While commemorative timepieces are relatively common in the world of watchmaking, the historical figures inspiring such endeavors are often anything but. Such is the case of Sir Douglas Bader (1910-1982), a late, great British flying ace. Bader was not only credited with 12 victories during the Battle of Britain alone (22 in total) but also known for epitomizing the grit and bravery of the allied forces. A double amputee, Bader’s heroism was honored by Queen Elizabeth II when he was knighted for services to disabled people in 1976. This followed his renowned stint as Wing Commander of No. 242 Squadron during the Second World War. It is this legacy that Avi-8 Replica hopes to perpetuate with the release of the AVI-8 Douglas Bader Chronograph Limited-Edition watch.
AVI-8 Bader Chronograph Limited-Edition Watch Watch Releases
Three colorways in limited runs of 242 pieces are available, and 10% of all sales will be donated to the Douglas Bader Foundation, in addition to a lump sum that will help the charity continue its valuable work promoting the mental and spiritual wellbeing of persons who are without one or more limbs or are otherwise physically disabled. The foundation was established in 1982 — the year of Bader’s death — by a group comprised of family and friends of the aerial expert. AVI-8 x worn&wound replica watchis committed to ensuring that this work continues and is confident that the money raised from this project, in addition to the standalone donation, will be put to good use helping to effect real change in the lives of people living with disabilities.
AVI-8 Bader Chronograph Limited-Edition Watch Watch Releases
Bader was known among his comrades as being an exceptionally good-humored man, despite the hardships he experienced during his life. One of his most famous habits was to scrawl “Bader’s Bus Company, Return Tickets Only” on a chalkboard that hung outside a wooden hut just off the runway in an attempt to raise the spirits of the young pilots about to take to the skies to fight. Such a mental diversion tactic must have worked wonders as his squadron affectionately nicknamed itself the “Bader Bus Company.”
Last summer we released the AVI-8 x worn&wound replica watch edition 1. It was a huge success, with all 150 units selling out within a couple of months. So, we decided to bring it back, mixing things up a bit to give the new version a different feel from the last. The AVI-8 x worn&wound edition 2 takes the same military inspired design of the first, drawing from classic pilots and fields yet establishing its own unique look, and goes a more modern, sleek direction with a semi-sterile dial and crisp BGW9 lume. We kept the Miyota 8245 automatic movement and domed sapphire crystal, and packaged the watch with an array of straps and accessories including one of our American-made Model 2 Premium watch straps.
Case: Two-tone, black PVD/brushed steel
Movement: Miyota 8245 Automatic
Dial: Charcoal Gray and Matte Black
Lume: BGW9 SuperLuminova
Lens: Domed Sapphire crystal
Straps: 2 x nylon Mil-Strap, 1 x w&w Coal Model 2 Premium
Water Res.: 50m
Dimensions: 42 x 48 mm
Thickness: 13.5 mm
Lug Width: 22 mm
Crown: 4 x 6 mm
Case: Padded Cordura Watch Replica Wallet
Warranty: 2 years through AVI-8
This year, for the dial, we went with a two-tone approach using a matte charcoal gray for the main surface and matte black for the small seconds at 6. For the primary index, we went with large applied markers, rectangles for the hours, triangles at 12 and 6 and numerals at 3 and 9. The combination of markers speaks to both pilot and field watches, but balances out making for a highly legible design. Each of the applied markers is also coated in BGW9 lume, appearing clean white in daylight, icey blue in the dark.
Off of the hour markers are small white numerals for the minutes at intervals of 5. This too aids in at-a-glance legibility, and speaks to some of our favorite German military watches from the 80’s and 90’s. At 6, you’ll find a sub-seconds counter in matte-black, subtly distinguishing it from the surrounding area, with white markers for the seconds and numerals at the quarter minute.
From here, things change a bit more. For the individual minute markers, which run between the hours, the cross-hairs and the logos under 12, we’ve gone with black print. On the gray background, it’s very subtle, appearing more as a texture than anything else. In some light, these added details come through, building on the design. In others, they disappear completely, giving the dial a stark, sterile (no-branding) appearance. Overall, this gives the watch a more modern and aggressive feel.
In keeping with the modern direction, we changed the hands from the blunted style of the first, to sharper straight swords in polished steel. To increase legibility and ease in distinguishing between the hands on the fly, the minute is split laterally across its middle. The second hand is then a small straight sword with edge to edge lume.
We kept the same case as the first model, as we felt in perfectly suited this concept. Based on AVI-8’s Flyboy models, the 42 x 48 x 13.5mm (to the top of the domed sapphire) case is rugged and well balanced. At 42mm, it has solid presence and ample dial real estate, while the 48mm lug-to-lug keeps it manageable on top of the wrist. We’ve also kept our unique finishing concept, with a brushed steel bezel, PVD mid-case and steel, knurled crown. The alternating finishes create an interesting visual effect, while the PVD mid-case also helps temper the 42mm diameter, and adds some stealthiness overall.
For the caseback, we kept the display window with etched details on the surrounding area. On the display window, we proudly have our w&w diamond logo electroplated dead-center in a mirror finish, one of our favorite details. Behind our logo you get a full view of the 21-jewel Miyota 8245 automatic movement inside. The 8245 is a utilitarian caliber with some light cote de Geneve on the winding plate and balance cock, as well as a skeletonized rotor. What it lacks in artistry it makes up for in a certain rugged appeal that stays true to the watch’s character.
Straps and Accessories
One of our favorite things about this collaboration is that we get to go all out on the accessories, outfitting the watch the way we want it. For this edition, we went with two custom nylon Mil-Straps and one of our Model 2 Premiums. The Mil-Straps are manufactured by AVI-8 Mens Replica to our exact specifications in terms of size and color. One is a dark charcoal gray. It’s a bit softer than black would be, playing in with the mix of tones from the dial and case. The other is a gorgeous teal/blue, often called “thalo” blue in paint terms. It’s bright and rich with an intense color that makes everything pop. It might just be the nicest blue nylon Mil-Strap we’ve come across (self-congratulating, I know, but still…that blue).
For the leather option, we included one of our new American-made Coal Model 2 Premium straps, which retail for $89. The Model 2 Premiums are an evolution on our previous Model 2 straps, combining Horween uppers with Wickett & Craig vegetable tanned lining leather, which helps prevent stretching and makes the straps wear better for longer. We then finish the straps off with painted edges and hand-stitched details. For the AVI-8 x w&w collab, we chose used our Coal leather, which is a Horween chromexcel nubuck with a soft, matte finish. Combined with black edges, stitching and lining, it’s the perfect complement to the watch.
With all these straps, you’ll need a way to swap them in and out, so we’ve included one of our handy capped spring bar tools. The fact that it’s black aluminum and has a tactile appeal of its own only further complements the set. Lastly, to carry this all around on the go and keep it organized at home, we’ve included a custom, padded carrying case made of gray Cordura.
The AVI-8 x worn&wound edition 2 is available now in a limited edition of 300 pieces exclusively at shop.wornandwound.com and at select retailers, such as Ajax Shoppe in San Diego. The price for the whole kit including the watch, 2 nylon Mil-Straps, 1 Coal Model 2 Premium, a strap changing tool and the Cordura carrying case is $399, which includes free shipping in the US and Canada. Head over to our shop today to get one while they last.