closing tag is in template navbar
timefactors watches



TZ-UK Fundraiser
Results 1 to 14 of 14

Thread: Why are british military watches...

  1. #1
    Apprentice
    Join Date
    Oct 2019
    Location
    North Carolina, USA
    Posts
    25

    Why are british military watches...

    ...so much better looking than american field watches!? Seriously, the A-11 was the last good-looking US field watch to my eyes.

    Below are 3 examples I own. Left is my Timex Expedition I purchased in 2006 at a PX in Port Hueneme, California. It's technically not a "real" US Military Watch, but it's sold in every exchange and expeditions are worn by every US soldier that's not wearing a G-Shock to the field. I personally have used and abused this watch for over 10 years with the only issue being the original strap broke off and the battery died. It's very typical of an American field watch and like all American field watches, is based off the Vietnam-Era GGW113.
    Middle is the PRS-29AM inspired by watches issued to the RAF. Right is a G10 from 2006.

    I'm mainly looking at the difference between the type of watch that was being worn by US troops in 2006, and what was being worn by British troops in 2006.

    I pin it down to the 24 hour ring which, without a GMT complication, makes me feel like an idiot. Thank you Uncle Sam, I believe I can add 12 to wherever the hour hand falls. Now this is by no means a fair comparison, the Timex is a cheap watch, but even better American examples, actual vintage and issued examples, still pale in comparison to the G10, which is a very modern watch. What do you folks think? We Americans deserve better looking watches.

    Post pictures of good looking American field watches that prove me wrong


    Full size image
    (Also don't be concerned about the times, I haven't updated Left since DST ended, and Right is still on GMT from when it was shipped over from the UK)

    Korean-Era A-17, the dial design still looks substantially worse and more cluttered than the G10. The case design is nice though, I've always been a fan of those coin-edge cases like on some A-11s.

  2. #2
    Master
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Sussex
    Posts
    6,386
    Oh, I don’t know...


  3. #3

    Why are british military watches...

    I think the IWC MK11, Hamilton 6B and Smiths W10 are top notch aesthetically.

    There’s naught wrong with the US A17, Hamilton MIL-W...., Marathon steel navigator, Marathon GSAR, SandY P650, Benrus I/II and .......... the Tornek Rayville!


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
    Last edited by BillyCasper; 23rd November 2019 at 15:39.

  4. #4
    [QUOTE=BillyCasper;5256064]I think the IWC MK11, Hamilton 6B and Smiths W10 are top notch aesthetically.

    There’s naught wrong with the US A17, Hamilton MIL-W...., Marathon steel navigator, Marathon GSAR, SandY P650 and .......... the Tornek Rayville!


    And the FAPD, one of my favourites

  5. #5
    Grand Master Carlton-Browne's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Berlin, London and sometimes Dublin
    Posts
    12,184
    Quote Originally Posted by BillyCasper View Post
    I think the IWC MK11, Hamilton 6B and Smiths W10 are top notch aesthetically.

    There’s naught wrong with the US A17, Hamilton MIL-W...., Marathon steel navigator, Marathon GSAR, SandY P650 and .......... the Tornek Rayville!
    David

    You need to post a picture of the silver-dialed Bulova you showed me on Tuesday night. I think it's lovely.
    Die Zeit verwandelt uns nicht, sie entfaltet uns nur.

  6. #6
    Master Geralt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Manchester, UK
    Posts
    1,079
    Quote Originally Posted by jared View Post
    ...
    What do you folks think? We Americans deserve better looking watches.
    ...
    Tend to agree. I've never been able to understand the need for 24hr markers. They bug me - cluttering the dial and are an insult to the intelligence. I've often been tempted by a Timex as a beater, but they put them on nearly everything...

    IMO the best looking military watches of all time were made by Omega and Smiths (MOD specs) - the WWW and the 6B/159 in the 40s, the Thin Arrow in the 50s and the Smiths W10 in the 60s.

    Worth noting that Eddie has produced the PRS-53 (fat arrow), the PRS-29A and the PRS-29AM modern homages (needless to say all have better specs than the originals).

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Carlton-Browne View Post
    David

    You need to post a picture of the silver-dialed Bulova you showed me on Tuesday night. I think it's lovely.
    Other half reckons I rolled in drunk!



    The Bulova USAAF A11 on the right has the tarnished silver case. It looks like shiny PVD. The crown is chromed brass, I'm not sure if the crown should also be silver. Viewed from the side, the lugs are quite narrow and pointed and generally wore out quickly.

    The other watch is a chromed case for comparison. This one is also an A11 but with RAF 6B/234 markings.

  8. #8
    Grand Master abraxas's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    London
    Posts
    31,897
    Quote Originally Posted by jared View Post

    Why are british military watches...

    ...so much better looking than american field watches!?
    I don't think that is true. Many if not most that are considered "British" are actually "Swiss designs". For example the CWC G10 in your picture is a Gallet design that was farmed out to CWC, Precista, and Marathon. Gallet was a major design force in its time.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gallet_%26_Co.

    I can fully appreciate both British and American field watches, but in terms of design it is actually a very narrow field, due its form following function [and to a price] circumstances.

  9. #9
    I think the characteristic British military watch came about from defence spec. DEF-3 General Specification for Wrist Watch, General Service (Inter-Service No. SCF 1000) which brought together the army's WWW and RAF MK11 design specs. The Omega 53 was the first in the DEF 3 line that yielded Hamiltons, Smiths, Precistas and CWCs.

    I mentioned it on another thread, but Ken Gordon's articles in the 2012 Horological Journal are good sources of info on the British military general service watches of the 50s through to recent times.

  10. #10
    Apprentice
    Join Date
    Oct 2019
    Location
    North Carolina, USA
    Posts
    25
    Quote Originally Posted by BillyCasper View Post
    Other half reckons I rolled in drunk!



    The Bulova USAAF A11 on the right has the tarnished silver case. It looks like shiny PVD. The crown is chromed brass, I'm not sure if the crown should also be silver. Viewed from the side, the lugs are quite narrow and pointed and generally wore out quickly.

    The other watch is a chromed case for comparison. This one is also an A11 but with RAF 6B/234 markings.
    Absolutely stunning watches. The tarnished silver is amazing. More watches need a look like that and I need a watch like. Now my day is ruined and my disappointment is immeasurable.

    Sent from my Pixel 3a using TZ-UK mobile app

  11. #11
    The English did make some better watches. But America in it heydays of watchmaking they did OK and US even issued some European stuff.

    A Hamilton issued in the 1970's a Master Chief gave me since he knew I collected this stuff needed hands took a few years to find those.

    My WW2 stuff with a A-17 in the group from the Korean War have all three makes of the A-11 Waltham, Elgin, Bulova



    My two Elgin's

    Benrus type II class A diver cool


    Don't forget WW1 The Pershing dial Elgin and the US Signal Corps watches think there were 6-8 makers this one by Zenith. Check out the Pershing dial case back 29 div a US Army National Guard unit activated in WW1.


    Really like this Zenith.
    Last edited by River Rat; 4th December 2019 at 19:24.

  12. #12
    Here is a US Issued Hamilton the FAPD same size as the Hamilton 6B the RAF was issued. A little rarer than the 6B a link about it below. Only issued for one year.
    https://shop.analogshift.com/product...lton-fapd-5101

  13. #13
    Apprentice
    Join Date
    Oct 2019
    Location
    North Carolina, USA
    Posts
    25
    Really love those A-11s. The Type II diver looks pretty good too in my opinion despite me not liking 24 hour rings. Looks a lot like the current issue Marathon watches which I do fancy

    Sent from my Pixel 3a using TZ-UK mobile app

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by jared View Post
    Really love those A-11s. The Type II diver looks pretty good too in my opinion despite me not liking 24 hour rings. Looks a lot like the current issue Marathon watches which I do fancy

    Sent from my Pixel 3a using TZ-UK mobile app
    You mite like the Benrus type I better. Had a good friend who was a Marine he did recon in Vietnam they would shoot them out of the torpedo tube of a Submarine off the coast of Vietnam he saw my type II and said dam a recon watch.
    https://wornandwound.com/benrus-type...-dive-watches/

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •