US watch brand Tockr and The Commemorative Air Force (CAF) have teamed up to create a series of watches made with rescued material from a historic C-47 known as That’s All, Brother that lead the D-Day invasion. These limited-edition watches preserve vital history under each dial and contribute to CAF’s mission to fully restore the airplane to its original 1944 configuration.
As part of its efforts to preserve American military aviation history in order to educate, inspire and honor those who served, the CAF acquired the historic C-47 That’s All, Brother and set out to restore it to flight-ready condition. In the process, damaged portions of the aluminum exterior had to be removed and replaced. Rather than discard this sentimental material, the CAF approached Tockr, a Texas-based watch brand known for its aviation watches, including an existing C-47 watch collection. Together with CAF, Tockr engaged esteemed watch designer Emmanuel Gueit to design a new limited-edition watch that would incorporate the salvaged plane material as a focal point: the Tockr D-Day C-47.
Although every D-Day C-47 is assembled in Switzerland, the design produced for Tockr by Emmanuel Gueit is decidedly American. Made in batches of 100, each numbered piece contains a unique portion of That’s All Brother as the base for its dial, preserved under sapphire crystal. The unique dials bear evidence of their history with distinctive weathering, each a fragment of a much larger story that the CAF has preserved in the restored C-47 aircraft.
The Tockr D-Day C-47 comes in three dial styles, each ranging from dark to light military hues of brown and green, but differentiated by varying degrees of original weathering, chipping, and scratches and distinctive markings. “Clean Cut,” offers the lightest degree of weathering, while “Stamped,” features medium weathering, with some original type in yellow, brown or blue hues. A third “Hard Worn” variation is heavily weathered, crackled, and chipped with large areas of exposed aluminum.
The watch’s 42mm cushion case contains a Swiss self-winding ETA-2824-A6 movement, which offers 40 hours of power reserve. Three hands observe the passing of time, mere millimeters above a piece of American history, protected beneath an anti-glare sapphire crystal. The D-Day C-47 watch comes with two straps, one made of drab canvas webbing and one made of leather, each featuring a ‘quick change’ spring bar.
The case measures 42mm in diameter and bears the iconic ‘That’s All Brother’ Nose Art faithfully engraved on its case back as it appears painted on the original aircraft. The individually numbered watches come with a certificate of authenticity signed by the CAF guaranteeing use of genuine material from That’s All, Brother.
In 2019, CAF and That’s All, Brother will return to the skies over Normandy for the commemoration of the 75th anniversary of D-Day, retracing the path from the United States to England and on to Normandy. The launch of the Tockr D-Day C-47 marks the passage of time and the upcoming 75th anniversary of D-Day, while perpetuating the legacy of the brave veterans who accompanied That’s All, Brother on that fateful day for generations to come.
The first run of the Tockr D-Day C-47 was pre-launched to CAF members online on October 1. The Tockr D-Day C-47 watches will launch for sale to the general public online on November and will retail for $1,990.
About the Commemorative Air Force
The Commemorative Air Force is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization based in Dallas, and the recognized leader of the Warbird Movement—the effort to preserve and honor American military aviation history. Since it was founded in 1957, the CAF has accrued 170 historic aircraft—the largest collection of vintage military aircraft in the world. Educational outreach programs impact an estimated 20 million Americans each year thanks to over 12,000 volunteers who support the CAF nationally and overseas.
The Commemorative Air Force honors the men and women who built, maintained, and flew in American airplanes during World War II. The organization believes that is best accomplished by maintaining the airplanes in flying condition; taking the airplanes to the people, allowing them to experience the sight and sound of the aircraft in flight.
About That’s All, Brother | C-47A 42-92847 – The Airplane that Led the D-Day Invasion
When Gen. Dwight Eisenhower, supreme commander of Allied forces in Europe, reviewed the major events of the Second World War, he identified four “Tools of Victory” — items that had a significant impact on the war. His list included the Bazooka, the Jeep, the Atomic Bomb and a single aircraft type – the C-47. Of the more than 10,000 C-47s built, none is more central to the story of World War II than the aircraft that led the D-Day Invasion, That’s All, Brother.
Constructed at the Douglas Aircraft facility in Tulsa, Okla., in early 1944, That’s All, Brother was delivered to the 438th Troop Carrier Group (TCG) during the second week of April. The 438th TCG was already deployed to England in preparation for the planned invasion of Europe. That’s All, Brother was assigned to the 87th Troop Carrier Squadron, already renowned for their exceptional flying skills. These skills earned them the job of paving the route into France for the largest airborne invasion in history.
That’s All, Brother was selected to lead the invasion, by Lt. Col. John M. Donalson, commander of the 438th TCG. Donalson, who planned to pilot the lead airplane himself, picked That’s All, Brother because of its name, which he thought would be a clear message to Adolf Hitler.
That’s All, Brother was quickly outfitted with primitive radar called the SCR-717. It was hoped that with this specialized radar, That’s All, Brother would be able to deliver her troops, the men of the 101st Airborne Division, directly onto their targets. The 101st was charged with securing German strongholds and key inland routes from the Normandy beaches.
That’s All, Brother departed Greenham Common, just before midnight on June 5, 1944. 800 other C-47s, scattered bases around the English countryside began to assemble in formation, a task made more difficult because they were flying without navigation lights and under radio silence to avoid enemy detection.
Carrying more than 13,000 airborne troops, the mass formation led by That’s All, Brother flew south across the English Channel. As they approached the French coast, the aircraft began to encounter heavy enemy flak. Soon after, they encountered unexpected low clouds further complicating the mission.
Pushing on in face of adversity, That’s All, Brother succeeded in leading the invasion force into France, dropping her paratroopers at 0048 on June 6, 1944. As American boots touched the ground that night, the Liberation of Europe had begun.
Returning to England, the scale of the full invasion was visible to the pilots as more than 5,000 ships carrying over 150,000 men steamed toward the French beaches where they would begin landing at dawn. That’s All Brother wasn’t done either. Flak damage was repaired and she returned to service later in the day, delivering a glider load of troops and equipment to the men of the 82nd Airborne, also fighting in Normandy.
As soon as airfields were secured in France, That’s All, Brother flew needed supplies into the country and evacuated wounded troops back to England.
That’s All, Brother would continue to serve during the remainder of the war in Europe, participating in Operation Dragoon, Operation Market Garden, Operation Varsity – and in the relief of the beleaguered defenders of Bastogne during the Battle of the Bulge.
Facts: That’s All, Brother
Douglas C-47A, 42-92847
Wing Span: 95′ 6″
Length: 63′ 9″
Empty Weight: 17,865 lbs.
Cruising Speed: 160 mph
Ceiling: 24,000 feet