Thank you for allowing me to answer your interesting question.
The watch you are referring to is the famous Type A11, but let me give
you some background leading up to it:
From the onset of the war when sources were perhaps scarcer,
throughout the years toward the end of the war when more sources, such
as those in Switzerland were ?acquired?, the manufacturers of the
?navigation wrist instruments? (you have to love the government?s
nomenclature) issued to military personnel varied slightly, and later
In February 1941 the 36-hour chronograph, a watch issued by the
military to aviation personnel in particular, was a product of
?W.W.II. Period RAF Pilot's "Longines" Wrist Watch. 1943?
?and in 1942 the Wrist Watch Mk VIII was a product of Waltham.
?In May 1942 another RAF aircraft navigation wrist instrument was in
issue as the Wrist Watch Mk VIII, Navigators, namely an American 1942
model Waltham watch (US 6/0 size) with centre seconds but lacking
other Mark VII refinements.?
The primary, and most popularly remembered it seems was the American
Bulova Type A11. This also became enumerated as the Mark VIII with a
10 1/2" A. Schild SA Caliber 1238 movement. Elgin also made an
military A11 watch in both the ?hack and ?non-hack? varieties (a
?hack? was the pin that allowed for quick and easy synchronization).
Both of these brands of watches were issued to, and used by, both RAF
and USAAF personnel for a significant period of time during World War
By 1944 UK flight personnel were being issued watches produced by
International Watch Co., but very little is known about these
particular watches because historically they were collectively
cataloged as merely ?Watches, Wrist and Watches Wrist, chronograph?
By 1954 of course timepieces and wristwatches had exploded onto the
market and the military culture was no exception. The post World War
II manufacturers producing military issue watches were numerous:
Buren, Cyma, Eterna, International, Kurth, Le Coultre, Lemania,
Longines, Omega, Record, Thommen and Timor.
So, in answer to your question, there is no one specific wristwatch
that was issued by/to RAF or USAAF personnel. However, if one must
narrow it down to the most popularly remembered GI watch of the time,
it would have to be the A11, hands down (no pun intended). As
mentioned above, these of course would be American Bulovas and Elgins.
Here is a fantastic example of a 1942 Type A11 made by Bulova:
?Original W.W.II. RAF Bulova "A11" Pilot's Wrist Watch. c.1942?
Here is a beautiful example of a Type A11 made by Elgin, circa 1943:
?Original W.W.II. USAAF. Elgin "A-11" Pilot's Wrist Watch. 1943?
As per your question about sources for replica watches, unfortunately
these watches are gone forever (except for the remaining originals).
There are no manufacturers currently making replica World War II era
Type A11 aviator watches.
I hope you find that my research exceeds your expectations. If you
have any questions about my research please post a clarification
request prior to rating the answer. Otherwise I welcome your rating
and your final comments and I look forward to working with you again
in the near future. Thank you for bringing your question to us.
Tutuzdad-ga ? Google Answers Researcher
MILITARY TIMEPIECES: WATCHES ISSUED TO BRITISH ARMED FORCES 1870-1970
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