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Zenith PILOT AERONEF 48 MM TYPE XX TOURBILLON
TOP
Zenith PILOT AERONEF 48 MM TYPE XX TOURBILLON
AED 173,161
Seller
ZEGG & CERLATI
53
MC
Bell & Ross BR 01-92 STEEL 2008 46mm AUTOMATIC Leather
Bell & Ross BR 01-92 STEEL 2008 46mm AUTOMATIC Leather
AED 6,705
Free shipping
Seller
European Jewellery
11
AE
Zenith Pilot Type 20 Annual Calendar
Zenith Pilot Type 20 Annual Calendar
AED 32,592
Seller
GoldenTimeCo
AE
Zenith Pilot Type 20 Extra Special
Zenith Pilot Type 20 Extra Special
AED 18,624
Seller
Royal watches
39
AE
A. Lange & Söhne WWII Aviator FL23883
A. Lange & Söhne WWII Aviator FL23883
AED 29,300
Free shipping
Seller
Watches & Jewellery of Bond Street Ltd
236
UK
Breitling Avenger Hurricane
Breitling Avenger Hurricane
AED 23,354
Seller
Luxury Souq Dubai
 
AE
IWC Fliegeruhr Mark XVIII Top Gun Miramar
IWC Fliegeruhr Mark XVIII Top Gun Miramar
AED 18,252
Free shipping
Seller
A. Grimmeissen Uhren An- und Verkauf
285
DE
IWC Miramar Top Gun Chrono
IWC Miramar Top Gun Chrono
AED 37,500
Seller
Haute Horologe
AE
IWC Pilot's Chronograph 46mm TOP GUN Miramar - IW388002
IWC Pilot's Chronograph 46mm TOP GUN Miramar - IW388002
AED 30,651
Seller
CKLY Trading Limited
17
HK
IWC Big Pilot Top Gun Miramar
IWC Big Pilot Top Gun Miramar
AED 28,681
Seller
Rainbow Tech
AE
Longines Heritage  Military
Longines Heritage Military
AED 6,120
Seller
Zanon Gioielli
9
IT
Panerai  3 Days Marina Militare   Special Edition PAM 587
Panerai 3 Days Marina Militare Special Edition PAM 587
AED 29,590
Seller
Juwelier Wilfart
26
DE
IWC Big Pilot Top Gun Miramar
IWC Big Pilot Top Gun Miramar
AED 28,942
Seller
Royal watches
39
AE
Panerai Radiomir Marina Militare PAM00339
Panerai Radiomir Marina Militare PAM00339
AED 50,055
Free shipping
Seller
Watches & Jewellery of Bond Street Ltd
236
UK
IWC Pilot's Top Gun
IWC Pilot's Top Gun
AED 40,228
Seller
Luxury Souq Dubai
 
AE
A. Lange & Söhne Pilot WWII Flieger 55mm 1944 Zertifikat
A. Lange & Söhne Pilot WWII Flieger 55mm 1944 Zertifikat
AED 38,996
Free shipping
Seller
Uhren Atelier Gehm GmbH
175
DE
Bell & Ross Watch BR03-92 BR03-92-S
Bell & Ross Watch BR03-92 BR03-92-S
AED 10,719
Seller
Watchfinder.co.uk Ltd
UK
Bell & Ross BR 01-94 Pro Titanium Chronographe
Bell & Ross BR 01-94 Pro Titanium Chronographe
AED 12,412
Seller
Da Vinci Watches
16
FR
IWC Pilot Chronograph Top Gun Miramar 46mm
IWC Pilot Chronograph Top Gun Miramar 46mm
AED 29,798
Seller
Rainbow Tech
AE
IWC Big Pilot Top Gun Miramar
IWC Big Pilot Top Gun Miramar
AED 31,661
Seller
GMT Watches And Jewellery Trading
AE
Breitling Avenger Hurricane Military
Breitling Avenger Hurricane Military
AED 27,915
Seller
Uhrmacherhandwerk
225
DE
Zenith Pilot Type 20 Tourbillon
Zenith Pilot Type 20 Tourbillon
AED 108,764
Seller
Royal watches
39
AE
Panerai Radiomir Composite Marina Militare PAM00339
Panerai Radiomir Composite Marina Militare PAM00339
AED 53,473
Free shipping
Seller
Watches & Jewellery of Bond Street Ltd
236
UK
IWC Pilot Chronograph Top Gun Miramar
IWC Pilot Chronograph Top Gun Miramar
AED 30,450
Seller
Luxury Souq Dubai
 
AE
Zenith Pilot Type 20 Extra Special
Zenith Pilot Type 20 Extra Special
AED 21,259
Seller
Sayegh Joaillier
5
FR
Breitling Watch Chronospace M78366
Breitling Watch Chronospace M78366
AED 16,188
Seller
Watchfinder.co.uk Ltd
UK
Zenith Pilot Type 20 Extra Special Automatic Bronze
TOP
Zenith Pilot Type 20 Extra Special Automatic Bronze
AED 15,644
Seller
Private Seller
 
US
Jaeger-LeCoultre Navy Seals GMT
Jaeger-LeCoultre Navy Seals GMT
AED 71,888
Seller
Chad Warrick
14
US
IWC Pilot Chronograph Top Gun Miramar
IWC Pilot Chronograph Top Gun Miramar
AED 26,446
Seller
GMT Watches And Jewellery Trading
AE
Heuer Bund Bundeswehr Chronograph Flyback
Heuer Bund Bundeswehr Chronograph Flyback
AED 20,610
Seller
maxwatches.eu
532
DE
Orfina U.A.E. Air Force Military Chronograph - 7177
Orfina U.A.E. Air Force Military Chronograph - 7177
AED 21,044
Free shipping
Seller
Watches.de - Mercurius Trading Ltd.
131
CH
IWC Pilot Top Gun Miramar Iw389002 Ceramic
IWC Pilot Top Gun Miramar Iw389002 Ceramic
AED 29,407
Seller
OCWG Inc.
81
US
Panerai Radiomir Marina Militare 8 Giorni Composite
Panerai Radiomir Marina Militare 8 Giorni Composite
AED 31,351
Seller
Dual-Time
22
FR
Breitling Chronospace Military
Breitling Chronospace Military
AED 18,875
Seller
Prestige Luxusuhren GmbH
4012
DE
IWC Watch Pilots Chrono IW388002
IWC Watch Pilots Chrono IW388002
AED 31,498
Seller
Watchfinder.co.uk Ltd
UK
Alpina Startimer Pilot Chronograph - Achtung 33,1% gespart
Alpina Startimer Pilot Chronograph - Achtung 33,1% gespart
AED 2,573
Seller
Miquel Schmuck & Uhren GmbH
821
DE
Panerai Luminor Marina Militare Limited Edition PAM 217
Panerai Luminor Marina Militare Limited Edition PAM 217
AED 51,961
Free shipping
Seller
WatchBox
331
US
IWC Pilot Chronograph Top Gun Miramar from 2014 with B + P
IWC Pilot Chronograph Top Gun Miramar from 2014 with B + P
AED 28,560
Seller
Watchdeals
229
NL
Tutima Military Chronograph Full Set
Tutima Military Chronograph Full Set
AED 8,585
Seller
maxwatches.eu
532
DE
IWC Big Pilot Top Gun Miramar
TOP
IWC Big Pilot Top Gun Miramar
AED 34,314
Seller
Private Seller
 
DE
Heuer Bund Bundeswehr 3H
Heuer Bund Bundeswehr 3H
AED 21,430
Free shipping
Seller
World Wide Watches S.L.
115
ES
IWC Big Pilot Top Gun Miramar
IWC Big Pilot Top Gun Miramar
AED 42,835
Seller
Chad Warrick
14
US
Panerai Radiomir Composite Marina Militare 8 Days - PAM00339
Panerai Radiomir Composite Marina Militare 8 Days - PAM00339
AED 44,697
Free shipping
Seller
Watches.de - Mercurius Trading Ltd.
131
CH
Panerai Watch Luminor Marina PAM00217
Panerai Watch Luminor Marina PAM00217
AED 52,496
Seller
Watchfinder.co.uk Ltd
UK
Panerai Marina Militare Lefthand Pam00217
Panerai Marina Militare Lefthand Pam00217
AED 62,702
Seller
schreiter-muenchen.de
194
DE
Panerai Radiomir Military Limited Edition PAM 587
Panerai Radiomir Military Limited Edition PAM 587
AED 33,337
Free shipping
Seller
WatchBox
331
US
Breitling Avenger Hurricane
Breitling Avenger Hurricane
AED 28,681
Seller
BlackTagWatches
92
US
Tutima Military Chronograph TL
Tutima Military Chronograph TL
AED 9,444
Seller
maxwatches.eu
532
DE
Zenith PILOT AERONEF
Zenith PILOT AERONEF
AED 17,716
Seller
ZEGG & CERLATI
53
MC
Alpina Startimer Pilot Chronograph -Achtung, 29,8% gespart
Alpina Startimer Pilot Chronograph -Achtung, 29,8% gespart
AED 3,002
Seller
Miquel Schmuck & Uhren GmbH
821
DE
Panerai PAM339
Panerai PAM339
AED 50,471
Seller
Chad Warrick
14
US
Zenith Pilot Type 20 Extra Special
Zenith Pilot Type 20 Extra Special
AED 20,614
Seller
Charming Time
79
DE
Panerai Watch Radiomir Manual PAM00587
Panerai Watch Radiomir Manual PAM00587
AED 29,056
Seller
Watchfinder.co.uk Ltd
UK
IWC Pilot´s Watch Top Gun Miramar Keramik Black Titan Automati...
IWC Pilot´s Watch Top Gun Miramar Keramik Black Titan Automati...
AED 39,502
Seller
Juwelier Ralf Häffner
729
DE
Panerai Radiomir Military Limited Edition PAM 587
Panerai Radiomir Military Limited Edition PAM 587
AED 33,337
Free shipping
Seller
WatchBox
331
US
Alpina Startimer Pilot
Alpina Startimer Pilot
AED 2,650
Seller
JOYCE JEWELLERY
10
AU
IWC Fliegerchronograph TOP GUN Miramar IW3890
IWC Fliegerchronograph TOP GUN Miramar IW3890
AED 33,924
Seller
maxwatches.eu
532
DE
Zenith Pilot Type 20 Extra Special
Zenith Pilot Type 20 Extra Special
AED 22,225
Seller
ZEGG & CERLATI
53
MC
Bell & Ross Aviation BR01 Ceramic - Achtung, 30,8% gespart
Bell & Ross Aviation BR01 Ceramic - Achtung, 30,8% gespart
AED 11,591
Seller
Miquel Schmuck & Uhren GmbH
821
DE
IWC Top Gun Miramar
IWC Top Gun Miramar
AED 25,887
Seller
Tarrytown Jewelers
98
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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