Commemorating D-Day: Langstone Field Watch and COSD | Analog Explorer Episode 24

Headshot of Christophe Hoppe with the AE logo and the Langstone in the background (Cover art for the episode)

In this episode, we commemorate the 80th anniversary of D-Day. Dan (@timely_moments) from the Zulu Time Podcast rejoins the show as the Analog Explorer foreign history field correspondent giving the WWII background behind the new project called the Langstone field watch commemorating the 80th anniversary of D-Day today. For the second part of the episode Christophe Hoppe the founder and CEO of Bausele Watches (@bausele) joins the show giving the background behind Bausele and supporting the creation of the Langstone. The Bausele Langstone Project incorporates the design aesthetic and build quality of Bausele, yet remaining historically accurate and respectful to the original ‘Tuna Can’ COSD Watches issued to the COPP Canoeists.

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Combined Ops Assault Pilotage Parties (COPP)

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COPP Canoeists

During World War II, the COPP (“Combined Operations Pilotage Parties”) were specialized units within the British armed forces that were tasked with reconnaissance and covert operations in preparation for amphibious landings. Their primary mission involved conducting detailed surveys and reconnaissance of potential landing sites to gather critical information for future military operations. This included assessing beach conditions, identifying obstacles, and ensuring safe landing zones for larger invasion forces; including the Normandy landings on D-Day.

Combined Operation history

COSD | more than just a “Tuna-Can” Longines watch design

The COSD (“Company Ordnance Supply Depot”) was involved in research and development, tasked with creating and improving specialized equipment needed for amphibious landings and commando operations. If you are like me and are a James Bond fan, the best way to think of COSD is to think of them as the real-life Q branch. If there was a new piece of kit that needed to be made, they were the ones that would make it or would make and set out the spec for someone in the industry to make it for them.

COSD developed everything from specialized landing craft, underwater devices, and other tools necessary for successful operations behind enemy lines. In addition to research and development, COSD was responsible for training personnel in the use of newly developed equipment and the latest tactics for combined operations. Testing and evaluation were also key functions of the COSD, involving extensive testing of new tactics and equipment to ensure their effectiveness and reliability under combat conditions. This often included live exercises and simulations to replicate the conditions of actual operations. COSD played a pivotal role in devising new tactics for amphibious assaults and raids, essential for the success of operations right up to the D-Day landings in Normandy.


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COSD via @SuperlativeTime

In World War II, COSD spec watches were specialized timepieces issued by the British Combined Operations command to their elite units, including the Combined Operations Pilotage Parties (COPP). These watches were crucial for the precise timing and coordination required during amphibious landings and other specialized missions.

COSD watches were known for their durability, reliability, and clear readability under various conditions. This specific watch would have been considered a technology for operators designed as a “killer app” in build and functionality. They featured luminous hands and markers for visibility in low-light conditions, robust cases to withstand harsh environments, waterproofing, and accurate movements. These features, or killer apps, made them essential tools for successfully executing complex and time-sensitive operations during the war.

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One of the best-known of this spec was the Longines COSD watch.

Langstone, Hayling Island, and D-Day

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Langstone, a village in Hampshire, England, was crucial during World War II as the base for the Combined Operations Pilotage Parties. Langstone Harbour provided an ideal setting for training COPP units due to its varied coastal features, including beaches, estuaries, and tidal conditions, allowing personnel to practice and refine their reconnaissance and amphibious landing skills in conditions similar to those they would encounter on actual missions. Situated on the southern coast of England, Langstone’s strategic location was essential for planning and executing reconnaissance missions and amphibious operations against German-occupied territories.


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“The watch that honours the daring and clandestine operations of the English kayakers of the COPP (Combined Ops Assault Pilotage Parties) who conducted reconnaissance along potential landing beaches during WWII. It is name from the English Langstone Hotel that housed these brave kayakers. This watch integrates a piece of history with sand from Normandy’s SWORD Beach, encapsulating the spirit of the COPPists’ missions. DELIVERY END OF AUGUST.


Until June 6th, all pre-orders of the Langstone come with an exclusive commemorative pendant crafted by AHW, a local Sydney jeweler. This unique piece features silver and Sword Beach sand from Normandy, encapsulated in durable Japanese resin. Secure this special gift with your order today! DELIVERY END OF AUGUST.”

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Sand in the crown from Sword Beach, Normandy.

Zulu Time Podcast