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Thread: Forget Spitfires, How do Seafire pilots tell the time? (incoming!)

  1. #1

    Forget Spitfires, How do Seafire pilots tell the time? (incoming!)

    So what on earth is a Seafire you ask?

    Well, after the success of the Spitfire, there was just a tiny bit of demand for a naval version of it and so the nice people at Supermarine, who knew a thing or two about marine aviation, took the spitfire, toughened it up considerably to cope with carrier operations (and salt) and produced another cracking aircraft which served all the way through to the Korean war. The final version had over 2300 horsepower pushed through a massive pair of contra-rotating propellers which gave the Seafire a level top speed of over 450mph. Given that the world airspeed record over an extended circuit (that is, not at the end of an extended dive) is only 447mph, the Seafire is right up there among the fastest propeller engined aircraft in the world.

    Here's the only one left flying, and here it is, flying. If you have decent speakers of headphones turn them up because this is the sort of noise than can make the hairs on the back of your neck stand to attention.

    It's the third pass that does it for me.

    So that's the Seafire. It's a hell of a plane.

    Now as you may have noticed, I've been spending a bit too much time digging around the lower left hand side of the instrument panel of the Spitfire to work out what clocks were really used in them (or rather, were not as it transpires) . My research is done and (I promise) I'll get around to writing it all up and finishing the post when I get a half a day free (and have made a couple more clock purchases!) However all this staring at Spitfire clock faces couldn't have happened at a worse time.

    Eddie, over at TimeFactors has been making watches I reliably want for well over a decade. While many are homages of classic watches, which is usually a bit of a turn off, his designs always seem to add a bit to the original and manage to stand on their own two feet. As a result, I have a small collection of Eddie's stuff which gives me far more pleasure than it should. For example, his PRS14 homage to the SM300 was so good it actually totally put me off buying an original one and has been my go to reserve for diving since soon after I bought it. The man is a magician.

    So when I'm focused on Spitfires and their instrumentation and Eddie, now the owner of the Smiths watch brand, produces a Smiths watch that is a homage to the Smiths instrumentation found in the Spitfire and Seafire, then it is only a matter of time before I'm a bit poorer than I expected. The only issue is that I resolutely refuse to buy new and this watch is pretty new.

    I don't like new stuff. I don't like that initial depreciation and I can't stand stuff that is utterly perfect as I know that it's just a matter of time before I scratch it. So I let other people take the hit and get the first scratches in. I'm pretty sure I have only bought two or three watches new: an Omega AT with the 2500 escapement (specifically because I so appreciated what Omega had done I wanted to actually put a little back into their coffers - and wanted a B revision, not a C (odd I know) and an O&W Cougar because it was already stupidly cheap and I couldn't find one second hand (and still a haven't) So when I saw a Seafire (and a Seafire with a very low issue number) on the TZ-UK Sales corner for 200 I almost pulled the poor chap's hand off.

    So this is most definitely not pending funds anymore:

    it's funded and should be here some time next week. I'm hardly over excited at all.

    Quite apart from the watch, which I think looks lovely, the face and the quality of Eddie's stuff, the movement is something new and a bit exciting - quartz but with a 4hz tick.
    that should be fun to find out about:

    Itch scratched.
    Last edited by Matt; Jan 17, 2015 at 12:34 PM.

  2. #2
    Moderator - Central tribe125's Avatar
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    Oct 2014
    Kent - UK
    I do like the Seafire. I followed its development and then let it slip off the radar. It's back on now, dammit.

  3. #3
    The Dude Abides Nokie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Northern CA
    Excellent video clip.

    It makes a sound that cannot be duplicated.
    "Either He's Dead, Or My Watch Has Stopped....."
    Groucho Marx

  4. #4
    Moderator - Central tribe125's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Kent - UK
    I think I've remembered why I allowed myself to forget about it. During development it grew from 38mm to 40mm and acquired a bit too much green. The changes probably made it just right for many but my enthusiasm waned.

    I preferred Chris Parker's original design -

  5. Likes Matt liked this post
  6. #5
    Grand Master Seiko Fanboy mike120's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Here I was thinking "that's a pretty good looking watch.... I could use a new hiking watch....." and then you have to show me what it COULD have been?! Man, hopefully Eddie is saving that case design and look for something else, because if not its a complete waste of a beautiful piece. Matt, I hope you like yours when you get it in, and maybe some IRL photos will sway me, but.......

    Quote Originally Posted by tribe125 View Post

  7. #6
    I agree that the original is better and I completely agree that 38mm is a better size, especially with the height. However, I'm red green colour blind so that's one problem solved and I have to confess that I have found the Everest, which I almost didn't buy as it was so mahoosive, to be an utterly wearable watch that has given me a great deal of pleasure. So I live in hope, but you are spot on. The one plus is that I have two PVD Broadarrows from back when Eddie was just starting and they are 38mm and quite similar in some ways, so it's less like repetition.

    However, I think it's a design we'll be seeing more of with an interesting movement, so I'll definitely enjoy it one way or another - I'll have to see it on the wrist to know for sure0, you know how it is.

  8. #7
    I think this is a beauty and I'm fascinated by the movement. I'm coming to appreciate quartz watches more and more and this is one that really interests me.

  9. #8
    If you like quartz and you like Seiko then you are in for a very pleasurable and remarkably decently priced trip - no one did quartz quite like Seiko.

  10. #9
    Well, the Seafire has arrived - I'll say more later, but two things strike me straight away. First, it's a tall bugger. If ever there was a watch crying out for a strap, rather than the luxuriously thick NATO it comes on, then this is it. Second, as I said earlier that Eddie always adds dome special touch - in this case the fact that it's PVD over a brushed satin finish that leaps out at you in the form of sparkling highlights. It's an absolute beauty that is punching well above its weight.

    I've noticed that by the usual standard of Eddie's stuff, the reception for this one is positively muted. Usually there are several excellent reviews. This is quite surprising as it is is a really interesting watch in a number of ways and both deserves a thorough review and would be a rewarding watch to review. I can only think that the height and default NATO is blunting people's pleasure. I've slapped it onto a thick leather double ridged job and it looks outstanding. It really is very black indeed.

    that's my first thoughts...

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