When Flight Lieutenant William “Terry” Clark died aged 101 on the eve of this year’s VE day celebrations, Group Captain John Hemingway became the last surviving pilot – the last of Churchill’s 3,000 “few” – to have fought in the Battle of Britain. July marks 80 years since the beginning of the airborne conflict that decisively ended Hitler’s hopes of invading Britain, and as a tribute, British watchmaker Bremont has released a limited-edition box set of two watches that will come with a flight in a Spitfire (£14,995).
The BOB Spitfire features a subdial at 12 o’clock bearing the words “Time of Trip”. It is based on the Smiths clock on the instrument panel in the Spitfire cockpit that would tell pilots how long they had been in the air. The BOB Hurricane takes its inspiration from the dials in the cockpit of the other great Battle of Britain plane, the Hawker Hurricane. With a case of hardened stainless steel, it is waterproof to 100m and has a vintage brown leather “bund” strap (a style of strap with an extra leather pad beneath the watch back, somewhat ironically first issued to German pilots during the second world war).
Pilot watches are the core of Bremont’s collection, which is designed and assembled at its facility in Henley-on-Thames. The brand’s founders, Nick and Giles English, have a love of flying historic aircraft and of tinkering with clocks – both inherited from their RAF pilot father (who died in a crash while practising for an air display with Nick in 1995).
80 box sets will be produced, and flights in the Spitfire will take place next door to IWM Duxford in Cambridgeshire.