9 Awesome Military Watches Inspired by the British Armed Forces

The story of the military watch is almost as old as the story of the watch itself.Back in the Second Boer War from 1899 to 1902, soldiers modified their pocket watches, with wire lugs welded to the case and attached to the original leather wristband.
In the process of transforming pocket watches into wristwatches, soldiers inadvertently created the watch concept we know today.Large dials, minimal decoration, clear and concise markings, are still the main elements of today’s military watches.
Watches later appeared in World War I, but were not common to soldiers and civilians until World War II, when more than a dozen companies were commissioned to produce watches for the British military.These companies, including Jaeger-LeCoultre, Longines and Omega, produced watches that were primarily robust, clear and functional, rather than the luxurious, design-led pieces we are familiar with today.
Fast-forward to today, and while the UK Ministry of Defence allows several watchmakers to use its signage, it does not publicly state what watches soldiers use.
So, we’ve rounded up a collection of our favorite military watches.The DNA of many of these characteristic design elements can be traced back to the improved pocket watches of the Second Boer War.
Developed in collaboration with a branch of the British Armed Forces, Elliot Brown’s Holton Professional collection is the first new military watch created by the British company in over a decade.To give Holton more credit, the 101-001 model has a NATO stock number.
There are nine models in the Holton range (including a collaboration with Land Rover), ranging in price from £445 to £650, in colours including military black and green.
Like many dive watches, the Holton is designed with durability, shock resistance and day and night clarity in mind.The rotating bezel has a high grip and can be used with wet, gloved hands, and the Swiss Ronda 715 movement has a lifespan of about three years, plus a low battery indicator.
CWC stands for Cabot Watch Company and in 1980 produced the first quartz watch issued to the British Army.The last time CWC watches were released to the British Army was in 2008, and the G10 models available for sale have remained unchanged since then.
CWC estimates that over 200,000 G10 watches have been produced for military deployment over the years, with 22,000 being supplied to the Royal Navy in 1991 alone.
The watch features acrylic glass, 5 ATM water resistance, a Swiss-made quartz movement and an easy-to-replace battery compartment cover.The case is a 38mm compact case, including the crown, with fixed lug stems fitted with an 18mm grey NATO strap.
Christopher Ward does not supply watches to the Ministry of Defence, but has permission from the Ministry of Defence to use the coat of arms of the British Army.This appears on the back of the screw-down stainless steel case of the aptly named C65 Sandhurst.
The watch features a 38mm case and a black textured dial powered by an automatic movement with 26 jewels and a 38-hour power reserve.According to Christopher Ward, the C65 was inspired by the Smiths W10 watch given to British soldiers in 1969.
Although not issued to soldiers or licensed by the Ministry of Defence, this Breitling Aviator 8 has strong ties to a well-known British military aircraft.This watch pays homage to the de Havilland Mosquito, a light wooden plane that was one of the fastest planes of World War II.
The watch features red and orange markings, a nod to the military circular logo on the Mosquito body.
It features 100m water resistance, a 43mm stainless steel case, a curved sapphire crystal and a rotating bezel, and is powered by an in-house Calibre 01 movement with 47 jewels and a power reserve of up to 70 hours.
Another military watch from CWC, this timepiece is an updated version of the timepieces sent to the RAF in the 1990s and early 2000s.
Featuring a 40mm stainless steel case, the Pilots Quartz features a three-dial chronograph with minute counter, hour counter and running seconds for accurate timekeeping.The dial also includes a date complication at four o’clock, protected by a sapphire crystal, and the watch is powered by a Swiss Ronda 5030 quartz movement.
The watch comes with a NATO strap, which is splash-proof, but not water-resistant.
Bremont is another watchmaker licensed to use the DoD mark, with the Broadsword Bronze being added to the company’s military timepieces in 2020.
The dial features a subsecond hand at six o’clock and a date display at three o’clock.Multiple layers of luminous paint on the dial and hands ensure the watch meets British Army specifications.The words “HMAF” (Her Majesty’s Armed Forces) are written below the Bremont logo on the dial.
The bronze case has a high tin content (8%) for added strength and corrosion resistance.The “living” nature of the bronze case means the watch will develop a unique patina over time.
Another military watch from Bremont, but this time a model for pilots with a two-dial chronograph.The all-steel Arrow also features a date display at 6 o’clock, and the Super-LumiNova luminous coating ensures clear visibility at night.
‘HMAF’ is written below the Bremont name and on the steel case back, while the diameter of the case itself is 42 mm.The watch is powered by a 13-calibre self-winding movement set with 27 jewels and has a power reserve of 48 hours.The chronograph dial is a seconds counter and a minute counter.
A domed, anti-reflective and scratch-resistant sapphire crystal protects the dial and is water resistant to 10 ATM or 100 meters.
There is now a pair of digital watches from Casio, each a product in partnership with the British Armed Forces.The first, called the G-Shock British Army Mudmaster, had a case partially made of carbon fiber, and a double-layered caseback made of stainless steel and fine resin.
The watch’s key features include an altimeter, barometer, thermometer, compass and pedometer, as well as Bluetooth for connecting to a smartphone, calorie counter, stopwatch, 24-hour countdown timer, five daily alarms, sunrise/sunset Time and LED lighting.
The G-Shock Mudmaster features 200-meter water resistance, an always-correct auto-calendar, and two years of battery life with low-battery warnings.
Casio’s second military watch is the RAF Gravity Mud Master.Designed in conjunction with the RAF, this G-Shock has the same carbon construction as the British Army Mudmaster, but is designed to be more suitable for pilots and aircrews.
The three buttons on the right side of the watch case are arranged to resemble a helicopter control lever, while the stealth color scheme is inspired by the Eurofighter Typhoon fighter jet.
As for functionality, this watch is identical to the Mudmaster.That means 200 meters of water resistance, a range of features from an altimeter and barometer to a pedometer.There’s also Bluetooth, auto-calendar, two-year battery life, shock resistance, thermometer and LED display lighting.
Alistair is a freelance automotive and technology journalist.With a byline on reputable sites like the BBC, Forbes, TechRadar, and most importantly T3, his topics range from classic cars and men’s lifestyle to smart home tech, phones, electric cars, autonomy, Swiss watches, and more many.He is an experienced journalist, writing news, features, interviews and product reviews.If that wasn’t enough to keep him busy, he’s also the co-host of the AutoChat podcast.
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Post time: Mar-12-2022