This is a Royal Air Force navigator’s watch from the second world war in the rare stainless steel case (referred to for obvious reasons as "beefy lugs"). The watch was made by Jaeger LeCoultre, one of the top Swiss brands and was ordered by the RAF for pilots and navigators for use during the second world war. One can only wonder at the action it must have seen!
RAF watches from this period were supplied by a number of manufacturers including Omega, Jaeger Le-Coultre and Longines, the watches followed a standard specification laid down by the RAF which included a white dial with black arabic numerals, centre seconds and blued steel non-luminous hands. Most importantly the watches were regulated to a very high standard by the makers in order that they could be used for navigation by dead-reckoning. These watches are referred to collectively by their stores reference number: 6b/159
The case back of the watch is engraved with the RAF stores reference information: A.M. stands for Air Ministry, which was the original name for the RAF; 6b/159 is the reference number for this type of navigational watch (6b is the prefix for all flying equipment, 159 the number allocated to this type of watch; 10011 is the unique reference number for this watch and /42 refers to 1942, the year in which it was ordered.
The Jaeger LeCoultre calibre 450 movement is extremely well made and finished. The movement is in excellent condition, it has been fully serviced and the timekeeping is excellent.
The dial of this watch is signed LeCoultre (as are all the Jaeger LeCoultre 6b/159 dials), there is conjecture that this was because Jaeger LeCoultre were using up old stocks of dials (the company branded their products Jaeger LeCoultre in Europe, but just LeCoultre for the North American market). The JLC 6b/159 watches are fairly uncommon and are much coveted, especially in the stainless steel case variation - they are more usually found in an economy chrome plated finish.
The case has been cleaned, but as with all out vintage watches we have left it unpolished. The crystal has been polished and the watch has been fitted with a new leather strap. The watch comes with our standard 12 month guarantee.
Case diameter: 34mm
Case material: stainless steel
Strap width: 17mm
time keeping: grade A