An exclusive Bremont watch has been presented to an amputee by the Duke of Cambridge and Prince Harry.
The special timepiece, eligible only to people who have soloed the Spitfire, was given to Sergeant Alan Robinson – the first amputee to solo the Spitfire since Douglas Bader.
Robinson, an aircraft engineer in the Royal Air Force, is one of two successful candidates in The Spitfire Scholarship, a private initiative supported by Prince Harry and the Royal Foundation’s Endeavour Fund and run by the Boultbee Flight Academy.
Robinson is believed to be only the third amputee pilot to have ever flown the Spitfire, those who went before him being WW2 ace’s Douglas Bader and Colin ‘Hoppy’ Hodgkinson, putting him in extremely esteemed company.
Bremont Co-Founder, Nick English, commented: “The Spitfire is the most famous British fighter aircraft of World War II, a classic piece of design that is both beautiful and fit for purpose, that being the 1940’s requirement to defend our skies and our country.
“Bremont celebrated the Spitfire, an emblem of our nation’s freedom, with its first Limited Edition back in 2008 with the EP120. We are now thrilled to have a unique timepiece for pilots who have soloed this remarkable aircraft. Alan is a true inspiration and it’s both an honour for the Duke of Cambridge and Prince Harry to have presented our watch to him but also an honour to have him wearing it.”
In 2011 Robinson was involved in a motorcycle accident and as a result had his right leg amputated above the knee. A lover of all things aviation, he feared that this would put pay to his long held dream of becoming a pilot.
Robinson said: “I feel a greater than ever respect and admiration for the veterans who flew this aircraft in combat and defended our country so bravely. I feel enormously privileged to have met some of them and hope to play a part in preserving their memories and stories forever as a part of my own flying. I also plan to become an ambassador for disabled aviation, proving a focus on ability not disability and thus challenging the perception of disability among able and disabled people alike.”