what's a good military watch?
July 25, 2005 2:49 PM   Subscribe

I'd like to buy a new watch, a rugged military sort of thing. Problem is, every company says theirs is the one the actual military uses, and they all seem to boast the same qualities. Does anyone know a good, authentic high-quality pilot's or such watch that's not outrageously expensive?
posted by dearleader to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (14 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
County Comm has some interesting-looking, allegedly milspec watches.
posted by soundslikeobiwan at 2:55 PM on July 25, 2005

IWC were suppliers to the British military and RAF for many years. Fantastic watches. If you want an "authentic" military watch then I would go for a vintage Wermacht or Allied model from WW2. There are a lot of reputable sellers on eBay, specialising in modern and vintage military watches. Some of the older watches look incredible (imho.) And I don't work for that guy, he just has the best selection I have seen online.
posted by fire&wings at 3:30 PM on July 25, 2005

Well, depends on many things.. First, what's outrageously expensive? $50,000, $10,000, $3,000, $200? Second, are you simply looking for a busy dial or interested in some real functionality - if so, please let us know what you need; that is, chronograph, fuel, tachymetre, date, day, etc. Are you interested in a automatic, manual, or quartz? You can also skirt around a lot depending on what you believe a military watch to be. There's a lot of vintage stuff that is nice, but probably doesn't fit your bill. There's a lot of cheaper knock off stuff that might work.

I'd suggest poking your head over to overstock.com and looking at their men's watches. They go from Disney to Omega, they're also legit. The sort by top sellers usually works out well. Sometimes you can find some steals for less than $100 there.
posted by sled at 3:35 PM on July 25, 2005

in the US there isn't a specific watch that you need to wear...it just needs to be classy and clean. but there's this thing among pilots that goes something like..."he who has the bigger watch, wins". so you want it metal and shiny. analog preferably, but it can have a digital readout as well.

in other words, you're not going to find an "official watch of the US military", etc.
posted by taumeson at 3:50 PM on July 25, 2005

I just heard about Breitling replicas. I have not ordered any myself, and of course copyright/trademark violations could be a problem, depending on where you are.
posted by Araucaria at 4:24 PM on July 25, 2005


Online catalog thingy that we used in the Army. Lots of that kind of stuff. Gadgets etc.
posted by snsranch at 4:25 PM on July 25, 2005

4RAR(CDO) used bog-standard black Casio G-Shocks.
posted by obiwanwasabi at 5:16 PM on July 25, 2005

Without knowing what your budget is, it's hard to give you a specific recommendation, but, I recommend you check out Ollech & Wajs.

They make relatively inexpensive mechanical and automatic watches that, supposedly, were used by folks in the military in the UK and the US.

I have the MP 2801 on my wrist right now.
posted by scalespace at 5:53 PM on July 25, 2005

(scalespace, on your watch, what's the arrow south of center for?)
posted by smackfu at 5:58 PM on July 25, 2005

Bell & Ross
posted by mlis at 7:27 PM on July 25, 2005

snsranch: Awesome link! Thanks!
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 9:18 PM on July 25, 2005

I've always liked Hamilton.
posted by spilon at 9:20 PM on July 25, 2005

I think the weird looking arrow at 6 o'clock is a symbol for something in the UK? Honestly, I don' t know all the details of the markings--the circle with the T, I assume, is supposed to indicate that my watch has tritium coated markings.
posted by scalespace at 7:50 AM on July 26, 2005

Does anyone know a good, authentic high-quality pilot's or such watch that's not outrageously expensive?
I don't know what's "outrageously expensive," and I don't know what you mean by "authentic." If I were to guess, I'd say the two are incompatible.

My last watch cost $400, and I wore it every day for 13 years. Is $400 "outrageously expensive"? It seemed so at the time. In retrospect, it was a damn good investment. Money well spent.
posted by cribcage at 9:31 PM on July 26, 2005

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