Defined by both its utilitarian functionality and rugged good looks, military watches have been pivotal in the lives of soldiers in both times of turmoil and triumph. Anyone who lives on the edge and is constantly dogged by danger knows of the importance of a good and accurate timepiece.
Originally created as a pocket watch placed in upper leather straps on the wrist to free up soldiers’ hands, military watches have been seen on members of the Imperial German Navy as early as the 1880s. By World War I, the big powers recognised that accurate timekeeping was important in combat, and the wristwatch had become indispensable to the military. Soon enough, features such as luminosity, indestructible glass crystals and metal guards to prevent breakage and shrapnel damage was applied and the military watch had evolved to become a worthy companion of the brave men.
Inherently simple, these watches are often produced in a camouflage colourway in keeping with uniform, and are devoid of elaborate complications and precious metals. However, these timepieces are by no means sterile; in fact, it’s interesting to see how luxury watchmakers of today are keeping the style alive without losing its longstanding heritage. From Tiffany & Co.’s unique tribute to a classic to Breitling’s aggressive-looking mammoth, here are 5 of our favourite military watches to march proudly with.