Rakkasan Association

“The legacy of valor Wiercinski inherited as the Rakkasans’ commander gave him an advantage over commanders of less-storied units in fostering esprit de corps. Rakkasan veterans of earlier wars enjoyed almost unfettered access to the brigade in garrison, visiting frequently to share war stories and wisdom with their successors. “They’re always at functions, and the soldiers always hear of their tales, and of the Rakkasan legacy, whether it be WWII, or Korea with the two combat jumps, or Vietnam-Hamburger Hill,” Wiercinski said. 

  “And then of course, Desert Storm, with the great deep air assault into the Euphrates river valley. That all plays into combat power. It just does something to soldiers to feel a part of such a tight-knit organization…You hear boys talk about it all the time, you know, ‘We’re keeping up the Rakkasan legacy, we’ve got to uphold the standards of the Rakkasans and the 101st, the Screaming Eagles. “All of that was such a great combat multiplier for us. We knew where we came from, we knew who we were, and we knew what we stood for.””

Quote from: Not a Good Day to Die: The Untold Story of Operation Anaconda by Sean Naylor Pages 51 and 52

This is the Official Rakkasan timepiece collection, produced in collaboration with the Rakkasan Association to honor and commemorate the sacrifices and milestones endured in the Great Battles that shaped our modern era.

SPLIT PAYMENT PLAN OPTIONS

We offer payment plan options to make the purchase process a little easier for you, you can use PayPal Finance or contact us to split the payment into 2 (or 3) parts spaced out over a few months.
EACH SWISSPL WATCH IS MECHANICAL AND HANDCRAFTED IN AMERICA

Swiss Components with American Craftsmanship designed to Tell Your Story. We receive our components like a lego-box from our partner factories (among them Switzerland, Germany, and America); and then assemble each timepiece per the design requirements and specifications as each watch is "made to order". Even "stock designs" feature customized caseback engravings and personalization details.
WE OFFER A 2 YEAR WARRANTY ON EACH SWISSPL TIMEPIECE WE MANUFACTURE

SwissPL produces custom watches made to order, crafted for its wearer, each as unique as the owner itself. Our mechanical timepieces are assembled per strict Swiss standards and each undergo in-depth quality control and precision timing tests. We offer a full 2 year warranty on our timepieces.
SECURE DELIVERY WITH INSURED SERVICE

Every timepiece we produce and ship, gets sent securely packaged in bubble wrap with the watch inside its own heat-sealed enclosure bag to protect against the elements, static charge and finger prints.
  • Customize with your details.
  • Swiss components, American craftsmanship.
  • 42mm case, water depth rated 300 meters.

Overview

Celebrate your service and milestones as a Rakkasan. We offer multiple dial & case combinations to suit your style. The caseback can be customized any way you prefer to represent you and your career.

The watch model is the Classic 42mm. It is a stainless steel case, made of 316L surgical grade stainless steel. There are two treatments available: steel or black.

Meaning of the Torii: this is a traditional Japanese gate most commonly found at the entrance of, or within, a Shinto shrine. Today the IRON Rakkasans, 3rd Battalion 187th Infantry Regiment, honor their heritage and unit history as they build the largest TORII (40 Feet) outside mainland Japan. The TORII symbolizes an entrance to a sacred place or gateway from one life to the next.

Design Choices

US NAVY WINGS [ purchase watch ]
This dial features the Navy Pilot “Wings of Gold” and The River Rats insignia produced in a metallic gold design to shine with pride. Available in stainless case or pvd black case.

US Navy Pilot Wings, Stainless Case
US Navy NFO Wings, Stainless Case
US Navy Air Crew Wings, Stainless Case
US Navy Intel Wings, Stainless Case
US Navy Pilot Wings, PVD Black Case
US Navy NFO Wings, PVD Black Case
US Navy Air Crew Wings, PVD Black Case
US Navy Intel Wings, PVD Black Case

US AIR FORCE WINGS [ purchase watch ]
This dial features choice of all three USAF Wings and The River Rats insignia produced in a metallic gold design to shine with pride. Available in stainless case or pvd black case.

USAF Pilot Wings, Stainless Case
USAF Master Wings, Stainless Case
USAF Senior Wings, Stainless Case
USAF Pilot Wings, PVD Black Case
USAF Master Wings, PVD Black Case
USAF Senior Wings, PVD Black Case

US ARMY WINGS [ purchase watch ]
This dial features the Army Wings and The River Rats insignia produced in a metallic gold design to shine with pride. Available in stainless case or pvd black case.

USA Pilot Wings, PVD Black Case
USA Pilot Wings, PVD Black Case
USA Pilot Wings, PVD Black Case
USA Pilot Wings, PVD Black Case

Caseback Engraving

We will work together to create the perfect graphic for your caseback engraving, one that describes you and your milestones, your achievements and your sacrifices, a watch that is symbolically you, one that tells your story.

Watch Specifications

The Classic watch is a 42mm case (46mm with the crown). The case thickness is 12.5mm. From lug to lug is 50mm. And the strap width is 22mm.

The watch is water depth rating is 300 meters (1,000 feet). The watch case is 316L surgical grade stainless steel. The glass is sapphire crystal, with inner anti-reflective coating. The bezel is a uni-directional bezel. The crown and caseback are screwed down, ensuring the depth rating.

The watch comes on a vintage leather strap with white stitching and Pre-V buckle. We offer a solid metal bracelet as optional upgrade for $165.

The movement powering your watch is a Swiss quartz-analog (battery) movement; or we offer an upgrade to the Swiss automatic (self-winding) mechanical movement for $345 [like found in Rolex, Omega, Breitling, Tag Heuer].

Movement

The watch is powered by Swiss Ronda 515HC Quartz (battery powered) movement. The battery should last about 2 years and then simply send it in for a quick battery swap, and perhaps an overhaul service to remove the years of scratches and marks your timepiece received along the journey.

Automatic Upgrade:
You can upgrade your timepiece to the Swiss ETA 2824-2 Automatic mechanical (self winding) movement, with 25 jewels. An Automatic is another term for “self-winding”, meaning the watch winds itself using a rotator weight inside the timepiece which oscillates to apply tension on the mainspring of the movement through the random motion of the watch owner’s arm. This movement does not require a battery, but does require manual winding every few days using the crown to fully “charge the mainspring” and increase the timepiece’s accuracy because it’s running at full power. You should send your watch in for routine service every year, or two years at the longest. Just like your precision firearms, which you routinely clean and oil, a mechanical timepiece requires this care as well.

A Quartz movement is powered by the battery, and will run for approximately 2 years (+/-). If your watch stops running, please contact us to get the battery swapped. (We have seen outside shops often damage the movement when extracting the battery). Email us and we'll get it taken care of quickly for you.

An Automatic is another term for “self-winding”, meaning the watch winds itself using a rotator weight inside the timepiece which oscillates to apply tension on the mainspring of the movement through the random motion of the watch owner's arm.

This movement does not require a battery, but does require manual winding every few days using the crown to fully "charge the mainspring" and increase the timepiece's accuracy because it's running at full power.

You should send your watch in for routine service every year, or two years at the longest. Just like your precision firearms, which you routinely clean and oil, a mechanical timepiece requires this care as well.
QUARTZ MOVEMENT INSTRUCTIONS: Unscrew the Crown [counter clockwise].
To Set the Date:
Gently Pull the Crown into "First Position". Then turn the date forward slowly till you reach your desired date.

To Set the Time:
Gently Pull the Crown into "Second Position". Then turn the crown, advancing the hands forward, not backward, to your desired time.

AUTOMATIC MOVEMENT INSTRUCTIONS: Unscrew the Crown [counter clockwise]

To Wind the Watch:
Gently turn the Crown clockwise [feel the tension of the mainspring] 40-50 complete turns.

(this movement can not be overwound as it has an escapement).

To Set the Date:
Gently Pull the Crown into "First Position". Then turn the date forward slowly till you reach your desired date.

To Set the Time:
Gently Pull the Crown into "Second Position". Then turn the crown, advancing the hands forward, not backward, to your desired time.

(because the mechanical movement uses a series go metal discs and gears to move in precision balance to set and tell the time, it is advised to only set the time forward - not back)

Resecure the Crown:
When you are finished setting the time and date and winding the movement, it is imperative that you rescuer the crown (the thing keeping the world out of your watch).
While applying inward pressure, gently turn the Crown clockwise, securing it on the threading until it is tightly closed. This ensures your watch is water-sealed.

It is NOT advised that you use your mechanical timepiece in the hot tub, sauna, shower, jacuzzi or other steam generating environments [read full article].
Do's:
Wind your watch gently daily.

Dont's:
Do not use pliers to try to open your crown.
Do not use your watch as a hammer to hang a frame.
1-800-774-4980

If you have questions, or need servicing, send an email to contact@swisspl.com

Technical Specifications

FUNCTIONS
Hours, minutes, seconds. Date at 3 o’clock.

CASE
Stainless Steel (316L Surgical Grade). Case diameter 42mm (45mm with Crown), height 14.40mm, lug width 22mm. Screw-down crown.

CASEBACK
Solid Stainless Steel with YOUR CUSTOMIZED DESIGN.

WATER RESISTANCE
Water resistant to 30 ATM / 300 meters / 1000 feet.

DIAL
Black metal dial with metal indexes, polished stainless hands with Super-LumiNova. Design in gold application. White calendar disc.

CRYSTAL
Anti-reflective scratch resistant sapphire crystal.

STRAP
Black vintage leather strap with white stitching and stainless steel Pre-V buckle.

Optional: solid metal bracelet.

Handcrafted In America

Swiss Components with American Craftsmanship designed to Tell Your Story. We receive our components like a lego-box from our partner factories in Switzerland, Germany, and America; and then assemble each timepiece per the design requirements and specifications as each watch is “made to order”. Even “stock designs” feature customized caseback engravings and personalization details.

You select your desired case and dial option, movement and strap choice and then we create the perfect graphic for your caseback engraving, one that describes you and your milestones, your achievements and your sacrifices, a watch that is symbolically you, one that tells your story.

What Ships with the Watch

Your SwissPL watch shipping package is assembled with the utmost of care in each detail. The watch is secured inside a heat-sealed enclosure bag, so your hands are the first to touch your new watch.

Inside the SwissPL Owner’s Pack you will find a velvet cloth watch pouch [for when you send your watch in for servicing]; a watch spring bar link removal tool [in case you want to swap the leather strap for the metal bracelet yourself].

Additionally included are your Ownership Card; the Warranty Card and the Watch Usage Guide; the Assembly Check-list, the Depth Pressure Report and the Movement Timing Report (for automatic movements); along with a Welcome Letter.

History of the Rakkasans

Watch the History of the Rakkasans in this YouTube video by Maharbal5022.

187th Infantry Regiment (source wikipedia):

The 187th Airborne Infantry Regiment [ Rakkasans ] is a regiment of the 101st Airborne Division. The nickname “Rakkasans” is derived from the Japanese word for parachute (which translated means “umbrella for falling”). The name was given to the 187th during its tour in occupied Japan following World War II. When a translator dealing with local Japanese dignitaries was trying to explain what their unit was trained to do, (and not knowing the Japanese word for “airborne soldiers”) he used the phrase “parachute-men” (literally “falling down umbrella men”), or rakkasan. Amused by the clumsy word, the locals began to call the troopers by that nickname; it soon stuck and became a point of pride for the unit. “The Rakkasans”. As of 2012, the 1st and 3rd battalions are the only active elements of the regiment; they are assigned to the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division.

World War II and Aftermath:
The regiment was originally constituted as the 187th Glider Infantry Regiment on 12 November 1942, and activated on 25 February 1943 at Camp Mackall, North Carolina. It was originally a two battalion glider regiment assigned to the 11th Airborne Division, the men of the 187th trained both as glider and parachute troops. They moved to Camp Polk on 9 January 1944 for glider training. The regiment staged at Camp Stoneman, California on 29 April 1944, and departed from the San Francisco Port of Embarkation on 6 May 1944.

The regiment arrived in New Guinea on 29 May 1944 and joined the New Guinea Campaign. The regiment departed New Guinea on 11 November 1944, and arrived on Leyte on 18 November 1944 to join the Leyte Campaign.

The regiment left Leyte, and joined the Luzon Campaign by assaulting Nasugbu Point Luzon on 31 January 1945, blocking Japanese forces as part of the advance on Manila from the south. From then until April 1945, the 187th fought their way from Nichols Field, Fort William McKinley, and Manila to Mount Macolod and Malepunyo.

In May 1945, the 187th moved into Lipa to refit, rebuild, and prepare for Operation Downfall, the planned invasion of Japan. At this time, the 3rd Battalion was formed and the regiment was redesignated a para-glider regiment.

The regiment was attached to the Provost Marshal General, U.S. Army Forces Far East from 1 June 1945 through 27 July 1945 at Manila. The campaigns in the Philippines were declared completed on 4 July 1945, and the regiment moved to Okinawa on 12 August 1945 for occupation duty. This is where the unit gained its name; Rakkasan, when it was the only unit to parachute onto Japanese soil at the time. After the war ended on 14 August 1945, the regiment subsequently moved to Japan on 30 August 1945, and was alleged to be the first foreign ground combat unit to enter that nation.

In April 1949, the regiment returned to the United States and was stationed at what was then Camp Campbell, Kentucky. It was redesignated the 187th Airborne Infantry Regiment on 30 June 1949 and remained assigned to the 11th Airborne Division. In early 1950, the 187th participated in “Operation Swarmer,” the largest peacetime airborne maneuver in history.

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