RRAF Omega Speedmaster Mark II (1971)

This is a very rare military issued Speedmaster: the watch was issued to a pilot or navigator in the Royal Rhodesian Air Force (RRAF) in around 1971. The case back is engraved with the RRAF stores code - 6b/NIV189 is the identifier for a flight worn chronograph wrist watch, 243/71 is the individual issue number for the watch (i.e. watch #243 issued in 1971).

The watch is accompanied by an extract from Omega's archive, which records that it was delivered to South Rhodesia. The RRAF had fairly close links with the British RAF in the 1940s and 50s and indeed quite a few of the issued watches one encounters from this country were the same as those issued to the RAF (the Omega 6b//542 which we also have available is an example of this).

The military connection adds an additional layer of interest that what is an extremely iconic watch: the Omega Speedmaster was selected by Nasa for astronauts to use during the Apollo space program and was worn on the surface of the moon by Buzz Aldrin (Neil Armstrong left his Speedmaster aboard the lunar module due to problems with the electronic timing system). This particular Speedmaster was

The Speedmaster is a chronograph that can be used to time events of up to 12 hours duration. The Mark II version of the Speedmaster was introduced in 1969. The stainless steel case is heavy and has a very solid solid feel - I guess the watch equivalent of the 60s and 70s American muscle cars.

The watch is powered by the Omega calibre 861 which was a joint development between Omega and Lemania. The movement is extremely well made and proved itself a reliable performer in the Omega lineup for many years, indeed this family of movements remained in production for nearly 30 years.

The watch has been serviced and regulated, I have left in place the original mineral glass - it has some slight scratches and a chip at 12 hours, but it feels correct for what is an authentic piece of military equipment (also the glass is simple to replace and the new owner can chose to do that if they wish). It comes with the original strap which is still in very serviceable condition (it’s adjustable for wrists diameters from about 170mm up to 210mm). The case has been cleaned. Time keeping is superb as one would expect from a watch is this calibre.

Case diameter (excluding winding crown): 43mm
Case material: stainless steel with stainless steel bracelet
Strap width: 18mm
Time keeping: grade A


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