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Thread: BOAC Longines COSD Dennison Sterile dial

  1. #1
    Member MR.H's Avatar
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    Default BOAC Longines COSD Dennison Sterile dial

    Hi

    Thought I'd share a recent find & expand the knowledge base

    Movement serial 6901138 1268N & lightly inscribed above the bridge plate 4 digits that I can only partially make out to be either 00 44 or 50 44. Fixed bars & fitted with a 16.5 mm Bonklip

    I can only find reference to a couple more Longines BOAC the last one was talked about here-
    http://www.mwrforum.net/forums/showt...highlight=boac

    There are some good pointers to what the case-back marking mean from the IWC forum-
    http://www.iwc.com/forum/en/discussion/56806/?page=1
    So T 200/1/27 equates to Model number/Manufacturer/Watch serial number ...The most likely reference I found in BOAC's history to T 200 are 200 Trainer aircraft they delivered mid 1940's or it may relate to transport aircraft
    I've written to the BA museum hopefully they shed some more light on the subject especially with the soon to be 2019 100th anniversary & have applied for the Longines archive report

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    Regards
    Mr.H

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    Moderator dave's Avatar
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    that's absolutely great - I really love it.

    note that your dennison case number is 5452 and the previous one was 5455.

    and yours still has the fixed bars which is correct.

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    Member MR.H's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dave View Post
    that's absolutely great - I really love it.

    note that your dennison case number is 5452 and the previous one was 5455.

    and yours still has the fixed bars which is correct.
    Thanks the condition is good & the dial is growing on me. Yes I noticed the case number was close to the other BOAC, I'm wondering if they were converted earlier than the MOD Dennison COSD's which seem to have higher case numbers, although 6277 8527 & 9541 are the only MOD case numbers I can find so not much of a reference base

    Regards
    Mr.H

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    Member isologue's Avatar
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    What do you mean when you refer to 'MOD Dennison COSD's'? I can't think of any watch that was *issued* by MOD in a 13322 Dennison case - only post war surplus disposals onto the civilian market of Omega 30t2s, and the Smiths Mark X (with no indication as to whether that was done by MoD or suppliers). Why wouldn't the COSD fit into this pattern?

    Regards,

    Martin (isologue)

    P.S. This is a separate issue to the question of who manufactured the tuna can case, which may well have been Dennison.

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    Senior Member Revo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MR.H View Post
    Hi

    Thought I'd share a recent find & expand the knowledge base
    That is what I like about this place! Pics to drool over and info into the common pool, best of both worlds.

    Quote Originally Posted by isologue View Post
    This is a separate issue to the question of who manufactured the tuna can case, which may well have been Dennison.
    I've been told on good authority that it was Dennison.
    "Early this year I saw ex-army watches exhibited in a showcase at a little under 4 each. A week or two later I succeeded in buying one of them for 5. Recently their price seems to have risen to 8." (George Orwell, "As I Please", Tribune, 29th November 1946)

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    Senior Member foilguy's Avatar
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    I've been told on good authority that it was Dennison.
    Unless they have proof, or primary evidence, it's always going to be questioned. Tend to agree however due to all other examples being housed in a dennison of some form, be it gold, steel or brass plate.

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    Senior Member Revo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by foilguy View Post
    Unless they have proof, or primary evidence, it's always going to be questioned. Tend to agree however due to all other examples being housed in a dennison of some form, be it gold, steel or brass plate.
    Owen Gilchrist (BHI watch repairer, lurker here and Smiths nut) has an amazing watch he's put together: a Garrard 1218 (i.e a 1215 with extra jewels, Breguet overcoil etc -- basically the best movement Smiths ever made) housed in a solid stainless steel Tuna Can which, iirc, he got from someone who worked at Dennison. It's possibly my favourite watch, ever.

    Some q&d phone shots from a f2f gtg (or whatever the cool kids say in their text messages)








    It inspired me to make my own SuperSmiths: a Garrard 1218 in a Dennison Aquatite case. Mine has a dressy dial with gilt batons which is nice and all but I'm thinking about putting a lumed "Everest" / expeditionary dial on it like Owen's.
    "Early this year I saw ex-army watches exhibited in a showcase at a little under 4 each. A week or two later I succeeded in buying one of them for 5. Recently their price seems to have risen to 8." (George Orwell, "As I Please", Tribune, 29th November 1946)

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    Senior Member foilguy's Avatar
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    Ah yes, Owen's shown me this watch. To be fair it's not the Original Tuna Case though is it, though it's nice to have the primary evidence this is indeed a Dennison project. As much as it's nice to connect the dots, there is no evidence to suggest that this 'prototype case' was made by those that made the original Tuna Case. Unfortunately likely and certainty are too far apart. Pity as I'd then say all USN XXX C Canteen watches were made in the mid 40's and came before the USN BUSHIP ones.


    One a separate note did the Astral ever come in an Aquatite case? It's just that I've found one in a box. Sad to say i once pillaged it for the movement retaining thingy for another smiths Everest without.

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    No, Smiths stopped using Dennison Aquatites in sometime in around 1957-ish (I'm guessing but it's there or thereabouts). So the later 16j Bensons and A404s all came in a screw back ss case but they're unsigned and have 16mm lug width. They may be made by Dennison (or not) but they are not the classic Aquatite.

    The Astral range first appeared in 1959 by which time Smiths had not used DA cases for a couple of years.

    HTH
    "Early this year I saw ex-army watches exhibited in a showcase at a little under 4 each. A week or two later I succeeded in buying one of them for 5. Recently their price seems to have risen to 8." (George Orwell, "As I Please", Tribune, 29th November 1946)

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    Senior Member foilguy's Avatar
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    Here are two pics


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    Senior Member Revo's Avatar
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    Well OK. That's the later style of DA case (no writing on the outside of the back) and the early style of Astral (27CS rather than the later Slimline cal. 60466E as per the W10) so it's not as unlikely as an early DA (1950-52) and later Astral (mid to late 60s).

    (I think the s/n of the case is, imho, mid 1950s ('54 or '55?) and the Astral is maybe c. 1959-62. The crown is wrong, too.)
    "Early this year I saw ex-army watches exhibited in a showcase at a little under 4 each. A week or two later I succeeded in buying one of them for 5. Recently their price seems to have risen to 8." (George Orwell, "As I Please", Tribune, 29th November 1946)

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    Member MR.H's Avatar
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    Hi

    So taking it further from the posts by a ex BOAC employee Rotate over on the IWC forum ...

    "B.O.A.C. had some strange systems of identifying the supplier, for example if a modification was carried out prior to delivery by a company other than the original manufacturer then the modifying company would be the supplier."

    The BOAC Longines watches with a mft code of /1/ & presuming its more likely to be the MOD/AM who set up BOAC in 1939 who would have the supplier-1 code, than Longines or Dennison, the watches were converted from Tuna to Dennison while still in service by the MOD circa 1945
    I noticed while the BOAC Dennison's seem to have lower case numbers than the sterile backed COSD Dennisons, the BOAC Longines movement seem to fit towards the middle of the serial number range
    http://www.mwrforum.net/forums/showt...Number-Project

    Regards
    Mr.H

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    Member isologue's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MR.H View Post
    the watches were converted from Tuna to Dennison while still in service by the MOD circa 1945
    I know that I'm being boring but humour me

    The only documented dates we have for COSD movements place them in April/May 1945 (information obtained from Longines by ladinaccia and at least one other and supported by the proximity of these numbers to WWW serials that we know were delivered from 1945). It seems obvious now that the COSD does not date to 1944 as ZMW stated (and probably wasn't designed to be a bespoke Parachute Regiment watch either but that's not known).

    So can it be correct to assume that these movements were put into tuna cases by MoD (and issued?) then put into sterile Dennison cases by MoD and then passed onto/sold to another party by MoD? Or is it more likely that these movements turned up for a project that was largely redundant by war's end and some found their way into tuna cases and others found their way into bog-standard civilian Dennison cases (including gold) as a result of/in preparation for disposal via the war surplus auctions that took place very soon after the war's end? I think the latter but I don't know (obviously).

    Regards,

    Martin (isologue)

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    Member MR.H's Avatar
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    Hi

    Received the Longines archive report

    We thank you for contacting us and for your interest in Longines watches.

    Further to your request, we are pleased to provide the information contained in Longines' handwritten registers.

    Originally, the serial number 6'901'138 identifies a Longines mechanical manually wound movement, caliber 12.68N. It was invoiced on 2 May 1945 to the company Baume and Co., which was at that time our agent for the UK.

    The other parts of the watch were produced locally under license from Longines. Unfortunately, since the relevant archives are not in our possession, we are unable to provide any further information on your model.

    We hope this information will be of help to you and remain at your entire disposal for any further information you may need.

    Truly yours,

    Marion Cattin
    Brand Heritage


    I had asked them about their opinion on the dial hands case separately

    Martin - I cannot comment on the COSD Tuna I've only had one & it was minus movement, sterile case with phenon re-dial, but it seems some TUNA are 5000 Longines movement earlier than the known April/May 45's

    Regards
    Mr.H
    Last edited by MR.H; 04-05-2017 at 06:09.

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    Member isologue's Avatar
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    Thanks for the extra info. I personally still can't see that 'first invoiced' date being pushed back by very much (and that's just delivery to Baume & Co minus the case etc produced under contract elsewhere). It's a pity that raid on the Longines archives hasn't happened yet (presumably) - there must be a story to tell.

    Regards,

    Martin (isologue)

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    Member bod1966's Avatar
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    Morning , I have just emailed the Waterside BA museum using my BA email so hopefully someone will have the decency to reply this time, I will also give them a ring in a few days just in case they are to busy drinking coffee. Fingers crossed.
    A smart man only believes half of what he hears, a wise man knows which half.

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