Longines “Weems” RAF Mk VIIA Wristwatch c.1940.
The “Weems” Mk VIIA wristwatch was issued to pilots and navigators of the RAF during WW2 and features a moveable outer bezel which is set to the second hand to calculate longitude to aid navigation. The watch takes its name from Lt.Cdr P.V. Weems who was a well-known aviator, navigator and instructor at the Naval Officer School at Annapolis, Maryland, in the U.S.A.
The “Weems” 6B/159 with specification Mk. VIIA needed to meet the following requirements of Building Specification G.535 :
The movement needed to be wound by the crown instead of using a separate key. The movement should run for a minimum of 36 hours (fully wound). The hands should be made of blued steel and the case should have a rotating lunette. The case could be made from steel, chrome or hardened brass. The dial needed to be light silver or white (like enamel). The deviation needed to meet the following requirements: after three hours +/- 3 seconds, after six hours +/- 5 seconds, after twelve hours +/- 8 seconds and after 24 hours +/- 15 seconds.
There were five manufacturers of these very special timepieces; Longines, Omega, Jaeger-LeCoultre, Zenith and Movado. It is believed only around 7,000 were issued to the RAF in 1940 at the outbreak of hostilities and many will have no doubt seen action during the early dark days of the Battle of Britain and beyond.
The Longines “Weems” for sale is a truly exceptional example of its kind and represents a truly unique opportunity to acquire a superb piece of British military aviation history.