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Longines Heritage L2.789.4.53.0 Good Steel 42mm Automatic South Africa, Johannesburg
Longines Heritage
R 32 999
Free shipping
Professional dealer
134
ZA
IWC Pilot Chronograph Top Gun Miramar IW388002 New Ceramic 46mm Automatic
IWC Top Gun Miramar Chronograph IW388002
R 156 456
Professional dealer
124
UK
Panerai Special Editions PAM 00587 New Steel 47mm Manual winding
Panerai Radiomir 1940 3 days 47mm Marina Militare
R 95 071
Professional dealer
141
US
Bell & Ross BR 01-94 Chronographe BR01-94 Good Steel 46mm Automatic
Bell & Ross BR01 Carbon Red Numbers PVD Stainless Steel BR...
R 48 659
Professional dealer
259
US
Bell & Ross BR 01-94 Chronographe BR01-94 Very good Steel 46mm Automatic
Bell & Ross Br 01-94
R 46 712
Professional dealer
392
US
Tutima Military 760-01 Very good Titanium Automatic
Tutima Military Chronograph
R 50 794
Professional dealer
87
DE
Heuer 1550 SG Good Steel 43mm Manual winding
TOP
Heuer Bundeswehr Pilot's watch ref. 1550 SG
R 76 637
Private Seller
 
HR
Heuer 1550 SG Good Steel 43mm Manual winding
Heuer BUND Military Flyback "Bundeswehr" Vintage
R 70 399
Professional dealer
599
ES
Zenith Pilot Type 20 Extra Special 29.2430.679/21.C753 New Bronze 45mm Automatic
Zenith Pilot extra SpecialMontre DÁeronef Type 20 Bronze
R 87 312
Professional dealer
16
AT
Breitling Chronospace Military M7836622 Very good Steel 46mm Quartz South Africa, Johannesburg
Breitling Chronospace Military 46mm Black Steel SuperQuartz
R 55 999
Free shipping
Professional dealer
134
ZA
IWC Big Pilot Top Gun Miramar IW501902 New Ceramic 48mm Automatic
IWC Top Gun Miramar Big Pilot IW501902
R 172 027
Professional dealer
124
UK
Bell & Ross BR 01-92 BR 01-92 Very good Rose gold 46mm Automatic
Bell & Ross Br01-92 46mm
R 67 373
Professional dealer
141
US
Bell & Ross BR 01-94 Chronographe BR01-94 Good Gold/Steel 46mm Automatic
Bell & Ross BR 01-94 ROSE GOLD & CARBON OFFICER
R 108 546
Professional dealer
259
US
Panerai Special Editions PAM 587 Unworn Steel 47mm Manual winding
Panerai Radiomir Military Lim Edition
R 155 408
Professional dealer
43
CH
Panerai Special Editions PAM 00339 Good Ceramic 47mm Manual winding
Panerai PAM 339 Limited Édition Marina Militare Radiomir...
R 176 443
Professional dealer
46
FR
Heuer 1550 SG Very good Steel 43mm Manual winding
TOP
Heuer Bundeswehr SL Flyback
R 73 072
Private Seller
 
DE
Bell & Ross BR 01-92 BR 01-92 Very good Ceramic 46mm Automatic
Bell & Ross Black Dial Steel Automatic Mens Watch
R 29 929
Professional dealer
245
US
Bell & Ross BR 03 BR0392-DESERT-CE New Ceramic 42mm Automatic
Bell & Ross Instrument
R 49 863
Professional dealer
38
CH
IWC Pilot Chronograph Top Gun Miramar IW389002 Unworn Ceramic 44mm Automatic
IWC Chronograph Top Gun Miramar IW389002
R 123 578
Professional dealer
141
UK
IWC Big Pilot Top Gun Miramar IW501902 Very good Ceramic 48mm Automatic
TOP
IWC Big Pilot Top Gun Miramar
R 127 261
Private Seller
 
US
Heuer SG 1550 Good Steel Manual winding
TOP
Heuer SG 1550 Flieger-Chronograph, Bw, zivile Version, Flyback
R 73 963
Private Seller
 
DE
Longines Heritage L2.811.4.53.0 Good Steel 44mm Automatic
Longines Heritage Military 44mm Stainless Steel L2.811.4.53.0
R 23 581
Professional dealer
259
US
Panerai Special Editions PAM 339 New Ceramic 47mm Manual winding
Panerai Radiomir Composite Marina Militare
R 262 524
Professional dealer
43
CH
IWC Big Pilot Top Gun Miramar IW501902 New Ceramic 48mm Automatic
IWC Big Pilot Top Gun Miramar
R 187 136
Professional dealer
349
DE
Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Compressor Diving Chronograph GMT Navy SEALs Q1782470 Very good Rose gold Manual winding
Jaeger-LeCoultre Navy Seals GMT
R 288 957
Professional dealer
52
US
Panerai Special Editions PAM 00339 New Ceramic 47mm Manual winding
Panerai Special Editions neuve full set 2011 NOS
R 174 660
Professional dealer
142
BE
Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Compressor Diving Automatic Navy SEALs Q2018470 Very good Steel 42mm Automatic
Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Compressor Diving Navy Seals Limited...
R 119 026
Free shipping
Professional dealer
1451
US
Panerai Special Editions PAM 00587 Unworn Steel 47mm Manual winding
Panerai Luminor Marina Militare 1940 3 Days 47mm Unworn SE...
R 147 285
Professional dealer
211
DE
Panerai Special Editions PAM 00339 New Ceramic 47mm Manual winding
Panerai Marina Militare Radiomir Composite (New Full Set)
R 182 915
Free shipping
Professional dealer
15
HK
Bell & Ross BR 01-92 BR 01-92 Very good Bronze 46mm Automatic
Bell & Ross Br01-92 Skull
R 151 491
Professional dealer
197
CZ
IWC Big Pilot Top Gun Miramar IW5019-02 Good Ceramic 46mm Automatic
IWC Big Pilot's Top Gun Miramar ref: IW5019-02
R 131 004
Professional dealer
259
US
Bell & Ross BR 01-94 Chronographe BR01-94 Very good Gold/Steel 46mm Automatic
Bell & Ross Chronograph, Ref BR01-94-S, Men’s, Steel and 18K...
R 103 231
Professional dealer
226
US
Zenith Pilot Type 20 Extra Special 29.2430.679/21.C753 New Bronze 45mm Automatic
Zenith Pilot Type 20 Extra Special
R 86 083
Professional dealer
349
DE
IWC Big Pilot Top Gun Miramar IW501902 Very good Ceramic 48mm Automatic
IWC Big Pilot Top Gun Miramar
R 173 674
Professional dealer
52
US
Panerai Special Editions PAM 00339 Very good Ceramic 47mm Manual winding
Panerai Radiomir Special Edition
R 121 193
Professional dealer
110
PL
Heuer 1550SG Fair Steel 42mm Manual winding
Heuer ミリタリー フライバック クロノグラフ 1550SG
R 94 451
Free shipping
Professional dealer
3530
JP
Panerai Special Editions PAM00587 Very good Steel 47mm Manual winding
Panerai Radiomir PAM00587 Limited edition
R 131 886
Professional dealer
1463
NL
IWC Big Pilot Top Gun Miramar IW501902 Very good Ceramic 48mm Automatic
IWC Big Pilot Top Gun Miramar 7 Days
R 149 709
Professional dealer
1867
NL
Panerai Special Editions PAM 00339 Very good Ceramic 47mm Manual winding
Panerai Radiomir Composite Marina Militare 8 Giorni special...
R 126 540
Professional dealer
197
CZ
Bell & Ross BR 01-92 BR01-92 Good Steel 46mm Automatic
Bell & Ross BR01-92 Heritage 46mm Full Set
R 37 430
Professional dealer
259
US
Panerai Special Editions PAM 00587 Good Steel 47mm Manual winding
Panerai Marina Militare Radiomir 1940
R 161 525
Professional dealer
20
JP
Zenith Pilot Type 20 Tourbillon 87.2430.4035/21.C721 Unworn Titanium 48mm Automatic
Zenith PILOT AERONEF 48 MM TYPE XX TOURBILLON
R 658 541
Professional dealer
138
MC
Panerai Special Editions PAM339 Very good
Panerai PAM339
R 205 863
Professional dealer
52
US
Panerai Special Editions PAM00339 Very good Ceramic 47mm Manual winding
Panerai Radiomir Composite Marina Militare 8 Days PAM00339
R 123 866
Professional dealer
1182
NL
IWC Pilot Chronograph Top Gun Miramar IW388002 Very good Ceramic 46mm Automatic
IWC Top Gun Miramar Chronograph
R 157 204
Professional dealer
9
US
IWC Pilot Mark IW3247-02 Very good Ceramic 41mm Automatic
IWC Pilot's Watches Mark XVIII Top Gun Miramar IW3247-02
R 89 083
Free shipping
Professional dealer
1451
US
Zenith Pilot Type 20 Extra Special 29.2430.679/21.C753 New Bronze 45mm Automatic
Zenith Pilot Type 20 Extra Special
R 86 796
Professional dealer
66
PL
Bell & Ross BR 03 BR0392-DESERT-CE New Ceramic 42mm Automatic
Bell & Ross BR0392 DESERT TYPE
R 49 903
Professional dealer
81
MC
IWC Big Pilot Top Gun Miramar IW501902 Unworn Ceramic 48.6mm Automatic
IWC BIG PILOT'S WATCH TOP GUN MIRAMAR IW501902 NEW
R 154 530
Professional dealer
582
JP
Panerai Special Editions PAM 00339 Unworn Ceramic 47mm Manual winding
Panerai Marina Militare Radiomir Composite
R 235 443
Professional dealer
20
JP
Zenith Pilot Type 20 Extra Special 29.2430.679/21.C753 New Bronze 45mm Automatic
Zenith Pilot Type 20 Extra Special Bronze 45 Montre d'Aeronef
R 76 057
Professional dealer
774
US
Panerai Special Editions PAM00339 Very good Ceramic 47mm Manual winding
Panerai Radiomir Marina Militare Composite
R 133 669
Professional dealer
230
FR
Zenith Pilot Type 20 Extra Special 29.2430.679/21.C753 New Bronze 45mm Automatic
Zenith Pilot Type 20 Extra Special
R 92 231
Professional dealer
138
MC
Zenith Pilot Type 20 Extra Special 29.2430.679/21.C753 Unworn Bronze 45mm Automatic
Zenith Pilot Type 20 Extra Special
R 92 677
Free shipping
Professional dealer
13
ES
Zenith Pilot Type 20 Annual Calendar 87.2430.4054/21.C721 Very good Titanium 48mm Automatic
Zenith Pilot D´Aeronef Type 20 Annual Calendar Gold and...
R 168 423
Free shipping
Professional dealer
480
PT
IWC Pilot Mark 6B/346 Good Steel 36mm
IWC Vintage Mark XI R.A.F. Military
R 183 338
Professional dealer
628
UK
Bell & Ross BR V1 BRV192-MIL-ST/SCA New Steel 38.5mm Automatic
Bell & Ross Vintage BR V1-92 Military Men's Watch - BRV192-MIL...
R 24 838
Professional dealer
4105
US
Breitling Chronospace Military M7836622/BD39 Very good 46mm Quartz
Breitling Professional Chronospace M7836622/BD39
R 66 625
Free shipping
Professional dealer
1451
US
IWC Big Pilot Top Gun Miramar IW501902 Very good Ceramic 48mm Automatic
IWC Big Pilot Top Gun Miramar
R 133 998
Professional dealer
9
US
Orfina 7750 Good Steel 40mm Automatic
Orfina Vintage Porsche Design by Orfina, Chronograph,...
R 46 142
Private Seller
 
DE
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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.