In the Spring of 1945 a Spitfire aircraft crashed on the Russian tundra during a dogfight. This is her incredible story.
The RJM Collection incorporates salvaged parts from Spitfire Mark IX aircraft serial number PT879, which boasts a rather remarkable story – even for an already rare vintage aircraft!
The PT879 was among the approximately 1.118 Mark IX Spitfire aircraft delivered in Murmansk as part of the Allied Forces Lend-Lease aid policy to support the Russian war effort.
The Russian squadrons of Spitfires suffered severe losses due to friendly fire as the British aircrafts looked similar to the German Bf 109. While we do not have any evidence if this was also the fate of the PT879, we do know that this aircraft crashed during a dogfight in Spring 1945 with just 29 hours on the airframe and was recovered off the Russian tundra by an unnamed farmer.
More than a half century later, in 1998, the battered aircraft was finally recovered in Murmansk as a complete but crashed aircraft. No other Spitfire aircraft have ever returned from their service in Russia, this is the only one.
Today, the PT879 is undergoing a full restoration in the UK by Peter Teichman. An accomplished pilot, Peter has made it his life’s work to restore classic warbirds to their former glory and is uncompromising in restoring the PT879 to the same standards as when it left the factory at Castle Bromwich on the 4th of August 1944. An impressive number of PT879’s original parts are to be used in the restoration of the airframe, and more than 500 parts were used in the now-renovated fuselage.
Even so, there remained considerable aluminium parts of the salvaged wings which were not suitable for restoration. These parts, authentic pieces of world history featuring original marks and dents, are directly incorporated into the design of the RJM Collection, ensuring that every single RJM timepiece becomes visually unique.
In addition, in honour of this one-of-a-kind aircraft, we will be donating part of the proceeds of every sold RJM timepiece towards the restoration of the PT879 such that she may soon return to where she belongs: The skies!
- The crown protector is heavily inspired by the Spitfire aircrafts elliptical wing shape & wing structure. This is part of what made the Spitfire an aerodynamic marvel and what makes the RJM stand out on your wrist.
- The crown tip is inspired by the nose cone of the Spitfire aircraft combined with a traditional pilots-watch inspired diamond shaped crown.
- The case of the RJM is inspired by the watches worn by the British Royal Airforce and the British Army during WWII – with a modern twist and proportions as the RJM measures 40 mm – and not 34 mm as was the norm during the WW2 era. These watches were gentleman sized – not to be mistaken with the oversized German B-Uhr – had long lugs and a slightly larger crown in order for the pilot to wind his watch with gloves on.
- The rotor decoration on the RJM is inspired by the Spitfire metal rivet construction. Bonus info: Every single rivet on our donor PT879 MK IX Spitfire aircraft was removed by hand in order to re-use as much of the aluminium in the restoration process as possible.
- The four “holes” on the tip marks the number of blades on the MK IX Spitfire aircraft Rotol propeller – first introduced on the MK VI (Type 350). The four-bladed propeller measured 10 ft 9 in (3.27 m) in diameter, housed in a pointed spinner.
Your RJM timepiece comes with a scannable Story Card – which is both NFC and QR compatible – taking you directly to a video documenting the stories, anecdotes and origin of the specific aeroplane which became part of your watch.