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Longines | A Stainless Steel Military Issue Cushion-form...
Auction
Longines | A Stainless Steel Military Issue Cushion-form...
C$ 3,973
Estimated price
Seller
Sotheby´s
 
Hublot Big Bang Aero Bang All Black Ceramic Military Men Watch...
Hublot Big Bang Aero Bang All Black Ceramic Military Men Watch...
C$ 12,916
Seller
FeelGoodWatches, Inc.
US
Bell & Ross : BR 03-92 Military Ceramic :  BR0392-CERAM-MI...
Bell & Ross : BR 03-92 Military Ceramic : BR0392-CERAM-MI...
C$ 3,323
Seller
BernardWatch.com
141
US
Bell & Ross BR S Heritage Military Olive Green 39mm
Bell & Ross BR S Heritage Military Olive Green 39mm
C$ 2,425
Seller
Kronopassion
7
US
Swiss Military New Swiss Military Boysize 30MM Stainless Steel...
Swiss Military New Swiss Military Boysize 30MM Stainless Steel...
C$ 581
Seller
GMTSKY
195
US
Breitling Avenger Hurricane Military Limited Edition Black...
Breitling Avenger Hurricane Military Limited Edition Black...
C$ 6,466
Seller
Porcello Jewelers
15
US
Omega Seamaster 30 P.A.F. Military issued Pakistan Air Forces
Omega Seamaster 30 P.A.F. Military issued Pakistan Air Forces
C$ 2,910
Seller
Prime Time Canada
CA
Silvana Military D-H Watch Early Numbering
Silvana Military D-H Watch Early Numbering
C$ 453
Seller
May Street Services LLC
41
US
Longines Post WWII Military circa 1949
Longines Post WWII Military circa 1949
C$ 2,198
Seller
Second Time Around Watch Company
22
US
Movado | A Stainless Steel Military Issue Pilot's Wristwatch
Auction
Movado | A Stainless Steel Military Issue Pilot's Wristwatch
C$ 2,318
Estimated price
Seller
Sotheby´s
 
Helvetia German DH WWII Military
Helvetia German DH WWII Military
C$ 1,067
Free shipping
Seller
Pieces Of time, LLC
US
Rolex Zell Bros Turtle Timer DeLuxe Silver Military 28mm Leather
Rolex Zell Bros Turtle Timer DeLuxe Silver Military 28mm Leather
C$ 1,422
Seller
Collectors1946
32
US
Longines 1914 Caliber 13.33 Mens Single Button World War I...
Longines 1914 Caliber 13.33 Mens Single Button World War I...
C$ 7,753
Seller
Connoisseur Of Time
56
US
Swiss Military Mens Sports Watch Stainless Steeel 38MM Swiss...
Swiss Military Mens Sports Watch Stainless Steeel 38MM Swiss...
C$ 581
Seller
GMTSKY
195
US
Alpina Startimer Pilot Big Date Chronograph Military Watch
Alpina Startimer Pilot Big Date Chronograph Military Watch
C$ 1,132
Seller
King Jewelers
 
US
Breitling Chronospace Military M7836622/BD39 - Black Steel w....
Breitling Chronospace Military M7836622/BD39 - Black Steel w....
C$ 4,696
Free shipping
Seller
Moyer Fine Jewelers
 
US
Ebel ATP WW2 British Military Broad Arrow Watch
Ebel ATP WW2 British Military Broad Arrow Watch
C$ 776
Seller
May Street Services LLC
41
US
Hamilton Military Ref. MIL-W-46374B/39988
Hamilton Military Ref. MIL-W-46374B/39988
C$ 970
Seller
Second Time Around Watch Company
22
US
Bell & Ross Automatic  Military Stainless Steel Green
Bell & Ross Automatic Military Stainless Steel Green
C$ 3,556
Seller
Luxury Jewels of Beverly Hills
 
US
Vulcain MILITARY 38 MILLIMETER WATCH
Vulcain MILITARY 38 MILLIMETER WATCH
C$ 5,140
Seller
H1912
US
Breitling Super Avenger II Military Limited Edition 500 World...
Breitling Super Avenger II Military Limited Edition 500 World...
C$ 9,051
Free shipping
Seller
Loucri Jewelers
34
US
Swiss Alpine Military Thunder 1621.9537
Swiss Alpine Military Thunder 1621.9537
C$ 375
Seller
Gemnation
107
US
Swiss Military New Swiss Military Boysize 30MM Stainless Steel...
Swiss Military New Swiss Military Boysize 30MM Stainless Steel...
C$ 697
Seller
GMTSKY
195
US
Nicolet Skin Diver 900ft Automatic, Military
Nicolet Skin Diver 900ft Automatic, Military
C$ 1,022
Seller
G-Link
14
US
Tutima Military Chronograph ref. 768 Lemania 5100
Tutima Military Chronograph ref. 768 Lemania 5100
C$ 3,039
Seller
ModernVintageClassic
26
US
ELKA Very Rare Vintage ELKA Military Chilean Air Force
ELKA Very Rare Vintage ELKA Military Chilean Air Force
C$ 647
Seller
May Street Services LLC
41
US
Rolex WWI Military Nurse circa 1910's
Rolex WWI Military Nurse circa 1910's
C$ 3,492
Seller
Second Time Around Watch Company
22
US
Hamilton Vintage Military Watch 987A
Hamilton Vintage Military Watch 987A
C$ 1,293
Seller
Lane Jewelers Inc (dba: Lane Mitchell Jewelers)
 
US
Longines Vintage Military Style Ref 4092
Longines Vintage Military Style Ref 4092
Price on request
Seller
Matthew Bain Inc
5
US
Rolex 34mm Oyster Perpetual Military Blue Arabic & Index...
Rolex 34mm Oyster Perpetual Military Blue Arabic & Index...
C$ 3,873
Seller
Austins Watches Inc.
105
US
Bell & Ross Aviation BRS BRS Military Ceramic BRS-MLTRYCRMCRB
Bell & Ross Aviation BRS BRS Military Ceramic BRS-MLTRYCRMCRB
C$ 3,000
Seller
Gemnation
107
US
Swiss Military New Swiss Military Boysize 30MM Stainless Steel...
Swiss Military New Swiss Military Boysize 30MM Stainless Steel...
C$ 581
Seller
GMTSKY
195
US
Lemania WWII Military Issue, Manual Wind
Lemania WWII Military Issue, Manual Wind
C$ 511
Seller
Private seller
 
US
Graham Chronofighter Oversize Black Ceramic Military 2CCAU.G01A
Graham Chronofighter Oversize Black Ceramic Military 2CCAU.G01A
C$ 5,949
Seller
BlackTagWatches
35
US
Buren Grand Prix Military German Military Fixed Lugs
Buren Grand Prix Military German Military Fixed Lugs
C$ 388
Seller
May Street Services LLC
41
US
Hamilton Military WWII circa 1943
Hamilton Military WWII circa 1943
C$ 1,229
Seller
Second Time Around Watch Company
22
US
Breitling Avenger Bandit Military Strap Ti Deploying Buckle...
Breitling Avenger Bandit Military Strap Ti Deploying Buckle...
C$ 5,496
Free shipping
Seller
Burdeens Jewelry
 
US
Omega Military Rare 15 Jewels Wristwatch
Omega Military Rare 15 Jewels Wristwatch
C$ 1,545
Seller
Seamaster550
22
US
Rolex 1956 Vintage Rolex Oyster Army Military Stainless Steel...
Rolex 1956 Vintage Rolex Oyster Army Military Stainless Steel...
C$ 2,955
Seller
Sumpters Jewelry
8
US
Bell & Ross Aviation Ceramic BR03-92MILITARYTYPE
Bell & Ross Aviation Ceramic BR03-92MILITARYTYPE
C$ 4,449
Seller
Gemnation
107
US
Bell & Ross 126 Pilot Military Type Like New w/Box and Card
Bell & Ross 126 Pilot Military Type Like New w/Box and Card
C$ 4,203
Seller
ModernVintageClassic
26
US
Movado Military Mens Black Dial SS Swiss Quartz Dress Watch...
Movado Military Mens Black Dial SS Swiss Quartz Dress Watch...
C$ 552
Free shipping
Seller
Inventory Adjusters
77
US
Gruen 1960's Airflight Vintage Mens Pilot Aviator's...
Gruen 1960's Airflight Vintage Mens Pilot Aviator's...
C$ 1,416
Seller
Connoisseur Of Time
56
US
Longines Pre WW2 Military Issue Oversized
Longines Pre WW2 Military Issue Oversized
C$ 647
Seller
May Street Services LLC
41
US
NO NAME Military WWI circa 1910's
NO NAME Military WWI circa 1910's
C$ 3,362
Seller
Second Time Around Watch Company
22
US
Breitling Airbourne Chronomat White Dial On Military Strap Ab0115
Breitling Airbourne Chronomat White Dial On Military Strap Ab0115
C$ 6,725
Free shipping
Seller
Burdeens Jewelry
 
US
Longines Vintage Military-Style ref 4092
Longines Vintage Military-Style ref 4092
Price on request
Seller
Matthew Bain Inc
5
US
Omega Military officer's watch WWII Staybrite steel 1945
Omega Military officer's watch WWII Staybrite steel 1945
C$ 4,520
Seller
Prime Time Canada
CA
Swiss Alpine Military Thunder 1621.9577
Swiss Alpine Military Thunder 1621.9577
C$ 407
Seller
Gemnation
107
US
Timor British Military Broad Arrow
Timor British Military Broad Arrow
C$ 1,875
Seller
Wanna Buy A Watch?
5
US
Movado Military Mens Diamond Black Dial Swiss Quartz Watch...
Movado Military Mens Diamond Black Dial Swiss Quartz Watch...
C$ 678
Free shipping
Seller
Inventory Adjusters
77
US
Rolex Antique Military Mechanical 15 Jewel C1918 Stunning Watch
Rolex Antique Military Mechanical 15 Jewel C1918 Stunning Watch
C$ 21,840
Seller
Giftland
US
Gallet Vintage Racine Military Issue Watch
Gallet Vintage Racine Military Issue Watch
C$ 1,293
Seller
May Street Services LLC
41
US
J.W. BENSON Military circa 1920's
J.W. BENSON Military circa 1920's
C$ 3,621
Seller
Second Time Around Watch Company
22
US
Blancpain Aqua Lung Automatic Military Us Navy Issued 40mm New...
Blancpain Aqua Lung Automatic Military Us Navy Issued 40mm New...
Price on request
Seller
Robert Maron, Inc.
US
The Dirty Dozen Multiple Brands World War 2 Military Commissio...
The Dirty Dozen Multiple Brands World War 2 Military Commissio...
C$ 94,085
Seller
Xupes.com
58
UK
Tutima Military Air Force Chronograph TL
Tutima Military Air Force Chronograph TL
C$ 4,720
Seller
Prime Time Canada
CA
Swiss Alpine Military Red Force 1635.9872
Swiss Alpine Military Red Force 1635.9872
C$ 381
Seller
Gemnation
107
US
Bell & Ross BR03-94 Chronograph "Aviation Type/Militar...
Bell & Ross BR03-94 Chronograph "Aviation Type/Militar...
C$ 5,166
Seller
Motion in Time
 
US
Rolex Submariner PCG 660ft/200m Stahl Automatik Armband...
Rolex Submariner PCG 660ft/200m Stahl Automatik Armband...
C$ 19,597
Seller
Juwelier Ralf Häffner
386
DE

Military Watches: Beloved Amongst Military and Civilians Alike

Whether on water, land, or in the air, military watches are useful everywhere. They're robust, functional, and relatively affordable even when new. An older military watch with a documented history, however, can reach astronomical prices.

Everything to Know About Military Watches

  • Robust and legible
  • Famous watches like the Rolex Submariner or IWC Mark 11
  • Extensive vintage selection
  • Rare and expensive collector's pieces are good investments
  • Large selection of affordable everyday watches

From a Service Watch to a Cult Watch

Military watches should, above all, be reliable and fulfill their purpose - no more, no less. Failure while the watch is in use can result in grave consequences. Military watches have no superfluous extras. Stainless steel and plastic are the main case materials used, as gold watches for regular military equipment do not fit most budgets. A military watch can't be too expensive, seeing as they're distributed en masse to the troops.
In any case, there is no clear cut definition for a military watch. This is why some watches are labeled as military watches even though they were originally meant for civilian use. Usually, they have common military watch characteristics, but have been sold on the regular market like any other watch. Thus, a soldier may indeed be a customer, but these still aren't "real" military watches.

IWC Mark 11: Serving the Royal Air Force for Over 30 Years

Watches that exist solely because the air force, marines, or army requested them are rare. Most are only introduced later as part of the brand's regular selection of watches available to everyone. One example of a watch like this is the most well-known pilot's watch, the Mark 11 from IWC. Created in 1948 to fulfill the wishes of the British Ministry of Defense, it was first the service watch for the Royal Air Force. Both IWC and Jaeger-LeCoultre delivered Mark 11s to pilots. The RAF gradually phased the watch out at the beginning of the 1980s. IWC continued developing the series, staying close to the original and also changing the numbers in the name to Roman numerals. The 2016 model is called the Mark XVIII. Clear and legible dials are no longer just for military pilots and their crews; they're a standard characteristic of IWC watches.
The same applies to some legendary diving watches. Blancpain developed the Fifty Fathoms for the French combat diving unit, Les Naguers de combat. The Fifty Fathoms featured a unidirectional bezel and has been competing with the Rolex Submariner for the title of the first diving watch in the world since its premiere in 1953. Blancpain offers the Fifty Fathoms in versions that are based on the one from 1953. There are also models in gold or white gold with special features such as diamonds or a tourbillon. These special watches are similar to the military watches in name only.

Watches for Combat Divers

The Panerai Radiomir has a similar history. The Italian Marines turned to Panerai in 1938, as they needed a reliable and legible diving watch. Panerai created a watch that was named Radiomir after the luminous, radioactive material used. The Marina Militare gave the elite combat unit Gamma the Radiomir. Initially, the timepiece was shroud in secrecy. After Panerai replaced the harmful radioactive material with a harmless one, the diving watch was renamed the Luminor in 1950. The Radiomir is available today once again, but the luminous hands and indices are not radioactive.
Two additional famous diving watches from the 1950s were also used by the military: the Rolex Submariner and the Omega Seamaster 300. However, the Submariner and Seamaster weren't originally conceived for the military. The Submariner had already been in production for four years when the British Ministry of Defense began searching for a good diving watch. They chose the Rolex, but not the regular, civilian version; rather, they asked for some changes. The metal bars for the strap were integrated into the case, and the strap became a continuous textile strap (NATO strap) so the watch couldn't be lost. The larger bezel is made of silver, a relatively soft metal which doesn't suffer cracks or break on impact. Rolex used tritium as the luminous material. These models have an encircled T on the dial above the depth indicator. Rolex produced these military Submariners until the late 1970s.

The Seamaster: Originally for Pilots, Now for Marines

The British military also used the Omega Seamaster. However, unlike its name would suggest, the Air Force were the first to use the timepiece. At its start in 1948, the Seamaster wasn't a diving watch. It only became a diving watch when the Seamaster 300 model was released in 1957. The Omega Seamaster 300 was soon part of the Royal Navy's Special Boat Service gear. Today's Seamaster 300's design is reminiscent of the version from 1957.
For years, the Vostok Amphibia enjoyed cult status in the West as well. This watch is an inexpensive, mechanical Russian diving watch. Its construction and design have barely changed since its introduction in the late 1960s. In order to fulfill the demands of the Soviet Ministry of Defense, designers Michail Novikov and Vera Belov came up with a revolutionary sealing concept. The deeper one dives, the more intensely the edge of the Plexiglas pushes against the o-ring, which creates a seal protecting the front side of the watch. The stronger the water pressure is, the better the waterproofness is. The case back is positioned on a large rubber ring and a steel ring is also screwed on to the case. This results in both the case back and o-ring pressing against the case. Unlike other well-known diving watches, the case back is not screwed down. The Amphibia's rubber ring is neither horizontally compressed or stretched, which can happen when a screw-down back is tightened or loosened. Thus, the o-ring must only be changed in exceptional cases, while in regular diving watches, the piece is considered expendable.
With the Chronospace Military, Breitling introduced a watch that proclaimed to be a military watch directly in its name. It's powered by a quartz movement and has an analog as well as a digital display. The Chronospace Military features an alarm function, a timer, and a second time zone display. It's waterproof to 50 m (5 bar), which isn't particularly impressive for a 4,000-euro watch that claims to be a military watch.
Countless watches in a less expensive price range carry the title Swiss Military. These watches fall into three different categories: Swiss Military from Bubendorf, Swiss Military Hanowa from Möhlin, and Swiss Military by Chrono from Solothurn. Less expensive quartz watches play an important role in the Swiss Military market.
In any case, the less expensive and reliable quartz watches have prevailed amongst the military and are still worn by troops today. Navy SEALS use Luminox watches. Soldiers often wear a Traser or a Casio. A Submariner or Fifty Fathoms is no longer a piece of military equipment, but rather a luxury item.

Buying Advice

Are you looking for a sporty watch that also functions perfectly in adverse conditions? Military watches are not only functional, but incredibly robust and legible as well. Some military watches have even reached cult status.
The Submariner is one of the most famous watches of all time. The incredibly rare, early version of the Submariner has the reference number A/6538. Other reference numbers to keep an eye out for are 5513, 5517, and 5513/5517. However, a search for the 5513 results in not only military Subs, but civilian Submariners as well. The 5517 is especially sought after; it can be identified partly by its sword hands. The price of a military Submariner heavily depends on its condition and availability. Even a non-military Rolex watch, reference number 6538 from the 1950s, costs around 40,000. The military version is much more expensive. Over the course of 30 years, there were only 1,200 - 1,300 military Submariners produced, making prices over 100,000 possible. A few 5517s have already been sold for almost 150,000 euros. Frequently, dealers only first reveal their desired price upon request.
As a buyer, you have to decide if you're more interested in a historical or modern military watch. The price is often the same. A German pilot's chronograph with one push-piece from Hanhart from the Second World War costs around 8,000 - 9,000 euros. A new automatic Blancpain Fifty Fathoms diving watch with a traditional design also costs around that amount. For the Fifty Fathoms versions with a red gold case, you should plan to pay around 23,000 euros.
However, these price ranges are not typical. Normally, modern military watches are good everyday watches with an excellent price-performance ratio. When new, you can usually buy them for less than 1,000 euros; this especially applies to quartz-powered watches. A mechanical Vostok Amphibia costs less than 100 euros and has an in-house automatic caliber, 2146 B.