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Panerai Special Editions PAM 00339 New Ceramic 47mm Manual winding
Panerai Marina Militare Radiomir Composite (New Full Set)
NZ$ 17,393
Free shipping
Professional dealer
16
HK
Panerai Special Editions PAM 00587 Unworn Steel 47mm Manual winding
Panerai PAM 00587 Marina Militare - never worn / full set
NZ$ 15,005
Free shipping
Professional dealer
5
FR
Panerai Special Editions PAM 00587 New Steel 47mm Manual winding
Panerai Radiomir 1940 3 days 47mm Marina Militare
NZ$ 9,030
Professional dealer
146
US
IWC Big Pilot Top Gun Miramar IW501902 Very good Ceramic 48mm Automatic
IWC Big Pilot Top Gun Miramar
NZ$ 16,496
Professional dealer
52
US
Bell & Ross BR 01-92 BR01-92 Very good Steel Automatic
Bell & Ross BR01-92
NZ$ 3,618
Professional dealer
38
SE
Tutima Military 760-01 Very good Titanium Automatic
Tutima Military Chronograph
NZ$ 4,887
Professional dealer
93
DE
Heuer 1550 SG Good Steel 43mm Manual winding
Heuer BUND Military Flyback "Bundeswehr" Vintage
NZ$ 6,774
Professional dealer
615
ES
Heuer 1550 SG Very good Steel 43mm Manual winding
Heuer Bundeswehr Flyback
NZ$ 7,717
Professional dealer
37
NL
IWC Pilot Chronograph Top Gun Miramar IW388002 Unworn Ceramic 46mm Automatic
IWC Top Gun Miramar Chronograph Ref. IW388002 Full Set NOS
NZ$ 14,147
Free shipping
Professional dealer
31
PT
Heuer 1550 SG Very good Steel 43mm Manual winding
TOP
Heuer Bundeswehr SL Flyback
NZ$ 7,631
Private Seller
 
DE
Breitling Chronospace Military M7836622/BD39 Very good Steel 46mm Quartz
Breitling Chronospace Military
NZ$ 5,993
Professional dealer
11
CZ
Bell & Ross BR 01-92 BR 01-92 Very good Rose gold 46mm Automatic
Bell & Ross Br01-92 46mm
NZ$ 6,399
Professional dealer
146
US
Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Compressor Diving Chronograph GMT Navy SEALs Q1782470 Very good Rose gold Manual winding
Jaeger-LeCoultre Navy Seals GMT
NZ$ 27,445
Professional dealer
52
US
Heuer 1550 SG Good Steel 43mm Manual winding
TOP
Heuer Bundeswehr Pilot's watch ref. 1550 SG
NZ$ 7,374
Private Seller
 
HR
Bell & Ross BR 01-92 BR 01-92 Very good Rose gold 46mm Automatic
Bell & Ross BR01-92 S/R, Rose Gold, Full Set
NZ$ 6,311
Professional dealer
104
UK
Bell & Ross BR 01-92 BR01-92 Very good Steel 46mm Automatic
Bell & Ross Bell & Ross BR01-92 Aviation PVD Black Autom.
NZ$ 3,258
Professional dealer
87
DE
Bell & Ross BR 03 BR0392-DESERT-CE New Ceramic 42mm Automatic
Bell & Ross Instrument
NZ$ 4,813
Professional dealer
38
CH
IWC Pilot Chronograph Top Gun Miramar IW388002 Very good Ceramic 46mm Automatic
IWC Top Gun Miramar Chronograph IW388002 full set and 2021 IWC...
NZ$ 13,976
Professional dealer
114
LU
IWC Big Pilot Top Gun Miramar IW501902 Very good Ceramic 48mm Automatic
TOP
IWC Big Pilot Top Gun Miramar
NZ$ 12,087
Private Seller
 
US
Anonimo Militare 2010 Good Steel 43mm Automatic
Anonimo Militare
NZ$ 3,430
Professional dealer
29
DE
IWC Pilot Chronograph Top Gun Miramar IW388002 New Ceramic 46mm Automatic
IWC Pilot Chronograph Top Gun Miramar Black ceramic NEW -...
NZ$ 17,817
Professional dealer
1467
BE
Panerai Special Editions PAM339 Very good
Panerai PAM339
NZ$ 19,553
Professional dealer
52
US
Heuer 1550SG Very good Steel 43mm Manual winding
Heuer Bundeswehr Chronograph 1550SG
NZ$ 6,774
Professional dealer
323
IT
IWC Big Pilot Top Gun Miramar IW501902 Good Ceramic 48mm Automatic
IWC Top Gun Miramar Big Pilot - 48mm - 501902 - IW501902
NZ$ 12,016
Professional dealer
610
US
Bell & Ross BR 01-94 Chronographe BR01-94 Very good Steel 46mm Automatic
Bell & Ross Br 01-94 Chronograph "Full Set" 4 straps
NZ$ 5,402
Professional dealer
615
ES
Breitling Avenger Hurricane XB12101A/BF46-283S Unworn 50mm Automatic
Breitling Avenger Hurricane 45 Military Limited Watch XB1210...
NZ$ 8,177
Professional dealer
1147
US
IWC Big Pilot Top Gun Miramar IW501902 Very good Ceramic 48mm Automatic
IWC Big Pilot Top Gun IW501902
NZ$ 15,262
Professional dealer
141
AT
Orfina 7750 Good Steel 41mm Automatic
Orfina | Porsche Design by Orfina Chronograph Day-Date Ref....
NZ$ 6,179
Free shipping
Professional dealer
90
CH
Bell & Ross BR 01-92 BR01-92 Very good Steel 46mm Automatic
Bell & Ross Bell & Ross BR01-92 Heritage Black PVD Aviation
NZ$ 4,285
Professional dealer
87
DE
Bell & Ross BR 03-92 Ceramic BR0392-MIL-CE New Ceramic 42mm Automatic
Bell & Ross Military Type Automatic Olive Dial
NZ$ 5,127
Professional dealer
1467
BE
Panerai Special Editions PAM00339 Very good Ceramic 47mm Manual winding
Panerai Radiomir Composite Marina Militare 8 Days PAM00339
NZ$ 11,918
Professional dealer
1223
NL
IWC Big Pilot Top Gun Miramar IW501902 Unworn Ceramic 48.6mm Automatic
IWC BIG PILOT'S WATCH TOP GUN MIRAMAR IW501902 NEW
NZ$ 14,692
Professional dealer
640
JP
Bell & Ross BR 01-92 BR 01-92 Very good Bronze 46mm Automatic
Bell & Ross Br01-92 Skull
NZ$ 14,576
Professional dealer
218
CZ
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
NZ$ 8,980
Free shipping
Professional dealer
3738
JP
Bell & Ross BR 03-92 Steel BR03-92-S Good Steel 42mm Automatic
Bell & Ross Aviation BR03-92-S Steel Black 42mm BR0392...
NZ$ 2,843
Professional dealer
1544
US
Panerai Special Editions PAM00339 Very good 47mm Manual winding
Panerai Radiomir Composite Marina Militare Limited Edition
NZ$ 13,921
Professional dealer
202
CH
Bell & Ross BR 01-94 Chronographe BR01-94 Very good Steel 46mm Automatic
Bell & Ross Br 01-94
NZ$ 4,437
Professional dealer
400
US
Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Compressor Diving Pro Geographic Q1852670 New Rose gold 46mm Automatic
Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Compressor Diving Pro Geographic GMT...
NZ$ 42,785
Professional dealer
155
PT
Anonimo Militare 2007 Very good Steel 43.4mm Automatic
Anonimo Militare Crono black dial - YEAR: 2013
NZ$ 3,412
Professional dealer
1467
BE
IWC Pilot Chronograph Top Gun Miramar IW389002 Very good 44mm Automatic
IWC Pilot Top Gun Miramar Ceramic Mens Watch IW389002 Box Papers
NZ$ 12,628
Professional dealer
1147
US
Heuer 1550 SG Very good Steel 43mm Manual winding
Heuer | Bundeswehr Chronograph 3H, Ref. 1550 SG, Flyback...
Price on request
Free shipping
Professional dealer
90
CH
Bell & Ross BR 01-92 BR 01-92 Very good Bronze 46mm Automatic
Bell & Ross BR 01-92
NZ$ 6,516
Professional dealer
133
PL
Panerai Special Editions PAM00587 Good Steel 47mm Manual winding
Panerai ラジオミール 1940 3デイズ マリーナミリターレ アッチャイオ PAM00587
NZ$ 10,542
Free shipping
Professional dealer
3738
JP
Panerai Special Editions PAM 587 Very good 47mm Manual winding
Panerai PAM 587 Radiomir 1940 Marina Militare 3 Days Acciaio...
NZ$ 12,087
Professional dealer
168
US
Panerai Special Editions PAM00587 Very good Steel 47mm Manual winding
Panerai Radiomir PAM00587 Limited edition
NZ$ 12,690
Professional dealer
1492
NL
Heuer 1551 SGSZ Steel 43mm Manual winding
Heuer Bundeswehr Sondermodell Chronograph Sternzeit reguliert...
NZ$ 22,291
Professional dealer
1799
DE
Zenith Pilot Type 20 Tourbillon 87.2430.4035/21.C721 Good Rose gold 48mm Automatic
Zenith Pilot Montre d'Aeronef Type 20 Tourbillon
NZ$ 34,359
Free shipping
Professional dealer
41
JP
Breitling Chronospace Military M7836622/BD39 New Steel 46mm Quartz
Breitling Professional Chronospace Military Black Steel Ocean...
NZ$ 7,117
Professional dealer
1467
BE
Breitling Chronospace Military M78366 Unworn Steel 46mm Quartz
Breitling Chronospace Military GMT Alarm Blacksteel Mens Watch...
NZ$ 7,167
Professional dealer
1147
US
Panerai Special Editions PAM 00339 New Ceramic 47mm Manual winding
Panerai Special Editions neuve full set 2011 NOS
NZ$ 16,805
Professional dealer
156
BE
Orfina 7177 Very good Steel 42mm Automatic
Orfina | Porsche Design by Orfina 'Military' Chronograph Ref....
NZ$ 10,793
Free shipping
Professional dealer
90
CH
IWC Pilot Chronograph Top Gun Miramar IW388002 Good 46mm Automatic
IWC パイロットウォッチ トップガン ミラマー IW388002
NZ$ 10,152
Free shipping
Professional dealer
3738
JP
Panerai Special Editions PAM 339 Very good 47mm Manual winding
Panerai PAM 339 Radiomir Marina Militare 8 Day Giorni Brevetta...
NZ$ 12,791
Professional dealer
168
US
Zenith Pilot Type 20 Extra Special 29.2430.679/21.C753 Unworn Bronze 45mm Automatic
Zenith Pilot Type 20 Extra Special
NZ$ 8,917
Free shipping
Professional dealer
37
ES
IWC Pilot Mark 6B/346 Good Steel 36mm
IWC Vintage Mark XI R.A.F. Military
NZ$ 17,581
Professional dealer
637
UK
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
NZ$ 7,194
Professional dealer
711
ES
Anonimo Militare 2007 New Steel 43.4mm Automatic
Anonimo Militare Crono black dial last edition NEW - YEAR: 2013
NZ$ 4,270
Professional dealer
1467
BE
Breitling Chronospace Military M78366 Very good Steel 46mm Quartz
Breitling Chronospace Military GMT Alarm Blacksteel Mens Watch...
NZ$ 5,731
Professional dealer
1147
US
IWC Big Pilot Top Gun Miramar IW501902 New Ceramic 48mm Automatic
IWC Big Pilot Top Gun Miramar
NZ$ 18,006
Professional dealer
358
DE
Heuer 1550 SG Very good Steel 43mm Manual winding
Heuer Bundeswehr Flyback
NZ$ 11,234
Professional dealer
 
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.