Chronograph Watches Military Chronographs: An Essential Watch for Soldiers

The war soon shifts from ground combat to the skies.

After the Industrial Revolution, large nations desperately sought to incorporate the latest scientific advances into their military.

The same greed was true when it came to watches.

Measuring instruments were of great importance to the military.

The deck watch that was actually found, which was supplied to the Russian Navy, was made in the late 1880s, and the pocket watch used by the British Navy dated to the early 1990s.

During the Boer War, which broke out from 1899 to 1902, wristwatches eventually evolved into military watches for the terrifying reason that soldiers needed them to be able to identify their country while using both hands on the battlefield.

Military watches also came into being, with the crystal protected by a protective metal mesh guard.

Cima has used a technique to attach this protective guard to a hinge.

On the battlefield, wristwatches became an indispensable item for carrying out operations accurately.

People are greedily pursuing performance.

Better basic performance and more robustness.

This is what is known as military standard, or MIL-SPEC.

During World War I, the main battlefield was on land.

Therefore, the specifications that were required were a standard three-hand watch with hour, minute, and second hands.

But for an airline pilot, that's not all they need.

You'll need a chronograph.

That's why Perch & Dygen's model, known as the "Mark Timer," was used by Royal Navy airmen during World War I while supporting the Russian military.

The one-push measurement function on this model was used to time things like the start of a bombing raid.

At the same time, there are clear records of the US military purchasing thousands of pocket watch-style chronographs made by Vacheron Constantin in large quantities.

The Chronograph Became Popular After World War II

Unlike World War I, World War II shifted the main battlefield from the ground to the skies.

Accordingly, the needs of watches also changed, and by the Second World War, there was a real demand for wristwatch-type chronographs.

Longines was a manufacturer well known for its movements.

It was Longines that invented the flyback chronograph with a telemeter.

In addition, Oris developed the "Big Crown" in 1941.

The biggest feature of this Big Crown is that the crown is very large.

U.S. Air Force pilots, who often wore gloves, were said to be delighted with its ease of operation.

The following year, in 1942, Breitling released the Chronomat, the world's first watch equipped with a circular slide rule.

This model would later evolve into a renowned masterpiece that would come to be known as the "Navitimer."

Although Heuer is primarily known as a manufacturer with a strong presence in motorsports, the company is no exception and supplies highly accurate chronographs to the Swiss Army.

The models delivered by each manufacturer were all high-spec models that met military standards.

Each manufacturer was striving to meet the strict military standards of MIL-SPEC, and this ultimately led to major advances in watchmaking technology.

Nowadays, when talking about Swiss watches, the name Omega immediately comes to mind, and Omega was no exception; during World War I, it supplied car timers to the British military.

Additionally, Omega supplied a staggering 100,000 watches to the British military between the 1930s and 1940s.

This figure of 100,000 was said to be roughly half the number supplied to the British military during World War II.

This is why Omega was able to improve its technical capabilities and create NASA's official watches, such as the Speedmaster.

NASA's tests were very rigorous, and the rocket had to withstand extreme G-forces.

Rival companies such as Rolex were eliminated one after another in such tests.

But no matter how tough the test, the Speedmaster remained unfazed.

It continued to keep time accurately and with high precision until the very end.

The Omega model derived from the Speedmaster is the Flightmaster.

The Flightmaster is a model that is said to have also been used by the Pakistan Air Force.

Meanwhile, Lemania had the "Speedmaster," developed by Albert Piguet, known as the "disaster watchmaker."

This is the chronograph movement Cal.27CHRO (Cal.321).

Subsequently, Cal.861 was adopted as the successor model.

The current model uses a minor change version of Cal. 1861.

Lemania, the manufacturer of the Speedmaster caliber, developed extremely high-precision chronographs from the 1940s to the 1960s.

Among them, the model known as the "flyback" uses a single push mechanism.

This model was adopted by the Swedish Air Force.

In addition, Guido Panerai & Figlio (now Officine Panerai) supplied the Italian Navy with the world's first full-scale underwater mission watches.

In fact, we are also creating a prototype of a chronograph.

The history of Guido Panerai & Figlio dates back to 1850, when its founder Giovanni Panerai opened a shop in Florence.

This show was the first watch shop in Florence.

In 1936, they completed the prototype of the wristwatch "Radiomir."

The Radiomir is the only model that has been exclusively produced with a Rolex case and movement.

This model passed the rigorous tests of the Italian Navy in 1938 and was put into production.

In 1943, Panerai developed the Mare Nostrum Chronograph at the request of the Italian Navy.

At the time, development was underway for deck officers, but unfortunately it was not adopted and production was shelved.

However, all of these so-called panel watches are military spec.

Therefore, it was never generalized.

For this reason, the original model is extremely rare, with only a few hundred remaining in the world.

However, in 1993, Panerai decided to revive the Luminor as a successor to the Radiomir.

It was actually released for sale to the public in 1998.

It is an elegant chronograph that still retains a military feel.

This model is currently available in versions such as the Luminor 40mm Chrono 2000 and the Luminor 40mm Chronograph Titanium & Steel.

In 1955, at the request of the French Navy, Braguet began work on developing a chronograph for pilots.

The large crown was designed to make it easier for pilots wearing gloves to use.

In addition, the original Type XX Aeronavale, equipped with a rotating bezel, is a legendary gem that is coveted by collectors.

Furthermore, some surprising names have been discovered when it comes to manufacturers of military chronographs.

That's Porsche Design.

Porsche is known for its cars, but they also designed military chronographs.

This model was used by several military forces from World War II onwards.

Not only are they used by the military, but also by NATO, with the words "ROYAL NAVY" engraved on the dial.

In 1984, the world's first quartz "Pilot's Chronograph", produced by Seiko of Japan, was supplied to the Royal Air Force.

The back of the early yellow dial models is engraved with the Broad Arrow, indicating that they were issued by the British government.

This model is said to have been worn by Vulcan bomber pilots.

Quartz watches quickly spread throughout the watch world.

In modern warfare, quartz watches are commonly used and very practical.

During the Gulf War, it became a hot topic that multinational soldiers were wearing G-Shock watches made by Casio of Japan.

Meanwhile, Iranian soldiers were wearing Breitling Navitimers.

This one has Iranian military markings all over it and was worn by Iranian military pilots.

There are also records showing that there were a variety of models, from automatics made in the 1970s to quartz models made in the 1980s.

Historical Military Chronographs

We will introduce the Oris watches worn by US Air Force pilots, the reproduction models of the Braguet watches supplied to the French Naval Air Service, and the appeal of today's authentic pilot chronographs.

In addition, there are also products that embodied the performance that Wenger, who was both a Swiss Army captain and president, required of a watch for military use, as well as new models.

We also take a closer look at the products of Zeno, a company that reproduces military watches.

Type XX Transatlantic Steel

The original was created in 1955, but this model is a reproduction.

This model was launched in 1994 and is one of the most popular models among browsers.

It has also become a model that has caused young people to look up to browser games with admiration.

Automatic winding, flyback.

It has a stainless steel case and leather strap and is priced at 850,000 yen.

GST Chrono Automatic

The Pilot's Chronograph is considered a masterpiece among the products made by IWC.

IWC has been producing aviation watches since the 1930s.

They also produced waterproof watches at the request of the former West German Navy.

They also have achieved ultra-magnetic resistance, making them a brand that truly excels in both name and reality.

Automatic winding and water resistant to 120m.

The stainless steel case and bracelet are priced at 545,000 yen.

Chronomat GT

This chronograph was successfully developed with the cooperation of the Firecze Tricolori, an aerobatics team belonging to the Italian Air Force.

This model is eye-catching with its specialist emblem and bold design.

There are many variations and it is an automatic watch.

It has a stainless steel case and bracelet and is priced at 400,000 yen.

Big Crown Chronograph

The large crown is also a feature of the original model that appeared in 1941.

The large crown was very popular with pilots as it was easy to operate even with gloves on.

It has a see-through back, automatic winding, and a sapphire crystal.

It has a stainless steel case and bracelet and is priced at 210,000 yen.

Aquamaster Automatic

Wenger's CEO is Peter Hug, who is also a captain in the Swiss army.

That's why we produce models that incorporate the features required by the military.

This is the GST Sea Series "Aquamaster Automatic".

Water resistant to 300m and day and date.

Stainless steel case with automatic winding Valjoux Cal. 7750.

The price is 310,000 yen.

Army Chronograph

Founded in 1922, ZENO-WATCH is a company based in Basel, Switzerland.

Due to the strong will of the owner, Mr. Hoover, who has military experience, the company is focusing on reproducing military watches.

The model is equipped with Valjoux Cal. 7750.

It is an automatic watch with a stainless steel case and is priced at 128,000 yen.