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A. Lange & Söhne FL23883 Very good Steel 56mm Manual winding United Kingdom, London
A. Lange & Söhne WWII Aviator FL23883
£6,000
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
455
UK
Heuer 1550 SG Very good Steel 43mm Manual winding United Kingdom, london
TOP
Heuer Bundeswehr 1550 SG
£4,900
Private Seller
 
UK
IWC Pilot Chronograph Top Gun Miramar IW388002 Very good Ceramic 46mm Automatic
IWC Pilot's Chrono Limited Edition Top Gun Miramar IW388002...
£5,433
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
86
US
Bell & Ross BR 03 BR03-92-S Good Steel 42mm Automatic United Kingdom, St. Albans
Bell & Ross BR 03-92 Carbon Black PVD
£1,695
Verified Dealer
 
UK
Breitling Chronospace Military M7836622.BD39.105W.M20BASA.1 New Steel Quartz United Kingdom, Leicester
Breitling Chronospace Military
£3,500
Verified Dealer
31
UK
Heuer 1550SG Very good Steel 43mm Manual winding
TOP
Heuer Tag Heuer Bundeswehr Chronograph Handaufzug Ref. 1550sg...
£3,472
Verified Dealer
2013
DE
Bell & Ross BR 03 BR03-92-S Very good Steel 42mm Automatic United Kingdom, London
Bell & Ross BR 03-92 Phantom
£2,095
Verified Dealer
404
UK
Panerai Special Editions PAM 00217 Good Steel 47mm Manual winding
Panerai Marina/ Militare
£9,708
Verified Dealer
10
US
IWC Big Pilot Top Gun Miramar IW501902 Very good Ceramic 48mm Automatic United Kingdom, London
IWC Big Pilot Top Gun Miramar 7 Days
£6,458
Verified Dealer
1033
UK
Panerai Special Editions PAM00339 Very good 47mm Manual winding United Kingdom, London
Panerai Radiomir Composite Marina Militare PAM00339
£8,950
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
455
UK
Longines Heritage L28114530 New Steel 44mm Automatic United Kingdom, Bowness on Windermere
Longines Heritage Military Automatic Stainless Steel Black...
£1,250
Verified Dealer
56
UK
IWC Big Pilot Top Gun Miramar IW501902 Very good Ceramic 48mm Automatic
IWC MINT IWC Big Pilot Top Gun Miramar 48mm Black Ceramic...
£6,596
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
239
US
Bell & Ross BR 01-92 BR 01-92 Very good Steel Automatic United Kingdom, Kingston Upon Hull
Bell & Ross Compass
£2,890
Verified Dealer
62
UK
Panerai Special Editions PAM00339 Very good Ceramic 47mm Manual winding United Kingdom, Bishop's Stortford
Panerai Radiomir 8 Giorni Brevettato Ceramic PAM00339 - W5195
£8,799
Verified Dealer
280
UK
IWC Big Pilot Top Gun Miramar IW501902 Very good Titanium 48mm Automatic
IWC IW501902 Big Pilot TOP GUN Miramar 7 Day Ceramic (33115)
£6,097
Verified Dealer
386
US
Panerai Special Editions PAM00587 Very good Steel 47mm Manual winding United Kingdom, London
Panerai Radiomir 1940 3 Days Marina Militaire
£6,295
Verified Dealer
404
UK
Zenith Pilot Type 20 03.1930.681/21.C723 Good Steel 40mm Automatic United Kingdom, Newcastle Upon Tyne
Zenith Montre D’Aeronef Pilot type 20
£2,850
Private Seller
 
UK
Zenith Pilot Type 20 Extra Special 29.2430.679/21.C753 New Bronze 45mm Automatic United Kingdom, London
Zenith Pilot Type 20 Extra Special 45mm
£4,523
Verified Dealer
744
UK
Panerai Special Editions PAM00339 Very good 47mm Manual winding United Kingdom, London
Panerai Radiomir Marina Militare PAM00339
£8,950
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
455
UK
Panerai Special Editions PAM 00217 Very good Steel 47mm Manual winding
Panerai Special Editions Luminor 1950 Marina Militare
£13,591
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
15
US
Zenith Pilot Type 20 Extra Special 29.2430.679/21.C753 New Steel 45mm Automatic United Kingdom, Bowness on Windermere
Zenith Pilot Type 20 Extra Special Automatic Bronze Mens Watch...
£4,650
Verified Dealer
56
UK
Zenith Pilot Type 20 03.1930.681/21.C723. Very good Steel Automatic United Kingdom, Kingston Upon Hull
Zenith Pilot Type 20
£3,830
Verified Dealer
62
UK
Heuer 1550 SG Good Steel 43mm Manual winding
Heuer Bund Pilots Chronograph 1550 SG
£4,931
Verified Dealer
33
US
Heuer 1550 SG Very good Steel 43mm Manual winding United Kingdom, dartford
Heuer Bund sternzeit regulert
£9,600
Private Seller
 
UK
Breitling Chronospace Military M7836622 Very good Steel 46mm Quartz United Kingdom, London
Breitling Chronospace Military
£3,395
Verified Dealer
404
UK
Panerai Special Editions PAM 587 Very good Steel 47mm Manual winding
Panerai Radiomir 1940 Marina Militare 3-Days PAM 587
£5,436
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
663
US
A. Lange & Söhne FL 23883 Very good Steel 55mm Manual winding United Kingdom, lancaster
A. Lange & Söhne A.LANGE & SÖHNE B-UHR WORLD WAR II LUFTWAFFE...
£8,500
Private Seller
 
UK
IWC Pilot Chronograph Top Gun Miramar IW388002 New Ceramic 46.00mm Automatic
IWC Pilot's Watches Automatic Grey Dial Unisex Watch - IW388002
£7,672
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
1535
US
Panerai Special Editions PAM 217 Very good Steel 47mm Manual winding
Panerai PAM 217 Destro Marina Militare Special Ed 47 mm
£10,869
Verified Dealer
97
US
Bell & Ross BR 01-94 Chronographe BR 01-94 New Steel 46mm Automatic
Bell & Ross Aviation Carbon Chronograph Matte Black PVD FInish
£3,879
Verified Dealer
341
US
IWC Pilot Chronograph Top Gun Miramar IW3880-02 Very good Ceramic Automatic United Kingdom, Kingston Upon Hull
IWC Big Pilots Watch Chronograph Top Gun Miramar
£7,090
Verified Dealer
62
UK
Anonimo Militare 2017 New Steel 43.4mm Automatic
Anonimo Militare Crono Automatico Drass black NEW
£2,318
Verified Dealer
850
BE
Bell & Ross BR 01-94 Chronographe BR01-94 Very good Steel 46mm Automatic United Kingdom, Aberdeen
Bell & Ross BR 01-94 Chronographe
£2,941
Private Seller
 
UK
Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Compressor Diving Chronograph GMT Navy SEALs Q1782470 Very good Rose gold 46.3mm Automatic
Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Compressor Diving GMT Navy Seals Rose...
£15,998
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
96
US
Panerai Special Editions PAM 339 Very good 47mm Manual winding
Panerai Radiomir Composite Marina Militare 8 Giorni PAM 339
£5,786
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
663
US
IWC Pilot Chronograph Top Gun Miramar IW389002 Very good Ceramic 44.5mm Automatic
IWC Top Gun Miramar Chronograph Full Set circa 2016
£6,601
Verified Dealer
63
US
Bell & Ross BR V1 BRV192-MIL-ST/SCA New 38.5mm Automatic
Bell & Ross Vintage BR V1-92 Military Men's Watch - BRV192-MIL...
£1,257
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
1535
US
Panerai Special Editions PAM 00339 Unworn Ceramic 47mm Manual winding
Panerai Radiomir Marina 8 Giorni Black Composite/Ceramic PAM 339
Price on request
Verified Dealer
6
US
Tutima Military 760-01 Very good Steel 38mm Automatic
Tutima FX UTC Germany Chronograph GMT
£1,903
Verified Dealer
341
US
Panerai Special Editions PAM 339 Very good Manual winding United Kingdom, Kingston Upon Hull
Panerai Radiomir Composite Marina Militare 8-Days "Giorni...
£10,450
Verified Dealer
62
UK
Anonimo Militare 2007 New Steel 43.4mm Automatic
Anonimo Militare Crono SW yellow NEW
£2,576
Verified Dealer
850
BE
Zenith Pilot Type 20 Extra Special 29.2430.679/21.C753 New Bronze 45mm Automatic
Zenith Pilot Type 20 Extra Special 29.2430.679/21.c753
£3,541
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
343
US
Panerai Special Editions PAM 00339 Very good Ceramic 47mm Manual winding
Panerai Radiomir 8 Giorni Brevettato Composite Manual Wind...
£9,979
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
96
US
Panerai Special Editions PAM 217 Very good Steel 47mm Manual winding
Panerai Luminor 1950 Marina Militare Destro PAM 217
£8,504
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
663
US
IWC Pilot Chronograph Top Gun Miramar IW388002 Very good Ceramic 46mm Automatic
IWC Pilot Chronograph Top Gun Miramar With PApers MInT
£5,599
Verified Dealer
545
AT
Zenith Pilot Type 20 Extra Special 29.2430.679/21.C753 New Bronze 45mm Automatic
Zenith Pilot Type 20 Black Steel/Leather 45mm - 29.2430.679/21...
£3,525
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
1535
US
Panerai Special Editions PAM 339 Very good 47mm Manual winding
Panerai Marina Militare 8 Giorni PAM339
£6,912
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
13
US
Anonimo Militare 2010 New Steel 43mm Automatic
Anonimo Militare Automatico Steel 43mm Black Dial Limited...
£1,883
Verified Dealer
341
US
Bell & Ross BR 01-92 BR 01-92 Very good Steel Automatic United Kingdom, Kingston Upon Hull
Bell & Ross Radar
£2,890
Verified Dealer
62
UK
Bell & Ross BR 03-92 Ceramic BR03-92-S Very good Steel 42mm Automatic
Bell & Ross Ceramic Watch w/ Black Dial BR 03-92
£2,213
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
15
US
Panerai PAM 339 Very good Ceramic 47mm
Panerai Radiomir 1940 8 Days Pam 339 Ceramic
£5,165
Verified Dealer
180
US
Bell & Ross BR 01-92 BR 01-92 Very good Steel 46mm Automatic
Bell & Ross BR 01-92
£1,689
Verified Dealer
25
US
Bell & Ross BR V1 BRV192-MIL-ST/SCA New Steel 38.5mm Automatic
Bell & Ross BR V1-92 Military Automatic Leather Strap
£1,370
Verified Dealer
850
BE
IWC Pilot Chronograph Top Gun Miramar IW388002 Very good Titanium 46mm Automatic
IWC Pilots Chronograph Automatic IW388002 Very Good Condition...
£4,699
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
448
US
IWC Big Pilot Top Gun Miramar IW501902 New Ceramic 48.00mm Automatic
IWC Pilot's Watches Automatic Grey Dial Men's Watch - IW501902
£8,930
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
1535
US
Panerai Special Editions PAM 00587 Very good Steel 47mm Manual winding
Panerai Special Editions
£5,398
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
375
US
IWC Big Pilot Top Gun Miramar IW5019-02 Very good Ceramic 48mm Automatic
IWC Pilot Collection Big Pilot Top Gun Miramar Ceramic 48mm...
£6,504
Verified Dealer
341
US
IWC Pilot Chronograph Top Gun Miramar IW388002 Unworn Ceramic 46mm Automatic
IWC Pilot's Chronograph "Top Gun" Miramar - Ceramic
£8,388
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
6
US
Bell & Ross BR 03 BR0392-DESERT-CE New Ceramic 42mm Automatic United Kingdom, London
Bell & Ross BR 03-92 Desert Type
£2,240
Verified Dealer
744
UK
Bell & Ross BR 03-92 Ceramic BR0392-MIL-CE Good Ceramic 42mm Automatic
Bell & Ross BR 03-92 Ceramic
£1,893
Private Seller
 
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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