Omega HS8 Fleet Air Arm Pilots Wristwatch c.1943
These beautiful wristwatches were issued to the pilots and navigators of the Royal Navy’s Fleet Air Arm during the Second World War.
The wristwatches supplied to aircrew of the Fleet Air Arm during this period were supplied by Omega, although Cyma also produced some early examples.
The Omega HS8s were all produced to the same standard specification as the RAF 6B/159 wristwatches, which included a white dial with black arabic numerals, centre seconds and blued steel non-luminous hands.
These watches are commonly referred to by their Royal Navy Fleet Air Arm stores reference number of HS8. The initials “HS” stand for Hydrographic Survey and the number “8” refers to a wristwatch.
The wonderful Omega HS8 watch for sale was produced around 1943 at the heart of WW2. These watches are considerably rarer than their RAF counterparts and good original examples are seldom offered for sale.
The watch is purportedly the former property of Leading Aircraftman Victor Alexander Menzies (1701419), who served in the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve from 10 August 1943 until 7 July 1947.
The watch is accompanied by several original documents owned by LAC Menzies including his RAF service and release book, ration book, three clothing books and National Savings Certificates booklet.
Menzies was born in Ruislip, London in 1925 and was educated at St Catherines College, Cambridge.
According to his RAF service book, Menzies worked as a P.R. reporter and was involved in the production of publicity material.
Intriguingly, the address on Menzies ration book is 2 Montagu Place, Baker Street, W1. This is perhaps significant due to much of Baker Street being heavily occupied by members of the Special Operations Executive (SOE) throughout the war, so much so that “Baker Street” became the euphemistic way of referring to SOE.
After the war, Menzies went on to become a fairly prominent producer, director and writer for such well-known TV productions as Love Story and General Hospital.
The watch for sale, therefore, represents an excellent opportunity to acquire a wonderful piece of British WW2 aviation history with some interesting provenance of its presumed original owner.