George Bulman, Group Captain Paul Ward Spencer Bulman was the chief test pilot for Hawker Aircraft.
Bulman flew for the Royal Flying Corps (later Royal Air Force) and was awarded the Military Cross and the Air Force Cross for his bravery and service to the country. Following his retirement from active service, Bulman became a test pilot for and became a director of the Hawker Aircraft Co. He worked closely with the chief designer, Sir Sidney Camm and had tested many of Camm’s prototypes, including the Hawker Hurricane.
In commemorating Bulman, Avi-8 looks to reflect and pay tribute to the behind the scenes efforts of engineers, test pilots, designers all working with the most critical of briefs, the very defense of their country, under the most trying of wartime conditions. And yet it is in such crucibles of pressure that the most important, most successful of efforts emerge.
Measuring 45 mm in diameter the Bulman has a deliberately subdued look at first glance with a bead blasted matte finish to the case. The dial harmonizes a classic pilot watch outlook with a cockpit inspired design. Instrumentation like chronograph subdials sit at the 12 and 6 o’clock position with a raised debossed tone on tone roundel at the 9 o’clock position and date display at the 3 o’clock position.
Arabic and baton shaped hour markers frame the watch perfectly with cutaway detailing with a luminous under dial giving clarity and legibility in all lighting conditions. Classically shaped arrow or “Fleiger ” style hands are suitably lumed and are precisely proportioned and balanced on the watch. The strong bold lines belie a subtlety and layering of the dial which includes a finely distressed layer of dial work which marries well with the vintage military inspired aesthetics of the watch.
A vintage handstitched leather is similarly distressed to create and to deliver more character with wear while offering a supple and comfortable fit on the wrist. Water resistant to 5ATM and powered by a precision Seiko TMI module chronograph movement, the watch is as much a dependable piece of wrist instrumentation for every day wear as it is a suitable tribute to the Hurricane and one of the many unsung heroes attached to its legacy.