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Breitling Chronospace Military M7836622/BD39 Unworn Steel 46mm Quartz
Breitling Professional Chronospace Military Blackened Steel...
NZ$ 7,172
Verified Dealer
33
US
Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Compressor Diving Pro Geographic Q1852670 New Rose gold 46mm Automatic
TOP
Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Compressor Diving Pro Geographic GMT...
NZ$ 43,131
Verified Dealer
146
PT
IWC Pilot Chronograph Top Gun Miramar IW388002 New Ceramic 46mm Automatic
IWC Top Gun Miramar Chronograph IW388002
NZ$ 15,068
Verified Dealer
111
UK
Panerai Special Editions PAM 00587 Unworn Steel 47mm Manual winding
Panerai Luminor Marina Militare 1940 3 Days 47mm Unworn SE...
NZ$ 14,543
Verified Dealer
179
DE
IWC Big Pilot Top Gun Miramar IW501902 Very good Ceramic 48mm Automatic
IWC Top Gun Miramar Big Pilot
NZ$ 11,589
Verified Dealer
131
US
Bell & Ross BR 03 BR03-92-S Very good Steel 42mm Automatic
Bell & Ross Br
NZ$ 3,897
Verified Dealer
99
UK
Zenith Pilot Type 20 Tourbillon 87.2430.4035/21.C721 Unworn Titanium 48mm Automatic
Zenith PILOT AERONEF 48 MM TYPE XX TOURBILLON
NZ$ 65,048
Verified Dealer
121
MC
Panerai Special Editions PAM 00339 Good Ceramic 47mm Manual winding
Panerai PAM 339 Limited Édition Marina Militare Radiomir...
NZ$ 17,428
Verified Dealer
39
FR
Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Compressor Diving Chronograph GMT Navy SEALs Q178T471 Very good Titanium 47mm Automatic
Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Compressor Diving Chronograph Gmt Navy
NZ$ 15,228
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
60
DE
Longines Heritage L28114530 Unworn Steel 44mm Automatic
Longines Heritage Military
NZ$ 2,324
Verified Dealer
417
CZ
IWC Big Pilot Top Gun Miramar IW501902 New Ceramic 48mm Automatic
IWC Big Pilot's Top Gun Miramar 48mm
NZ$ 17,241
Verified Dealer
117
US
IWC Big Pilot Top Gun Miramar IW501902 New Ceramic 48mm Automatic
IWC Top Gun Miramar Big Pilot IW501902
NZ$ 16,647
Verified Dealer
111
UK
Panerai Special Editions PAM 00339 Very good Ceramic 47mm Manual winding
Panerai Radiomir Composite Marina Militare 8 Giorni special...
NZ$ 12,499
Verified Dealer
100
CZ
IWC Big Pilot Top Gun Miramar IW501902 New Ceramic 48mm Automatic
IWC Big Pilot Top Gun Miramar
NZ$ 18,485
Verified Dealer
290
DE
Panerai Special Editions PAM00587 Very good Steel 47mm Manual winding
Panerai MINT Radiomir 1940 Marina Militare PAM00587 Stainless...
NZ$ 9,409
Verified Dealer
361
US
IWC Big Pilot Top Gun Miramar IW501902 Unworn Ceramic 48mm Automatic
IWC Top Gun Miramar Big Pilot
NZ$ 17,164
Verified Dealer
121
MC
Zenith Pilot Type 20 Annual Calendar 03.2430.4054/21.C721 Unworn Steel 48mm Automatic
Zenith Pilot Type 20 Annual Calendar Ref. 03.2430.4054/21.C721...
NZ$ 12,305
Verified Dealer
237
DE
Panerai Special Editions PAM 00339 Good Ceramic 47mm Manual winding
Panerai Marina Militare Radiomir Composite PAM00339
NZ$ 12,305
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
60
DE
IWC Pilot Chronograph Top Gun Miramar IW389002 Unworn Ceramic 44mm Automatic
IWC PILOT’S WATCH CHRONOGRAPH TOP GUN MIRAMAR NEW
NZ$ 12,943
Verified Dealer
277
JP
Panerai Special Editions PAM 00217 Very good Steel 47mm Manual winding
Panerai PAM 217 Destro Marina Militare Special Edition
NZ$ 26,803
Verified Dealer
117
US
Heuer 1550 SG Good Steel 43mm Manual winding
TOP
Heuer Bundeswehr Pilot's watch ref. 1550 SG
NZ$ 8,186
Private Seller
 
HR
Heuer 1550 SG Good Steel 43mm Manual winding
Heuer BUND Military Flyback "Bundeswehr" Vintage
NZ$ 6,954
Verified Dealer
539
ES
Heuer 1550SG Very good Steel 43mm Manual winding
Heuer Bundeswehr Military Chronograph Watch Ref. 1550
NZ$ 9,852
Verified Dealer
70
US
Heuer 1550 SG Good Steel 43mm Manual winding
Heuer Bundeswehr Flyback
NZ$ 9,682
Verified Dealer
51
DE
Zenith Pilot Type 20 Extra Special 29.2430.679/21.C753 New Bronze 45mm Automatic
Zenith Pilot Type 20 Extra Special
NZ$ 9,110
Verified Dealer
121
MC
Zenith Pilot Type 20 Extra Special 29.2430.679/21.C753 New Bronze 45mm Automatic
Zenith Pilot Type 20 Extra Special
NZ$ 8,503
Verified Dealer
290
DE
IWC Pilot Chronograph Top Gun Miramar 388002 Unworn Ceramic 46mm Manual winding
IWC Pilot's Chronograph Top Gun Miramar
NZ$ 15,492
Verified Dealer
27
FR
Heuer 1550 SG Very good Steel 43mm Manual winding
TOP
Heuer Bundeswehr SL Flyback
NZ$ 7,922
Private Seller
 
DE
Panerai Special Editions PAM 00339 Unworn Ceramic 47mm Manual winding
Panerai Radiomir Marina Militare PAM 339
NZ$ 18,690
Verified Dealer
117
US
Bell & Ross BR 01-92 BR 01-92 Very good Steel 46mm Automatic
Bell & Ross Aviation 46 mm Flight Instruments Red Radar
NZ$ 7,922
Verified Dealer
215
UK
Panerai Special Editions PAM00217 Very good Steel 47mm Manual winding
Panerai Marina Militare Destro Special Editions Left Hand...
NZ$ 19,356
Verified Dealer
223
DE
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
NZ$ 7,360
Verified Dealer
718
US
A. Lange & Söhne FL 23883 Good Steel Manual winding
A. Lange & Söhne BEOBACHTUNGSUHR II. WELTKRIEG WWII von 1942...
NZ$ 20,245
Verified Dealer
51
DE
Zenith Pilot Type 20 Extra Special 29.2430.679/21.C753 New Bronze 45mm Automatic
Zenith Pilot Type 20 Extra Special Top Price 2020
NZ$ 9,278
Verified Dealer
324
DE
IWC Pilot Chronograph Top Gun Miramar IW388002 Very good Ceramic 46mm Automatic
IWC Top Gun Miramar Chronograph
NZ$ 15,212
Verified Dealer
 
US
Longines Heritage L2.811.4.53.0 New Steel 44mm Automatic
Longines Ungetragene Heritage Military Automatik 44mm
NZ$ 2,975
Verified Dealer
165
DE
Heuer SG1550 Very good Steel 43mm Manual winding
Heuer Bundeswehr Chrono Ref. SG1550
NZ$ 8,767
Verified Dealer
481
DE
Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Compressor Diving Chronograph GMT Navy SEALs Q1782470 Very good Yellow gold 46mm Automatic
Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Compressor Navy Seals/box&papers
NZ$ 32,271
Verified Dealer
1223
PL
Ulysse Nardin Diver Black Sea 263-92LE-3C/MIL Very good Steel 45.8mm Automatic
Ulysse Nardin Marine Diver
NZ$ 11,443
Verified Dealer
215
UK
Bell & Ross BR 01-92 BR0192 Very good Steel 46mm Automatic
Bell & Ross BR 01-92 Factory Diamonds $13K MSRP SUPER RARE Box...
NZ$ 8,686
Verified Dealer
90
US
IWC Pilot Chronograph Top Gun Miramar IW3880-02 Very good Ceramic Automatic
IWC Big Pilots Watch Chronograph Top Gun Miramar
NZ$ 13,813
Verified Dealer
113
UK
IWC Pilot Chronograph Top Gun Miramar IW388002 Very good Ceramic 46mm Automatic
IWC Pilot Chronograph Top Gun Miramar 46MM Box Papers 2014
NZ$ 12,147
Verified Dealer
407
BE
Heuer 1550 SG Good Steel 43mm Manual winding
Heuer Bundeswehr Flyback 1550SG Military Version Original Strap
NZ$ 7,552
Verified Dealer
54
DE
IWC Big Pilot Top Gun Miramar IW501902 Very good Ceramic 48mm Automatic
IWC Big Pilot Top Gun Miramar
NZ$ 12,967
Verified Dealer
 
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...
NZ$ 10,424
Verified Dealer
191
US
IWC Pilot Mark IW324702 Unworn Ceramic 41mm Automatic
IWC Top Gun Miramar Mark Xviii
NZ$ 7,896
Verified Dealer
101
US
Panerai Special Editions pam587 Very good 47mm
Panerai pam587q
NZ$ 11,177
Verified Dealer
24
HK
Heuer 1550 SG Good Steel 43mm Manual winding
Heuer Bundeswehr Flyback Chronograph - 1550 SG
NZ$ 6,672
Verified Dealer
2302
DE
A. Lange & Söhne FL 23883 Good Steel 55mm Manual winding
A. Lange & Söhne WWII Pilot Fliegeruhr B-Uhr 55 mm
NZ$ 19,365
Verified Dealer
59
DE
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$ 7,737
Verified Dealer
600
ES
Ulysse Nardin Diver Black Sea 263-92LE-3C/MIL Unworn Steel Automatic
Ulysse Nardin Marine Diver
NZ$ 9,924
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
24
AE
Panerai Special Editions PAM 339 Very good Manual winding
Panerai Radiomir Composite Marina Militare 8-Days "Giorni...
NZ$ 20,360
Verified Dealer
113
UK
Breitling Chronospace Military M78366 Very good Steel 46mm Quartz
Breitling Chronospace Military GMT Alarm Blacksteel Mens Watch...
NZ$ 5,781
Verified Dealer
867
US
Zenith Pilot Type 20 03.1930.681/21.C723 Very good Steel 40mm Automatic
Zenith Type 20 Pilot
NZ$ 7,922
Verified Dealer
215
UK
Longines Heritage L2.789.4.53.0 Very good Steel 42mm Automatic
Longines Heritage Military 1938 GMT Bubble Back
NZ$ 2,069
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
196
NL
IWC Big Pilot Top Gun Miramar IW501902 Very good Ceramic 48mm Automatic
IWC Top Gun Miramar Big Pilot IW501902
NZ$ 14,778
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
42
US
Orfina 7177 Fair Steel Automatic
Orfina Porsche Design Military
NZ$ 5,280
Verified Dealer
6
IT
Orfina 7750 Good Steel
Orfina Porsche Design
NZ$ 2,729
Verified Dealer
25
IT
Bell & Ross BR 01-94 Chronographe BR01-94 Very good Titanium 46mm Automatic
Bell & Ross Titanium Chronograph, Ref BR01-94, Men’s, Titanium...
NZ$ 6,223
Verified Dealer
191
US
Bell & Ross BR 01-94 Chronographe BR01-94 Very good Steel 46mm Automatic
Bell & Ross Br 01-94
NZ$ 5,633
Verified Dealer
34
FR
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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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