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Zenith Pilot Type 20 Annual Calendar 03.2430.4054/21.C721 Very good Steel 48mm Automatic
Zenith Pilot Type 20 Annual Calendar Chronograph 03.2430.4054/...
NZ$ 11,092

Sold by Chrono24

DE
Bell & Ross BR 01-92 BR 01-92 Very good Rose gold 46mm Automatic
Bell & Ross Br01-92 46mm
NZ$ 6,613
Professional dealer
154
US
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$ 6,803
Professional dealer
758
ES
Bell & Ross BR 03-92 Steel BR03-92-S Fair Steel 42mm Automatic
Bell & Ross BR03-92 BR03-92-S, Baton, 2010, Used, Case...
NZ$ 3,470
Professional dealer
 
UK
A. Lange & Söhne FL 23883 Good Steel 55mm Manual winding
A. Lange & Söhne WWII Pilot Flieger Zertifikat
NZ$ 19,738
Free shipping
Professional dealer
599
DE
Panerai Special Editions PAM 00339 New Ceramic 47mm Manual winding
Panerai Marina Militare Radiomir Composite (New Full Set)
NZ$ 17,959
Free shipping
Professional dealer
22
HK
Longines Heritage L28114530 Unworn Steel 44mm Automatic
Longines Heritage Military MAI INDOSSATO Art. L124
NZ$ 2,447
Professional dealer
486
IT
Zenith Pilot Type 20 Tourbillon 87.2430.4035/21.C721 Unworn Titanium 48mm Automatic
Zenith PILOT AERONEF 48 MM TYPE XX TOURBILLON
NZ$ 64,541
Professional dealer
149
MC
Panerai Special Editions PAM 00587 Very good Steel 47mm Manual winding
Panerai Marina Militare Radiomir 1940 PAM00587 47mm
NZ$ 10,828
Free shipping
Professional dealer
92
DE
Jaeger-LeCoultre Q2018670 Very good Steel 42mm Automatic
Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Compressor Limitiert Automatik Stahl...
NZ$ 13,013

Sold by Chrono24

DE
Longines Heritage L2.789.4.53.0 Very good Steel 42mm Automatic
Longines Heritage Military 1938 GMT Bubble Back
NZ$ 1,738
Free shipping
Professional dealer
268
NL
Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Compressor Diving Chronograph GMT Navy SEALs Q178T471 Titanium 46mm Automatic
Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Compressor Diving Chronograph GMT Nav...
NZ$ 13,152
Professional dealer
783
US
Panerai Special Editions PAM00339 Very good Ceramic 47mm Manual winding
Panerai Radiomir Composite Militare PAM339/PAM00339 Ceramic 8...
NZ$ 13,100
Professional dealer
558
DE
Panerai Special Editions PAM 00339 Very good Ceramic 47mm Manual winding
Panerai Radiomir Composite Militare | Special Edition | 2011...
NZ$ 12,751
Professional dealer
217
DE
Heuer 1550 SG Good Steel 43mm Manual winding
TOP
Heuer Bundeswehr Pilot's watch ref. 1550 SG
NZ$ 7,249
Private Seller
 
HR
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...
NZ$ 9,956
Professional dealer
242
US
Heuer 1550 SG Very good Steel 43mm Manual winding
Heuer Bundeswehr 3H Flyback Excellent Condition
NZ$ 11,281
Professional dealer
213
CH
Bell & Ross BR 01-92 BR 01-92 Very good Bronze 46mm Automatic
Bell & Ross Br01-92 Skull
NZ$ 14,847
Professional dealer
286
CZ
Sinn U1 1010.0101 Unworn Steel 44mm Automatic
Sinn U1 Camouflage Automatik Stahl Herrenuhr Ref. 1010.0101...
NZ$ 5,153

Sold by Chrono24

DE
Bell & Ross BR 03 BR03-92-S Very good Steel 42mm Automatic
Bell & Ross Golden Heritage Br 03-92 Full Set, 2014
NZ$ 3,057
Professional dealer
41
GR
Panerai Special Editions PAM 00587 Unworn Steel 47mm Manual winding
Panerai Luminor Marina Militare 1940 3 Days 47mm Unworn SE...
NZ$ 14,435
Professional dealer
223
DE
Panerai Special Editions PAM00339 Very good Ceramic 47mm Manual winding
Panerai Marina Composite Militare 8 Days PAM00339/PAM339 -...
NZ$ 13,100
Professional dealer
558
DE
IWC Pilot Chronograph Top Gun Miramar IW388002 Very good Ceramic 46mm Automatic
IWC Pilot Chrono Top Gun Miramar 2014 box + papers
NZ$ 16,856
Professional dealer
1571
NL
Heuer 1551 SGSZ Good Steel 43mm
TOP
Heuer Chronograph der Bundeswehr, Sternzeit reguliert mit...
NZ$ 18,340
Private Seller
 
DE
IWC Big Pilot Top Gun Miramar IW501902 Good Ceramic 48mm Automatic
IWC Top Gun Miramar Big Pilot - 48mm - 501902 - IW501902
NZ$ 11,389
Professional dealer
642
US
Zenith Pilot Type 20 Extra Special 29.2430.679/21.C753 Very good Bronze 45mm Automatic
TOP
Zenith Pilot Type 20 Extra Special
NZ$ 6,537
Private Seller
 
US
IWC Big Pilot Top Gun Miramar IW501902 Very good Ceramic 48mm Automatic
TOP
IWC Big Pilot Top Gun Miramar
NZ$ 11,022
Private Seller
 
US
Zenith Pilot Type 20 Extra Special 29.2430.679/21.C753 Very good Bronze 45mm Automatic
Zenith Pilot Type 20 Extra Special
NZ$ 9,432
Professional dealer
286
CZ
Panerai Special Editions PAM 00217 Very good Steel 47mm Manual winding
Panerai PAM 217 Destro Marina Militare Left Handed Special...
NZ$ 18,904
Professional dealer
11
HK
IWC Big Pilot Top Gun Miramar IW501902 Unworn Ceramic 48.6mm Automatic
IWC BIG PILOT'S WATCH TOP GUN MIRAMAR IW501902 NEW
NZ$ 15,148
Professional dealer
812
JP
Panerai Special Editions PAM00339 Very good 47mm Manual winding
Panerai Radiomir Composite Marina Militare Limited Edition
NZ$ 14,446
Professional dealer
213
CH
Panerai Special Editions PAM00587 Very good Steel 47mm Manual winding
Panerai Radiomir PAM00587 Limited edition
NZ$ 12,926
Professional dealer
1571
NL
IWC Pilot Chronograph Top Gun Miramar IW388002 New Ceramic 46mm Automatic
IWC Pilot Chronograph Top Gun Miramar Black ceramic NEW -...
NZ$ 16,576
Professional dealer
1533
BE
Zenith Pilot Type 20 Extra Special 29.2430.679/21.C753 Unworn Bronze 45mm Automatic
Zenith Pilot Type 20 Extra Special
NZ$ 9,083
Free shipping
Professional dealer
196
ES
IWC Pilot Mark 6B/346 Good Steel 35mm Manual winding
IWC Mark XI Fliegeruhr RAF Airforce No-Date 35mm Cal 89 1948...
NZ$ 14,671
Professional dealer
914
DE
Bell & Ross BR 03 BR0392-DESERT-CE New Ceramic 42mm Automatic
Bell & Ross Desert Type Br - BR0392-DESERT-CE - HAMMER
NZ$ 4,714
Professional dealer
710
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
NZ$ 8,716
Professional dealer
120
DE
Breitling Chronospace Military M7836622/BD39-159M New Steel 48mm Quartz
Breitling Chronospace Military M7836622/BD39-159M
NZ$ 6,429
Professional dealer
204
US
Heuer 1551 SGSZ Steel 43mm Manual winding
Heuer Bundeswehr Chronograph Sternzeit reguliert - Edelstahl -...
NZ$ 22,705
Professional dealer
1856
DE
IWC Big Pilot Top Gun Miramar IW501902 New Ceramic 48mm Automatic
IWC Top Gun Miramar Big Pilot IW501902
NZ$ 16,885
Professional dealer
134
UK
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$ 9,259
Free shipping
Professional dealer
4471
JP
Breitling Chronospace Military M7836622/BD39 New Steel 46mm Quartz
Breitling Professional Chronospace Military Black Steel Ocean...
NZ$ 7,423
Professional dealer
1533
BE
Tutima Military 760-02 Unworn 43,5mm Automatic
Tutima Military Fliegerchronograph T - Lemania 5100 -
NZ$ 5,921
Professional dealer
389
DE
Bell & Ross BR 03 BR03-92-S Very good Steel 42mm Automatic
Bell & Ross BR03-92 Military Type "GI Joe" Edition BR0392-MIL-CE
NZ$ 4,181
Free shipping
Professional dealer
1597
US
Zenith Pilot Type 20 Extra Special 29.2430.679/21.C753 New Bronze 45mm Automatic
Zenith Pilot Type 20 Extra Special Top Price 2021
NZ$ 9,467
Professional dealer
710
DE
Zenith Pilot Type 20 Annual Calendar 03.2430.4054/21.C721 Very good Steel 48mm Automatic
Zenith Pilot Montre d'Aeronef Type 20 Annual Calendar Chronograph
NZ$ 8,193
Professional dealer
303
US
Panerai Special Editions PAM00339 Very good 47mm Manual winding
Panerai Radiomir Composite Marina Militare 8 Giorni PAM00339...
NZ$ 20,912
Professional dealer
204
US
Panerai Special Editions PAM 339 Very good 47mm Manual winding
Panerai Marina Militare
NZ$ 12,484
Professional dealer
25
US
Breitling Chronospace Military M7836622/BD39 Very good Steel 46mm Quartz
Breitling Chronospace Military M7836622/BD39 2015
NZ$ 6,096
Professional dealer
244
DE
Zenith 03.1930.681/21.C723 Very good Steel 40mm Automatic
Zenith パイロット アエロネフ タイプ20 03.1930.681/21.C723
NZ$ 4,629
Free shipping
Professional dealer
4471
JP
Anonimo Militare 2010 New Steel 43.4mm Automatic
Anonimo Militare Automatico Drass Nero last edition 100% NEW -...
NZ$ 3,930
Professional dealer
1533
BE
Breitling Chronospace Military M7836622/BD39 Very good Steel 46mm Quartz
Breitling Chronospace Military M7836622/BD39 Khaki Green
NZ$ 6,532
Professional dealer
215
UK
Breitling Chronospace Military M7836622.BD39.159M Fair Steel 48mm Quartz
Breitling "Chronospace Military" Edition Speciale. Aero...
NZ$ 5,755
Professional dealer
226
NL
IWC Pilot Mark 6B/346 Good Steel 36mm
IWC Vintage Mark XI R.A.F. Military
NZ$ 18,168
Professional dealer
666
UK
IWC Big Pilot Top Gun Miramar IW5019-02 Very good Ceramic 43mm Automatic
IWC Top Gun Miramar
NZ$ 16,873
Professional dealer
337
ES
Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Compressor Diving Chronograph GMT Navy SEALs Q1782470 Very good Rose gold 47mm Automatic
Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Compressor Diving Chronograph GMT Navy...
NZ$ 30,714
Professional dealer
204
US
Tutima 780-59 New Steel 31,5mm Automatic
Tutima Eurofighter Typhoon Chronograph limited Edition
NZ$ 4,349
Professional dealer
389
DE
Bell & Ross BR 01-94 Chronographe BR01-94 Very good Steel 46mm Automatic
Bell & Ross Br 01-94 Chronograph Automatic
NZ$ 3,412
Professional dealer
467
PL
Bell & Ross BR 01-94 Chronographe BR01-94 Very good Steel 46mm Automatic
Bell & Ross BR 01-94 - S BLU - Limited Edition - FULL SET 2008...
NZ$ 6,288
Professional dealer
794
IT
Bell & Ross BR 03-92 Ceramic BR0392-MIL-CE New Ceramic 42mm Automatic
Bell & Ross Military Type Automatic Olive Dial - YEAR: 2021
NZ$ 5,572
Professional dealer
1533
BE
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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.