Own a (Time)piece of Spitfire Mk.I X4009 and Help Her Take Flight

Danish watch manufacturer REC has created a timepiece incorporating skin from combat-veteran Supermarine Spitfire Mk.Ia X4009 which Australian ace Flt Lt 'Pat' Hughes flew during the Battle of Britain. A portion of the sale of each watch will contribute to the restoration of Spitfire X4009 to flying condition for the Hunter Fighter Collection. (image composite via Hunter Fighter Collection and REC)
Aircorps Art Dec 2019


As we first reported in August, 2022, the Hunter Fighter Collection in Scone, New South Wales, Australia is presently engaged in the restoration of a historic and exceedingly rare Supermarine Spitfire Mk.Ia (s/n X4009) to airworthy condition. The legendary Australian ace, Flt Lt Paterson (Pat) Clarence Hughes, DFC, flew this aircraft while serving with No.234 Squadron RAF during the Battle of Britain. Sadly, Hughes lost his life when his parachute failed after baling out of a battle-damaged X4009 over Sevenoaks, Kent on September 7th, 1940. Wreckage of the Spitfire came to light during the 1970s, and X4009’s resurrection is based upon these remains. To help fund the restoration, the Hunter Fighter Collection has collaborated with noted wristwatch manufacturer REC to create a limited edition timepiece dedicated to the memory of Flt Lt Hughes and X4009. The watch face includes a section of aluminum skin from the Spitfire’s fuselage, providing an extraordinarily tangible connection to Flt Lt ‘Pat’ Hughes’ legacy and Battle of Britain history. A portion from the sale of each X4009 timepiece will contribute to the Spitfire’s substantial restoration costs.

The Anthra Gray version of REC’s X4009 timepiece. The seconds sub-dial at the six-o’clock position is manufactured using skin from Supermarine Spitfire Mk.Ia X4009. (image via REC)

REC has produced a number of limited-edition timepieces which incorporate original elements of iconic vehicles, from motorcycles to aircraft. The company’s Danish founders describe their work ethos as follows…

“REC stands for RECover, RECycle, REClaim. We birthed this brand as a symbol of various eras that shaped the automotive landscape.

Salvaging the stories, design, and original fragments of iconic vehicles from that age, all our watches effortlessly blend form and function to serve as a visual metaphor for those golden periods of automations. 

A REC timepiece is designed to be more than just a timekeeper that serves a mere utilitarian function, but it bears witness to the iconic vehicles that defined these historical periods of automation.

That too, in immaculate style.”

Each example of the X4009 watch features a seconds sub-dial created from the Spitfire’s fuselage skin. Furthermore, REC has created three different, color-themed variants of the timepiece dedicated to X4009, and will manufacture just 844 examples in total. The timepiece is available for pre-order, with deliveries expected to begin in August 2023.

The seconds sub-dial for the X4009 timepiece incorporates skin from Battle of Britain combat veteran Spitfire Mk.Ia X4009, as can be seen in this image. (image via REC)

The vital ‘DNA’ from Spitfire Mk.Ia X4009 which REC used to create the seconds sub-dial for their limited edition timepieces dedicated to X4009 and her pilot, Flt Lt ‘Pat’ Hughes’ memory. (image via REC)

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