In my humble opinion, this is the finest military wristwatch issued by any country; ever. Much rarer than its contemporary the IWC Mk XI, the Jaeger le Coultre Mk XI was only issued to the RAF for one year (1948) and to the RAAF for one year, whilst the IWC continued for almost 20 years. It is now known that only 2,700 of these watches were ever made (which includes the ones for the Royal Australian Air Force), making them probably the rarest British Military watch after the Rolex Military Submariner.
This is a Royal Australian Air Force version, which differs in a number of aspects from the RAF one; it has spring bars rather than solid bars and is marked G6B/346 not 6B as are the RAF ones. And it is the movement that is the star of this watch; it is a Jaeger calibre 486/gbr numbered 912703 with Geneva stripes, precision regulator and the signature semi circular shaped hacking lever which forces a thin wire against the balance spring when the winding crown is moved to the hand set position. The late movement number shows that this is one of the very final batch of 600, made exclusively for the Australian Air Force in 1953.
The dial is matt black with painted full Arabic numerals and large luminous markings at the quarter hour positions. The hands are the pencil style with a fine tip to the hour hand and luminous infill. It also has the rare ‘flat top 3’ dial, only ever seen on these late RAAF watches.
The dial is cup shaped and the sides extend about half the way down the sides of the movement where they meet the sides of the movement cover, forming a Faraday Cage, this gives the movement complete protection against magnetic interference.
This very rare movement was only used by Jaeger in this model and in their limited edition chronometer called “Geographe” introduced to mark the International Geophysical Year 1951/2; however the main use of this movement was in Vacheron’s first Chronometer Royale wristwatch, for which Jaeger supplied the unfinished ebauches.
Dial is 95+%, case is 95+% whilst the movement is 95%.
Diameter 35mm; Lug to Lug 47mm; Height 12mm., it takes a 17mm strap and a new NATO (G10) 18mm one is fitted.
£8,500.00 (approx. $10,750.00 US)