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IWC Fliegeruhr Mark XVIII Top Gun Miramar
IWC Fliegeruhr Mark XVIII Top Gun Miramar
R 66,944
Free shipping
Seller
A. Grimmeissen Uhren An- und Verkauf
190
DE
Breitling Avenger Hurricane
Breitling Avenger Hurricane
R 84,825
Seller
Luxury Souq Dubai
 
AE
IWC Watch Mark XVIII IW324702
IWC Watch Mark XVIII IW324702
R 68,533
Seller
Watchfinder.co.uk Ltd
UK
IWC Pilot's Chronograph Top Gun Miramar
IWC Pilot's Chronograph Top Gun Miramar
R 138,613
Seller
Antoine de Macedo Horloger
8
FR
Jaeger-LeCoultre Navy Seals GMT
Jaeger-LeCoultre Navy Seals GMT
R 250,011
Seller
Chad Warrick
10
US
Zenith Pilot Montre d'Aeronef Type 20 Tourbillon 18k Rose
Zenith Pilot Montre d'Aeronef Type 20 Tourbillon 18k Rose
R 536,982
Seller
Watches4me
20
CH
IWC Pilot Top Gun Chronograph IW389002 Box Papers Unworn
IWC Pilot Top Gun Chronograph IW389002 Box Papers Unworn
R 141,748
Seller
UHREN-NAGEL
16
DE
Panerai Marina Militare Lefthand Pam00217
Panerai Marina Militare Lefthand Pam00217
R 234,697
Seller
schreiter-muenchen.de
158
DE
Anonimo militare automatico
Anonimo militare automatico
R 47,254
Seller
wiquel s.r.l.
9
IT
IWC Grosse Fliegeruhr Top Gun Miramar
IWC Grosse Fliegeruhr Top Gun Miramar
R 173,611
Free shipping
Seller
Rent a Box Schmuck und Uhren AG
7
CH
IWC Pilot's Top Gun
IWC Pilot's Top Gun
R 146,110
Seller
Luxury Souq Dubai
 
AE
Bell & Ross Watch BR01-92 BR01-92
Bell & Ross Watch BR01-92 BR01-92
R 34,711
Seller
Watchfinder.co.uk Ltd
UK
Longines Heritage L2.811.4.53.0
Longines Heritage L2.811.4.53.0
R 20,834
Free shipping
Seller
Luxury Watch Time
107
US
Panerai PAM339
Panerai PAM339
R 179,255
Seller
Chad Warrick
10
US
Breitling Chronospace Military Black Steel
Breitling Chronospace Military Black Steel
R 53,555
Free shipping
Seller
Icône Watches
342
ES
IWC Pilot'sTOP GUN Miramar IW388002
IWC Pilot'sTOP GUN Miramar IW388002
R 133,934
Seller
Pacific Bay Watch Corporation
88
US
IWC Big Pilot Top Gun Miramar
TOP
IWC Big Pilot Top Gun Miramar
R 125,854
Seller
Private Seller
 
DE
Bell & Ross Radar
Bell & Ross Radar
R 48,952
Seller
Ian Blowers Jewellers
31
UK
Breitling Chronospace Military
Breitling Chronospace Military
R 70,656
Free shipping
Seller
Rent a Box Schmuck und Uhren AG
7
CH
IWC Pilot Chronograph Top Gun Miramar
IWC Pilot Chronograph Top Gun Miramar
R 110,597
Seller
Luxury Souq Dubai
 
AE
Breitling Watch Chronospace M78366
Breitling Watch Chronospace M78366
R 66,753
Seller
Watchfinder.co.uk Ltd
UK
Breitling Avenger Hurricane Military
Breitling Avenger Hurricane Military
R 95,296
Seller
Guardian Of Time
652
UK
IWC Big Pilot Top Gun Miramar
IWC Big Pilot Top Gun Miramar
R 152,874
Seller
Chad Warrick
10
US
Bell & Ross BR01-92 BL-ST From 2014
Bell & Ross BR01-92 BL-ST From 2014
R 24,921
Seller
The Classic Watch Buyers Club Ltd.
13
UK
Sinn U1 Camouflage (Limited Edition)
Sinn U1 Camouflage (Limited Edition)
R 30,715
Free shipping
Seller
Istock LTD
88
LV
Orfina U.A.E. Air Force Military Chronograph - 7177
Orfina U.A.E. Air Force Military Chronograph - 7177
R 77,182
Free shipping
Seller
Watches.de - Mercurius Trading Ltd.
120
CH
Panerai Marina Militare Destro PAM00217 Pre-Owned
Panerai Marina Militare Destro PAM00217 Pre-Owned
R 213,754
Seller
Pacific Bay Watch Corporation
88
US
Bell & Ross BELL&ROSS  ベル&ロス BR03-92 デザートタイプ BR0392-DESERT-CE
Bell & Ross BELL&ROSS ベル&ロス BR03-92 デザートタイプ BR0392-DESERT-CE
R 24,656
Seller
IPPUUKISHI inc
 
JP
IWC Pilot Chronograph Top Gun Miramar
IWC Pilot Chronograph Top Gun Miramar
R 105,220
Free shipping
Seller
Monaco Watches
13
MC
Panerai Watch Luminor Marina PAM00217
Panerai Watch Luminor Marina PAM00217
R 191,357
Seller
Watchfinder.co.uk Ltd
UK
Zenith Pilot 20 Chronograph Annual Calendar rose gold /...
Zenith Pilot 20 Chronograph Annual Calendar rose gold /...
R 122,862
Seller
Monaco Watch Company
229
MC
Zenith Pilot Type 20 Extra Special
Zenith Pilot Type 20 Extra Special
R 73,244
Seller
Guardian Of Time
652
UK
Breitling Avenger Hurricane
Breitling Avenger Hurricane
R 104,171
Seller
BlackTagWatches
69
US
Breitling Chronospace Military
Breitling Chronospace Military
R 69,228
Seller
Prestige Luxusuhren GmbH
3597
DE
Bell & Ross BR01-92 Limited Edition
Bell & Ross BR01-92 Limited Edition
R 34,653
Seller
Chronothek Uhrenhandels GmbH
35
AT
IWC Big Pilot IW5019-02
IWC Big Pilot IW5019-02
R 168,771
Seller
Pacific Bay Watch Corporation
88
US
IWC Fliegerchronograph TOP GUN Miramar IW3890
IWC Fliegerchronograph TOP GUN Miramar IW3890
R 124,421
Seller
maxwatches.eu
458
DE
IWC Big Pilot Top Gun Miramar
IWC Big Pilot Top Gun Miramar
R 157,357
Free shipping
Seller
Monaco Watches
13
MC
Panerai Watch Radiomir 1940 3 Days PAM00587
Panerai Watch Radiomir 1940 3 Days PAM00587
R 111,254
Seller
Watchfinder.co.uk Ltd
UK
Panerai Radiomir 8 Giorni Brevettato Black Ceramic Men's...
Panerai Radiomir 8 Giorni Brevettato Black Ceramic Men's...
R 138,756
Seller
Xupes.com
135
UK
Zenith Pilot Type 20
Zenith Pilot Type 20
R 63,006
Seller
Guardian Of Time
652
UK
A. Lange & Söhne Flieger B-Uhr Pilot WWII German Army
A. Lange & Söhne Flieger B-Uhr Pilot WWII German Army
R 144,599
Free shipping
Seller
Uhren Atelier Gehm GmbH
151
DE
Bell & Ross AVIATION BR 03-92-S BLACK PVD/BOX&PAPERS
Bell & Ross AVIATION BR 03-92-S BLACK PVD/BOX&PAPERS
R 22,601
Seller
Wrzeciono Czasu
513
PL
Panerai Radiomir 1940 3 Days Marina Militare PAM00587
Panerai Radiomir 1940 3 Days Marina Militare PAM00587
R 131,725
Seller
Ian Blowers Jewellers
31
UK
Panerai Radiomir Composite Marina Militare 8 Giorni PAM00339...
Panerai Radiomir Composite Marina Militare 8 Giorni PAM00339...
R 215,107
Seller
Pacific Bay Watch Corporation
88
US
Tutima Military Chronograph TL
Tutima Military Chronograph TL
R 40,938
Seller
maxwatches.eu
458
DE
IWC Automatic Big Pilot's Watch TOP GUN Miramar IW501902
IWC Automatic Big Pilot's Watch TOP GUN Miramar IW501902
R 132,581
Seller
BlackTagWatches
69
US
Panerai Watch Radiomir Manual PAM00339
Panerai Watch Radiomir Manual PAM00339
R 137,955
Seller
Watchfinder.co.uk Ltd
UK
Panerai Radiomir Marina Militare Stainless Steel Men's...
Panerai Radiomir Marina Militare Stainless Steel Men's...
R 119,176
Seller
Xupes.com
135
UK
IWC Big Pilot Top Gun Miramar
IWC Big Pilot Top Gun Miramar
R 156,727
Seller
Guardian Of Time
652
UK
Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Navy Seals Compressor Diving Chronogra...
Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Navy Seals Compressor Diving Chronogra...
R 114,198
Seller
sense-of-time
83
DE
Breitling Avenger Hurricane
Breitling Avenger Hurricane
R 101,597
Seller
Watchdeals
146
NL
IWC Big Pilots Watch Chronograph Top Gun Miramar
IWC Big Pilots Watch Chronograph Top Gun Miramar
R 120,155
Seller
Ian Blowers Jewellers
31
UK
Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Compressor Diving Chronograph GMT...
Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Compressor Diving Chronograph GMT...
R 282,750
Seller
Pacific Bay Watch Corporation
88
US
Alpina Startimer Pilot
Alpina Startimer Pilot
R 9,982
Seller
JOYCE JEWELLERY
7
AU
Anonimo Militare Automatic Modello 2010 Limited
Anonimo Militare Automatic Modello 2010 Limited
R 50,720
Free shipping
Seller
Plus Watch - Luxury Watches
2739
IT
IWC Watch Pilots Chrono IW388002
IWC Watch Pilots Chrono IW388002
R 120,155
Seller
Watchfinder.co.uk Ltd
UK
A. Lange & Söhne Fliegerarmbanduhr Pilot WWII German Army
A. Lange & Söhne Fliegerarmbanduhr Pilot WWII German Army
R 154,995
Free shipping
Seller
Uhren Atelier Gehm GmbH
151
DE
IWC Big Pilot Top Gun Miramar 7 Days
IWC Big Pilot Top Gun Miramar 7 Days
R 133,573
Seller
Juwelier Burger, since 2001
656
NL
Breitling : Chronospace Military :  M7836622/BD39-159M : ...
Breitling : Chronospace Military : M7836622/BD39-159M : ...
R 54,047
Seller
Bernard Watch Co.
238
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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