A complete list of Canadian military watches

Click here to watch a video about Canadian military watches.

In this article, I will explain about the ultra-niche Canadian military watches that most people probably won't care about or be interested in.

By reading this article to the end, you will understand why Canadian military watches look so similar to British military watches, and you will also see the differences between them and the British military watches, so please read to the end.

The table of contents looks like this.

1. The origins of Canada

2. What is different about Canadian military chronographs?

3. Introduction of watch brands adopted by the Canadian military

3-1. Rodania

3-2. Burks

3-3. Omega


Finally, here is a summary.

So let's get started right away.

The origins of Canada

Before we look at the Canadian Army's military watches, let's first explain how the country of Canada was born.

Canada's origins date back to the early 17th century, when it was settled by French people, but the British came along at some point.

After some conflicts with France, it was incorporated into the British Empire in 1763 and became a Dominion within the British Commonwealth of Nations in 1867.

Canada became an independent nation in 1931, with equal sovereignty with the United Kingdom.

That said, Canada still has strong ties with the United Kingdom , and the functions of sovereign, Head of Parliament and Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces are held by the Canadian King, who is Canada's Head of State, but who is also the British King.

So the current Queen of Canada is Elizabeth II.

In addition, military watches from the United States, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, which are Anglo-Saxon countries that originated as colonies of the British Empire, are based on the British model, with slight modifications made to create their own designs.

For example, the United States has a standard called Military Spec, and when this standard was being decided, the British Air Commission participated in the American meetings.

By the way, all countries except for the United States are still part of the Commonwealth of Nations.

We tend to think of Canada as a country that has been there since the beginning, but its history is not even 100 years old; in fact, it has been under British culture for a longer period.

What's so appealing about Canadian military chronographs?

At first glance, the Canadian chronographs are almost identical to the British ones, so there is likely little difference in appearance between them and the Lemania-era RAF chronographs.

However, the appeal of Canadian military watches is that they were made at the request of the Canadian military and were therefore designed as military watches from the beginning .

Basically, they are all one-push chronographs, but the way they work is different from a normal chronograph.When you start the chronograph, if you pull out the crown halfway through, the chronograph will stop, and when you pull it back, it will restart; they also have a kind of hack function.

The chronograph hands are red, a color not often seen on other countries' military watches, and their presence makes this a stylish watch.

A distinctive feature of the dials is that the dials of watches other than Omega do not include the company name.

(Even Omega chronographs do not have the brand name on them.)

This was requested by the Canadian Ministry of National Defense, which instructed them to eliminate any and all brand names.

This is probably because they wanted to make confidentiality a top priority.

Maverick, the character in Top Gun currently in theaters, was also given a code name to prevent his name from being intercepted by enemy pilots.

Therefore, it is believed that this is done to hide not only personal information but also where the watch was made from others.

And above all, the number of watches delivered to the Canadian Military was extremely small compared to those of the British Military, making them highly rare items that rarely come onto the market.

Introducing watch brands used by the Canadian military

Like all military watches, the Canadian Armed Forces watches were contracted through competitive bidding.

The brand is currently visible,

・Universal Geneva






Other brands were also adopted, but since there is no documentation available, I will only explain what is available here.

This time, we will exclude Universal and Lemania due to lack of information.


Canadian Air Force Chronograph Rodania Movement Venus Cal.175

Royal Canadian Air Force Rodania chronograph back (RCN)

It is believed that very few people in Japan are familiar with the Rodania brand, so I will briefly explain its history and appeal.

Rodania is a relatively new company, founded in 1930 in Grenchen, Switzerland.

During this period, while most watch brands were focusing on the American market, Rodania exported to the Canadian market and established a niche.

Therefore, we are recognized as a well-known and trusted company in Canada.

This strategy worked, and in the 1950s the company was awarded a contract to manufacture chronographs for the Canadian Armed Forces.

Over the years, Canada has signed such agreements with several different manufacturers.

The watch's specifications include a 36.5mm stainless steel case, a white dial (unnamed), and the Venus Cal. 175 with a one-push hack function.

Rodania got the contract in the late 1950s and continued with it into the 1960s.

The exact number is unknown, but it is believed that around 8,000 were produced, and the 3,000 that contained radium were destroyed.

If you look at the watch from the front, it's almost impossible to tell the manufacturer, but if you look at the back of the case, or what's underneath it, you'll see the manufacturer's name.

The case back is engraved with RCN (Royal Canadian Navy) and the serial number, indicating that it is owned by the Canadian Navy .


Canadian Air Force Chronograph - BIRKS Movement - Venus Cal.175

Canadian Air Force Chronograph - BIRKS Case Back

Among Canadian military watches it is almost on a par with the Rodania.

The movement used is also the same, the Venus Cal. 175, and both companies only make the cases and dials in-house, with the movements supplied by ébauche makers.

The case diameter is 36mm.

After looking into the company Birks, I found that its history is unique for a watch brand. Its founder, Henry Birks , opened a small jewelry store on Saint-James Street in the heart of Montreal's financial and commercial district in 1879 .

The business continued to expand and in 1934 was granted a Royal Warrant.

Apparently this company was a famous luxury retailer also known as the "Tiffany & Co." of Canada.

Tiffany was originally a stationery store, but eventually began selling jewelry and watches, and is still a luxury brand that makes watches in collaboration with Patek Philippe.

Perhaps Burks was in a similar position.


Canadian Air Force Chronograph Omega Movement Lemania Cal.2221

Royal Canadian Air Force Omega chronograph case back

Even if you're not familiar with watches, I think you'll know what kind of brand Omega is when you hear about it.

Omega also began making chronographs for the Canadian military in the early 1960s.

The first was in 1960 with a case size of 36mm and the second was in 1962 with a larger case size of 38mm.

The photo above is of the 38mm lens.

The actual number of deliveries was 223 for the first shipment, with 130 destroyed.

The second delivery consisted of 443 pieces, of which 150 were destroyed.

There is a record that says this.

Like other watches, those that used radium luminescent paint were unsuitable for storage in large quantities because they emitted radioactive materials, so the Royal Canadian Air Force actively destroyed them.

The back cover is engraved with RCAF (Royal Canadian Air Force) and the serial number.

The movement is a Lemania 15CHT with a hacking function, equipped with Cal. 2221.

At this time, Omega and Lemania had a close relationship and formed the SSIH Group.

The SSIH Group is a group made up of Omega, Tissot, and Lemania, and Omega watches often contain Lemania movements.

The history of Lemania is explained in detail in this video, so please take a look if you have time.


Canadian Air Force Chronograph Breitling Movement Valjoux Cal.236

Canadian Air Force Chronograph Breitling case back

When you think of a brand for navigators and pilots, Breitling comes to mind.

The movement used is the Valjoux Cal. 236, which is an improved version of the Valjoux Cal. 23 with a hacking function.

This movement is based on Cal. 23 and has a higher vibration rate of 6 vibrations (21,600 vibrations per hour), making it more precise and powerful.

If you are interested in the history of Valjoux & Venus movements, please watch this video:

The case diameter is 36mm.

The Canadian military placed great importance on secrecy, and only the Breitling has Breitling's iconic B mark on the crown.

This is the only noticeable visual difference that distinguishes Canadian Military watches from each other, with almost no differences in design.

Deliveries were made between 1966 and 1978, making it one of the longest contract periods for any brand delivered to the Canadian Armed Forces.

That's how reliable and functional it was.

The "DND" engraved on the back of the watch stands for "Department of National Defense."

This type of aircraft with the DND stamp on it is extremely rare, and the only one commonly seen on the market is the RCAF (Royal Canadian Air Force), but this is the first generation and is stamped with DND.

By the way, this DND engraving is only seen on Breitling watches.


Canadian military watches, like those of other countries, are chosen by select members.

From our perspective today, even to put it mildly, Birks and Rodania are unknown brands and are not among the watch brands we aspire to.

However, it was still a powerful company at the time, which is why it was adopted by the military.

And while Breitling and Omega are still shining brightly today, what makes them even more attractive is that along with the brand name, they are equipped with movements made by Lemania and Valjoux, companies that are robust, precise, and have a wealth of experience in the military.

From our perspective as Canadians, this is a military watch adopted by the military of a faraway country, but we hope that this article will pique your interest.