The launch of the Vertex M100 made many of us non-military specific watch enthusiasts familiar with the concept of the “Dirty Dozen” , a series of watches built by different manufacturers to British Ministry of Defence specifications. Given the number of watches and the limited numbers of particular watches available this is quiet a difficult collection to complete.
For those wanting a different challenge I have recently discovered the “ Fabulous Four” , or 6BB aircrew chronographs from the ‘70/80s. Four companies were contracted to produce these watches over that period: Hamilton, CWC, Newmark and Precista (prior to the 1970s there had been others).
These watches were based on the MOD specification DEF-STAN 66-4 (Part 2) issued in April 1970 which included a small but significant change from its previous version of 1969 . It allowed for pilot’s chronograph cases to feature either one or two “pushpieces,” or buttons, to control the watch’s chronograph function. That change allowed for manufactures to use the cheaper Valjoux 7733 movement.
These mechanical chronographs were eventually phased out in favour of watches with quartz movements.
Modern versions of three of the watches CWC, Precista and Hamilton are available and now the Newmark version is being re-launched via a Kickstarter offer this month. This watch re-edition is of the watch issued to RAF crew in 1980 but with the modern a reliable Seiko VK64A Meca Quartz movement.
The specifications will be :
16L Brushed Stainless Steel case
Case Diameter 38mm 12 – 6 and 41mm 3 – 9
Lug to Lug Length 46.5mm
Total Height (including crystal) 12.8mm
Lug Width 20mm
Water Resistant to 50 Metres
Domed Acrylic crystal with tension ring
Matt black dial with Super Luminova C3
Frosted steel hands with Super Luminova C3
The initial images look promising.
For those making an early commitment the watch will be available for £200.
I am keen to understand more about this watch although my initial thought are slight disappointment at the choice of movement, I would have preferred to see a mechanical one. However, I reserve judgement until I actually see one of the watches.
If you are interested you can visit the companies website.