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RFC Aircraft Watches - Mark V Letter Codes "Click" to Login or Register 
posted
Good morning, sorry for my absence... have bought a couple of 'new' mark v's and will post the other numbers shortly one is yet another mystery cc: CC1515. unfortunalely/fortunately prices are exploding at the moment and i have seen prices of up to USD 700 which makes collecting a bit more expensive but increases the value of the collection. I have posted some of my watches on www.jasta11.co.uk and more will be shown there. Phantastic compilation here!!!!
 
Posts: 132 | Location: London/London/England | Registered: December 13, 2004
posted
another one, unusual: it is a mark v 30 hrs LUMINOUS by Omega BB5414 I just bought it am awaiting delivery.....
 
Posts: 132 | Location: London/London/England | Registered: December 13, 2004
Life Achievement
Military Expert
Picture of Greg Crockett
posted
Congratulations Oliver. You have a great collection, thank you for the link.

I wonder what other odd MKV's will be found?

Best regards,
Greg
 
Posts: 1859 | Location: East Lansing, Michigan USA | Registered: November 24, 2002
posted
I own BB6443 which you already have listed. It has back cover #6074273 which has been etched with 1089Z and 1079R. Mechanism #5220499.

I also have BG3034 - 8d Non-Lum MkV. Mechanism marked Octava U.S.A.P. 816321. The back cover has the usual A above /|\ and has five sets of tiny etchings on the inside - I assume these are either previous owners or marks of servicing? These are: Y264, 865WS, 374.23FM, 413.25FM, 1742.31BX. I had a theory that 374.23FM might mean service number 374 of year 1923 and initialled "FM" by the person doing the servicing? I know little about servicing so this might be obvious to others?

I've take a read through this topic and I can add some info on a few more similar watches which I have seen advertised over the last few years and have kept the details:

BG3034 8d Non-Lum Octava MkV (my watch)
CB213 30h Non-Lum Zenith MkV
CB1567 30h Luminous Zenith MkV
CC2089 30h Non-Lum Unknown MkV
CC1x24 30h Non-Lum Unknown MkV

177S 8d "S Smith & Son" Mk IVA, marked "A" on reverse
222R 8d "Grimshaw, Baxter, J.J. Elliot Ltd" Non-Lum Mk IVA, marked W/|\D on reverse
630R/4166AG - this is the Canvass Falcon watch which you know about but have missed from your list (8d "Grimshaw, Baxter, J.J. Elliot Ltd")

Someone made a comment earlier in this topic that the 8d versions were thicker than the 30h versions. I have one of each and they are exactly the same thickness.

Hope all this helps.

Bruce
 
Posts: 21 | Location: Scotland in the United Kingdom | Registered: March 07, 2008
posted
I've taken the list provided by Jim Hester on 12 Oct 07 and those S/N which have been added recently and stuck them all in a spreadsheet. Here's my findings:

1. I would agree that the lowest S/N issued was more than likely 100 in each series.
2. You might expect Luminous watches to be batched together but the S/N don't always confirm this (unless the batches were very small).
3. Omega luminous watches appear to follow the batch theory and all have S/N 4282-5414 (or a single batch between S/N 4071 and 5467). This would mean that Omega produced a maximum of 1397 "Luminous" watches. It would be interesting to try and tie the dates of their manufacture to the introduction of night flying. Of the 10 prefixes used (BB, BC, BD etc) luminous watches have been found for only 7 of them. The S/N of the luminous watches generally are greater than 4000 although there are one or two as low as 1500's.
4. I agree with the bias towards brand collecting. I have run an estimate of the number of watches produced (see below) and I reckon the list currently has some favourites with Omega (0.47%), Zenith (0.44%) then Octava (0.31%) - these are the percentages of watches on the list to watches manufactured.
5. Using S/N 100 as the starting point for all manufacturing I have calculated the average frequency or gap between S/N on the list for a particular prefix then added this number to the highest S/N found to date (and on the list). Thus some 30 BB-suffix watches have been found in the range 650-6914... the average gap is calculated as 225 therefore the probable higest S/N issued would be 6914 plus 225 = 7139. The total Manufactured would be 7139-100+1 = 7040. By applying this logic to all the suffixes I get a grand total manufactured of 56744. Obviously not an exact science but hopefully if my logic is correct this is the most probable number.
6. The quantity of 56744 might be less if some manufacturers did not issue every single S/N. This might be the case if they produced the watches in batches as and when order or cancelled by the Air Ministry or War Department. Remember nobody knew how long the war would go on and if you look at how the current MOD place orders then change the quantity then add a few then halt or double an order (!!) it is very possible that some S/N were never issued. BB doesn't seem to have any big gaps in the series but BD, BE, BG, BH, CB all have some fairly large gaps which all seem to be in the rough range 1100-4400. This might be linked to an actual event when production stopped?
8. Only 11-12% of all the watches found so far were/are Luminous. Is this partly because the luminescence flaked and tarnished are the watches were less attractive to keep in the post war years?
9. The only 8d Mk V watches found are BG-Octava. This represents 8-9% of all the MkV watches found.

There you have it, my analysis so far. Glad to have found this site and I hope I can be of some help.

Bruce
 
Posts: 21 | Location: Scotland in the United Kingdom | Registered: March 07, 2008
posted
Regarding night flying and luminous watches I have found the following date references:

16-17 April 1913: Worlds first night flight of any aeroplane

19-20 Jan 1915: First night air-defence sortie over South London by two Vickers FB5's

24 Mar 1917: RFC's first night bombing squadron (No.100 Sqn) departs for France in FE2b's.

Is it therefore logical that the first Luminous MkV watches were produced to accompany No.100 Sqn RFC to France in March 1917? Either that or they would have followed fairly quickly thereafter (if their pre-deployment training in the UK hadn't already identified a weakness in the non-luminous ones!!)

Bruce
 
Posts: 21 | Location: Scotland in the United Kingdom | Registered: March 07, 2008
Life Achievement
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Picture of Greg Crockett
posted
Thank you for the added serial numbers and for your observations Bruce. I like the use of the serial number gaps for estimating production. Without War Dept contracts in hand it is a logical starting point.

Best regards,
Greg
 
Posts: 1859 | Location: East Lansing, Michigan USA | Registered: November 24, 2002
posted
firstly now have Zenith CB 3399 30 hr non lum also engraved G.S. Type on the dial (by hand and market with a white pen No 1????? also Omega BB3888 sold to someone else at GBP240 ebay 30 hrs non lum.... and now to something interesting A arrow signifies RFC?! ie most mark v's some mark 5's with the A arrow have an A crown M stamp stampet in adition. I assume that this was done later 1918 plus. What is the likelyhood that AM stamps were introduced at the end of wwi possibly post wwi? i have always thought mark iv comes befor v.... but that may not be the case??? also have an interesting 30 hour luminous by Zenith. The stamp on the back has been removed but it dos not have the usual 2 letter marking on the face but instead hand written 6A/164 similar to the writting on the iv's. No is; CASE 13988551. It is very similar to the non luminous version only the hands have been changed and luminous dots added. Apart from this it is

 
Posts: 132 | Location: London/London/England | Registered: December 13, 2004
posted
bog standard .... let me know your thoughts (crying shame the marking has been removed!!!

 
Posts: 132 | Location: London/London/England | Registered: December 13, 2004
posted
i bogeyed.....mark iv's are all stamped WD and restamped mark v's are a arrow and acrown m..... so my theory is wrong.... sorry
 
Posts: 132 | Location: London/London/England | Registered: December 13, 2004
posted
The list I have has some 162 MkV watches but I was wondering if it is worth noting on my list which ones are 'working' and which ones are not? Can anyone give me any S/N of watches which are not working?

My spreadsheet calculates the approximate number of watches produced based on the numbers found (on my list). Every time a new watch is added the calculation changes slightly. It currently estimates 56,994 watches were made. This assumes the following:

a) all series started at S/N 100
b) all serial numbers were issued (no gaps)
c) serial numbers in each series are sequential (no doubles)

BA: Non Found
BB: *650-**6914 (31) manufacture range 100-7141,
BC: 4028, only one s/n found
BD: *440-**5070 (14) manufacture range 100-5425,
BE: *135-**11439 (23) manufacture range 100-12001,
BF: Non Found
BG: *105-**4060 (14) manufacture range 100-4343,
BH: *172-**5098 (11) manufacture range 100-5552,
BI: None Found
BJ: None Found
BK: *135-**6864 (15) manufacture range 100-7315,
BL: *173-**3040 (5) manufacture range 100-3628,
CB: *149-**7594 (37) manufacture range 100-7802,
CC: *773-**4270 (11) manufacture range 100-4687.

*lowest s/n found
**highest s/n found
()total found in the range

Clearly, there might be batches of numbers in each series which were never issued. Based on the spreadsheet I have:

BB: no gaps in series larger than 600. This could easily be accounted for by the number of watches not found therefore unlikely that any significant batch of numbers were not issued.
BC: only 1 found, spreadsheet assumes only 1 made
BD: largest gap in series between 1746 and 2867 (gap of 1100 watches), other gaps perhaps negligable.
BE: 6 gaps in series of more than 1000, totalling 8300 watches.
BG: 2 large gaps 170-953 and 1744-3034, totalling 2000 watches.
BH: 1 significant gap 1113-3314, (2200 watches)
BK: 1 significant gap 3297-5219, (1900 watches)
BL: 1 significant gap 1230-3040, (1800 watches)
CB: 3 gaps of more than 750, totalling 3000 watches
CC: 1 significant gap 2384-3834, (1400 watches)

If you assume the gaps are real and delete these from the spreadsheet calculation of approx 57,000 watches you get only 35,300 watches. Given that 58,000 aircrfat were reported to have been produced during WWI the latter quantity of watches is perhaps far more likely a figure. 35,300 is of course a rather crude calculation and we need to find many more watches to add to the list to try and improve the assumptions and calculations.

Bruce
 
Posts: 21 | Location: Scotland in the United Kingdom | Registered: March 07, 2008
posted
Here's my new theory...

If I list all the 162 watches on my spreadsheet in numberical order there are only 4 doubles. BE135 & BK135, BD1022 & CB1022, BG1389 & CB1389, BE6184 & CB6184.

Many of the photos I have seen show the dial of the watch with the makers code (BB, BC etc) printed but the serial number painted on by hand.

It is posible that the various manufacturers (at least 7 of them) manufactured their watches, parcelled them up and sent them to an office/workshop in the War Department which then added a sequential serial number by hand onto the dial and then distributed them on to Squadrons.

The four doubles could be accounted for as "errors".

This would give a grand total range of approx 100 to 13100.... thus 13,000 watches were manufactured.

What do you think? This must be a far more likely production number which would surely have satisfied the number of pilots and aircraft operational at any one time, whilst accounting for losses??

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Royal_Flying_Corps#Recruitment_.26_Training

5,182 pilots were in service at the end of WWI and RFC+RNAS+RAF casualties for 1914-1918 were 9,378 killed or missing. Very crudely, 9378+5182 = 14,560 which is very close to my figure of 13,000 watches above.

I think I have convinced myself!
 
Posts: 21 | Location: Scotland in the United Kingdom | Registered: March 07, 2008
Life Achievement
Military Expert
Picture of Greg Crockett
posted
It looks like a good estimate. There appears to have been extra watches in storage at the end of WWI which were used in WWII. I suspect there were alot of extra MK V watches from WWI.
 
Posts: 1859 | Location: East Lansing, Michigan USA | Registered: November 24, 2002
posted
I am not convinced by the arguments for the smaller numbers and at this point I think the 50,000+ number is more likely. My sample so far is very tiny, though it continues to grow. I am hoping to add another 18 or so examples to my list in the next day or two. If we keep in mind that we are talking about watches made and used for a war almost a century ago and that were not intended to last a long time, I would not expect there to be all that many survivors, especially if there were only a small number made. The evidence I am seeing is quite to the contrary. These are not rare and come up fairly regularly on Ebay and in dealer's inventories. In my mind this strongly argues for there having been a very large number of them initially for there to be so many still with us today. Also, keep in mind that military timepieces were not considered collectable by most timepiece collectors until quite recently and so were not saved with the same enthusiasm that civilian timepieces were.

As for the numbers of pilots and aircraft I think your numbers are a bit low. By the end of the war the RFC had about 290,000 men (not all were pilots of course). The British had produced 58,144 aircraft during the war, but then you would also need to add in the ones used by the colonials - the Canadians, the Australians and the like. Also, one would assume that more watches than aircraft would have been procured assuming a certain attrition rate over the years. So, at this point I am leaning towards a total number in the over 50,000 range. Hopefully as this project goes forward we will be able to discover some more data points to give us a clearer picture though.

As for you question as to how many are in functioning condition, I have not kept track of that information. I can say, though, that my educated guess from my work on this is that the vast majority, perhaps in the range of 80% to 90% of the one ones I've listed here, have been described as being in working condition.
 
Posts: 854 | Location: Baltimore, Maryland USA | Registered: September 20, 2004
posted
I am adding fifteen new Mark V watches and five new Mark IVa watches in this posting. This includes the watches reported by our members since my last posting along with ones that I have come across. The established patterns are continuing with no surprises, though we have new high numbers in the B.B., B.E. and B.G. makers, with the rest filling in some gaps.

These watches continue to be uncommon but are not rare. They come up fairly regularly on Ebay for example. The selling prices are becoming more erratic, however. I am seeing enormous ranges with little reason for high or low prices in terms of makers, condition, or degree of original parts. The lows are in the $150 range (good deals) and the highs are in the over $700 range (silly bidder wars or overly full retail prices from high rent dealers finding cash rich buyers who are not fully aware of the current market). More typical prices tend to be in the $200 to $350 range with a slight upward trend which I tend to attribute mostly to a declining dollar exchange rate relative to other currencies (Ebay being a world-wide marketplace these days) rather than a significant increase in perceived value.

In the past few months I noticed re-sales of some of these. I saw a total of five Mark V watches that were already on this list and that I had previously observed selling on Ebay over the past couple of years that were re-sold on Ebay in the past few months. I did not keep records on the original and re-selling prices so I do not know how the original buyers made out in terms of making a profit or not.

MARK V Cockpit Watches

Summary:

B.B. Doxa and Omega 650/7091 total 6,441
B.C. Invicta 4028
B.D. Invicta 440/5,070 total 4,630
B.E. Doxa 135/12840 total 12,705
B.G. Octava 105/4065 total 3,960
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 53,200 (total equals differences between lowest and highest serial numbers in each letter code set but excludes the B.C. code watches since we have only one at this time and there is no lower or higher number to see where the numbering pattern goes on this maker). This 53,200 number is an increase of 1,901 over the total in my previous summary (new high numbers in the B.B., B.E., and B.G. makers). 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. It is a bit low since we have not found another B.C. watch other than 4028 to create a potential B.C. number to add to the total.

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; 5414 (these three with 30 hour luminous dial and Omega moverment); and 650; 1094; 1664; 1696; 1855; 2414; 2778; 3082; 3408; 3731; 3888; 5468; 5751; 5931; 6080; 6124; 6385; 6443; 6489 (wrong case); 6833; 6898; 6914; 7091 (these twenty-two 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); 653; 1022; 1564; 1746; 2867; 3033; 3360 (marked Electa); 3388; 3823; 3828; 3990 (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); 4548; 4553; 5070 (these last three 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; 11439; and 12840 (marked Doxa 30 hr. non luminous)

B.F. - ?

B.G. - 105; 170; 953; 966; 1122 (Octavia in unmarked replacement case); 1389; 1481; 3034; 3189; 3347 (unknown whether movement is marked, in incorrect replacement case, face marked 8-day non-luminous); 3419; 3553; 4060; 4065. 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; 213; 539; 597; 774; 788; 894; 1022; 1089; 1138; 1311; 1389; 1510; 1567; 1643; 1?24; 2181; 2123; 2262; 3399; 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 1567; 4465; 4585; and 5369 which are marked luminous

C.C. - 773; 798; 1439; 1515; 1590; 2089; 2384; 3834; 4221; 4251; 4270. All except 2384 and 1590 are unknown maker and 30 hour, non-luminous (1515 is missing its case’s back cover); 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
562AF W. Ehrhardt

1447AG Moise Dreyfuss, white dial W↑D on back
3820AG 8 Day maker not known
4810AG 8 Day Octava

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

219R Grimshaw, Baxter & J.J. Elliott, Ltd.
Ocatava marked dial, 8 day non-luminous
222R Grimshaw, Baxter & J.J. Elliott, Ltd. Non-luminous
630R Grimshaw, Baxter & J.J. Elliott, Ltd. 8 Day
722R Grimshaw, Baxter & J.J. Elliott

177S S. Smith and Sons (MA) Ltd. 8 day
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
 
Posts: 854 | Location: Baltimore, Maryland USA | Registered: September 20, 2004
posted
Jim,

There's a few MkVs on my list which you don't mention:

BB: 5035 (sold eBay Mar 08), 5414 (both Omega 30h Luminous)
BD: 1700 (sold ebay Apr 08, Invicta 30h NL)
BE: 13020 (ebay Apr 08, not working, unknown maker, 30h NL)
BG: 1744 (sold ebay Apr 08, Octava 8d NL)
BK: 2457 (ebay May 08, not working, Electa 30h NL)
CB: 744, 1229, 3382 (all www.cjbalm.com, Zenith 30h NL)

There one more double: BD653/BH653

Total MKVs I have on my list is 172.

Hope this helps, Bruce
 
Posts: 21 | Location: Scotland in the United Kingdom | Registered: March 07, 2008
posted
Thanks, Bruce! The B.B 5414 was already on my list, but I have incorporated your other additions in the revision below. The B.E. number is a new high one so it increases the B.E. watches and the theoretical total number of watches a bit.

MARK V Cockpit Watches

Summary:

B.B. Doxa and Omega 650/7091 total 6,441
B.C. Invicta 4028
B.D. Invicta 440/5,070 total 4,630
B.E. Doxa 135/13020 total 12,885
B.G. Octava 105/4065 total 3,960
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 53,380 total equals differences between lowest and highest serial numbers in each letter code set but excludes the B.C. code watches since we have only one at this time and there is no lower or higher number to see where the numbering pattern goes on this maker). 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. It is a bit low since we have not found another B.C. watch other than 4028 to create a potential B.C. number to add to the total.

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; 5035; 5414 (these four with 30 hour luminous dial and Omega moverment); and 650; 1094; 1664; 1696; 1855; 2414; 2778; 3082; 3408; 3731; 3888; 5468; 5751; 5931; 6080; 6124; 6385; 6443; 6489 (wrong case); 6833; 6898; 6914; 7091 (these twenty-two 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); 653; 1022; 1564; 1700; 1746; 2867; 3033; 3360 (marked Electa); 3388; 3823; 3828; 3990 (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); 4548; 4553; 5070 (these last three 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; 11439; 12840 (marked Doxa 30 hour non-luminous); and 13020 (unknown maker 30 hour non-luminous)

B.F. - ?

B.G. - 105; 170; 953; 966; 1122 (Octavia in unmarked replacement case); 1389; 1481; 1744; 3034; 3189; 3347 (unknown whether movement is marked, in incorrect replacement case, face marked 8-day non-luminous); 3419; 3553; 4060; 4065. 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; 2457; 2991 (marked Electa 30 hour 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; 213; 539; 597; 744; 774; 788; 894; 1022; 1089; 1138; 1229; 1311; 1389; 1510; 1567; 1643; 1?24; 2181; 2123; 2262; 3382; 3399; 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 1567; 4465; 4585; and 5369 which are marked luminous

C.C. - 773; 798; 1439; 1515; 1590; 2089; 2384; 3834; 4221; 4251; 4270. All except 2384 and 1590 are unknown maker and 30 hour, non-luminous (1515 is missing its case’s back cover); 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
562AF W. Ehrhardt

1447AG Moise Dreyfuss, white dial W↑D on back
3820AG 8 Day maker not known
4810AG 8 Day Octava

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

219R Grimshaw, Baxter & J.J. Elliott, Ltd.
Ocatava marked dial, 8 day non-luminous
222R Grimshaw, Baxter & J.J. Elliott, Ltd. Non-luminous
630R Grimshaw, Baxter & J.J. Elliott, Ltd. 8 Day
722R Grimshaw, Baxter & J.J. Elliott

177S S. Smith and Sons (MA) Ltd. 8 day
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
 
Posts: 854 | Location: Baltimore, Maryland USA | Registered: September 20, 2004
posted
In relation to the;
MARK IVA, 8-DAY WATCH & HOLDER FOR AEROPLANES

The specification gives the following statement as to serial nmber requirements:

SERIES NUMBER. 22. Each Watch must be marked with a different series number; instruments off the same contract should be delivered, as far as possible, numbered consecutively.
The number in each case is to be followed by a stroke and a letter, or letters, which will be allotted by the S.R.A.F. on request, thus 101/LM or 3927/ZX. The same letters are to be used for any contract and for any instrument supplied by the firm to whom they are allotted, so that they serve to identify any instrument made by that firm.

Most likely the Mk V had a similar requirement.
 
Posts: 58 | Location: Auckland, New Zealand | Registered: February 28, 2005
posted
I have a MarkV which has a machined Sth (th in upper case) and a 4 digit number.... and never thought too much about it until I bought this second one

 
Posts: 132 | Location: London/London/England | Registered: December 13, 2004
posted
it is BE 11069. My question is, does anyone have an idea what this Sth number means... Sopwith something something would make sense.... it seems like the lettering has been done on both using the same tool......

also just bought the H Williamson Mark iv A 8 days No 4060AC and a 8 Day Carley Clemence ltd Mark iv A No 1303 AB (hand written reference to the RAF on the dial and Octavia movement)and interestingly the case is stamped A plus arrow.... unfortunately it is missing hands, glas and some bits and bobs in the movement

 
Posts: 132 | Location: London/London/England | Registered: December 13, 2004
posted
quote:
Carley Clemence ltd Mark iv A No 1303 AB (hand written reference to the RAF on the dial and Octavia movement)and interestingly the case is stamped A plus arrow.... unfortunately it is missing hands, glas and some bits and bobs in the movement

just realized, that this seems to add another maker and it also seems to be a transition piece..... the AB after the numbering could mean that this is a link btw the Mark iv and the letter coded MarkV's the A and arrow would also point towards this!! let me know what you think
 
Posts: 132 | Location: London/London/England | Registered: December 13, 2004
posted
Hi Oliver.

I will look forward to hearing from others about the meaning of 'Sth' in case anyone knows for sure, but I doubt it is related to Sopwith. Aircraft watches were not made for specific aircraft - they were interchangeable.

I have noticed that more than a few Mark V watches have supplementary markings either on their dials or on their backs. My thinking on these extra markings is they are related to to fact that many of them were use and re-used by the RAF up through the 1920s, 1930s, and even 1940s. They are good quality timepieces and rather toss them out the RAF kept recycling them. Some were re-marked with new service markings.

One other thought is there were 17,109 Sopwith aircraft built during the war which accounts for 29% of all British made aircraft. If the marking did stand for Sopwith, why would there not be roughly 30% of all Mark V watches that have this marking? Also, why would there not be similar markings for other makes of aircraft?

Best,
Jim
 
Posts: 854 | Location: Baltimore, Maryland USA | Registered: September 20, 2004
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