A military watch, also known as a field watch, is what it means: it is a watch designed for use by the military. As you may have guessed, this means it must be very durable, capable of withstanding tons of punishment, and almost any standard feature you can think of on the military watch. After all, it is a watch made to be worn during the war!
The first watch with a rotating bezel
Longines for Charles Lindbergh 's pioneering trip over the Atlantic in 1927 produced the first embellishment of the rotating bezel... Lindbergh was the first aviator pilot to fly between New York and Paris without stopping. The Longines watch was intended for navigation purposes as there were no landmarks in the Atlantic Ocean to guide the pilot.
The pilot prepared the bezel, in the form of a rotating inner sphere, before takeoff using a series of beeps sent by radio.
This may be the same watch model as the 'Seconds Setting' watch developed specifically for pilots by Professor Philip Weems of the United States Naval Academy and manufactured by Longines, which required second-hand timing before takeoff, assisting in navigation.
Military watches and especially military pilot watches are the ancestors of modern wristwatches.
Main characteristics of best-selling military watches
The differences between standard watches and military watches are quite intuitive. Here is a list of some of the main features of a military watch:
- Easy to read
Dial (readability) The face of a military watch must be easy to read, and the numbers must always be discernible. That is why most of them have large numbers so that their user can quickly know the exact time with the naked eye. Luminescent needles and indicators are also incorporated to aid your reading in low light visibility situations.
They also often include contrasting colors between the watch's background (usually black) and the numbers and hands (usually white).
Both the case and strap of a military watch must be durable. Generally, stainless steel is used, although titanium is also used because it is light and robust, this option is more expensive. Its watch glass should also be very durable. The watch must have shock resistance as well as an excellent water resistance rating.
- Additional Features
Military watches often have more technical features than their civilian cousins, such as a compass, altimeter, barometer, storm alarm, sunrise/sunset time, lunar calendar, or even GPS.
So, what does this tell us about a military watch? First, they are designed for functionality. Usability and functional characteristics are prioritized over other types of aspects. That does not mean that they are not visually attractive, but originally aesthetics was not the priority. In the middle of a battle having a stylish watch was the last thing needed in that situation.
Military-inspired analog watches
Due to their long history, simplistic and unique design, military watches are best ,quite famous and in high demand today.
Watchmakers with a history of supplying field watches (such as Hamilton and Bulova) have leveraged their heritage with this advantage by producing modern analog military watches. These watches usually come with a modern design to suit current tastes.
The design still uses large, readable dial diameters and number markers, but they feature a more polished and shiny finish, basically much more elegant to use than their predecessors.