What sets a military watch apart from other watches is its durability, withstanding whatever is thrown at it, whether it is environmental or atmospheric.
For this very reason, a lot of people want to have military watches that they can use for different outdoor adventures or training. But choosing the right military watch that suits your needs might be hard. You have to distinguish which are good military watches from what are knockoffs.
The key to understanding military watches and to choosing wisely from the many brands and models on the market is to know what your options are. Learn common types of military watches, features, as well as their specifications as you read this article.
Before the creation of military watches, wristwatches, in general, were included as women’s accessories or as jewelry. It was not until the 1880s that the British troops were issued their own pocket watches to use during the war.
The demand for military watches become great during the Boer War in South Africa and the two World Wars. The world saw that military watches were beneficial for accurate timekeeping, coordination with other troops, as well as in navigation whether by land or by air.
As time went by and as different kinds of wars emerged in different parts of the world, military watches became a common necessity for every soldier, sailor, and pilot. They became more rugged, durable, submersible, luminous, and shockproof. Other features were also developed to make them more convenient.
More watchmakers created their own version of wristwatches that serve the military’s needs. Later on, military watches become popular with the public or the common people.
What are good military watches?
You can easily identify a military watch at one glance by its size. They were made larger so that they are easier to read. And because of their size, more features can be added.
What makes a good military watch are its extra feature such as glow-in-the-dark hands and numerals for analog versions; they are more readable against a dark background, allowing users to tell what time it is even in low-light conditions.
Aside from this, they also have longer bands so that the user can wear it over a jacket. Meanwhile, its housing is often made of durable and sturdy steel, making it more robust. Furthermore, military watches are always waterproof.
Types of military watches
Military watches for soldiers in the field are different from those of pilots. They have a special kind of military watch which will allow them to read the time at one glance as well as efficiently navigate the air. During WWII, the pilot’s watch had a simple design with a diameter of more than 50mm.
Today, pilot watches like those made by IWC Spitfire Chronograph and Alpina Startimer Manufacture look more stylish and fashionable to be worn by ordinary people. Still, the important features like the dial, slide rule and distinctly sharp angled hands are there.
General purpose watch
This watch is what military personnel wear in the field. Its design is simpler and is lighter while still providing optimal durability and quality. It does have the military standard, which is MIL-PRF-46374G. If you are a minimalist, this type of military watch will suit your style.
The history of dive watches started in 1920 during the WWI when the naval forces of Italy demand a military watch that was more submersible and water resistant. The dive watch that was developed by Panerai was the first to be used during a war in 1941.
The earlier versions were made for diving 660-980 ft. Today the technology allows you to go deeper than that, wearing some of the popular brands, which includes the Timex Intelligent Quartz Depth Gauge Dive Watch and the Bremont Supermarine 2000. If you are a diver, this is the type of military watch to invest in.
Digital tactical watches
You do not have to be a member of a special task force or of the military to appreciate the digital tactical watch. If you are someone who loves to go on an outdoor exploration, then GPS is an important feature.
But aside from telling time and pointing your direction, this watch can also show temperature details and were made to be scratch resistant and waterproof. It has all the necessary features that a hiker or a mountaineer will find useful.