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Military and milspec watches

by Philip Kaspar
17 September, 2012
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Philip is widely travelled and has worked as a freelance journalist covering several topics including fashion, travel and watches. He also spent five years in the heart of the Swiss watchmaking industry in La Chaux de Fonds. Philip reports on all the latest watch news and is our WatchCrime reporter.

Military watches

Looking for a quality military watch to add authenticity to your weekend paint gun war games? There are several of them out there and the debate constantly rages as to what constitutes a genuine milspec (military specification) watch. Effective from 1989, military specifications require that tritium vials replace tritium luminous paint as an illumination source. The dial and hands were updated to reflect this change, along with the requirements that the H3 radioactivity symbol be displayed.

Military-use watchmakers, such as Stocker & Yale and the Marathon Watch Company, produce inexpensive wristwatches that meet these military specifications, however you do not have to buy a milspec watch to wear in the military. Here is a round-up of watches from both government suppliers and well known watch brands that all offer tough, hard wearing, accurate and inexpensive military watches.

Fox Tactical UZI Tritium

Fox Tactical UZI Tritium

Manufactured by UZI, this is a self-illumination system watch which glows for over 25 years. It comes with a screw down crown rotating bezel, hardened mineral crystal, high quality Swiss component movement and water resistant to 200 metres. One year manufacturer warranty. $95.99

 

Citizen Eco Drive Military Watch

Citizen Eco-Drive Military Watch

Ideal for everyday wear, the Citizen Men’s Eco Drive Strap Watch features a canvas watchband with buckle clasp that’s sturdy and durable. The metal grommets on the watchband add a unique touch. The   clean, black dial displays large Arabic numeral indexes at three, six,   nine, and 12 o’clock along with an analog day and date display. The   simple dial is bordered by a black ion-plated stainless steel bezel and   case. Powered by Japanese quartz movement and fueled by natural and   artificial light, the Citizen Men’s Eco Drive Strap Watch and functions   without a battery. Plus, it’s water resistant to 330 feet (100 metres). $116.00

 

Seiko Military Watch SNZG15J1

Seiko Military watch SNZG15 J1

 A modestly priced automatic with a simple, military look. The Japan-made SNZG15J1 features an accurate and reliable 23 jewel automatic movement in a stainless steel housing with a brushed metallic finish. Part of the Seiko 5 Series, the “5″ denotes the watch’s five essential features, namely shock resistant, water resistant, automatic, and day and date display. Seiko employs luminous material they call “Lumibrite,” and it’s bright and long lasting. The case is 45mm. On the case back you can view the automatic movement. $130.00

 

Stocker and Yale Sandy P650

Stocker and Yale Sandy P650

 The Sandy P650 by Stocker and Yale was issued to a limited number of US forces: USAF, US army, USN, especially the Rangers, SEALs and special forces from 1995 to the present. The watch features:  12 Hour GMT bezel, Quartz movement, hacking, Tritium gas-tube luminescence, user serviceable battery,  non-reflecting black nylon alloy case, Helsolite hardened glass crystal, water-resistant, shock-resistant, 20mm nylon issue strap. $185.00

 

IWI Eurodive

IWI Eurodive

 Now we move into the rather more expensive types of military watches. IWI is a British watch company and this is a highly accurate British designed, Swiss engineered watch with an easy to read dial. Luminescence is provided by Superluminova, not tritium vials. The Quickset calendar window is at 3:00. The finish is highly polished stainless steel with a frosted bezel giving a powerful look to the watch. The watch is fitted with a superior quality stainless steel band with screws not pins to resize with a double flip lock clasp. $425.00

 

Marathon Tsar watch

Marathon military watches

Known as the Marathon TSAR watch or Tritium vial SAR with HI-grade Swiss ISA high torque 1198 quartz movement accurate to 10 seconds per month. The date window is at 4:00, Comes with the rubber strap made in Switzerland. The dial measures 27.7mm and utilizes Tritium vials for luminescence. The Crystal is sapphire – 2.8mm thick x 30.50mm diameter sitting in a 316L stainless steel case. Bezel diameter is 41mm, with water resistance to 30 ATM. $475.00

 

Cabot Watch Company CWC quartz chronograph

Cabot Watch Company CWC quartz chronograph

Another British made military watch, CWC manufacture watches for the British Army. This chronograph hour counter measures up to 12 hours (position 6h). The minute counter measures 30 minutes per rotation (position 9h). The centre start-stop second hand measures 60 seconds per rotation. This is the new CWC quartz chronograph. Highly accurate Swiss quartz movement and made to exacting Swiss standards of manufacture. $526.00

 

Philip Kaspar | Website

Philip is widely travelled and has worked as a freelance journalist covering several topics including fashion, travel and watches. He also spent five years in the heart of the Swiss watchmaking industry in La Chaux de Fonds. Philip reports on all the latest watch news and is our WatchCrime reporter.

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