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Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Compressor Diving Chronograph GMT Navy SEALs Q1782470 Very good Rose gold 46.3mm Automatic South Africa, Johannesburg
Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Compressor Diving Chronograph GMT Navy...
R 214 999
Verified Dealer
ZA
Bell & Ross BR 03 BR0392-DESERT-CE New Ceramic 42mm Automatic
Bell & Ross BR 03
R 29 931
Verified Dealer
 
AE
Breitling Avenger Hurricane xb12101a/bf46/283s.x New 50mm Automatic
Breitling Avenger Hurricane
R 112 243
Verified Dealer
238
US
Panerai Special Editions PAM 00217 Very good Steel 47mm Manual winding South Africa, Centurion
Panerai Special Editions
R 192 400
Verified Dealer
ZA
Panerai Special Editions PAM 00217 Good Steel 47mm Manual winding
Panerai Marina/ Militare
R 187 071
Verified Dealer
10
US
Zenith Pilot Type 20 Annual Calendar 03.2430.4054/21.C721 Very good Steel 48mm Automatic
Zenith Pilot Type 20 Annual Calendar
R 99 618
Verified Dealer
7
UK
Anonimo Militare 2010 Good Steel 43mm Automatic
Anonimo Militare
R 33 206
Verified Dealer
20
DE
Heuer 1550 SG Good Steel 43mm Manual winding
Heuer Bundeswehr Vintage 1550 SG Flyback Steel black RARE
R 56 433
Verified Dealer
681
DE
Bell & Ross BR 01-92 BR01-92 Very good Steel 46mm Automatic
Bell & Ross Horizon Limited Edition
R 35 696
Verified Dealer
1258
NL
Anonimo Militare 2007 Very good Steel 43.4mm Automatic
Anonimo Militare Crono black dial
R 44 662
Verified Dealer
850
BE
IWC Big Pilot Top Gun Miramar IW501902 Very good Ceramic 48mm Automatic
IWC MINT IWC Big Pilot Top Gun Miramar 48mm Black Ceramic...
R 127 104
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
239
US
Panerai Special Editions PAM 00217 Very good Steel 47mm Manual winding
Panerai Special Editions 2005 1000 Pieces Marina Luminor Militare
R 175 099
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
127
AE
IWC Big Pilot Top Gun Miramar IW501902 Very good Ceramic 48mm Automatic
IWC Big Pilot Top Gun Miramar Full set, 2018
R 136 974
Verified Dealer
637
NL
A. Lange & Söhne FL23883 Very good Steel 56mm Manual winding
A. Lange & Söhne WWII Aviator FL23883
R 117 933
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
455
UK
Panerai Special Editions PAM 217 Very good Steel 47mm Manual winding
Panerai Marina Militare Lefthand Pam00217
R 242 403
Verified Dealer
395
DE
Longines Heritage L2.811.4.53.0 New Steel 44mm Automatic
TOP
Longines L2.811.4.53.0 HERITAGE MILITARY 1918
R 23 467
Verified Dealer
14
HK
Heuer 1550 SG Good Steel 43mm Manual winding
Heuer Bundeswehr Vintage 1550 SG 3H Dial Flyback Steel black RARE
R 64 735
Verified Dealer
681
DE
IWC Big Pilot Top Gun Miramar IW501902 Very good Titanium 48mm Automatic
IWC IW501902 Big Pilot TOP GUN Miramar 7 Day Ceramic (33115)
R 117 481
Verified Dealer
386
US
IWC Big Pilot Top Gun Miramar IW501902 New Ceramic 48mm Automatic
IWC Big Pilot Top Gun Miramar
R 174 331
Verified Dealer
144
DE
Panerai Special Editions PAM 00217 Very good Steel 47mm Manual winding
Panerai Special Editions Luminor 1950 Marina Militare
R 261 900
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
15
US
Orfina 7177 Fair Steel 41mm Automatic
Orfina Porsche Design Military Green PVD
R 46 488
Verified Dealer
141
IT
Zenith Pilot Type 20 03.1930.681/21.C723 Very good Steel 40mm Automatic
Zenith Pilot Type 20 2019 STEEL Automatic 40mm
R 67 346
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
127
AE
Zenith Pilot Type 20 Annual Calendar 87.2430.4054/21.C721 Very good Titanium 48mm Automatic
Zenith Pilot Montre d'Aeronef Type 20 Annual Calendar Gold &...
R 127 193
Verified Dealer
71
US
Panerai Special Editions PAM00339 Very good 47mm Manual winding
Panerai Radiomir Composite Marina Militare PAM00339
R 175 916
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
455
UK
A. Lange & Söhne FL23883 Good Steel 55mm Manual winding
A. Lange & Söhne Elite School Pilot WW II Zertifikat
R 171 674
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
327
DE
Zenith Pilot Type 20 Extra Special 29.2430.679/21.C753 Very good Bronze 45mm Automatic
Zenith Pilot Type 20 Extra Special Bronze Fullset LC100
R 82 849
Verified Dealer
66
DE
Zenith Pilot Type 20 Tourbillon 87.2430.4035/21.C721 New Rose gold 48mm Automatic
Zenith Pilot Type 20 Tourbillon
R 428 202
Verified Dealer
193
HK
Bell & Ross BR 03 BR03-92-S Good Steel 42mm Automatic
Bell & Ross BR 03-92 Carbon Black PVD
R 33 316
Verified Dealer
 
UK
Heuer 1550 SG Good Steel 43mm Manual winding
Heuer Bund Pilots Chronograph 1550 SG
R 95 017
Verified Dealer
33
US
IWC Pilot Mark IW324702 New Ceramic 41mm Automatic
IWC IW324702 IWC Pilot Mark XVIII Top Gun Miramar Automatic 41mm
R 83 015
Verified Dealer
134
CH
Panerai Special Editions PAM00339 Good Ceramic 47mm Manual winding
Panerai Radiomir Manual PAM00339, Arabisch, 2011, Gut, Gehäuse...
R 116 221
Verified Dealer
159
DE
Heuer 1550 SG Very good Steel 43mm Manual winding
TOP
Heuer Bundeswehr 1550 SG
R 96 312
Private Seller
 
UK
Panerai Special Editions PAM00339 Very good 47mm Manual winding
Panerai Radiomir Marina Militare PAM00339
R 175 916
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
455
UK
A. Lange & Söhne FL23883 Very good Steel 55mm Manual winding
A. Lange & Söhne 1942 Pilot Flieger WWII 55mm Baumuster B
R 146 272
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
327
DE
Zenith Pilot Type 20 Extra Special 29.2430.679/21.C753 Very good Bronze 45mm Automatic
Zenith Pilot Type 20 Extra Special Bronze FULL SET
R 72 887
Verified Dealer
390
ES
Panerai Special Editions PAM 587 Very good Steel 47mm Manual winding
Panerai Radiomir 1940 Marina Militare 3-Days PAM 587
R 104 760
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
663
US
Bell & Ross BR 03-92 Ceramic BR0392-MIL-CE New Ceramic 42mm Automatic
Bell & Ross Military Type Automatic Olive Dial
R 47 318
Verified Dealer
850
BE
Bell & Ross BR V1 BRV192-MIL-ST/SCA New Steel 38.5mm Automatic
Bell & Ross BR V1-92 MILITARY
R 25 784
Verified Dealer
185
IT
Panerai Special Editions PAM 217 Very good Steel 47mm Manual winding
Panerai PAM 217 Destro Marina Militare Special Ed 47 mm
R 209 445
Verified Dealer
97
US
Breitling Chronospace Military M7836622.BD39.105W.M20BASA.1 New Steel Quartz
Breitling Chronospace Military
R 68 794
Verified Dealer
31
UK
Bell & Ross BR V1 BRV192-MIL-ST/SCA Very good Steel 38.5mm Automatic
Bell & Ross ベル&ロス  BRV1-92 ミリタリー BRV192-MIL-ST/SCA【中古】A《返品可》【質...
R 19 810
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
44
JP
Bell & Ross BR 01-94 Chronographe BR 01-94 New Steel 46mm Automatic
Bell & Ross Aviation Carbon Chronograph Matte Black PVD FInish
R 74 754
Verified Dealer
341
US
Bell & Ross BR 03 BR03-92-S Very good Steel 42mm Automatic
Bell & Ross BR 03-92-S Limited Edition
R 41 507
Verified Dealer
14
FR
IWC Pilot Chronograph Top Gun Miramar IW388002 New Ceramic 46.00mm Automatic
IWC Pilot's Watches Automatic Grey Dial Unisex Watch - IW388002
R 147 846
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
1535
US
Panerai Special Editions PAM 339 Very good 47mm Manual winding
Panerai Radiomir Composite Marina Militare 8 Giorni PAM 339
R 111 494
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
663
US
Anonimo Militare 2007 New Steel 43.4mm Automatic
Anonimo Militare Crono Black dial Steel - NEW
R 46 322
Verified Dealer
850
BE
Breitling Avenger Hurricane XB12101A/BF46/283S/X20D.4 New 50mm Automatic
Breitling Avenger Hurricane
R 113 730
Verified Dealer
185
IT
Bell & Ross BR01-94 Fair Steel 46mm Automatic
Bell & Ross BR 03-94 Chrono Limited Édition Orange 250pcs
R 74 713
Verified Dealer
18
FR
Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Compressor Diving Alarm Navy SEALs 183T770 Very good Steel 44mm Automatic
Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Compressor Alarm Navy Seals Limited...
R 129 486
Verified Dealer
1101
DE
Tutima Military 750-02 Very good Titanium 43mm Automatic
Tutima Military
R 48 979
Verified Dealer
136
DE
IWC Pilot Chronograph Top Gun Miramar IW3880-02 New Ceramic 46mm Automatic
IWC Pilot Collection Pilot Chronograph Top Gun Miramar
R 161 555
Verified Dealer
341
US
Alpina Startimer Pilot AL-372GR4FBS6 New Steel 44mm Quartz
Alpina Startimer Pilot Chronograph
R 9 945
Verified Dealer
1361
DE
Bell & Ross BR V1 BRV192-MIL-ST/SCA New 38.5mm Automatic
Bell & Ross Vintage BR V1-92 Military Men's Watch - BRV192-MIL...
R 24 229
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
1535
US
Panerai Special Editions PAM 217 Very good Steel 47mm Manual winding
Panerai Luminor 1950 Marina Militare Destro PAM 217
R 163 874
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
663
US
Anonimo Militare 2007 New Steel 43.4mm Automatic
Anonimo Militare Crono white dial last edition NEW
R 44 662
Verified Dealer
BE
Zenith Pilot Type 20 Extra Special 29.2430.679/21.C753 New Bronze 45mm Automatic
Zenith HERITAGE: PILOT TYPE 20 EXTRA SPECIAL
R 78 864
Verified Dealer
185
IT
Panerai Special Editions PAM00587 Very good Steel 47mm Manual winding
Panerai Radiomir 1940 3 Days Marina Militare PAM00587
R 115 390
Verified Dealer
681
NL
Panerai Special Editions PAM00217 Very good Steel 47mm Manual winding
Panerai Luminor Marina Militare Special Edition PAM 217...
R 190 917
Verified Dealer
1101
DE
Heuer 1550 SG Good Steel 43mm Manual winding
Heuer 1550 SG Bundeswehr Chronograph Flyback Vintage
R 53 960
Private Seller
 
DE
Tutima Military 760-01 Very good Steel 38mm Automatic
Tutima FX UTC Germany Chronograph GMT
R 36 666
Verified Dealer
341
US
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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.


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