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IWC Miramar Top Gun Chrono
AED 37,500
Verified Dealer
5
AE
Breitling Avenger Hurricane
AED 23,488
Verified Dealer
12
AE
IWC Pilot Chronograph Top Gun Miramar 46mm
AED 27,160
Verified Dealer
17
AE
Bell & Ross BR 03
AED 7,492
Verified Dealer
 
AE
Bell & Ross BR 03-92 Ceramic
AED 8,885
Verified Dealer
39
NL
IWC Pilot's Chronograph Top Gun Miramar Chronograph Ceramic...
AED 32,873
Verified Dealer
273
UK
Panerai Radiomir Composite Marina Militare
Price on request
Verified Dealer
34
DE
IWC パイロットウォッチ クロノグラフ トップガン ミラマー IW389002
AED 28,726
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
247
JP
Breitling Avenger Hurricane Military World Limited 1000Pcs Model
AED 17,997
Verified Dealer
8
JP
Bell & Ross Horizon Limited Edition
AED 8,885
Verified Dealer
1200
NL
IWC Pilot's Top Gun
AED 35,738
Verified Dealer
12
AE
IWC Pilot Chronograph Top Gun 44mm IW3789
AED 20,455
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
31
ES
IWC Pilot's Top Gun Miramar Chronograph IW3880-02
AED 26,036
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
622
US
Jaeger-LeCoultre Navy Seals GMT
AED 72,301
Verified Dealer
29
US
Panerai Radiomir Marina Militare Stainless Steel PAM00587 - W4035
AED 35,691
Verified Dealer
273
UK
Bell & Ross Aviation Carbon Chronograph Matte Black PVD FInish
AED 18,712
Verified Dealer
309
US
Heuer Chronograph “STERNZEIT REGULIERT” Rare Steel - 1551 SGSZ
AED 47,109
Verified Dealer
22
MC
Bell & Ross Airborne Skull World Limited 500Pcs BR 01-92-SA 46mm
AED 15,747
Verified Dealer
8
JP
A. Lange & Söhne WWII Aviator FL23883
AED 28,181
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
428
UK
IWC Pilot Chronograph Top Gun Miramar
AED 30,625
Verified Dealer
12
AE
Panerai Radiomir Composite Marina Militare 8 Giorni "m"
AED 31,385
Verified Dealer
42
DE
Panerai Radiomir Militare Limited Edition PAM 587
AED 27,909
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
622
US
Heuer BUNDESWEHR-Chronograph
AED 19,629
Verified Dealer
11
DE
Panerai Radiomir 8 Giorni Brevettato Ceramic PAM00339 - W5195
AED 42,736
Verified Dealer
273
UK
Zenith Pilot Montre d'Aeronef Type 20 Annual Calendar Gold &...
AED 31,839
Verified Dealer
55
US
IWC Pilot Collection Pilot Chronograph Top Gun Miramar
AED 40,440
Verified Dealer
309
US
IWC Big Pilot Top Gun Miramar
AED 43,390
Verified Dealer
138
DE
TOP
Breitling Chronospace Military
AED 12,657
Private Seller
 
AU
IWC Big Pilot Top Gun Miramar
AED 43,081
Verified Dealer
29
US
Bell & Ross BR 01-92 Factory Diamonds SUPER RARE Aviation Box...
AED 22,458
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
19
US
Panerai Luminor 1950 Marina Militare Destro PAM 217
AED 41,020
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
622
US
Panerai RADIOMIR 1940 3 DAYS MARINA MILITARE ACCIAIO
AED 34,287
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
16
UK
Zenith Pilot Type 20 Extra Special Bronze FULL SET
AED 18,554
Verified Dealer
354
ES
IWC Big Pilot Top Gun Miramar
AED 28,927
Verified Dealer
51
CZ
Tutima FX UTC Germany Chronograph GMT
AED 9,178
Verified Dealer
309
US
Heuer Bundeswehr Vintage 1550 SG Flyback Steel black RARE
AED 15,699
Verified Dealer
656
DE
TOP
Heuer Bundeswehr 1550 SG
AED 23,484
Private Seller
 
UK
Panerai PAM339
AED 50,760
Verified Dealer
29
US
IWC Big Pilot Top Gun Miramar
AED 29,782
Verified Dealer
 
US
TOP
Panerai Special Editions
AED 48,700
Private Seller
 
HK
Panerai Radiomir Composite Marina Militare 8 Giorni PAM 339
AED 27,909
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
622
US
Heuer Chronograph Bundeswehr Flyback AWESOME Condition
AED 18,554
Verified Dealer
354
ES
Heuer Bundeswehr Chronograph 1550SG Flyback
AED 19,422
Verified Dealer
70
IT
Anonimo Militare Automatico Steel 43mm Black Dial Limited...
AED 9,084
Verified Dealer
309
US
Panerai Radiomir Ceramics Dark Brown Manual Wind PAM00339
AED 37,692
Verified Dealer
203
HK
Panerai Luminor Marina Militare Special Edition PAM 217...
AED 49,584
Verified Dealer
996
DE
IWC Flieger Chronograph TOP GUN Miramar IW 388002
AED 26,241
Verified Dealer
165
DE
Heuer Bundeswehr Vintage 1550 SG 3H Dial Flyback Steel black RARE
AED 18,592
Verified Dealer
656
DE
Panerai Radiomir Marina Militare PAM00339
AED 42,036
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
428
UK
Zenith Pilot Montre d'Aeronef Type 20 Annual Calendar 87.2430....
AED 29,782
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
622
US
Bell & Ross BR 01-94 Chronographe
AED 19,667
Verified Dealer
 
US
Bell & Ross BR 03-92 MILITARY TYPE
AED 11,691
Verified Dealer
51
IT
Anonimo Militare Automatico Crono Stainless Steel Black Dial
AED 14,794
Verified Dealer
309
US
Panerai Special Editions
AED 29,340
Verified Dealer
51
CZ
Zenith パイロットアエロネフタイプ20
AED 13,139
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
 
JP
Bell & Ross BR 03-94 Chrono Limited Édition Orange 250pcs
AED 18,596
Verified Dealer
14
FR
IWC Pilot Chronograph Top Gun Miramar Black ceramic NEW
AED 38,225
Verified Dealer
778
BE
Panerai Radiomir Composite Marina Militare PAM00339
AED 42,036
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
428
UK
Panerai Radiomir 1940 Marina Militare 3-Days PAM 587
AED 27,909
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
622
US
Bell & Ross BR 01-94 Chronographe
AED 20,621
Verified Dealer
102
PT
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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.