RAF Sector Clock

I have always wanted a classic RAF Sector Clock on the wall. Buying an authentic clock cost way too much and I don’t want the hazzle of winding it up every day.
There are several replicas out there and I went looking for one on ebay when I found these hand painted clock faces. Being hand painted they are suitably non-perfect. And since it’s just the face, there’s some DIY in it for me…

I received the clock face yesterday and it looks really cool!

However, I think the painter/seller probably used a clear laquer that is incompatible with the underlying paint, as there is some crazing in the laquer layer.

But I have decided to keep it and that it will add to the patina of the clock, when finished.

Going to add a radio controlled quartz clock to it and make a wooden case for it. Thinking about walnut wood…?


@Troll Above the window in my study.



I love your passion and your craftsmanship, @Troll! I maybe ought to be embarrassed to admit that I have never heard of a RAF clock. What is the significance of the colored triangles?

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They use different colors for markers in the war room:


Brilliant concept. Information aging is underrated. The more information, the less we do that. Some news sites don‘t even have a date on their articles! Instant disqualifier.


@smokinhole. The table plotters place a raid/formation marker on the table as each report is received. The marker is colour coded to show the time band in which the information was received and it was plotted, ie the colour of the appropriate triangle. Therefore the controller could see at a glance how timely the position is, and perhaps if the latest information has not yet got through.

After three plots the first marker is removed so each raid will have three colours showing its position, track and recency of the data. Hence three colours for the triangles @Troll .


Fliss demonstrating the technique. The colours can be seen, albeit they should be in the same sequence for each raid.

Being ex RN she was more used to dealing with warships.


RAF Digby just round the corner from my house, has the only original ops room from the Battle of Britain. There are a couple of others still around but they were modified for the Cold War. Digby and its equipment is authentic from the period. Tours can be arranged on request.

The tour guide



Micklethwaite instrument used by the Royal Observer Corps to obtain an accurate positionof aircraft. The instrument is focused on the raid and an estimate of the height is entered. The grid location then shows beneath

Me in the controllers chair


I see yours have the inward pointing triangles of the electrical clocks and it has more triangles? I wonder if that’s a replica of a more modern clock, with a higher resolution, as it were? I guess when they had to deal with faster aircraft, 5min increments was too long…?

I can’t tell you anything more than has already been said… :wink:


I have seen triangles both ways. Digby which is authentic and Duxford have inward pointing. The original ops room clocks have outward pointing. They changed before the war. At least that’s what my neighbour said who is a guide at Digby.

My own clock has far too many triangles. Cheap Chinese copy available from aviation retailers such as Pooleys and various museum shops. £19 is far better than £8,500 for the real thing.

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The wikipedia article says that inward triangles were electric clocks and outward, mechanical.


Then you should fit a clockwork mechanism for yours :innocent: it even has the key hole

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Considered it, but…nah. :slight_smile:

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