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H Williamson MK1Va RFC or RNFC? Help please "Click" to Login or Register 
Hello Everyone!,

I came across this site whilst researching an interesting watch I have in my collection and see that there has been lots of discussion surrounding dial and movement numbers of these early military pieces, so I thought I would add mine and also see if anyone can help me with its history.

I have a MK 1Va 'H Williamson' cockpit watch in fantastic condition. I had it serviced by a watch mechanic last year and it keeps great time for a near 100 year old time piece, the White dial says:

H Williamson Ltd London

8 Days MK 1Va

no 1899 A.C.

The movement number is 2113048 and there is a 'W (a crows foot) D' (War Department) stamped on the back case

I wonder can anyone give me any additional history to this watch? My understanding that the 'War Department' stamp would signify that it is a 1914 issue. I have been informed that there were different issues and it is possibly a British Navy (Royal Naval Air Service) counterpart. My understanding is the main differences were that the Naval issue had 'white dials' and were 'eight days' and the RFC were 'black dials' and '30 hours'. I have also been told that it possibly has a 'white dial' because the RFC didn't fly night missions until 1915 and therefore a dark dial would not be needed to preserve night vision. If anyone can help me clarify or give me additional information I would be grateful, Thank you!
Posts: 2 | Location: Liverpool in England | Registered: October 23, 2013
Here are some photos of the watch thanks
Posts: 2 | Location: Liverpool in England | Registered: October 23, 2013
IHC Member 1335
Picture of Tom Brunton
hi Dave ; welcome; do searches on this site for:


Royal Flying Corps

Royal Naval Air Service


Mk.5 dash watch ,

there is already a mass of information on these watches on this site.They were mounted to the dash bulkhead by means of a two piece brass seating device with bayonet mount cover with bevelled glass lens,some of these are posted here also
Posts: 1746 | Location: Aylmer, Ontario in Canada | Registered: December 15, 2009
Life Achievement
Military Expert
Picture of Greg Crockett
Welcome to the forum. You have a fine example of a RFC MK IVa. Those used by the RNFC had dials marked "admiralty" along with other data.

If you run a search of this forum you will find a wealth of data about the MK IV and MK V as well as a few RNFC items. Some of the reseach done by our forum members is included in Konrad Knirim's excellent book regarding British Military Timepieces. But you can read it here for free.
Posts: 1865 | Location: East Lansing, Michigan USA | Registered: November 24, 2002
IHC Member 1335
Picture of Tom Brunton
hi Greg,I'm Scottish born,and sure that the correct short form is RNAS-Royal Naval Air Service.I don't think there ever was a RNFC !!! I'm sure it was just a brain ****,one of those things we have as we get older LOL Wink
Posts: 1746 | Location: Aylmer, Ontario in Canada | Registered: December 15, 2009
I'm not aware of any reliable information at this point that the white dials vs. black dials have any significance in terms of which branch of the military used them, though if anyone has such reliable information from the period I would love to see it shared here. From what I have seen some of the makers of these simply used white dials since that is what they used on their civilian models and by the time the military moved on to the Mark V they were pretty much all black dials by then.
Posts: 858 | Location: Baltimore, Maryland USA | Registered: September 20, 2004
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