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Thread: Vulcan bomber watch

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    Default Vulcan bomber watch

    Out of interest does anyone out there know what watch was worn by the aircrew of Vulcan bombers. I think I have heard that the light in them was different so they used different watches than were normally issued.


    Jon

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    Senior Member Flightpath's Avatar
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    The yellow faced phoenix rises again

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    Nice one thanks msa6712

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    I read a post on WUS I think it was, written by a Vulcan Pilot who said he had never seen one before (then again who's to know if he really was a Vulcan Pilot?) But the thing for me that makes it 'unfeasible' is the year of issue versus the year the MOD binned the Vulcan... one has to ask why would they purchase a watch for aircrew to test (on a specific aircraft) if that aircraft is to be scrapped.

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    Quote Originally Posted by geo7863 View Post
    I read a post on WUS I think it was, written by a Vulcan Pilot who said he had never seen one before (then again who's to know if he really was a Vulcan Pilot?) But the thing for me that makes it 'unfeasible' is the year of issue versus the year the MOD binned the Vulcan... one has to ask why would they purchase a watch for aircrew to test (on a specific aircraft) if that aircraft is to be scrapped.
    If these were used by aircrew towards the end of life for the Vulcans it would seem entirely possible that not every Vulcan pilot saw or heard of them. On the other hand I do not believe that there is any documentary or even first hand anecdotal evidence that these watches were directly associated with Vulcan aircrews. It may be that they were used for some other purpose at say RAF Waddington (home of the last operational Vulcan squadron) and through this association became known as the Vulcan Seiko when they were surplussed out. Foggy and Eddie Platts have told of them appearing with other MoD surplus watches, with Eddie indicating that he saw one at Anchor Supplies that had a military stores label, but with no other markings on the box, wrapping or on the watch.

    Sometimes labels and myths live long lives in the watch collecting community and help add rarity and potentially value.

    IAP
    Last edited by ianp; 10-23-2016 at 14:45.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flightpath View Post
    Remember this great thread about the yellow faced Seiko .......... anything new?

    http://www.mwrforum.net/forums/showt...o-Vulcan-watch
    Quote Originally Posted by dave View Post
    LOL; funny that you should ask that.

    was speaking to an ex vulcan bomber pilot only about 3 months ago, very nice chap and tiny!

    he summed it up quite nicely - b*ll*cks.

    which in posh talk means NO.

    and yes that was indeed a great thread...






    but then a friend of a friend in the surplus business (not AS) had eight boxed ones...
    Last edited by dave; 10-23-2016 at 15:02. Reason: size.

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    Did the friend of a friend claim any military link ?

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    Super Moderator dave's Avatar
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    only by the fact that he dealt in military surplus - did get a boxed CWC W10 from him though.

    may be seeing him tomorrow - will make some more inquiries.

    the trouble with hearsay is that it is only ever going to be hearsay.
    Last edited by dave; 10-23-2016 at 15:15. Reason: grammar.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dave View Post
    may be seeing him tomorrow - will make some more inquiries...
    okay here is the story as it was recounted to me today -

    facts may have got distorted through time and along the way.

    a friend of a friend - both are in the army surplus business - went into anchor supplies for some stock about 25 years ago.

    in the cabinet were some boxed but untried and untested ex MoD quartz Seikos with yellow dials.

    a figure of ten pounds each was agreed so he took the eight that were still remaining.

    luckily when fitted with new batteries all eight watches were working fine.

    he punted them out at twenty-five pounds a piece but it was a struggle to sell them and they took a long while to shift.

    nobody seemed to want quartz watches with yellow dials back then.

    so there you are - it would appear that some quartz Seikos with yellow dials were sold at MoD surplus auctions and can be traced back to anchor supplies.

    but as for the true provenance of said watches I believe there is no firm evidence to date.

    other stories also exist and I believe the common denominator is anchor supplies.

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    Yep. Eddie Platts mentioned Anchor Supplies. I think he mentioned GBP 100, he passed and it later sold for GBP 700. Should be in the archives if he posted it here.

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    Pictures of this one appeared on-line a couple of years ago (unmarked case-back) again with good ties to Anchor.surplus



    Packaging reads-
    NOT TO BE OPENED UNTIL REQUIRED FOR USE
    METHOD IC DEVONPORT
    DATE 8 JUNE 88
    FRAGILE
    CL GRP 0552
    PATT GXOCO 1718
    WRISTWATCH
    QTY 1
    S/N 3N5002

    So another one for the Naval not RAF history of these watches

    Regards
    Mr.H

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    I did A quick google on 'PATT GXOCO 1718' and two hits with any substance:-

    http://www.mwrforum.net/forums/archi...p/t-39202.html which feeds off of this - http://forum.tz-uk.com/showthread.ph...ary-Issue-Fact!

    Some snippets from the TZ-UK thread:

    From http://forum.tz-uk.com/showthread.ph...=1#post1497743

    I've told this story before but back in the days, I used to buy Smiths W10s in bulk from the wholesale arm of Anchor Supplies. I got to know the warehouse supervisor quite well and I made it clear I was interested in any military watches he could offer, especially IWC (they were still coming through then).

    One day he phoned me and asked me what I knew about a yellow dial Seiko chronograph which they had just received in a parcel of assorted military watches from the Ministry of Defence. I had previously heard of the "Vulcan" Seiko and had actually been offered one about a year previously, in a plain cardboard box with a military sticker on it and the watch (head only) wrapped in wax paper. I told him what I knew and he put it on eBay where it made about 800 in 2001 or thereabouts.

    I know this doesn't prove anything but it's interesting that it was included in a parcel of watches from the MoD.

    Eddie
    From http://forum.tz-uk.com/showthread.ph...=1#post1498095

    With it having a 0552 prefix it adds value to what I was told about the yellow seikos which is as follows:-

    "Just to add a little more controversy to the yellow seiko. I heard another story from a gentlemen who has been supplying ex mod equipment for 35 years including watches as he has had the mod contracts for many years now.

    Basically over the years he has received several of these yellow dialled seikos in batches of watches and he told me that the ones he received all came from naval bases. He has actually toured the mod store rooms in several bases and witnessed many watches getting destroyed and placed in sealed oil drums and disposed off.

    Anyway back to the yellow dialled seikos when he enquired about them he was told they were used by submarine crews. So who knows hey!!!"
    From http://forum.tz-uk.com/showthread.ph...=1#post1504664

    I have been to Anchor to see Charlotte and they had a few of these in a few years ago all with there boxes and her boss swears they came with a order letter saying Vulcan, sadly without the letter its hearsay.
    Her boss still has a few watches with there matching boxes with matching serial numbers fact.

    I contacted one of my customers who works in the military stores for the Army in Nottingham and gave him all the details listed by Charlotte on the box.
    After a few days research he called me today and his conclusion was one of 2 possibilities.

    Firstly the good news he was pretty certain these where purchased by the MOD he has seen these type of boxes before

    Thats where the good news wavers a little :roll:
    My customer in the MOD stores has seen similar boxes especially for civilian purchases for MOD, he said the MOD purchased quite a few seiko LCD stop watches a few years back that never had a stamped NSN number. At anchor they have some LCD seiko stop watches with no NSN that came from the MOD hmmmmm.

    This leads to the theories.

    Both of these theories have been discussed by mod stores and long serving military personnel.

    Theory 1. These where purchased as a commemorative item for vulcan crews and never used. He felt this was a very big possibility.

    Theory 2. They where intended for use with vulcan/RAF personal and got shelved and forgot.

    Either way they where shelved by someone in the MOD and by his reckoning its quite normal for this to happen.

    He said when it came to military surplus the MOD where never sentimental if it gathered dust it got sold and usually the simplest answer is the right one.
    The MOD stores carry everything from socks to tank engines so maybe our passion is a little lost on these guys lol
    I suppose we like to think every new recruit just cant wait to get his hands on a watch but alas they have more manly urges on there minds or possibly a pair of socks without holes in. Sadly in 2010 our heroes are more worried about kevlar than pulsar :roll:
    Maybe we feel that this is such a grail watch that we forget it was a simple decision that shelved the watch!
    Devenport 1984
    "err John did you hear they've disbanded the vulcan squadron!" "bugger I've just ordered 300 watches for them guys they where complaining the dials where too dull" "bung em in a box John we'll find a use for em"

    We might be having this same discussion in 20 years time about ark Royal 0552 watches I think there wrist watches might be the last thing on there minds during the defence budget cuts

    Well for me its a bloody loverly watch that was good enough to be purchased by the MOD even if it was for Royal Navy lolly pop men I havent got one and if I can buy one for the right price I will snap it up just encase I find a picture of Michael Heseltine wearing one getting into a westland helicopter with a folder marked Project Vulcan "top secret" tucked under his arm!!

    Oh and one final thing he said just because the box says Devenport it doesn't mean they where purchased by them :wink: things got shifted quite a bit by the MOD.
    on that note he did say I try looking down the navy/coast guard route :?: makes sense. :idea:
    IAP
    Last edited by ianp; 10-24-2016 at 21:33.
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    Default Images from that TZ-UK thread















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    I found another TZ-UK thread in which Eddie mentions the Anchor watch which also links to an ebay auction from 2014 that still has live images

    The associated auction text is below. The seller does seem to offer some ex-MoD gear, but it could be that they simply buy from wholesalers rather direct from the MoD which means Anchor could still be common factor.

    Edit - One of the posts in that thread indicates that the seller is an ex-director of Anchor Supplies. So all roads do seem to lead to Ripley, Derbyshire at the moment.

    IAP

    Seiko Air Crew Quartz Chronograph.
    Near perfect condition, British Military issue, always believed to be Vulcan Bomber air crew issue, although some forums now dispute this.
    This particular timepiece was a direct release from the MOD, and has been kept immaculate, only worn a few times, still has the original box, instruction manual, even the spare links for the strap.
    I believe only 700 of these were made, whether it is Vulcan or not, it is still a very rare genuine Military watch.
    Out of the 700 made, I cannot believe you could find a better example of this superb watch.
    Reluctant sale to help fund a new project.
    Advertised elsewhere may remove if sold.
    Any questions, or viewing appointments please mail or call Julian 07970 207097.
    I am willing to post worldwide, please ask for a postage quote.

    Seiko Vulcan Chronograph, Yellow Face, 7A38, Perfect Condition, Boxed with Links Closed: 2439.2 USD - Bid Count: 0








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    thanks Ian - think that about sums it all up very nicely.

    here's some more snippets for the thinking pot -

    Quote Originally Posted by Hal-in-London View Post
    I recall that a friend of mine who died recently had told me that he used to go to MOD auctions at Lossiemouth - Scotland (which I think is an RN base).

    He said there were always several Seiko yellow faced chronos for sale. We are talking about 15 - 20 years ago.
    Quote Originally Posted by James Dowling View Post
    Hi All;

    I first posted this here when I got it about 7 or 8 years ago.



    it came in a bunch of other Mil Seikos, 12 or 15 of them that I bought from a surplus dealer & I paid (at the time) almost nothing for them. This is what makes it unusual:



    I just love the look, really stripped down and almost 'pure'.

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    Original advert that was on Anchor's site-

    SEIKO "Pilots" Military issue Quartz wrist watch
    What a GEM of a watch !
    This type are frequently referred to as "Pilots" watches when in fact we have been informed
    that they are only issued to "fast jet navigators".. (Tornado Navigators of the RAF).

    Fitted with Quartz "scratch resistant glass" the "Pilots" watch features a stop watch
    together with a rugged and reliable design.
    Supplied FULLY SERVICED with 12 months Warranty
    Now VERY RARE... taken out of Service August 2005
    the RAF Tornado Squadrons now being disbanded.
    We also receive the naval version from time to time...for submariners... with Date.. without Luminious points
    Sometimes also available as the Yellow Face variety which was a special issue for Vulcan Flight Crew...
    but a substantially higher cost. If you would like a "Yellow Face" please email us... we will add you to our waiting list.
    NOTE: we have seen only TWO Yellow faced Seiko "Vulcan" watches in the past 5 years...
    both were used and were individually sold
    in excess of 1000 each !!!
    We are reliably informed that a Seiko Vulcan yellow Face fetched over $2600 in eBay USA recently.
    If you would like to purchase one of these sought after watches please email us.

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    Senior Member foilguy's Avatar
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    reminds me of my first time at Anchor Surplus in 1995. A friend of mine, whom had worked as a shop assistant for Paul Smith, when Paul only had a single shop in Nottingham, took a military watch in for service. A 50's Lemania's. A watch he'd kept onto, when years earlier Paul Smith had started selling interesting vintage watches in his shop, gathered by my mate at antique fairs and such to sell in his shop. Whilst there i remember seeing a large collection of military watches. I believe the WWW's were mostly 50-60. Maybe the Seiko's where there, but it's the top shelf of Records, cyma's and vertex's that i remember. As late as 2008 i was buying 6BB Precista's G10's for 25. Before they cottoned on. When the gentleman that serviced Anchors watches past away, i also bought a small part of his stock at a Birmingham fair. A lemania Supervisor, 2 interestingly marked IWC MK 11 case backs, an IWC military movement and a cyma for a 10. Those where the days.

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    Just to clarify a point in Hal's 2009 post below.

    Originally Posted by Hal-in-London View Post
    "Quote" I recall that a friend of mine who died recently had told me that he used to go to MOD auctions at Lossiemouth - Scotland (which I think is an RN base).

    He said there were always several Seiko yellow faced chronos for sale. We are talking about 15 - 20 years ago. "Unquote"

    MOD auctions were held at the RN Dockyard at Rosyth Scotland not Lossiemouth and surplus RN divers and other MoD watches were sold in the 80s' (and possibly later) from Rosyth.

    RNAS Lossiemouth, previously an operational RN Air Station (RNAS), was transferred to the RAF in 1972 along with the RN Buccaneer fleet of aircraft.

    Terry

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    Senior Member Flightpath's Avatar
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    So the watches seem more Royal Navy than RAF?........ Getting more interesting!

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