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Educate a watch noob: What makes a military watch just that?

Quite curious, really, but I've heard mentions of watches being considered "military watches." When I search that term on Amazon, I see many kinds of watches. What unifies them as being "military watches"?
 
The term "military watch" can refer to the way a watch looks, or the way a watch is constructed. For me it implies a rugged watch constructed to military specifications, such as some of the watches made by Marathon.
 
The term "military watch" can refer to the way a watch looks, or the way a watch is constructed. For me it implies a rugged watch constructed to military specifications, such as some of the watches made by Marathon.

Nice! I just bought this guy on eBay for $10 shipped. I'm fully expecting it to suck, but I do like the way it looks.
 
Quite curious, really, but I've heard mentions of watches being considered "military watches." When I search that term on Amazon, I see many kinds of watches. What unifies them as being "military watches"?

Although it is probably not so common these days, in the past various Defence Departments have worked with watch companies in order to provide their men with the appropriate watch for their activities. Rolex have provided diver's watches, IWC have provided pilot's watches and other companies have been involved as well. The watches need to be very legible and rugged and were often worn on NATO-style straps.
 
Military style watches will have large easy to read 1-12 numbers and small 13-24 in the inner dial. Some of them may have instead the minutes marked 5-10-15 etc. Date is optional. Hour and second hand are simple easy to read.

Second Hand Hacking feature is essential for synchronising several watches at the same time. (Lower quality watches do not have this feature).

May have a rotating bezel.

Can be mechanical or quartz powered.

Military Aviator or pilot style will have large 1-11 hour numbers with a triangle and two dots at the 12 o'clock place.
 
Military style watches will have large easy to read 1-12 numbers and small 13-24 in the inner dial. Some of them may have instead the minutes marked 5-10-15 etc. Date is optional. Hour and second hand are simple easy to read.

Second Hand Hacking feature is essential for synchronising several watches at the same time. (Lower quality watches do not have this feature).

May have a rotating bezel.

Can be mechanical or quartz powered.

Military Aviator or pilot style will have large 1-11 hour numbers with a triangle and two dots at the 12 o'clock place.

Great response! Looks like the watch I ordered (mentioned above) fits the bill, at least aesthetically.
 
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I'd further suggest that a "military watch" should be QUIET. No audible alarm to go off when the owner is ten feet from somebody trying to kill him, etc.

And no shiny parts to reflect light at the wrong time.
 
They should be readable in the dark without a "press to read" light. Even with fairly cheap NVG, some tool pressing a button to be able to read their watch gets lit up pretty well (not as well as if they have a smoke put pretty close).
 
"Military" is a term which is not patented or trade-marked. Any fool can say that some watch or other is military. Example:
 
I would limit it to watches that were/are used by military, or are a direct replica of a watch that was used by military.

Examples:
GSG-9 uses Sinn watches.

The Stowa Flieger watch is a replica/intrepetation of their WW2 Pilot watch.
 
"Military" is a term which is not patented or trade-marked. Any fool can say that some watch or other is military.

Yep. It doesn't really mean anything in particular. I've found the term to be used mostly in reference to the style of the watch. Simple styling, easy to read numbers and a canvas or rubber strap seem to be the norm.
 
Ya'll should look up the watch you seek forum. There are a buttload of photos on there of soldiers wearing the standard casio Gshock. It's cheap, easy to find, digital so you can be precise at a glance, and the military boys seem to like them. My cousin does and he's in the Army. I personally don't like those particular models but I do also only wear gshocks. Alot of the military is wearing Sunnto now as well.
 
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This is about as authentic as you can get. Google CWC or MWC (2 different companies) then click on G10 as the default infantry piece. If legibility and durability are your priorities, I'd recommend one of these, possibly even over a g-Shock. Not expensive either.
 

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Ya'll should look up the watch you seek forum. There are a buttload of photos on there of soldiers wearing the standard casio Gshock. It's cheap, easy to find, digital so you can be precise at a glance, and the military boys seem to like them. My cousin does and he's a 35Mike. I personally don't like those particular models but I do also only wear gshocks. Alot of the military is wearing Sunnto now as well.
Ditto.
I'm a traffic signal tech and need dead-accurate time for setting controller clocks.
I'm flying the Casio GW-500A. Solar powered, atomic (syncs with WWVB every morning).
 
Military style watches will have large easy to read 1-12 numbers and small 13-24 in the inner dial. Some of them may have instead the minutes marked 5-10-15 etc. Date is optional. Hour and second hand are simple easy to read.

Second Hand Hacking feature is essential for synchronising several watches at the same time. (Lower quality watches do not have this feature).

May have a rotating bezel.

Can be mechanical or quartz powered.

Military Aviator or pilot style will have large 1-11 hour numbers with a triangle and two dots at the 12 o'clock place.
Exactly what he said!!!
 
When my father was a military diver they got issued Rolex. No longer...

Generally the "issue watch", if indeed they do get issued one, is a watch which will do the job until it doesn't, and is then cheap to replace. Remember, a major factor in who gets the government contract is price. Most military guys who have started earning a proper wage buy their own watch. The "issue" watches are usually for the 17 year old new recuits, and the civilian rubes that are sucked into the "army issue" badge.
 
So I'm a little late to the party, but being a noob on the forums and seeing a thread that I could actually contribute to, I had to jump at the opportunity ;)... I've been a Combat Controller in the Air Force for almost 6 years now, and have had a few good "military" watches. My favorite and current is a Luminox, which is also a favorite of all those Squiddies in the Navy. I used a Casio forever and liked it just fine (I'll still even wear it most days when in civvies or training), but switched over to the Luminox after hearing great things about them, including how easy they are to read under water. They use small gas capsules rather than standard glow in the dark material, so they don't need light to charge, and are nice and bright without being too bright. The watch is accurate and durable, pretty resistant to scratching - great watch! Not familiar with their current lineup, but you could probably find a decent price online for a slightly older model.
 
Oh and I didn't see what legion said, but he's about right... Standard issue will be American made and cheap, but when guys start flashing goods around it's hard to resist an upgrade, especially after getting that first signing bonus!
 
My military "issued" watch is the Suunto Vector...took abuse for 8 straight years and still blinking :D I still wear it...
 
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