Welding, water, dust, temperature fluctuations, or weapons recoil… Military watches, which are actually used in combat, must withstand a lot. In addition to the ‘real’ military watches, there are also still a huge market for military watches in the consumer area. Now, you can find watches in the “military look” on every corner.
But which brands have a real historical background or are actually tested in combat and thus rightly deserve the predicate “Military watch”? This and more answered this article, which Part of the main article on watch brands and its image is!
What are military watches? Historical clues.
Historically had their breakthrough in the 1st and 2nd World War wrist listed by military watches and thus replaced the rather impractical pocket watches. The models used in the 2nd world war in combat were also targeted on robustness, for example temperature fluctuations, and to keep water or vibration level. At the same time, precision also played a role, E.g. with regard to more accurate collusion attacks, which dealt with life and death. Short came many product innovations in military wrist watches from the United States and the military, with Hamilton and other manufacturers as a pioneer.
For example, As the conventional clock oils for lubrication during the second world war were scarce, chemist of the company Hamilton developed new and better oils and a special blend not creeping according to investtops.
The standardized specifications for the military watches were by Governments with so-called Mil-Specs, i.e. specifications which comply with the requirements of the military and special forces. With regard to the dial, this mil-specs had formulated E.g. Special requirements in terms of readability and brightness in the dark. Military watches are classically kept so more simple, so that the soldiers even under adverse conditions can immediately read the time. In addition, the requirement that reflect the surfaces and the glass of the military watches as a decorated Christmas tree on Christmas day was usually.
Today military watches produced for the “normal people” are still notably through simple design and accompanying good readability. With other properties such as water resistance or non-reflective surfaces it is E.g. but often not too strictly believed, what the many polished surfaces of the pictured below Panerai show—which real soldier would produce like Sun reflections on hundreds of meters? Here, certain “freedoms” are of course understandable, to attract customers, who place more value on the design and in everyday life not grade out Robben in the Syrian desert.
The Military watches bracelet par excellence is the NATO-strap, which was introduced in the 1970s by the NATO co-founder United Kingdom certainly and was therefore also a NATO stock number. The favourable NATO bracelets even today very popular-even on expensive models. The special feature of this robust bracelets is that they consist of a part and be threaded under round the clock and thus even for a crack at one point the clock cannot fall down. You are also very lightweight, comfortable to wear and by their very durable nylon material ideal for rough operations.
The NATO-strap used in the image above is known also as Bond-NATO , because James Bond wore his Rolex Submariner in Goldfinger on such a striped NATO.
The disadvantage of NATO bracelets is purely optical nature: Unfortunately it blocked the view through transparent sight floors by Threading. A more or less large piece by the end of the bracelet is also over-depending on the wrist circumference-, which you then “must return”. The may be getting something, but usually does not bother.
A good German shop for a huge selection of NATO straps in different qualities, colours and thicknesses can be found at Miro’s time. I’ve ordered there herself often and was always very satisfied.
The image of military watches
On the one hand, some watch brands promote a “real men” with their military watches-image. You can find these stereotypes of Rambos but rather on the big screen. Other brands in turn communicate the brand image of their military watches what is abundantly clear in this article more of the history.
To sum up a certain resilience and robustness is reflected in military watches especially-and rub off then maybe also on the carrier…
The limits of military watches diving watches and watches (especially so-called observation watches) are fluid. Order not to go beyond the scope of this amount, brands such as sense, mill are not treated here Glashütte and IWC. More detailed information is available in the relevant articles.
Within the framework of cooperation, Panerai then developed a radium based fluorescent agents to allow the reading of instruments in the dark. Therefore, also the name “Radiomir” trademark protected and patented the procedure.
Officine Panerai-combat divers military watches with Italian roots
In 1860, the Italian Giovanni Panerai opened a watchmaker workshop in Florence and thus laid the foundation stone for the present-day company. At the beginning of the 19th century Panerai began the collaboration with the Italian Navy and first supplied them with tools such as compasses or flashlights:
Radium was regarded not only as completely harmless, but even as beneficial to health, and although the discoverer of radium, the French couple showed that Curie, already signs of radiation sickness. So, medicines, cosmetics, cigars and food on Radium base were developed. Even the eyes of dolls and stuffed animals for children contained Radium to these lights.
Which Panerai of course nowadays not advertises: slowly it was recognized at that time, that the Radium radiation to the highest extent is dangerous to your health.
First noted the clinical picture of the Radium jaw in the watch industry for workers of the company United States Radium Corporation. The so-called “Radium girls” had the brush with which, they painted the radium luminous paint on the dials, pointed again with the lips or tongue.
Here an original image from the 20s:
Shortly before the start of the second world war, Panerai has developed ten prototypes of the model “Radiomir” with a 47 mm large, cushion-shaped housing for the special units of the Italian Navy (Marina Militare) diver:
But not only the Italian frogmen used Panerai. Obviously German Fighting swimmer have can, show what the following original pictures get some copies during the 2nd world war in their fingers:
During the second world war, in 1941, the Radiomir was further enhanced: in particular was the readability with simple four Arabic numerals (picture: right) increases:
Not until 1949, Panerai patented the luminous “Luminor”, which finally replaced the radium. The successor of the Radiomir, the model of “Luminor” was born. But above all, the Crown protection bridge which improves the water resistance and also protects the Crown is characteristic of the Luminor:
Through the cooperation with the Italian military were subject to many technologies developed by Panerai the secrecy. Only in the 90s the Panerai military watches were made available the “common man”.
There’s also a very cool historical calendar of the brand Panerai: historical calendar at RolexMagazine.com as PDF.
Yikes-why Rolex? Little detail on the edge: the above Radiomir military watches had a prominent “supplier” from about 1930 to 1950: the company Rolex. Panerai built only the dials in principle…
Officine Panerai is summarized archetype of a military watch certainly the : big, robust, well read, and with a historical background.
Even if the military history of Panerai is very respectable, the brand has especially owed his breakthrough to a large extent an actor: Sylvester “Rambo” Stallone. This private occasion bought several military Panerai Watches in Florence and then wore them in his current film daylight. This gave a boost of the brand, even if the film is not just among the best films of all time
Even Stallone’s buddy Arnold “Terminator” Schwarzenegger wore Panerai, for example in the movie Eraser now.
Israel arms also a large clock looks like Sylvester Stallone or Arnold Schwarzenegger quite coherent as the Panerai:
But also less pronounced arms a Panerai looks not too overloaded usually due to their relatively simple design.
On the basis of the success of Panerai military watches of course, some other watch brands you can not rags, to expel homages to this historic military watches. An example here is the New Zealand company Magrette Timpieces with prices starting at about €500. The watch brand built especially solid Japanese Miyota automatic works in the watches. This worth a look, if the budget for the starting start around € 5,000 Panerai military watches will be blown up.
Finally, just a note: due to the simple style and popularity of Panerai Watches military, these are among the most professional and the most fake watches. Used clock purchase for example you should heed some tips…
Hamilton: military watches with history on the other side of the Atlantic
The Hamilton brand not too well-known in Germany was founded in 1892 and first manufactured pocket watches for the carriage by rail. Here a charming vintage display of the company:
At the beginning of the 1st World War, Hamilton manufactured military wrist watches for the US armed forces. The pocket watches from the railway were based. Hamilton’s first wristwatch ever was advertised with
for army and Navy officers, airmen, engineers, foresters, drivers and others who appreciate the benefits of a wrist watch in their profession.
During the 1st World War, E.g. General has measured the timing of the movement of its troops with a Hamilton railroad Pershing. The troops were equipped with Hamilton watches. The grim three addresses general you liked then certainly do not contradict or meet even in the dark:
With the 2nd World War Hamilton’s cooperation has intensified even further with the U.S. military: Hamilton stopped its entire production for the civilian market and focused on the production of watches for t But even pocket watches still played a role: in 1941, the U.S. Government issued a tender on all watch manufacturers for the production of marine chronometers. This chronometer were large and precise pocket watches, which were not affected by the roll and lateral movements of the vessels. Hamilton was as only company able to the marine chronometers to the To make requirements of the United States Navy in large numbers and realized the project in view of its strategic importance within a short time. in 1942, Hamilton delivered the first two marine chronometers to the Navy. Later more were ordered 1000. Total Hamilton was during the 2nd World War over 10,000 of this chronometer.
Admiral Arleigh Burke, Chief of staff of Vice Admiral Marc Mitscher during the battle in the Gulf of Leyte, reviewed the chronometer of Hamilton as follows:
The ships involved in the battle of Leyte 3 and 7th fleets had to rely fully when measuring the precise time, which was for the successful operations of the naval and air forces of essential importance, on the Hamilton marine chronometer.
This victory of the United States in one of the world’s largest naval battles marked the beginning of the end of the 2nd World War.
Hamilton marine chronometer from World War 2; Image: By bonsai Rolex CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons
Overall, Hamilton produced during the war years over a million military watches.
After the 2nd World War, Hamilton continued his collaboration with the military and developed watches for the British air force and the U.S. armed forces. At many aerobatic squadrons such as E.g. the Canadian Snow Birds the pilot’s watches from Hamilton are standard equipment.
Hamilton focuses with its current military watches Khaki series visually on the models that made the company in the first and second world war for the American armed forces:
To get the Hamilton Khaki models from approx. €500 incl. Swiss are hand-wound or self-winding movement. Visually, they remember something on military watches Panerai with their large numbers. Overall the brand in Germany is a rather sad in my opinion wrong. Taking account of the historical background of this brand, the Swiss movements and the general quality, watches with regard to price are definitely worth a look. If you out can be rather rar seeded Hamilton dealers in Germany no ordinary discount, worth the look on Amazon & co.
Hamilton watches in many action and war movies were placed on the big screen: your first appeared in 1951 in the film frogmena Hamilton Watch. The film is by US-Navy combat swimmers during the 2nd World War. In the film, the watches were placed exactly, a few years previously in the second world war provided by Hamilton to the U.S. Marine units.
Based on this historic military frogmen Watch Hamilton 2016 brings a new edition of the watch out (pictures: © Hamilton International Ltd.):
All models that have been shaped by the Apnoetaucher Pierre Frolla, are a striking Crown protection. In accordance with this commemorating its predecessor in 1951 at a military canteen. Also in this series, the simple dial and the big hand in the eye sting to ensure good readability.
The divers models in blue or black stainless steel case come in 42 mm, while the model with the Red rotating bezel in a 46 mm titanium case therefore comes. Titanium is 60% lighter than stainless steel, making the large model is comfortable to wear.
The water resistance of the large titanium model is 100 bar, the smaller stainless steel models have only 30 bar, which should be sufficient but still for most hobby divers. All models are driven by a heavily modified ETA 2824 with rich 80-stündiger power reserve.
The watches are available from approx. €1000, on Hamilton, there are usually pretty decent discounts…
In other films, including “Pearl Harbor,” which focuses on the attack of the Japanese naval air forces on the US Pacific fleet in 1941, was chosen primarily due to historical accuracy on the brand of Hamilton…
Other military watches brands
Vostok-military watches from Russian realms
With regard to military watches worth also looking towards the East (Russian: Восток), where is the watch brand Vostok. The company founded in the early days of the second world war by Stalin, had to move already after a short time further East the production to Chistopol. The reason: The invading German Wehrmacht. In the 60s, then also the brand Vostok was increasingly placed in the end consumer.
The design of the classic Vostok military watches much used Russian symbolism and/or little discreet tanks, paratroopers prints etc. on the dial does not suit all tastes is suitable striking independently, at the same time by the.
The robust military watches with good value for money for the German shop are available poljot24 from approx. €100. Rather unusual for military watches in the price region: the installed automatic works. You must forgo Sapphire but understandably. Charming I find but that Vostok used Plexiglas, which E.g. also in the basic variant of the Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch is used. Advantage: Plexiglass finer scratches can be easily out polishing.
If something more discreet, you can find an alternative in the Lithuanian brand offshoot Vostok Europe. Vostok Europe was founded in 2003 and is-as the name implies-rather to European tastes off. The watches are visually so much modern.
For the military watches are however priced slightly higher: around €300 here we go: Vostok Europe military watches at Amazon.
The watches Vostok Europe usually with solid Japanese Miyota automatic plants are equipped. Too bad: Unfortunately only mineral glass is installed, what my opinion is simply too little for watches in the price range between € 300 and € 500.
Is a better alternative because in my opinion the Steinhart military 47 with Swiss ETA hand wound movement and curved Sapphire Crystal for €560 directly from the manufacturer.
Tudor-Rolex daughter with history of military watches
Also the daughter of Rolex Tudor has left a footprint in military history with his model of Submariner: in addition to civilian use in the sports and recreational scuba diving was the Tudor Submariner in the service of some military organizations. So she came and others in the Navy national française and the U.S. Navy to use.
Interesting detail: according to Tudor, the diver’s watches, which should be used for military purposes, have been adjusted in any way. In other words, it was the standard modelsthat even ordinary people could buy. The only difference: an engraving on the bottom of the case with regard to the military organization.
Here a Tudor Submariner 9401 dating back to 1977, which by the French marine Nationale elastic and at the same time robust bracelets from parachute belts equipped with were:
The Tudor Submariner is no longer produced since 1999. Instead Tudor Rolex is focusing on the Black Bay model-solely on the basis of the model name perfectly understandable with views of the Submariner of the parent company. Why should even with the Tudor Rolex Submariner cannibalize itself?
The history of Tudor Submariner military watches is summarized at Tudor again extensively: Tudor Submariner history.
Seiko-combat proven military watches
I was just recently through a friend who was officers at the Panzer troops of the Bundeswehr, on military watches of the Japanese company Seiko attention. He wore a Seiko in its operation in Afghanistan-mostly due to the reliability in dusty and hot environment. I must confess that Seiko was personally so far always something clear for me in terms of brand image. Actually also relatively little on the Internet about the history of military watches can be about Seiko found. Seiko is apparently an official supplier of the British army.
Seiko has earned as a supplier of Japanese army made, which during the Viet Nam war did become aware of some American “GIs” on the watches and have made the reputation of the watches in the United States. Even today, Seiko is known for its good value for money: the clocks start at just over € 100 with automatic movement-even if it this of course is not to Swiss ETA movements, you get a reasonable introduction to the world of automatic military watches probably hardly any cheaper.
The pictured Seiko military watch comes in a 44 mm case, 10-bar water resistance (suitable therefore not for diving), Japanese automatic movement and so-called Hardlex glass. Can be found only at Seiko Hardlex glass–it is a personal creation of the company and to close the quality gap between simple mineral glass and scratch-resistant Sapphire Crystal. For a clock in the price segment a nice idea, however I would have to befriend me personally with Plexiglas.
Casio – G-shock military watch under real conditions estimated
A second Japanese watch brand may not be missing after Seiko: Casio. My very first wristwatch was a Casio model, which is a real classic and should evoke memories of youth well when so many others…
Unlike Seiko makes no secret of the popularity of his 1983 introduced G-Shock models in military circles Casio and advertises quite openly with the collaboration with the Royal Air Force or former soldiers:
I’ve personally had already positive experiences with Casio G-shock models and they are hardly get break – along the watch is used by many soldiers under real conditions. Disadvantage: While Hamilton – and Panerai-military watches by the “common man” as easily in the Office can be worn, the G-shock models come therefore perhaps slightly futuristic and brute.
A Casio G-shock is for under € 100 to get. If one does nothing, that mainly (well processed) plastic for the G-shock is used, you will find a robust watch for the harsh everyday with very good value for money in the watch.
Luminox-young brand with barely dealerships image alignment
The young American company Luminox has still not very long history to present shows the positioning of the watch brand overlooking the site more than fast but: everywhere soldiers, combat swimmer, fighter jets etc. jump to the reader.
Also performing at the BASELWORLD 2016 is no doubt as to the orientation of the brand:
In particular, Luminox stresses also the readability of the military watches in the dark-no wonder, this is already in the company name:
Lumi – from lat. “Lumen” light and
NOx-from lat. Night
I’m nobody, who immediately grabs the moral cudgel and shows a finger at unique promotional messages such as those from Luminox. However, I personally like more subtle image building as he is represented for example by the Hamilton watch brand. Hamilton advertises its military watches especially in a historical context.
Nevertheless: The entry-level models of Luminox are from about 200€ and is thus a good entry into the modern world of military watches, provided that a the military watches with a vintage touch such as E.g. the Hamilton Khaki field number not say to. Luminox military watches E.g. from Amazon are available.
All models have in common, conspicuous mainly by its martial appearance and are mostly deep black.
A popular model is the 3050er “Navy SEALs” series of Luminox 44mm stainless steel case, Sapphire Crystal, Swiss quartz movement with a 20 bar water resistance-the military watch is suitable also for bathing or diving. Price point: fair €300.