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Little is known about these watches and they have not been extensively written about. We have owned two examples, with this being the second we have offered for sale.

 

The AM 14A/1102 was used with the A.M. 14.A gun/missile camera. It was mounted in a rectangular frame which was attached to the camera. The watches face was displayed on the film with the help of a mirror and a small lens. The specific camera most often used was the F.46 Torpedo Training Camera (and air speed recording cameras).

 

These watches had a spec of timekeeping within 48 seconds per day, with regulation to normal temperatures, down to -20C. This was due to many attacks taking place in the North Atlantic.

 

The 14A/1102 is a very legible watch, which is key for any military watch. The central second hand was also vital to assess footage based on second-to-second changes.

 

These watches were a standard design, not customised to fit a camera. These were never meant to be worn on the wrist, just paired with the camera. This was likely due to the positive cost implication of using a standard design.

 

The camera watch combo was mounted under the wind of an aircraft during WW2, to record day and night torpedo attack training and to create torpedo and depth charge attack records.

 

The Fleet Air Arm and Coastal Command employed accurate watches with these cameras as it was vital to track attacks of vessels and submarines, and the efficiency of these attacks. Both torpedos and depth charges depended on precise timing and positional knowledge for accurate release.

 

The British Coastal Command ran training centres during WW2, using film of real attacks on German U-Boats. Trainees would press a dummy button to launch. This was recorded and compared against footage, with time stamps, to evaluate the accuracy. These camera and watch combos were also crucial for the pilot in battle. Any given pilot could review footage from a mission and analyse the relative success or errors with a clear link to timing.

 

Other WW2 Pilot watches provided by the Air Ministry are now very pricy for collectors. We feel these interesting examples of an aviation watch offer a very wearable and affordable option.

 

The case measures 30mm x 30mm, with a lug-to-lug measurement of 37mm. It is circular with a three-piece design. It has a Stainless-Steel bezel and back, with a nickel centre. There are sturdy wire lugs which add to the utilitarian look of the watch. The case back is signed A.M. 14.A/1102 21408. Inside it is signed Dennison Made in England, 2545. The serial on the central section of the case matches this.

 

The dial is completely original and has a silver satin base tone, which has aged to a cream tone. The Arabic numerals are clear in a black print for the hour markers. The minute and seconds track is very clear, being a separate chapter ring. It has clear 5 second marks in Arabic numerals, with graduations of single seconds, split down into 1/5s of a second. This allows for very accurate timing, as was necessary with a military watch.

 

The hands are original and of sword style being thermally blued. The central second hand is also original. These are a pleasing handset that shines brightly in the light.

 

This is a good example which has been recently serviced with the manual wind movement keeping accurate time.

 

Full condition report below. Please see the images as these compliment and aid the description provided below.

 

Dial:

The dial is original and has a silver satin base tone, which has aged to a cream tone. The Arabic numerals are clear in a black print for the hour markers. The minute and seconds track is very clear, being a separate chapter ring. The dial is signed Swiss Made below 6 O’clock. There is a slight mark on the dial above 12 O’clock.

 

Hands:

The hands are original and are thermally blued in good condition, with minimal corrosion. The central second hand is also original and is in good condition,

 

Glass:

The acrylic crystal is a modern replacement which is in very good condition.

 

Crown:

The crown appears to be original and is plated base metal.

 

Case:

The bezel is made of Stainless steel and snaps on to the central body of the case. The bezel has light surface scratching consistent with age but is in good overall condition.

The central section of the case is made of base metal, likely nickel. This has a duller finish and is in good condition, with minimal marking to it. The lugs are wire and are in good condition.

 

Caseback:

The case back is in good condition for the age. It is made of Stainless Steel, it has light surface scratching and some spots of corrosion.

 

Strap:

The watch is on a period correct stitched leather strap which may be original.

 

Movement:

The movement is an FHF calibre 150-1. It is a manual wind calibre, which has a sweep second hand. It has a 15-jewel count, with a frequency of 18,000 BPH, with a power reserve of 44 hours.

 

The movement is in good condition and is working well, having been serviced. It is keeping time to -15 seconds a day, with an amplitude of 280 degrees and a beat error of 0.3 m/s.

 

Case dimensions:

Case width: 30mm

Case width with crown: 32mm

Case length: 30mm

Case length lug to lug: 37mm

Case Depth: 10mm

Lug width: 16mm

WW2 Military issue Air Ministry Camera watch 14.A/1102, Dennison, FHF 150-1

£775.00Price
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