Along with a number of other anniversaries being commemorated by the watch world in 2019 (we’re looking at you, Omega, Zenith, and probably others to come), this year also marks the 75th anniversary of the D-Day invasion of Normandy, which turned the tide of World War II in 1944. And it is Texas-based Tockr that has taken up the gauntlet of producing a very special timepiece that pays living tribute to this milestone in American military history. Here’s what you need to know about the D-Day C-47 Limited Editions and what sets them apart from today’s pack of military-inspired watches.
The watches are the result of a collaboration between Tockr, a boutique aviation-watch brand founded in 2017 in Austin, TX, by Austin Ivey, grandson of a WWII pilot, and the Commemorative Air Force (CAF), a Dallas-based non-profit devoted to preserving U.S. aviation history. The CAF has undertaken a project to refurbish the historic C-47 warplane That’s All Brother, which led the famed D-Day mission, and restore it to flight-ready condition. The process involved removed damaging aluminum portions of the plane and replacing them, and rather than simply discard this material, the CAF reached out to Tockr, which had previously produced a pilots’ model based on the C-47, an aircraft that Ivey’s grandfather actually flew during World War II. The watch company fabricated the damaged aluminum segments into watch dials and the rest is, one might say, history.
Assembled in Switzerland and designed right here in the USA by veteran watch designer Emmanuel Gueit (he of Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore fame), the D-Day C-47 editions come in cushion-shaped, 42-mm stainless steel cases and contain a Swiss-made, self-winding ETA-2834 A6 movement, which holds a 40-hour power reserve. Under non-glare sapphire crystals are the dials, in shades of military brown and green, each unique in its level of wear and weathering, and segmented into three styles: “Clean Cut,” with the lightest amount of visible wear; “Stamped,” with a medium range; and “Hard Worn,” which can be heavily weathered, cracked and chipped, with large areas of exposed aluminum. The dials all feature military-style stencil hour numerals and hands coated with luminous material, and a date window at 3 o’clock.
Engraved into each watch’s solid steel caseback is “That’s All Brother” in the style of the vintage warplane’s nose art, along with the watch’s serial number. Each watch comes with two straps, easily interchangeable via a quick-change spring bar: one in olive drab canvas, the other in leather. A portion of the proceeds from the watches, each of which is offered with a certificate of authenticity from the CAF, will go toward the presentation of the That’s All Brother airplane and other historic preservation projects. Made in batches of 100, the Tockr D-Day C-47 Watches will retail for $1,900.