R.J. Mitchell by The 220 Watch Company
Start Of A Brand
The R.J. Mitchell is the third watch brought to us by The 220 Watch Company. I have been fortunate enough to see all the watches released, William Walker, Diver Bill, and R.J. Mitchell. The growth and maturity of the brand are now clear to see. The 220 Watch Company is now an established microband.
Given the rocky start, Jared had with the release of William Walker he learned a lot about QC and the issues that can come from not having a hands-on approach. Jared took the time to fix all these problems further enhancing the brand’s reputation as some owners would have walked away given such challenges.
One of the greatest material compositions I’ve seen on a watch case. The R.J. Mitchell sits at 43.5mm which is a perfect size for a flieger watch. A beautifully crafted brushed case is made from grade 5 titanium and capped off with a brass bezel which will patina up over time adding to the overall look of the watch.
A case depth of 15.6mm and a lug to lug of 52.9mm is not the largest I’ve encountered but it may put a few people off. But given the Jared has already compensated for the additional weight by using lightweight material where possible this watch feels extremely well balanced on the wrist.
The attention to detail is stunning! The brass crown is based on early brass cockpit triggers in spitfires and even has the “safe” and “fire” settings. Then we can look at the detail on the top pusher which follows the stories of pilot’s wives marking their watch pushers with nail polish for good luck and a reminder of home. The piston pushers were inspired by those used by the Merlin engine made by Rolls Royce.
The open caseback has the inscription “Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few” from the famous speech by Sir Winston Churchill on August 20th, 1940. Followed by the limited edition number 001/300. With R.J. Mitchell losing his life in 1937 he was considered the “First of the few” so the inscription is a touching tribute to the man. On display in the open caseback is the incredible custom 3 propeller which was also used on early Spitfire planes. R.J Mitchell is also known as the Farther of the Spitfire adding to the tribute to the man and the plane.
This period piece has clearly taken inspiration from the 1940’s IWC which is the forbearer to all watches that carry this type of design. The propeller-shaped hour hand and 3 sub-dials, RAF target seconds, 30 minutes, and 12 hours with the latter two reminiscent of dials on a plane. The A-type dial has lume painted indexes in a traditional flieger style with batons indicating the 5 through 55 and a triangle with 2 dots at the triangle crest. The lume is excellent and highly legible in the dark. A nice surprise was the RAF seconds is also lumed which is excellent. At 3 o’clock is the day/date function windows, with the company name above and R.J. Mitchell below. Available in green and yellow initially with the sea blue option a target once funded in Kickstarter.
Behind that stunning custom rotor lies the ever reliable ETA7750 automatic day / date movement is based upon the Valjoux 7733 manual wind movement. The ball bearing system used in the rotor is the spawn of Eterna-matic automatic system and consists of 5 ball bearings, the position of these are shown on the Eterna logo after it was adopted in 1948. This system is vital to reduce friction and reduce wear and tear.
The introduction of the movement came in 1973/74 with a limited run on the movement until it’s reintroduction in 1985 mainly due to increased demand for mechanical movements. At this point the movement was partially redesigned on computer a first for the watch industry.
The movement functions are as follows; Uni-directional rotor, quick set (day / date & time), hacking, manual winding and chronograph push (start / stop & reset).
This movement is excellent and can be serviced by any good watchmaker.
Bracelet / Straps
The R.J. Mitchell will come with two straps. A custom handmade Camouflage straps with quick release curved pins made to compliment your dial choice each pattern will be unique to each strap.
Second straps to be supplied is a custom strap with brass studs, custom engraved bronze buckle, and lumed stitching.
FunctionsChronograph, Hacking, Handwinding, Quick Set Day / Date,
Model CaseR.J. Mitchell
ArchitectureScrew-down case-back and custom crown
MaterialTitanium 5 Case, Brass bezel
Crystal2x Scratch resistant Sapphire
Dimensions∅ 43.5mm, ⟷ 52.9mm, ↕ 15.6mm
WR100m – 10ATM
DialR.J. Mitchell, Green, Yellow or Sea Blue
Details3 Sub dials and Day / Date Windows
MaterialCustom Camo & custom engraved bronze buckle, and lumed stitching.
Details75x125x22mm, quick-release push-pins
WARRANTY : 2 Years International
Let get this out of the way! This is clearly one of the best fliegers watches under £1500 maybe even £2000. I’m incredibly impressed by the build quality and materials used. The only real flaw is the height of 15.6mm, but even this is forgivable because this has enabled the use of the custom rota which is stunning, and the ETA7750. Additionally, not many watches come with a custom strap let alone two and all this in a travel case. The price of £795 looks incredible and too good to miss. I’ll be honest here I’ve reserved mine after one day on the wrist. And if you want to avoid the price increase after the Kickstarter get in early MSRP £1195 which is still a frighteningly good price.
If you’d like to purchase this watch it’s going live on Kickstarter on the 5th March 2021. The expected delivery is late September 2021.
Click on the Kickstarter logo below and away to the watch you go! Alternatively, head over to The 220 Watch Company website to pre-order.
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