There are a lot of famous air squadrons and corps throughout history but one of the most culturally significant ones is without doubt the Tuskegee Airmen. They were the first all-black American air corps, paving the way for equality within the service while also performing active duty during World War II, serving in north Africa and Italy. Avi-8 are celebrating these important personnel with the new Flyboy Spirit of Tuskegee Chronograph Limited Edition.
First, a little bit more about why Tuskegee are so important. While the corps was disbanded shortly after the conclusion of World War II, they continue to have an enduring effect today through the work of the Tuskegee Airmen Inc. (TAI), a group who run aviation youth programs and educational initiatives for disadvantaged youth in America. 10% of profits from the Flyboy Spirit of Tuskegee Chronograph Limited Edition will be donated to TAI in order to help fun these programs.
It’s also worth noting that the name Spirit of Tuskegee, which you’ll find engraved on the watch’s caseback, is a reference to a specific plane, an original PT-13 Stearman that was used to train the Tuskegee Airmen. In the years since, it was restored and renamed the Spirit of Tuskegee and used in airshows to educate people on the history of the Tuskegee Airmen. The plane has also featured as an exhibit at the National Museum of African American History and Culture at the Smithsonian for several years.
But what about the Flyboy Spirit of Tuskegee Chronograph Limited Edition? Well, it’s a large 44mm chronograph in stainless steel with an asymmetrical tricompax display featuring a 60-minute timer, small seconds subdial and retrograde days of the week. Surrounding the central chronograph complications is a ring of horizontal lines and the main pilot’s watch style hour markers. The limited edition is available in four colourways, each of which is dedicated to a significant figure in the history of the Tuskegee Airmen. Let’s run through them all quickly.
First up is the Ref. AV-4109-01 Anderson which features a black case and black dial with red and yellow accents. It’s dedicated to the Chief Flight Instructor of the Tuskegee Airmen, Charles Alfred Anderssen Sr. Next is AV-4109-02 Brown with its steel colour case and red dial with yellow accents, dedicated to first African American woman to hold a pilot’s licence and Tuskegee Airmen instructor, LT Willa Beatrice Brown.
Third up is Ref. AV-4109-03 Parrish, again in a steel colour case this time with a black dial accented in blue and yellow. It’s dedicated to General of Training at Tuskegee Army Flying School, Brigadier General Noel F. Parrish. Lastly there’s AV-4109-04 Roberts in a black case and completed by a green dial with yellow accents, dedicated to combat fighter pilot Col. George S. “Spanky” Roberts.
The Avi-8 Flyboy Spirit of Tuskegee Chronograph Limited Edition is a colourful collection as bright and striking as the Spirit of Tuskegee itself. A fitting tribute to this legendary corps and a great way to show support for the TAI today. They’re also highly accessible at £275 for the Brown and Parrish with 200 pieces available of each, and £295 for the Anderson and Roberts which is limited to 230 pieces. It’s also cool to see some significant airmen commemorated alongside Avi-8’s celebration of famous planes like Glamourous Glennis.
Price and Specs:
More details at Avi-8.