A hundred years ago, the watch on the hand has considered only as a lady’s accessory. A cute jewelry trinket on a thin gold wire. The man tied more elegantly by a chain hanging from his pocket. At the end of which there were large clocks opening with a click. They covered their way out of the pocket on their wrists thanks to the needs of the military watch.
It is believed that for the first time the order for the supply of military watches in the army was carried out by the company Gerard-Perego (Girard-Perregaux) in the 1880s for the Imperial Navy of Germany.
Military Watch During the Anglo-Boer War and the First World War
The military watch was actively used to coordinate attacks and artillery strikes. Since 1906, they have already come with flexible bracelets and primitive body mounts. It makes wearing on the arm much easier. From shocks and fragments, fragile glass was protected either by a metal grille or a leather case. From the moment when the military watch from the novelty and decorations became a military necessity. The attitude to their product has changed.
A significant contribution
Made by Hans Wilsdorf, who founded Wilsdorf & Davis, Ltd., in ten years, renamed The Rolex Watch Company, Ltd. He constantly improved the characteristics of his watch, releasing, for example, in 1926 the first waterproof model Oyster. And it was Rolex that began to produce a line of “professional” watches that were tools for performing specific tasks. Be it scuba diving, flying at high speed and high altitude, moving in the unexplored ground and so on.
You should know the difference between military and military watch
Military and military watches are not the same thing. The first category includes certified models. It adopted by one or another army unit, with specific technical characteristics. The second is rather a category of style.
Today, all the watches, supplied for the army, pass a series of special tests and have corresponding certificates. The British Ministry of Defense prescribed the instruction on the standards for the hours of the Air Force and the Navy in the 1940s, calling it WWW (Wrist Watch Waterproof).
In 1964, the Pentagon published the standard MIL-W-46374. It contains requirements that should have met by simple and strong hours for use in combat operations. As in many other spheres of our life, many inventions, complications and materials that we can see by looking at our wrists. All were originally created for army clocks. Below are some mandatory characteristics of military wrist watches.
Design: Discreet, with a clear display of information
The appearance of a military watch satisfies two requirements: It must be subtle and give all the necessary information at a glance. Today it is in most cases a black dial, body, and strap. NATO-strap, durable and not losing the clock. Even if the ears are damaged on one side, can be black or khaki. Glass with anti-reflective coating will not allow the beam of light to give out the watch’s owner and will not glow, preventing to see the dial.
You should know:
Today a number of manufacturers produce watches made of high-tech materials with many complications, very precise and qualitative. But not officially supplied to the army. The most striking example – many professional militaries of different countries both in service and in private life choose G-SHOCK precisely for their characteristics. At the same time, Rolex or Panerai, who have decades of relations with the military departments, are now inaccessible to most watch lovers, whether they wear uniforms or walk in civilian clothes.
To increase the clarity of perception and the ability to see in the dark for several decades, tritium illumination has used. Originally it paints with the addition of tritium, but it abandoned by going to the cones with this radioactive, but safe in such packaging element.
Tritium always works, and the user does not need to “charge” the clock or press the button, which would be, to put it mildly, uncomfortable in ambush. All twelve-hour markers are large.
Materials: strength, lightness, protection
Steel and carbon, shockproof glass, polymers and nylon, various alloys – the main task of all materials used in the production, from the smallest part of the mechanism to the buckle, this makes the watch even more durable and resistant to external influences. They, in addition, should not glare, change their properties in the heat or cold, under water or in a rarefied atmosphere. Space and military technologies come to the rescue, and watches, like cars, quickly absorb the latest inventions.
Protection: Against any physical effects
The mandatory parameters for more than seventy years for military watches are water resistance, rust resistance, anti magnetic protection. Over time, anti-dust and anti-shock characteristics added to them. Watertight, dust and other types of contamination protected by sealed enclosures. In some manufacturers, they are double – for guaranteed protection of the mechanism.
In particular, the Traser H3 watches have an outer carbon body, it protects from blows, and the inner one – steel. Rolex constantly introduces improvements and inventions into its models, changing materials up to the smallest details of the mechanism. For example, using nickel and phosphorus alloys, high-grade 904L steel. Manufacturers like Casio increase softening with additional rubber pads and an alpha-gel layer inside the casing.
Functionality: Necessary features
From the point of view of functionality for the military watch, applied characteristics are more important than technological complications, and the possibility of using in extreme conditions. Therefore, in the accepted army standards, there is no majority of complications, which even Casio budget has today.
The most recognizable look of the dial of military watch
With an additional inner circle of figures from 13 to 24. They are much smaller than the main 12, but also distinct. It said that a hundred years ago this was the answer to the military’s main request: this scale made it much easier to synchronize time and, accordingly, actions.
For the needs of artillerymen in wrist chronographs, a telemetric scale implemented. It makes it possible to calculate the distance to the shot. The sides of the world marked on the bezel so that the owner of the military watch can easily navigate the terrain. Later, in a modern electronic clock, a compass appeared. On the strap Luminox XL.8831.KM. It is another help in the orientation.