REC is an incredibly unique and creative brand. Created in order to combine it’s founders’ interests of mechanics, watches and cars. REC’s RJM collection is probably one of the most unique pilot watch lines on the market. This line is created for those who are true lovers of aviation history. When REC says you could have a piece of history, it delivers. Into each model is incorporated a salvaged piece from a Spitfire Mark IX aircraft. Designed to truly encapsulate the spirit and story of the era, each model from the REC’s RJM collection is genuinely one of a kind.
History Behind The RJM Collection
The collection’s name represents the initials of Reginald Joseph Mitchell, the man responsible for developing the Supermarine Spitfire in the early 1930s. The “Spit” as the aircraft was known went on to become a well-known icon in aviation history. This aircraft contributed to the change of history’s course as it played a crucial role in the fight for superiority over the English Channel. The plane was engineered to be a short-range, high-performance interceptor craft to rival the German aircraft during WW2. Becoming the only British aircraft to be manufactured before, during and after the war, from 1938 to 1948, the Supermarine Spitfire has undisputedly earned its rightful place in history. Out of more than 20,000 aircraft manufactured only 100 of these rare vintage plains remain in flying order.
The Spitfire Mark IX PT879
The pieces which were incorporated into REC’s RJM collection all come from one singular aircraft, a Spitfire Mark IX with serial number PT879. This makes the collection automatically limited and exclusive. On top of the Spitfire’s already impressive legacy, the PT879 has a remarkable story of its own. During the Second World War, approximately 1118 Mark IX aeroplanes were sent to Russia to aid in the war efforts. In the Spring of 1945, the PT879 aircraft crashed into the Russian tundra during a dogfight. It was then recovered by a farmer and was only rediscovered in 1998. In the end, the PT879 remains the only aircraft returned from those sent to Russia. Since then restoration to the aeroplane has begun by pilot Peter Teichman, who’s made it his life’s work to bring glory back to vintage military aircraft. During the restoration, however, some of the aluminium parts from the salvaged wings were not able to be reused. These parts, still bearing the original dents and scratches, have been directly incorporated into the RJM collection.
The Design Of The RJM Collection
Inspired by the era and historical RAF timepieces, the collection has been designed to capture the essence and of the aircraft. REC’s incredible attention to detail is evident in every single element of the watch’s design. The watch’s crown protection is directly inspired by the wings and their internal structure. They have the wing’s elliptical shape and are ornamented to mimic the internal spars that are responsible for the wing’s strength and lightweight. Another element incorporated into the design taken from the aircraft is the crown. It has a conical shape similar to that of the nose tip of the aeroplane. It also features indents where the propellers would be.
The dial is inspired by the Dirty Dozen, a series of 12 watches commissioned by the British Ministry of Defence during WW2. The dial colour on each model differs, however, they all share the same characteristics. A luminescent mix of Arabic numeral hour markers and indices alongside a luminescent set of hands contrast the sectioned dial. During its design, REC strived to recreate the feeling of the Spit’s cockpit. The salvaged aluminium takes centre stage on the dial. It is featured at the 6 o’clock position. A date aperture has been integrated into it.
It’s 41mm case and bezel are made of stainless steel. The dial is encased by an anti-reflective sapphire crystal. It features an exhibition case back to showcase the marvellous automatic Miyota calibre 9015 movements. It’s protected by a glass mineral crystal. The watch has a 42-hour power reserve and has water-resistance up to 30 metres or 3 bars. The RJM collection consists of 4 variations.
This variation of the REC Spitfire features a black dial and a black leather strap. The black dial is matt and has a simplistic minutes scale in white for ease of reading.
Similar to the previous model, this variation features a leather strap, this time however in brown with beige top-stitching. This gives the design a more casual rugged look. The dark brown sectioned dial has a sandblasted outer ring and a flinque inner section. It features a red L and R on either side of the dial.
A variation with a dark brown canvas strap and a dark brown dial. The fabric strap more closely resembles the RAF watches from the early 1940s. On the dial, the 12 o’clock marker has been replaced by an arrow with the words “nose up” applied below in red.
This model has a sleek modern blue sunray dial with minimal complications other than the ate aperture. It does not feature minutes scales like the rest of the models and only has hour markers contrasting the dial. Its strap is in a matching blue. The leather is worn to give it a more rugged grounded tone. This piece was created as a limited edition with only 334 models available.
Which one of the models from REC’s RJM Collection is your favourite? Let us know in the comments below.