Longines 6B/159 WWII RAF-Issued British Military Watch - Off White Logo Dial - c.1941
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c.1940 Longines 6B/159 WWII RAF-Issued British Military Watch - Original Case With What We Believe is a Longines Signed Refinished Dial
Issued to RAF Fighter pilots, ordnance/recon pilots and RAF navigators during the Second World War, the Longines 6B/159 (Military reference code) is a fine piece of horological and military history, steeped in interesting provenance.
The Second World War was notably different to the First in terms of watches from a British perspective: the British MoD (Ministry of Defence) contracted many different watch suppliers to make a number of, similarly designed and specified, custom British Army, Navy and RAF watches. Many of these design briefs required multiple manufacturers due to the large numbers required by the MoD, and so have become collectable 'sets' in the decades that have followed since. Famously amongst these is the 'Dirty Dozen': twelve similarly designed watches produced for the army, some of which are extremely rare and command high prices. Similarly, the ATP series has begun to catch collectors' eyes recently.
Amongst these, the RAF-Issued 6B/159 series sits proudly. Together with its Omega and Jaeger LeCoultre siblings, it's been rarer and harder to source than most of the British Military Watches collected today. Many of the surviving 6B/159 series were re-commissioned for military service in 1956, and saw their original cases completely overhauled, with the dial often swapped out too. Luckily with this piece, we have an original Longines 6B/159 case with its stainless steel back, alloy plated case and blue steel hands.
With this specimen however, we believe the original dial has been refinished, but unusually using the Longines Logo! Although the dial still looks wonderfully crisp and clean, we strongly believe that this was likely refinished or replaced many years ago and has now taken on a vintage patina again.
The tempered steel hands are original and look beautifully reflective. The sweep seconds hand is much thinner, but cast in the same blue, making it jump out from the black/cream watch face. The case back, solid stainless steel, has the British MoD 'Broad Arrow' engraved on it, denoting its commission for military service, and the aforementioned RAF reference: 6B/159. Many of the later editions also bore 'AM' (or HS8 for Hydrographic services) as well as '56' to indicate their renewed design and commission.
What's on offer
To have an original WWII RAF-Issued watch in such good condition, nowadays, is a once in a blue moon occurrence. Though the dial seems to have been refinished, it is the only work (apart from service and maintenance), the watch has received since its production during the Second World War. A stunning and rare piece, especially with the original Longines Logo dial.
Case: Stainless steel and alloy.
Bracelet: Black open ended leather
Winding: Manual wind
Movement type: Mechanical
Condition: Great overall condition for its age
Model Reference Number: RAF - 6B/159
Date of issue: 1940s
Supplied with a 12 month Vintage Watch Specialist guarantee
Lug width: 16mm
Lug height (lug to lug): 43mm
Wrist size: Adjustable