Today i want to present you the new watch from Zero West Watches! The new H1 Hurricane made with real Merlin engine casing from a WW2 plane!
Despite it’s less than complimentary name, Foulness Island, precariously balanced along the Essex Coastline, is beautiful in a bleak, blasted kind of way.
Due to that remoteness however it’s home to 212 people, many times that in birds – the original ‘Fowl’ in Foulness – and, until recently, H1-P3708.
H1-P3708, for those without an encyclopaedic knowledge of aircraft serial numbers, is the designation of a MKI Hawker Hurricane, one of the most iconic World War 2 aircraft ever built, second only perhaps to the Spitfire.
A close second, at that.
Piloted by RAF Volunteer Reserve Sgt Alexander Girdwood, this particular Hurricane was involved in the ‘Hardest Day’ of the Battle of Britain, the day in which the Luftwaffe sent 750 sorties into UK airspace.
H1 Hurricane by Zero West Watches – a new vision of watchmaking
During the fighting, according to Girdwood’s own accounts, he was downed after taking out a Heinkel 111, bailing as his plane crashlanded onto Foulness Island – right next to the enemy he had just shot down.
For the next 50 years the MKI Hurricane was left to the soft marshland of Foulness until it was excavated by the Anglian Aircraft Research Group, cleaned up and put on display at the Norfolk and Suffolk Aviation Museum, testament to a defining battle in a defining war.
Now H1-P3708 is getting a new lease of life under the auspices of Emsworth-based watch brand Zero West.
Following in the footsteps of the sold out S4 Spitfire watch before it, the new H1 Hurricane P3708 is both a rugged, technical pilots watch and a piece of British aviation history.
Combining a big, 44mm case with the British brand’s signature, separately forged lugs, with the oversized crown and innate legibility particular to a pilots’ watch, the H1 Hurricane P3708’s aviation pedigree is self-explanatory.
What’s perhaps less obvious – unless you fly the occasional Hurricane of course – is the dial layout, a horological reinterpretation of the MKI Hurricane’s slip turn indicator.
The slip scale along the top and turn scale along the bottom have been replaced by minutes, but the dial retains the striking green L and R that characterise the original cockpit instrument.
Printed just above the bottom scale are both a date code and a set of coordinates – the date Girdwood crashed on Foulness Island and the exact latitude and longitude of where H1-P3708 was found.
H1 Hurrincane – the caseback
True to Zero Wests’ mantra of ‘Recovered, Recast, Reinvented’, the caseback is set with a disc of metal taken from the historical aircraft itself.
Recovered on Foulness, the Merlin engine casing was recast by Foundry Motorcycles in Chichester before being cut into discs and reinvented at Zero West’s own Emsworth Studio.
As a pilots’ watch, the H1 Hurricane P3708 is a rugged, mechanical chunk of watchmaking, a watch that will charm anyone that knows their way around a wrench and a piston engine. For many collectors, that alone will be enough.
Yet it’s also a fitting tribute to not just the legendary Hurricane in general, but the bravery of one specific pilot and the plane he flew. Even though it was relegated to the mud of a remote Essex island, H1-P3708 and Sgt.
Girdwood are both commemorated by this very special timepiece.
Price of H1 Hurricane is £2,995
• 100 Builds in the matt silver
• 100 Builds in black case
Check out their site if you want to buy one!