Tockr D-Day C-47
Today, as I finishing writing this review, it is the 75th Anniversary of D-Day, the day that changed the direction of WWII. While I did not plan to publish this review today, it is obviously quite fitting to do so. I will not get into a history lesson here, but the Tockr D-Day C47 is a unique watch that commemorates the “That’s All Brother” C47 aircraft with aluminum dials that are made from salvaged material from said plane. Furthermore, proceeds from the sale of this watch (though it is not stated exactly what percentage), will go to the CAF (Commemorative Air Force) helping to fund the restoration of the aircraft. The Tockr D-Day is strictly limited to only 500 pieces total (CAF would not let them make more than 500) and the first batch of 100 has already sold out with Tockr halfway through the second batch at the time of this writing.
Tockr D-Day C-47 Specifications:
- 42mm Width
- 42mm Lug to Lug
- 13.5mm Thick
- 22mm Lug Width
- Sapphire Crystal
- 50 Meters Water Resistant
- 2 Straps included
- ETA 2824-2 Automatic Movement
Price $1,999 USD *Use Code DD75 for 15% off* (Not sure how long that code will last)
The D-Day watch is unique, and every single dial is going to be different than the other, and with that, everyone that buys one will essentially have a one of a kind piece. I have seen some express that they do not like the dials (which to me is the best part of this watch), and wish for something more traditional. Well, if you check the Tockr website, you can see that they have done that, using this same C-47 case, with sunray dials. To me though, this is not just a watch, but a legit part of history. There are many watches that have used salvaged material from cars, motorcycles, etc over the years, and obviously Bremont has used material from planes for their watches, specifically for rotor decoration and more, but there is something about this dial being made from the That’s all brother plane that is just very special, not only to me but probably to many.
Three variations of the dials are available (and now available in bronze cases as well), stamped, hard-worn, and clean cut. The last two are what you see in the article here and in the video. Unfortunately, at the time, the stamped dial versions were out of stock, so I could not get a look at one in the flesh. From pictures I have seen, the stamped is my favorite, only because I like the numbers and letters that are present in those variations. The clean-cut has only minor marks on it, at least on the one I have in hand, and is a very vibrant military green. The hard worn on the other hand, is just that, a very distressed dial, from the parts of the plane that are missing most of the paint and are very worn down.
The dial is definitely one of the highlights of the Tockr D-Day C-47 and is not just a dial, but a piece of history. Beyond the history of it and what it represents, the dials to have some interesting features though, like the way the numbers and markers are printed on the dial. Due to the nature of the material of the dial, the surface is not completely smooth and as such, the markers are kind of jagged around the edges, which at first I thought was just somewhat sloppy looking, but I the more I looked at it, I started to appreciate the dial and markers for what they are, and how this dial all comes together. Some have said they wish the plane was not on the second hand and is a little gimmicky. I disagree. I think it is a good size, not crazy large or intrusive and is a fun little detail.
The C-47 case is not new though. If you are a fan of Tockr Watches, you will know this case has been used before, albeit with a very different dial. Very different. I have no problem stating I never cared for that original model and seeing this new iteration has allowed me to not only enjoy it and speak highly of it but really take a good look at the case itself and appreciate the design and aesthetics. While it appears to be a chunky blocky style case, it is only 13.5mm thick and the case is as long as it is wide, at 42mm in both directions. It is somewhat slab-sided though so do not expect it to hug the wrist-that just how this design is, though I found it very comfortable on the wrist.
Speaking of on the wrist, one of my biggest disappoints has nothing to do with the dial or the case, but rather the straps. Both the leather and canvas straps are well made, have quick release pins and complement the watch well. They also have some nice square buckles that sit flush against the strap and are not oversized or bulky. The problem is the straps are just too short. I have a 7 1/2 inch wrist, which I consider to be average to medium at best, and you can see below where I have to buckle it. As an example, my friend Mike, who has a 7 3/4 inch wrist, legit cannot wear this watch with these straps, it just will not fit him.
I have talked about this before, but I am not overly fond of high polished cases. We all have our likes and dislikes when it comes to watches and this is one for me. I feel it works on certain watches and doesn’t on some and truth be told when I am looking to spend my money on a piece for me, I always go with something brushed or bead blasted. That holds true here for the D-Day. I wish it as an all brushed case, as the large mirror polished sides not only show a lot of reflection but the finish is easy to scratch and mar. That said, I know many that love a mirror polished like this, and feel it is elegant and beautiful, and who am I to say they shouldn’t. I would love to see this case in a matte finish DLC though.
Of course with a watch like this, you have to have a cool case back, something that goes along with the theme and Tockr did not disappoint. On the back, you find the “That’s All- Brother” slogan and all the other pertinent info on the sides. What I like about this is not only the very clean design but the fact they did not put this slogan on the dial itself. That to me would have been a very different watch then, and I like that they showed restraint here. Something I did notice though is the models I have in hand have high polished case backs with an etching while on the Tockr website it shows a circular brushed case back with the logo and info stamped into the steel. Powering this model is the ETA 2824-2 Swiss Automatic movement, the “workhorse” of the ETA automatics.
There is no doubt that the Tockr D-Day C-47 is a very special piece. From the salvaged dials to the limited amount they can produce and some of the money going to the CAF to help refinish the famous C-47 aircraft. This is definitely not a tool watch, but rather a special piece, maybe one you wear less than others, maybe one for special occasions and one that you might pass down to your children one day. Yeah, that sounds like marketing speak coming from me, which you know is not something I usually spout, but I do think this piece is more than just a watch. Let’s not forget, this is a pricey watch as well, at $2000. Thinking about having these dials made, having to get permission from the Air Force (I’m sure there were some hoops to jump through) to the wood presentation boxes and the manufacturer itself, I can see the price though. I am not saying it is a bargain or not expensive, but these are special pieces and as such, command a hefty price tag. If you like the case and design but do not care for these dials or the price, check out what is currently called the “No Name” version of the C-47 on the Tockr Website, as they are at a limited time price of $995, half of the D-Day version reviewed here.