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AVI-8 Bader Chronograph Limited-Edition Watch

AVI-8 Bader Chronograph Limited-Edition Watch Watch Releases

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 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 is 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.”

AVI-8 Bader Chronograph Limited-Edition Watch Watch Releases

Co-founder of the Douglas Bader Foundation, David Bickers says, “This is a wonderful collaboration for the Foundation. We’re thrilled to be working with AVI-8 and have worked closely with the team to design a watch Douglas Bader would want to wear and to honor his legacy. Douglas’ watch was an important part of his wardrobe so working with AVI-8 was a natural fit.”

AVI-8 Bader Chronograph Limited-Edition Watch Watch Releases

The watch itself is designed with Bader’s preference for precision and reliability in mind. As such, the Bader Chronograph has been outfitted with a Japanese quartz chronograph module (VD52), which records elapsed time using two subdials. At 12 o’clock, styled to look like a cockpit altimeter, the chronograph seconds can be found, while the 60-minute counter is positioned at 9 o’clock. The hour, minute, and seconds hands showing the normal time are all centrally mounted, while the subdial at 3 o’clock houses a 24-hour register. For improved dial balance, the date display is shown at 6 o’clock through an unobtrusive window in the dial.


AVI-8 Bader Chronograph Limited-Edition Watch Watch Releases

Just above the date window, Sir Douglas Bader’s signature can be found debossed in the dial. A screw-down plate between the signature and the center of the dial shows the brand logo, pleasingly pared back to not detract from the overall focus of the design. A simple, 44mm × 12mm stainless steel case with a finely blasted utilitarian finish stays within a military lane, while an anti-reflective mineral crystal and luminous applied indices ensure optimal readability in poor light conditions.

AVI-8 Bader Chronograph Limited-Edition Watch Watch Releases

The watch is lightweight (coming in at just 75g) and robust, with a water resistance rating of 50 meters. All three watch designs are fitted to a color-coordinated leather strap, each one stitched with the colors of Sir Douglas Bader’s Hurricane’s Fin Markings for an added touch of reverence. The AVI-8 Bader Chronograph watches are also supplied with nylon NATO straps, which are decorated with the No. 242 Squadron Leader Pennant. Each AVI-8 Bader Chronograph Limited Edition has a uniquely numbered caseback, which is also engraved with the Douglas Bader Foundation logo. There are 726 pieces in total (3×242), available now for the price of $285. An international two-year warranty is included as standard. To learn more about the brand and this collaboration, check out

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  • SuperStrapper

    A screw down plate on the dial, huh? Those are real screws holding that plate on? *doubt*

    I actuallY know this charity, we chose it in our annual list a few years ago. I don’t remember the numbers but we only choose charities that put the most significant portions of donations to actual charitable use (far too many ‘charities’ out there only give measly percentages of collected donations to work, while the lion’s share goes into the pockets of those that represent the charity), so I’m willing to suggest this is a worthy cause. But I’d sooner tell you to just directly make a $28 donation and then go off and choose a more wearable watch.

  • Chaz

    Group Captain Douglas Bader would be offended at these.

  • SuperStrapper

    I work with a variety of entrepreneurs that are involved with annarraybof charities, and there are new strategies and methods coming out that are not only effective, but easy to use and help the organization give more of the donations to the actual charitable cause.
    This watch is a bit of the reverse though: buy the watch and we’ll make a donation (it should also be noted that it’s AVI-8 that gets the tax write down for making the actual culminated donation), rather than make a donation and we’ll thank you with a watch.

    • Independent_George

      That’s kind of what I was thinking. Tie-ins for fundraising is an old strategy, and because so many charities do this, it has to be losing some effectiveness, i.e., “I bought the watch, leave me alone.” And I am sure that data suggests more effective ways to build your donor base and be more efficient with the distribution of funds.

  • Raymond Wilkie

    ” A screw-down plate between the signature and the center of the dial shows the brand logo ” ….put me out my mysery. Screwed down or glued down?

  • WW2 Ace Pilot @The British Red Baron The Spitfire aircraft Hmm.. an IWC pilot Spitfire comes to mind ? Sir Douglas Bader’s actual Swiss military issued Timor ATP with the original leather strap Of course we cannot use the British MOD broad arrow logo so reissue a Civilian version.The closest modern reinterpretation of such a timepiece that I can think of is the Longines Heritage Military (not shown)

    • Raymond Wilkie

      I thought ” Wow, that guys got great movement in his legs”, then i remembered.

  • Hannibal

    Nice idea and a decent execution, but Seiko VK52 movement makes it a deal breaker. I get that because of the price point it must be quartz, but they should have gone for some true chronograph with centrally mounted chronograph second hand, like Mecaquartz VK63 or just plain, reliable Seiko 7t62. Anyway, good direction for the brand, and the price is decent, but…they should ditch that movement immediately, and thus become a truly viable option for aviation-inspired watch lovers.

  • Raymond Wilkie

    Looks like its come from the bottom left handside of the second dial. ….Un….believable.

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