As it goes for just about anything “military”, issued timepieces are some of the most collectible in the watch world. Between enthusiasts looking for a rugged watch to go on adventures with, fashionable folks pulling off military-inspired looks, and history buffs bolstering their military regalia collection, the military watch market faces the perfect storm of demand. Couple that demand with a fixed number of issued timepieces, and you start to see the whole picture. The rabbit hole of military watches and their history delves very deeply, very quickly, so we’ve broken our overview into two parts: those countries from the West with influential and interesting military timekeeping history, and those from the East. This week, the West — America, Britain, Germany, France, and the unlikely Brazil, Argentina and Peru — flexes its stuff.
A Compendium of Wearable History
Davy Jones's (Dive) Locker
For centuries, man has found countless ways to send ships to the bottom of the sea. Since the advent of scuba technology, we’ve found ways to explore them. Whether it’s to search for booty, take eerie photos, or just to pay respects, wreck diving is a not a sport for the timid. Often found in deep, cold water with strong currents and dangerous reefs, wrecks demand expertise, experience, humility and marine-grade bronze balls — not to mention a lot of specialized gear. This isn’t tropical holiday diving, so be prepared to shell out for equipment that can stand up to the conditions the Gunilda, the Thistlegorm or the Doria present.
Marketing is for suckers
Watch shopping at a brick and mortar retailer or a boutique really only scratches the surface of the watch world. There are literally hundreds of online retailers, or internet boutiques, just as worthy of the praise received by brands like Rolex, Omega, Breitling, and the like. These are small-scale production brands that exclusively sell their own watches online, without a physical store, from less than $500 to well above $10,000. We’ve broken down some of our favorite internet boutique brands, along with their best offerings, so that you can start your web-based hunting right.
Blessed by the God of the Sea
In the 1960s, scuba diving’s popularity was booming, thanks almost entirely to one man: Jacques-Yves Cousteau. It was Cousteau who, along with Emile Gagnan invented the Self-Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus (SCUBA) known as the Aqua-Lung. It was also Cousteau, whose French-accented voiceovers and globetrotting adventures on his TV series fascinated households worldwide. And as if…
Explaining the Basics, Debunking the Myths
It is ironic that, while watch companies are turning out more capable dive watches – helium release valves, absurd water resistance, innovative bezels – fewer and fewer SCUBA divers are wearing watches at all. Go on any dive boat and you’re lucky to find one person wearing anything besides a dive computer on his wrist….
Dive Watch Fanatics, Your Grail Has Arrived Gear Patrol Contributor Jason Heaton showing his approval for the Doxa SUB 800Ti. In the late 1960s, Doxa, a venerable Swiss watchmaker, developed one of the most enduring and unique designs in a purpose-built dive watch. The Doxa SUB was like nothing else, with its distinctive orange dial…