In 2023, Pinion was approached by the RAF 617 “The Dambusters” Squadron who wanted a special edition watch created exclusively for active and former serving members of the unit. The starting point was the squadron’s badge, which shows the famous “Dam Raids” from WII. Rather than just print the badge directly on the dial, the central feature graphic was used as the focal point to the dial, printed in two colours, then extended the waves as in a stamped relief. (The dial is 0.5mm thick, so stamping was only 0.1mm deep). The name of the squadron was placed below this, to create balance with the badge graphic. One striking element of the squadron’s identity are the red lightning bolts. These not only appear on the squadron’s badge, but also on the fifth generation F35-B fighter jets that the squadron uses today. A red “Lightning” central seconds hand was custom made to represent this feature. Quite often military watches are dual branded with the logo of the watchmaker and the badge of the squadron or unit. Pinion’s approach was to ensure that the watch would be first and foremost “617 Squadron” branded watch, and the only reference to the maker is a subtle small “PINION” text seen on the lower part of the dial. The watch itself, is 41mm, a new stainless-steel case that I designed has a single top-part (quite often watches have a removable top ‘bezel’ where the glass sits). This would help extend structural integrity (less case parts = less chance of compromise / faults) and developed a screw-down crown to help retain its 100 metres water resistance rating (the watch could easily pass further depths but was only tested to 100 metres). Powering the watch is a Swiss made automatic movement (Sellita SW200) enclosed by solid-steel case back that was engraved in-house. Final touches included a bespoke made leather strap with red stitching and custom-made box and manual. The watch was made in a special edition of 80 pieces, however, it cannot be bought by civilians, but was only made available to active and former 617 Squadron and those closely linked to it at RAF Marham, UK.