AVI-8 is a watch brand born and developed to honor both the aircraft and the untold story of the airmen who dedicated their lives to bring these incredible machines to life.
To commemorate the 50th anniversary of a record-breaking year in the field of aeronautics and aviation, AVI-8 has worked closely with renowned aviation restoration company, Jet Art Aviation to bring you the Hawker Harrier Retrograde Chronograph Blue Nylon Limited Edition.
In an operation code-named Blue Nylon by the RAF, a Harrier GR Mk. 1 was enlisted to participate in the Daily Mail Trans-Atlantic Air Race organized to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Flight Lieutenants Alcock and Brown’s first non-stop flight across the Atlantic in 1919.
The race was held between 4th and 11th May 1969, although named an air race, it was actually a race of individuals between the Post Office Tower in London to the Empire State Building in New York. Each of the individuals who entered was required to use some form of air transport. With a number of different categories, a total of 21 prizes could be won.
On the 5th May 1969, flying Harrier XV741, Squadron Leader Tom Lecky-Thompson flew from St. Pancras railway station in London, landing in New York in 6 hours and 11 minutes. The race captured the attention of the general public on both sides of the Atlantic, highlighting the versatility and operational capabilities of the Harrier, dramatically underlined by its sheer vertical take-off from a disused coal yard in St. Pancras, in the middle of London.
The Blue Nylon Limited Edition, designed in collaboration with Jet Art Aviation, feature a genuine piece of the fuselage of the original Harrier XV741.
Limited to 300 pieces and each uniquely numbered, the Blue Nylon will be an instant collectible. To hear it from Squadron Leader Lecky-Thompson, the flight replete with ten mid-air refueling as the aircraft lacked the long-range tanks necessary for a transatlantic flight, constant communication with air-traffic control and the inherent difficulty in coming to terms with what was still a very new piece of equipment, was all indeed a great challenge.
“For me, the proudest aspect of the Daily Mail Air Race is the fact that it was a marvelous team effort. From the ground crew to the designers, air traffic controllers and tanker pilots, everyone made a sterling effort. It wasn’t just about one man and his aircraft by any means. There are so many parallels between that flight and overcoming the challenges of everyday life.”
The Blue Nylon has a split time Japanese precision quartz chronograph, featuring a retrograde date display along with split-second elapsed timing read off, triggered by the anodized aluminum pusher. Bold arrow-shaped hour and minute hands delivery pinpoint timing at a glance.
The robust canvas wrapped gift box holds a display stand, which abridges the anniversary and shows off the Blue Nylon Limited Edition timepiece from AVI-8 to superb effect.
The Blue Nylon will be available for Pre-order: 4th – 10th May at a Special Pre-Launch Price only on AVI-8.CO.UK