The appeal of vintage military watches used by the Swedish Army

Sweden is currently in the process of joining NATO.

From our perspective, Sweden is known as a Nordic country with one of the highest levels of happiness and where it is easy to spend your retirement years, but because it borders Russia, this does not mean that the country neglects its military.

In this article, we will explain about Swedish military watches, which are not particularly popular.

The table of contents looks like this.

1. Characteristics of Swedish military watches

From here on, we will introduce the watches that were actually provided.

2. Excelsior Park

3. Minerva

4. Candino

5. Lemania Tg 195

6. Lemania Viggen

Finally, here is a summary.

Features of Swedish military watches

A distinctive feature of Swedish military watches is the Tre Kronor (three crowns) engraved on the case back.

The three crowns are also used as the country's coat of arms.

Tre Kronor (Tre Kroll) Three Crowns

Military watch collectors will know that it is a mark indicating ownership of the Swedish military, similar to the British Broad Arrow.

However, it seems that clear specifications were not required, as was the case with the British, Italian, and French armies, so each brand is independent.

For more information on military watches from other countries, please see here.

The Swedish military adopted the Excelsior Park, Minerva, and Candino in the 1950s and 1970s.

Candino is not famous, but the production was entrusted to a watch brand that had the technical capabilities of the time, so the watch is very high quality.

Let's take a look at these watches here.

Excelsior Park

This was a highly technical brand that was able to manufacture chronograph movements, which required extremely advanced technical skills at the time.

Due to its high level of technical skill, its products are also used in Garrett's chronographs, and in fact the company has delivered a small number of chronographs to the Japanese military.

Now let's actually look at the watch.

Excelsior Park - Differences between the Japanese and Swedish armies - DialExcelsior Park - Differences between the Japanese and Swedish armies - Back cover

The Japanese are on the left and the Swedish are on the right.

The Japanese military version originally had a black dial, but due to aging it has been changed to a tropical dial.

The Swedish military uniforms are the standard cream color.

Since the design is exactly the same, it is likely that the watches were manufactured separately for the Swedish and Japanese armies, based on the dial color.

So, is the back cover the same? Of course not.

The Japanese military's badge is engraved with a cherry blossom and, although it is hard to see, the words "Japan Air Self-Defense Force" underneath it, while the Swedish military's badge is engraved with Treklor.

The "94" engraved underneath is probably the serial number.

Excelsior Park Cal.4

The movement is equipped with the Excelsior Park Cal. 4, which is said to be comparable to Longines' Cal. 13ZN.


Minerva Swedish Army 3-Reg Chronograph

In the 1960s, the next generation Minerva chronograph was adopted.

It is marked "Incabloc" on the dial, which was likely a guarantee of the durability required of watches at the time.

Now let's take a look at the back cover.

Although they are quite small from the top, they also have the Treklor (three crowns) stamp.

Under that is Minerva

And below that is SWISS

VD712 is engraved underneath.

The VD712 on the back cover probably represents the model name.

And surrounding them is

・WATER & SHOCK RESISTANT = Water and shock resistant

・NON MAGNETIC = Antimagnetic

・Stainless steel

・Inca block

It is written as follows.

Just looking at the grade of the back cover, you can tell it's a very high-spec watch👍

Now let's look at the movement.

Originally, Minerva was able to make its own chronograph movements, with one of its signature movements being the Cal. 13-20CH, but at some point they began to use Valjoux movements.

This watch is equipped with Valjoux Cal. 72, and the smoothly chamfered parts give a glimpse of the careful craftsmanship that went into making it.

Swedish Military Chronograph Minerva Valjoux Cal.72

This Minerva chronograph was not issued to the military and is sold as a civilian item.

Swedish Military Minerva Chronograph Civilian Case Back

Civilian models are identical to military models except for the lack of the Trekroll engraving on the back cover.


Candino Swedish Army Watch

The Candino brand appears to have produced a variety of watches, but the only one that could be considered their signature piece is this Swedish military watch.

This watch was adopted by the Army in the 1970s.

The tonneau-shaped case, a characteristic of military watches from the 1970s, has the lugs and case made as one piece, and although the case back is not synchronized, it feels similar to the CWC and Hamilton watches delivered to the British Army.

Now let's look at the movement.

CANDINO Swedish Army wristwatch movement ETA Cal.2750

This one is equipped with ETA2750.

This ETA2750 is the same as the one made by CWC around the same time and equipped to the British Army, so it was likely highly versatile.

70's Army Watch Comparison: CWC & Candino

The design is similar to the CWC, but if you look closely there are some slight differences.

What I particularly like is that the seconds hand is in the shape of a bow and arrow and is filled with luminous paint.

On the CWC, tritium is represented by a round T, but on the Candino, it is indicated by a T SWISS MADE T under the dial.

Both have their own unique charms, but this Army watch has a simple yet sophisticated design and is also impeccable in terms of functionality, including a hacking function, so I think it would be a good introductory model for anyone who is thinking about getting into the military.

Lemania Tg 195

Lemania supplied two types of watches to the Swedish military.

The first one I'd like to introduce is the Tg 195.

This watch was first delivered in 1954 and continued to be in production until the mid-1960s.

It is still not clear which unit this watch was issued to, but TG is an abbreviation for "Tid Givare" in Swedish, which means "Giving Time " in English, but the meaning of 195 is unclear.

Lemania Swedish Army Tg195

The Lemania Tg195 has unique features that make it different from both three-hand watches and chronographs.

Although it looks like a one-push chronograph, the Cal. 2225 is a movement equipped with a hacking function and has a special movement.

Now let's look at the movement.

Differences between Lemania movements Cal.2220 and Cal.2225

The Cal. 2225 is based on the Cal. 2220 that Lemania had until then, so it has some similarities to the Cal. 2220.

When you press the pusher at the 2 o'clock position, the crown will pop out and the second hand will be reset to zero and fixed in place.

Push the crown back in and the watch will start running again.

I believe that this clock's specialized role is to allow everyone to start the clock before setting out to attack a certain location, and then to launch the attack all at once when the time comes.

The TG195 is also popular for its looks.

The watch was issued to the Royal Air Force and is 40mm in size, which is larger than the chronographs it was sold to, and its glossy black mirror dial and asymmetrical style created by the case with a crown guard are all very appealing.

Now let's take a look at the chronographs delivered to the Air Force in the 1970s.

Lemania Viggen

Lemania Swedish Air Force Chronograph

This Lemania model is called "Viggen" and was issued to the Swedish Air Force around 1975.

"Viggen" is the name of the plane and also means ptarmigan.

This chronograph was issued to the pilots who flew it.

Swedish military's Viggen

By the way, the Bigen is the above-mentioned fighter jet and has now been replaced by the Gripen.

Compared to Lemania chronographs made in other countries, this Bigen is extremely rare and it is said that the total number of orders is around 400, which is why it is traded at a high price.

By the way, a chronograph that looks almost identical to the Excelsior Park was delivered to the South African Air Force, but it is said that there were slightly more of these, at 600 pieces.

Therefore, there are only about 1,000 chronographs of this type in existence in total.

Now let's take a look at the differences between each one.

Military watches supplied by Lemania to the Swedish Air Force and the South African Air Force

The one on the left is the Swedish Air Force and the one on the right is the South African Air Force.

At first glance there is almost no difference, but there are three differences on the dial.

First, regarding the chronograph hand, the Swedish Air Force model has a simple white line, while the South African Air Force model has an orange pointer hand.

In terms of the shape of the bezel, the Swedish Air Force has shallow grooves, while the South African Air Force has deeper grooves.

Additionally, the bezel's markings are in 10-minute increments on the Swedish military watch, while those on the South African Air Force watch are in 15-minute increments.

Now let's take a look at the back cover.

Military watches for the Air Force delivered by Lemania Differences between the Swedish Air Force and the South African Air Force Back cover

The Swedish Air Force version is stamped with Treklol and the South African Air Force version is stamped with AF (for Africa).

Now let's take a look at the movement.

First of all, both watches use the same movement, the Lemania Cal. 1872.

The Lemania Cal. 1872, used in chronographs used by the Swedish Air Force and South African Air Force

This movement was also used in Omega's Speedmaster and is a representative Lemania movement.

The column wheel type Cal. 15CHT made by Lemania before that was also famous, but even after changing to a cam type, its reliability, robustness, and operability remained unchanged, and it was used in a variety of watches.


In this article, we have introduced the military watches adopted by the Swedish military.

Looking at the watch in this way, we can see that it has a sophisticated design, and at the same time, because it was adopted by the military, it was carefully made using all the technology of the time.

Perhaps by understanding why the three crowns are engraved on these watches, as well as their history and functions, we can become even more fascinated with military watches.