Sydney-based watch brand Bausele has been confirmed to produce two watches with the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) to mark their centenary. The RAAF’s 100th anniversary will be marked by two special watches that contain parts of RAAF aircraft. The last time the RAAF actually commissioned a watch was in the 1940s, when they commissioned the likes of IWC and Jaeger-LeCoultre, so this is something of a breakthrough in the short history of Bausele, which was only founded in 2011.
The sense of occasion, and the connection it provides Bausele with a long and rich history, has spurred the brand on to their greatest heights in terms of design and contemporary appeal. These are far and away the most attractive, and on point, models in their broader range, which so far has yet to land on an identifiable design language.
Founder of Bausele, Christophe Hoppe, worked very closely with the RAAF design team to perfect the two different watches, using the theme of the Air Force Centenary — “Then. Now. Always.” — as inspiration. In this spirit, the first watch is the Airfield, which looks back on those RAAF watches from the ’40s, and takes their clean tool watch aesthetic into their own design.
“The big thing for me was how closely we worked with the RAAF,” Christophe said when I spoke with him earlier this week. “It wasn’t just about getting some designs ticked off and getting them into production; no, we worked on every detail with the RAAF. From the heritage inspiration for the Airfield, to the caseback font on both watches, everything was a collaborative effort.”
He went on to explain, “both of the watches contain parts of actual RAAF aircraft that were chosen for links to the design of the watches. The Airfield will feature a piece of a Vietnam War era Caribou (DHC-4) transport aircraft, but what is really cool is the Aviator.”
The second watch is the Aviator, which features a count-up inner bezel that is operated by a crown at 2 o’clock, while you adjust the time with the bezel at 4 o’clock. “The Aviator contains a piece of the first F/A-18A Hornet fighter jet flown in Australia, which is very special to the history of the RAAF.” Just as with the Airfield, the Aviator features the RAAF Centenary logo on the dial as a reminder of why these watches are special.
The other exciting step for Bausele is the new entry-level pricing that the Airfield offers at $499 AU, thanks, in part, to the Japanese movement within. The Aviator features a Swiss movement, and both watches are cased in 316L steel, not often seen at this price point. It’s a big moment for the RAAF, and for Bausele, and both watches go on sale today.
Bausele Royal Australian Air Force Centenary Airfield and Aviator price and availability:
The Bausele Royal Australian Air Force Centenary Airfield is $499 AU, and arrives with a piece of Caribou (DHC-4) transport aircraft in a keyring. For more details, visit Bausele right here.
The Bausele Royal Australian Air Force Centenary Aviator is $1200 AU, and features a piece of F/A-18A Hornet in the caseback. For more details, visit Bausele right here.