a connnection or not but British WWI aircraft had similar serial number pre-fixes to a few of the watches reported. The link above is to aircraft with a B.E. prefix. However, at this point, I tend to think watch serial number prefixes are linked to the watch manufacturers rather than to specific aircraft. Unless, each factory only used watches from one manufacturer - which does not appear all that expedient.

Best regards,
Greg
 
Posts: 1859 | Location: East Lansing, Michigan USA | Registered: November 24, 2002
posted
Hi Greg. That is a tantalizing thought. I have seen it or versions of it once or twice before in ads where people were selling Mark V watches and they were saying the letter/number combination on the watch corresponded to the serial number of the aircraft in which the watch was used. It has some attraction at first, but I think it does not hold water for a number of reasons. For example, in your B.E.2 and related family of aircraft case, the B.E. stands for Bleriot Experimental which is the name of the company that manufactured this family of models of aircraft. All WW I aircraft had letter and model designations, and all of them had serial numbers as well, but I have not seen any relation to the Mark V letter combinations. For example, most of the Mark V letter combinations do not have any counterpart in the aircraft maker lettering system. Also, as we have seen, the letter combinations on the Mark V watches seem to line up pretty cleanly with the watch company makers of the movements. For just one example, I've never seen or heard of any D.H. marked watches for the de Havilands. It would be difficult to imagine that all Zenith watches would have been used on only one type of aircraft, or all Omegas on another, and so on. The number of aircraft makers and models do not correspond to the number of Mark V watch letter combinations. At this point I am not optimistic about finding this kind of link between watch serial numbers and aircraft serial numbers, but I am completely open to seeing any evidence that proves me wrong.
 
Posts: 854 | Location: Baltimore, Maryland USA | Registered: September 20, 2004
posted
I am adding another twenty-seven Mark V watches and two more Mark IVA watches to our list today. This includes the seven Mark V and one Mark IVA watches Konrad reported and the one Mark V watch that Glyn reported. All of these fall into the general categories already established and only a few slightly expand the number ranges, though we do have a new low number with these: B.G. 105 is now the lowest in any letter combination. I still have not seen any with single or double digits which continues to lend support for the theory that the serial numbers are likely to start at either 100 or 101.

Another personal observation that fits with previous observations is that Mark V watches are not common but they are not rare. This update provides 27 more examples that I or others have come across in the past eight months since my last update of this list. I am sure there have been others that have gone through the market place that I have not noticed. Selling prices have fluctuated in the $100 to $200 range depending on the maker. Omegas seems to command slightly higher prices in spite of Omegas being one of the more commonly seen Mark V watches. I think that this is due to the number of people who collect Omega watches of any kind. On occasion I have seen Mark V's that are not Omegas go for higher or lower than average prices but I ascribe this mainly to the usual vagaries of the market place and not to their market values going either up or down. Sometimes people pay too much in the excitement of an auction or sometimes they get an exceptional deal when other people are not watching or when one is mis-identified.


MARK V Cockpit Watches

Summary:

B.B. Doxa and Omega 1266/6914 total 5,648
B.C. Invicta 4028
B.D. Invicta 440/4553 total 4113
B.E. Doxa 135/11121 total 10,986
B.G. Octava 105/4060 total 3,955
B.H. unknown and Invicta 172/5098 total 4,926
B.K. Electa 135/6864 total 6,729
B.L. unknown 173/3040 total 2,867
C.B. Zenith 211/7594 total 7,383
C.C. unknown 773/4270 total 3,497

TOTAL 54,132 (total equals differences between lowest and highest serial numbers in each letter code set). The actual total will be higher as we find more examples with lower and higher serial numbers.

Details:

A.A. ? Smith and Son - maybe - no example yet ?

B.A. -

B.B. - 1266; 1568; 3124; 3162; 3404; 4070 all marked Doxa 30 hour non-luminous; 4282 30 hour and luminous dial in incorrect non-military case movement marked Omega; 4876; 4903 (these two with 30 hour luminous dial and Omega moverment); and 1094; 1664; 1696; 1855; 2414; 3082; 3408; 5468; 5751; 6080; 6124; 6385; 6443; 6914 (these fourteen marked Omega 30 hour non-luminous); and ???? a 30 hour, luminous with the B.B. marking but no number after it and with the movement marked Omega.

B.C. - 4028 30 hour Invicta movement

B.D. - 440 (30 hour non-luminous unknown maker); and 1022; 1564; 1746; 2867; 3033; 3388; 3823; 3828 all 30 hour non-luminous marked Invicta; 4553 30 hour luminous marked Invicta; 3360 marked Electa and 4436 marked Doxa (the Electa and the Doxa may be a switched movement/dial situation as they do no follow the pattern of B.D. being used by Invicta)

B.E. - 135 (in incorrect replacement case); 179; 1302 (in incorrect replacement case); 1448; 2309; 2380; 2729; 4366; 4673; 5429 all marked Doxa 30 hour non-luminous; 5956 case not opened - maker not identified 30 hour non-luminous; 6184 30 hour non-luminous unknown maker; 6303; 6423 marked Doxa 30 hour non-luminous; 6540 unknown maker; 10576; and 10867 marked Doxa 30 hour non-luminous; 10966 marked Doxa (unknown as to whether this one is 30 hour or 8 day, or luminous or non-luminous marked); 11121 (marked Doxa 30 hr. non luminous)

B.F. -

B.G. - 105; 953; 966; 1122 (Octavia in unmarked replacement case); 1389; 1481; 3189; 3419; 3553; and 4060. All but 1122 are marked Octava and 8-day non-luminous

B.H. - 172 (unmarked movement, 30 hour non-luminous); 403 (movement marked Record); 653; 805; 823 (these three with unmarked movements 30 hour non-luminous); 889 (marked Record); 1113 (marked Invicta 30 hr. non luminous) 3314; 4532; 5098 (these three with unmarked movement 30 hr. luminous)

B.I. -

B.J. -

B.K. - 135; 301; 793; 828; 996; 1397; 1952; 2991 (marked Electa 30 hr. luminous) 3297; 5219; 6009; 6065; 6073; and 6864. All except 2991 marked Electa and 30 hour non-luminous.

B.L. - 173; 501; 1097; 1230; 3040 unknown maker.

C.A. -

C.B. - 211; 539; 597; 774; 894; 1022; 1089; 1138; 1311; 1389; 1510; 1643; 2181; 2123; 2262; 3959; 4181; 4465 (marked luminous); 4585 (marked luminous); 5369 (marked luminous); 5447; 5660; 5924; 6064; 6102; 6184; 6257; 7389; 7594; and 7xx9 (could not tell from the photo what the middle two numbers are) all marked Zenith and 30 hour non-luminous (except for 4465 and 4585 which are marked luminous)

C.C. - 773; 798; 1439; 3834; 4251; 4270. All unknown maker and 30 hour, non-luminous.

MARK IV A Cockpit Watches

1877AC H. Williamson Ltd., 8 days, white dial, WD on back

3820AG 8 Day maker not known

1447AG Moise Dreyfuss, white dial W↑D on back

8020F 8Days, S. Smith on back
9077F S Smith

219R Grimshaw, Baxter & J.J. Elliott, Ltd.
Ocatava marked dial, 8 day non-luminous
722R Grimshaw, Baxter & J.J. Elliott

575S S. Smith and Sons (MA) Ltd. 8 day luminous

1043Z S.Alexander & Son, 8 DAY, Octava marked movement
1708Z S. Alexander & Son, Octava marked movement
2539Z S.Alexander & Son, 8 DAY, Octava marked movement, luminous dial, "A↑S" marking on the back of the case.
 
Posts: 854 | Location: Baltimore, Maryland USA | Registered: September 20, 2004
posted
Hi folks,
I have just purchased a RFC 30 hour non-luminous Mark V so I thought I would post it's details for your files
It is BB 650 (a low number..) and is Omega so it follows the 'rules' so far.
The case serial number is 5857343.
Sorry abou tthe picture quality, I only have my phone camera with me! If you wanted a better shot, just ask.

Cheers

SJA


SJA


 
Posts: 2 | Location: Reading in the United Kingdom | Registered: July 08, 2007
posted
Thanks Steve! I will add this one to the list the next time I update it. You did not mention the markings on the back of the case. Does it have the usual A/↑ markings? Jim
 
Posts: 854 | Location: Baltimore, Maryland USA | Registered: September 20, 2004
posted
Jim, Appologies for that - yes it has the usual capital A over the broad arrow on the back case of the watch. So looks the same as the others... As it is an early number and Omega were commissioned to provide watches from 1917, then this will be around 1917 or at the latest early 1918.

Do we know why these are black faced? Is that to make it easier to read in the cockpit?

Thanks


SJA
 
Posts: 2 | Location: Reading in the United Kingdom | Registered: July 08, 2007
posted
Thanks Steve. When you get a chance sometime, it would be great if you could take a clearer photo and replace the fuzzy one so people can enjoy the details of your Mark V.

Do you have a specific record or reference to your statement that Omega began supplying watches in 1917? Was this just for the Mark V to the Air Ministry or was it for all of their watches being supplied for general British Army use as well?

The reason Mark V watches and virtually all aircraft clocks as well have black faces is for a couple of reasons but one is that a pilot needs to preserve his "night vision". Night vision is the phenomenon where a person's eyes become used to the dark and you are able to see quite a bit by moonlight or even just starlight. If something bright shines in your eyes you loose this ability for a while until your eyes get used to very low light levels again. One way to preserve most of your night vision is to minimize light, such as instrument panel lights, and to keep the cockpit as dark as possible. Also, when you do need to use a bit of light it is best to use red light rather than white or other color light since red light does not dazzle your eyes like other colors of light, especially white light, and you can preserve your night vision that way. You do not want bright things in your cockpit when you are flying and a white-faced instrument with black markings will be much brighter than a black-faced instrument with white markings. The amount of white surfaces reflecting light into your eyes on a black dialed instrument will be just a fraction of what a white dialed instrument would be.

Another reason for black faced military timepieces or regular auto clocks is that the hands and numbers are easier to recognize in low light when they are the color you are seeing rather than the color you are not seeing. Think of it this way, white is what a person's eye sees when the full spectrum of color (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet) hits your retinas. Black is what your brain perceives when no light hits your retina. If you have a white dial with black hands and markers you do not actually "see" the hands and markers, you "see" everything but the hands and markers and your brain interprets the "holes" in what you are seeing as the hands and markers. With a black face with white hands and markers you are directly seeing the hands and markers which makes them slightly easier to recognize at a quick glance in low light conditions.
 
Posts: 854 | Location: Baltimore, Maryland USA | Registered: September 20, 2004
posted
Hello, I am back, and great to see the progress. I have put together a new web page that might interest some of you called www.jasta11.co.uk and there are a number of photos of Mark IV's and V's (photos by Konrad... much better than mine but posted at a lower esulution.) Cheers Oliver
 
Posts: 132 | Location: London/London/England | Registered: December 13, 2004
posted
Thanks Oliver! I really like your new webpages. Your collection is exceptional and I am very appreciative of your willingness and work to to share them with people on your site. I start drooling everytime I see your aircraft watches.

My one encouragement is that some of the details of the markings are not easy to see clearly - at least on my monitor. Is there a way that you might be able to add some additional closeup photos of the military markings on them?

Thanks again!
 
Posts: 854 | Location: Baltimore, Maryland USA | Registered: September 20, 2004
Life Achievement
Military Expert
Picture of Greg Crockett
posted
Oliver,

An enjoyable link. I appriciate your hard work restoring aircraft and your efforts to share your knowledge.

Your military timepeice collection is also superior! I have taken the liberty to re-post a link to your watch/clock site:

Oliver's Collection Link

Best regards,

Greg
 
Posts: 1859 | Location: East Lansing, Michigan USA | Registered: November 24, 2002
posted
I am adding another fifteen watches today - thirteen Mark V watches and two more Mark IVA watches.

This brings our total sample size up to 142 Mark V watches, plus 13 Mark IV-A watches.

All of the Mark V watches fall into the general categories already established and only a few slightly expand the number ranges. We still have not seen any watches with less than three numbers and our low is still the B.G 105.

We have added an entirely new Mark IV-A code of AF. This code is seen on a watch with the dial marked W. Ehrhardt, London.

Mark V watches continue to be uncommon but not rare with at least a few showing up for Ebay auctions every month. Most often they have had bows added to their stems at some later point in their lives.

Zenith and Omega continue to be the most common makers seen in these, with Doxa not far behind.


MARK V Cockpit Watches

Summary:

B.B. Doxa and Omega 650/6914 total 6,264
B.C. Invicta 4028
B.D. Invicta 440/5,070 total 4,630
B.E. Doxa 135/11121 total 10,986
B.G. Octava 105/4060 total 3,955
B.H. unknown and Invicta 172/5098 total 4,926
B.K. Electa 135/6864 total 6,729
B.L. unknown 173/3040 total 2,867
C.B. Zenith 149/7594 total 7,445
C.C. unknown 773/4270 total 3,497

TOTAL 51,299 (total equals differences between lowest and highest serial numbers in each letter code set). The actual total will likely be higher as we find more examples with lower and higher serial numbers. This total is how many Mark V watches the Air Ministry could have purchased if one assumes that each number between the low and high serial numbers was used on a watch delivered to the Air Ministry.

Details:

A.A. ? Smith and Son - maybe - no example yet ?

B.A. - ?

B.B. - 1266; 1568; 3124; 3162; 3404; 4070 all marked Doxa 30 hour non-luminous; 4282 30 hour and luminous dial in incorrect non-military case movement marked Omega; 4876; 4903 (these two with 30 hour luminous dial and Omega moverment); and 650; 1094; 1664; 1696; 1855; 2414; 2778; 3082; 3408; 5468; 5751; 6080; 6124; 6385; 6443; 6833; 6898; 6914 (these eighteen marked Omega 30 hour non-luminous); and ???? a 30 hour, luminous with the B.B. marking but no number after it and with the movement marked Omega.

B.C. - 4028 30 hour Invicta movement

B.D. - 440 (30 hour non-luminous unknown maker); and 1022; 1564; 1746; 2867; 3033; 3360 marked Electa; 3388; 3823; 3828 (all but 3360 are 30 hour non-luminous marked Invicta); 4436 marked Doxa (the Electa and the Doxa may be a switched movement/dial situation as they do no follow the pattern of B.D. being used by Invicta); 4553; 5070 (these last two are 30 hour luminous and marked Invicta)

B.E. - 135 (in incorrect replacement case); 179; 1302 (in incorrect replacement case); 1448; 2309; 2380; 2729; 4366; 4673; 5429 all marked Doxa 30 hour non-luminous; 5956 case not opened - maker not identified 30 hour non-luminous; 6184 30 hour non-luminous unknown maker; 6303; 6423 marked Doxa 30 hour non-luminous; 6540 unknown maker; 7961 marked Doxa 30 hour non-luminous; 8980 marked Doxa 30 hour luminous; 10576; and 10867 marked Doxa 30 hour non-luminous; 10966 marked Doxa (unknown as to whether this one is 30 hour or 8 day, or luminous or non-luminous marked); 11121 (marked Doxa 30 hr. non luminous)

B.F. - ?

B.G. - 105; 170; 953; 966; 1122 (Octavia in unmarked replacement case); 1389; 1481; 3189; 3347 (unknown whether movement is marked, in incorrect replacement case, face marked 8-day non-luminous); 3419; 3553; and 4060. All but 1122 and 3347 are marked Octava or Octavia and 8-day non-luminous

B.H. - 172 (unmarked movement, 30 hour non-luminous); 403 (movement marked Record); 653; 805; 823 (these three with unmarked movements 30 hour non-luminous); 889 (marked Record); 1113 (marked Invicta 30 hour non-luminous) 3314 (unmarked movement, 30 hour luminous); 3903 (unmarked movement, 30 hour non-luminous); 4532; 5098 (these last two with unmarked movements, 30 hour luminous)

B.I. - ?

B.J. - ?

B.K. - 135; 301; 793; 828; 996; 1397; 1952; 2991 (marked Electa 30 hr. luminous) 3297; 5219; 6009; 6065; 6073; and 6864. All except 2991 marked Electa and 30 hour non-luminous.

B.L. - 173; 501; 1097; 1230; 3040 unknown maker.

C.A. - ?

C.B. - 149; 211; 539; 597; 774; 894; 1022; 1089; 1138; 1311; 1389; 1510; 1643; 2181; 2123; 2262; 3959; 4181; 4465; 4585; 5369; 5447; 5660; 5924; 6064; 6102; 6184; 6257; 7389; 7594; and 7xx9 (could not tell from the photo what the middle two numbers are) all marked Zenith and 30 hour non-luminous except for 4465; 4585; and 5369 which are marked luminous

C.C. - 773; 798; 1439; 1590; 2384; 3834; 4251; 4270. All except 2384 and 1590 are unknown maker and 30 hour, non-luminous; 1590 and 2384 are an unknown maker but are 30 hour luminous.


MARK IV A Cockpit Watches

1211AC H. Williamson Ltd., 8 days, white dial, WD on back
1877AC H. Williamson Ltd., 8 days, white dial, WD on back

387AF W. Ehrhardt, London, non-luminous

3820AG 8 Day maker not known

1447AG Moise Dreyfuss, white dial W↑D on back

8020F 8 Days, S. Smith on back
9077F S Smith

219R Grimshaw, Baxter & J.J. Elliott, Ltd.
Ocatava marked dial, 8 day non-luminous
722R Grimshaw, Baxter & J.J. Elliott

575S S. Smith and Sons (MA) Ltd. 8 day luminous

1043Z S.Alexander & Son, 8 DAY, Octava marked movement
1708Z S. Alexander & Son, Octava marked movement
2539Z S.Alexander & Son, 8 DAY, Octava marked movement, luminous
dial, "A↑S" marking on the back of the case.
 
Posts: 854 | Location: Baltimore, Maryland USA | Registered: September 20, 2004
posted
While visting the Museum of Australian Army Flying at the Oakey Army Aviation Centre situated 30km west of Toowoomba. I noticed that there were 2 WWI watches on display.
The notes I took at the time tell me that one had a broadarrow on the back, was marked H Williamson Ltd. london 28285F and 31773F.
The other one is the most relevant to this dicussion. I have recorded it as being a Mk 4A with a WD type broadarrow. It was marked with the makers name, W Ehrhardt, No. 562AF.
Perhaps someone in Queensland should have a look and complete any details I may have left out.
 
Posts: 58 | Location: Auckland, New Zealand | Registered: February 28, 2005
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