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Rec RJM 04 Bluebird Limited Edition Watch Uses Spitfire Aluminum in Construction

Rec RJM 04 Bluebird Limited Edition Watch Uses Spitfire Aluminum in Construction Watch Releases

Whenever a press release opens with the tale of Spitfire crashing into the Russian tundra during a dogfight, you find your interest piqued and your expectations of what is to follow suddenly raised. That was the experience I enjoyed yesterday when I opened the presentation pack for the REC RJM 04 Bluebird Limited Edition watch. This watch has a backstory like few others and, quite refreshingly for a piece whose design could have played a muted second fiddle to the material’s origin yarn, turns in a handsome performance on the wrist.

Rec RJM 04 Bluebird Limited Edition Watch Uses Spitfire Aluminum in Construction Watch Releases

REC previously released three models using metal recovered from the crashed PT879 (otherwise known as the “Russian” Spit). With just a little bit of metal left from the tip of the left-wing, a further project was conceived. Thus the REC RJM 04 Bluebird came to life with its aluminum date surround, set between 7 and 5 o’clock on a blue sunray dial.

Rec RJM 04 Bluebird Limited Edition Watch Uses Spitfire Aluminum in Construction Watch Releases

That shade of blue is inspired by the uniforms worn by RAF servicemen and women and is a fitting tribute to their sacrifice, and a fine release to mark the end of RJM’s run. Yes, this timepiece is the fourth and, quite sadly, final RJM watch. Given the concept was limited by the scarcity of the material needed to give the watches their unique character, the days were always numbered for this series, but it has, in total, been a fine run and a job well done.

Rec RJM 04 Bluebird Limited Edition Watch Uses Spitfire Aluminum in Construction Watch Releases

The case shape is inspired by the military watches of WWII but has been enlarged to suit modern tastes. The 316L stainless steel case measures 40mm across and is fitted with the self-winding Miyota 9015 movement. The prominent crown guard takes its form from the elliptical wing shape and wing structure of the Spitfire. The yellow-tipped, propellor-shaped counterpoise of the seconds hand is a real treat, and the kind of detail collectors of military timepieces are likely to appreciate.

Rec RJM 04 Bluebird Limited Edition Watch Uses Spitfire Aluminum in Construction Watch Releases

And the brand is winding down on a high. The REC RJM 04 Bluebird is a neatly designed package that utilizes a range of smart design decisions to provide a high degree of functionality at a surprisingly accessible price. The hands are excellently designed, providing superb legibility at day or night. The skeletonization of the minute hand means the hour hand can be seen and read at all times, even when the hands overlap (an often overlooked aspect of hand design). The sandwich dial ensures greater lume homogeny than pad-printed lume and is a more affordable option that applied luminous indices of the same glow strength.

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Rec RJM 04 Bluebird Limited Edition Watch Uses Spitfire Aluminum in Construction Watch Releases

For fans of military aviation history, there is one further treat in store. Part of the profits from the RJM 04 Bluebird will be put towards the continued restoration of the crashed donor Mark IX Spitfire aircraft, the PT879, to get it airborne once more.The REC RJM 04 Bluebird is limited to 334 pieces and will retail for $1,295. Learn more at recwatches.com.

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  • SuperStrapper

    Not unattractive. The dimensions are a bit surprising, the images make this look like a much bigger watch.

  • Hmmm?I think Bremont watchmaker brand once upon a time also released a COSC certified limited edition timepiece called the EP120, the entire silver subdial disc at the 12 o’clock position was crafted using extracted parts from a real 1942 Spitfire MK something Dogfighter. That was a really really Handsome Bad Ass watch!

  • TheChuphta

    Personally, I’ve usually found the links between watches and heroic endeavors (Mt Everest, Formula 1, Aviation, Titanic Exploration, World Wars, Outer-space) to be tenuous at best and tediously forced at worst. I generally fail to see the link between a watch someone was wearing when they accomplished an amazing feat and the watch itself (unless the feat was directly related to the watch’s timekeeping, which it almost never was). Surely, Sir Edmund’s boots were a more important part of the summit, but I don’t see anyone lauding their incredible properties… but I digress.

    If they had made a model of the crashed spitfire out of the crashed spitfire metal, that would be interesting and actually make some sort of sense. Making a watch that has nothing to do with the plane, the war, or anything and then trying to create some sort of link to this crash is rather bizarre and perhaps a bit macabre?

    • Independent_George

      I agree. But it’s hard to get attention in a very crowded marketplace, so I don’t find fault with this kind of stuff.

      I am “meh” on this watch. I don’t dislike it.

    • Raymond Wilkie

      Everything he said. Nothing to add.

  • Jared

    I find these sort of limited edition from reclaimed stuff to be very gimmicky.

    especially when its done over and over and over again

    the first time it was cool, by the 10th time I honestly don’t care any more.

    these brands spend more time telling you the story instead of actually designing something attractive

    I mean look at this one, the 6 and 9 numerals use one of the worst possible fonts that they could have chosen.

  • cluedog12

    Like it, don’t love it. Sandwich dial is nicely executed, but there’s one colour (red triangle) and one font (date window) too many for me.

    Obviously I just skim over the heritage stuff nowadays, like many of us here. So it shouldn’t surprise you that I think the watch would look better if the poor Spitfire wing wasn’t chopped up into ghastly aluminum date window inserts. So how about a non-limited edition?

  • Raymond Wilkie

    I’m glad this run has ended.

  • Tempvs Mortvvs

    With that watch on my wrist I’ll imagine myself riding it and chasing after the Red Baron. Von Richtofen better watch his rear! Or maybe I’ll just get on top of my doggie house, which is where i actually live, and do the same…. Oh boy.

    • Von Richtofen died in 1918 and the Spitfire was first flown in 1936. But hey, imaginations never get bogged down with facts, ha ha.

  • Gokart Mozart

    If you want to restore and maintain the Spitfire, how about not stripping it of its parts in the first place.

    I am not sure where the military watches of 1940 looked anything like this it all.

    And also I donor see how $1300 dollars for a mitoya based 3 hander watch can be called accessible.

    Saying that, it is a reasonably attractive watch that could be easily made better, but the price is crazy.

    Lovely colour of dial, nice second hand. Crown guard aside it is a well sized and attractive case with nicely donely polished and brushed elements at least per the render.

    • Whether something is accessible or not has nothing to do with it’s value 😉

  • Reprobus Marmaritarum

    Watches made of materials from reclaimed artifacts aren’t cool. Steel from the Titanic? Aluminum from a spitfire? Yawn. What’s next? A slice of Hitler’s cranium?

  • LabRat

    A Italian brand made a watch out of a jet engine years ago, copy much?

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