Introducing the Avi-8 X RBL Charity Collaboration Limited Edition

This year, the Royal British Legion celebrates its 100th anniversary. Known in Britain for its annual Poppy Appeal, The Legion raises money to support serving and ex-service personnel. From the first day that someone joins the UK armed forces, the Legion is there to help.

Formed by Field Marshal Earl Haig and Tom Lister of The Federation of Discharged and Demobilized Sailors and Soldiers just after WW1, the charity brought together Lister’s own organization with The British National Federation of Discharged and Demobilized Sailors and Soldiers, The Comrades of The Great War and The Officers’ Association.

For their centenary year, watchmaker AVI-8 has partnered with them to produce this Spitfire Type 300 Automatic Royal British Legion commemorative watch.  So now you can buy a watch and for once, perhaps, not feel quite so guilty.  That’s because £25 from the sale of each watch will go to help the work of the Legion. 

If you’re lucky enough to get offered a seat in a Spitfire (at least, any Spitfire from Mks I to V), look down, to your left and just above the altimeter and you’ll spot the airspeed indicator. That’s the instrument AVI-8 have used as the design inspiration for the Type 300. It’s a clear, plain dark blue dial with the minute hand echoing the shape of its needle alongside a sword hour hand.  Seconds are taken care of with the subdial between 4 and 5 o’clock.  Everything sits under a domed, anti-reflective coated crystal that really does lift the look of the dial.  Hour, minute and second hand, as well as the applied 3-D indices, are lumed. 

That lume is worth a mention on its own.  Rather than slathering every marker on the dial in the stuff, AVI-8 have been a little more restrained. The way the five minute 3-D batons are lumed along with the applied 05, 25, 35, 45 and 55 numerals out really works. 

There’s a date over on the recessed inner minute track and at 6 is the Legion’s own device, the red, two-petalled poppy.  You’ll see the poppy motif picked up again behind the epoxy-encapsulation on the knurled winding and setting crown. 

All in all, it’s an exceptionally legible dial.

Inside the stainless 42mm case – although it’s likely to wear larger than the dimensions suggest – is the Miyota 8218 movement.  It’s automatic, has a 42 hour power reserve and 21 jewels.  What’s unusual – particularly at this price – is the rotor.  AVI-8 have had the standard Miyota rotor replaced with their own in the cut-out shape of a Spitfire.  It’s detailed too; RAF roundels, flaps and you can even see the Merlin exhausts. 

With the solid metal bracelet, the whole plot weighs in at 160 grammes. Solid endlinks and micro-adjustment too – neat at this price.

The Legion Spitfire looks and feels somewhat more expensive than the $385 price AVI-8 is asking for it.  And with £25 of that going to help service personnel, that has to make it worth considering.  AVI-8 have limited the Legion Spit to 500 pieces worldwide.

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Mark developed a passion for watches at a young age. At 9, he was gifted an Omega Time Computer manual from a local watch maker and he finagled Rolex brochures from a local dealer. Today, residing in the Oxfordshire village of Bampton, Mark brings his technical expertise and robust watch knowledge to worn&wound.
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