A wonderful collection of Hamilton vintage military watches

Click here to watch the video to see the appeal of Hamilton's military watches.

Here, we will explain about the "wonderful Hamilton vintage military watch collection" that supported the operations of the US military.

Men are naturally attracted to rugged and robust military watches, but I think that those owned by the well-known US military are in a class of their own.

When it comes to watches, Swiss brands are the first to come to mind, but MADE IN AMERICA watches are no less impressive.

Also, vintage Hamilton watches have a slightly different design from Swiss-made watches, which I think is one of their charms as it gives you a taste of America.

Today, I hope you will read the article to the end while thinking about the Hamilton military watches that were used in actual combat.

The History of Hamilton's Military Watches

General John Joseph "Black Jack" Pershing

※General Black Jack Pershing

Hamilton first began supplying watches to the U.S. military during World War I, when it began supplying precision railroad watches to soldiers under the command of General Black Jack Pershing to time their troops' movements.

In 1914, it was Hamilton's pocket watches, characterized by their superior quality and precision, that caught the eye of General Pershing and other American military personnel.

The most common timepiece at this time was the pocket watch, which provided the necessary accuracy, but soldiers could not read the time quickly or easily, so the pocket watch had to be improved upon to become a wristwatch.

They responded to this request while maintaining their high standards by creating a new watch that would support troops in taking action quickly.

Hamilton was in a position to supply watches, had experience supplying watches to the military during World War I, and continued to lead the US military watch industry during World War II, so it was only natural that the company would be entrusted with manufacturing military watches.

Due to the high quality of its products, Hamilton won the U.S. Army and Navy "E" Award (Excellent Manufacturing Award), demonstrating its manufacturing excellence.

In 1942, in order to meet the huge demand for watches for the military, Hamilton ceased all consumer production and focused solely on supplying the military.

Between 1942 and 1945, Hamilton is said to have delivered over one million different watches.

Hamilton watches, with their ties to the military, are what make them desirable and collectable for ordinary people like us, who know that these watches were actually used by soldiers in the harshest conditions on land, sea, and air.

Now, let's take a chronological look at the wonderful military watches that Hamilton issued to the US military.

Hamilton - 1940s - US Army Military Watch

Hamilton - 1940s - US Army Military Watch

This watch was issued to the US Army in the 1940s.

Generally, military watches as we know them have black dials, but at that time such standards had not yet been clearly defined, and the Army, which had the largest number of troops, was issued watches with white dials.

The material is a cost-saving alternative to mass-producing a chrome-plated brass case, which is common in cheap watches of this time.

That said, it has solid performance, the movement is Cotes de Genève decorated, it has a waterproof screw back, and the hands have radium luminous paint, so it boasts the minimum specifications required for a military watch.

1940s US Navy & Canteen

Hamilton - Military Watches - Navy & Canteen

We will introduce two types of Hamilton naval watches, which are quite famous models.

The first one is the watch on the left, a USN BUSHIPS (Bureau of Naval Ships) watch.

I think the ones issued to the Navy were almost the same as the Army ones, except the dials were black and had USN BUSHIPS printed on them.

This was the model issued to Navy crew members, and just because it was for Navy use did not mean it was particularly waterproof; its specifications were the same as those of the Army.

The next place I'd like to introduce is the canteen.

The same model was also produced by Elgin and Bulova, but it is characterized by its crown cap.

In 1943, the United States Navy Combat Demolition Team was formed, primarily from volunteers recruited from the US Navy Construction Battalion, commonly known as the Seabees, which served in the Mediterranean.

It feels like there is a unit called the "Special Rescue Team" above divers .

Eventually, the unit expanded into the Pacific Theater of Operations, and its name was changed to Underwater Demolition Team (UDT).

The UDT's mission was to clear the sea and shore of mines and other obstacles prior to amphibious assaults.

For the underwater operatives tasked with this mission, Hamilton developed a specially designed waterproof watch, featuring the Caliber 987S sealed in a special waterproof case .

This case featured a protective screw-down cap to seal the crown.

Capable of being used to depths of up to 50 feet (about 15 meters), this watch was used by divers to check their remaining air reserves.

Compared to today's waterproof standards, 15m is quite low, but at the time it still provided a certain level of waterproofness.

The watch we have introduced so far has a case size of 31mm.

Only the Canteen looks larger because of the cap, but the case itself is actually 31mm in size.

It may seem quite small to us today, but this was the typical case size for men at the time.

Now let's look at watches made after the end of World War II.

1960s Hamilton Military Watch GS Diplomatic Issue

1960s Hamilton Military Watch G.S. Diplomatic Issue

Although it was originally an American brand, in the 1960s they began supplying watches to Anglo-Saxon (English-speaking) countries as well.

Hamilton's Tropicalized Military watch is the military watch of choice for the Abu Dhabi Defence Force, and is stamped ADDF on the case back to reflect this.

By the way, Abu Dhabi is the United Arab Emirates and its location is here.

Location of the United Arab Emirates

It's next to Saudi Arabia, so it's easy to imagine the general location, but it's a very hot country in the summer.

At the same time, there is an engraving that says "TROPICALIZED," which implies that the product has specifications that make it suitable for use in tropical regions, and this is the engraving that represents that fact.

Looking at the dial, there is a "GS" signature on it, which stands for "GENERAL SERVICE" (standard supply).

This is a marking indicating that the watch was issued to a government employee, not an actual military unit.

Historically, Britain gave the impression of supporting the independence of Arab nations, so I think there were quite a few British elites living in the Arab world.

This is a very rare model made for Department of Defense officials.

1960s Hamilton Military Watch, Royal Air Force Broad Arrow

1960s Hamilton Military Watch, Royal Air Force Broad Arrow

This model was issued to the Royal Air Force, and the 6B on the case back represents the Royal Air Force code.

The design is almost identical to that issued to diplomats, but the models issued to the RAF feature a ◯T, representing tritium, and a Broad Arrow marking to denote British military property.

The movement used is Cal.75.

1960s Hamilton Military Watch - Late Model Cal. S75S for the Royal Air Force

Hamilton - Military Watch - Royal Air Force - Late Model Cal. S75S

And this is the later model, which has the same appearance but a different movement.

While the early model's caliber was Cal.75, the later model's caliber is Cal.S75S.

This is the difference between having or not having a hack function; the earlier model does not have it but the later model does.

Both models are well-made, with center seconds, dust covers and anti-magnetic watches.

The design is similar to the IWC Mark 11, so it's one of my favorite watches.

1970s Hamilton Military Watch Royal Navy and Air Force Chronograph

1970s Hamilton Military Watch Royal Navy and Air Force Chronograph Cal.7733

This chronograph was issued to the Royal Navy and Air Force, and was delivered to the British Military by four other manufacturers who had contracts at the time.

The Fab Four: A Chronograph Made for the Royal Air Force

At first glance, these watches appear to be the same, but each one is subtly different and was delivered by Precistar, CWC, Hamilton, and Newmark.

The Fab Four refers to the four good friends who formed the Beatles, and was so named because supplies came from four different companies.

These four companies are not top brands like IWC and Jaeger-LeCoultre, which were used before them, but rather I think they are brands that are lower down.

This is because the military was looking to reduce costs, and so they chose brands that could produce watches at low cost and with high accuracy.

By the way, all of these brands are equipped with Valjoux's hand-wound Cal. 7733 movements.

Since all four companies were unable to make their own chronograph movements, they only pushed their own brand onto the exterior and used general-purpose movements for the movements.

However, these watches are traded at high prices because of their incredibly cool designs and the fact that they were actually used by the military, and their prices are likely to continue to rise in the future.

1970s Hamilton US Air Force Type 1 Navigation Watch

1970s-Hamilton-US Air Force-TYPE1 Navigation Watch.-Cal.684.jpg

This watch was made in response to the Vietnam War in the 1970s.

Advances in aviation technology, such as the arrival of jet aircraft during the Korean and Vietnam wars, made accurate time measurement essential.

So in 1970, Hamilton developed the FAPD 5101 (Type 1 Navigator).

Therefore, this watch is equipped with a hack function.

The movement used is Cal. 684, an in-house conversion of ETA's Cal. 2391 caliber. This movement was designed exclusively for this watch, and Cal. 684 is not found in any other military or civilian watches designed by Hamilton.

The case diameter is 36mm, slightly larger than watches of the era, and was designed to improve visibility as required by navigators.

The 24-hour layout features a luminous triangular pointer above each Arabic numeral.

The case is made of parkerized steel and has a matte finish, not the glossy look of stainless steel.

This is probably to prevent enemies from seeing them due to the reflected sunlight.

This Type 1 was issued for a very short period of time, only for one month in September 1970, making it an extremely rare model.

1970s Hamilton Military Watch for the British Army, Navy and Air Force

1970s Hamilton Military Watch for the British Army, Navy and Air Force

This is a military watch that features a one-piece case, which was commonly used in watches from the 1970s.

This model is often referred to as the W10 and has a strong image of being used by the Army, but in fact there are also models with Navy (0552) and Air Force (6BB) coding, but there are still very few models for the Navy or Air Force.

By the way, the one in the picture was issued to the Air Force and has the "6BB" marking on it.

The watches issued to these three units had the same specifications.

The movement used is Cal. 649, which was converted from ETA's Cal. 2750, and is a robust movement equipped with Incabloc.

This watch has achieved significant cost reductions by using a versatile movement and an integrated case with the back cover made from hollowed-out stainless steel.

That said, since it is a military watch, it is well-made and has more than enough performance for our everyday use.

The production period was from 1973 to 1976, and it is said that approximately 30,000 units were produced, so it is still a relatively easy model to obtain.

This is a recommended introductory watch for those who want to start enjoying military watches.


To put it simply, I think Hamilton's position in Japan is not that high.

However, if we look at it in terms of one era like this, and within the genre of military watches, Hamilton watches are extremely cool, and it can be said that it was a capable brand that was adopted by the US military.

Watches from the 1960s or later can be purchased more cheaply than other brands, but I think Hamilton military watches, which are stylishly designed and durable, are a hidden gem.

Prices are expected to rise overall in the future, so it's a good idea to get your hands on one now.