The world already has its fair share when it comes to war—world wars, even. Today, history has not forgotten the names of generals, leaders, countries, battles, and other things there is to know about these dark ages. Most of us talk about these famous personalities while setting aside the minute ones. As we remember these moments, it is also just right to talk about facts and relics that served people during these times, particularly watches. Most of the watches during the war have still endured to this day and have even made quite a remarkable name of their own in the industry. If you are a fan of history or watches—or maybe even both—check out our list of watches that served the war:
You might already know Swiss-made watches when it comes to artisanal watchmaking. Aside from Switzerland, Glashütte also became a renowned capital for making great watches. It is in Glashütte where we find the Fliegerchronograph—the second watch issued for the Luftwaffe personnel during the war. Hanhart and Tutima—which was used to be UROFA-UFAG or Uhren-Rohwerke-Fabrik Glashütte A.G-Uhrenfabrik Glashütte A.G—manufactured versions of the chronograph. Hanhart started production in 1939 while Tutima started in 1941. Both companies manufactured single and dual-button models of the chronograph. To this day, Glashütte is still one of the hotspots for making state-of-the-art luxury watches with brands like Tutima, Glashütte Original Senator, and more. Check out watchshopping.com to learn more.
The A-11 is often dubbed as “the watch that won that War”. This is because of how it is mass-produced and how soldiers then have relied on the timepiece heavily as they served in the war. Famous American companies in the time manufactured this watch. American watch companies Elgin, Waltham, and Buldova manufactured these watches to suit the U.S. military in the Second World War. The A-11 has a small case measuring 30-32mm, has black dials with white Arabic hands and numerals for better visibility. It has 60-minute graduation for optimal precision. The A-11 also has a white-dialed version which is much rarer.
3. The 6B/159
Renowned luxury brands had manufactured this reliable timepiece like Omega, Longines, and Jaeger-LeCoultre. These big watch companies have manufactured the 6B/159, especially for RAF navigators and pilots. These watches had black or white dials, central seconds, Arabic numerals, blue-steeled hands that are non-luminous, and cases that are inspired by “Duralumin”. The “Duralumin” is a type of alloy made of copper, aluminum, manganese, and magnesium. Steel backs also set the internal mechanism of this watch. In the mid-1950s, the Defense Ministry revamped the casings of the Omega 6B/159 with 30 T2 SC movements into newer Omega variants with cases made from stainless steel. The new models were also equipped with new dials.
4. The Wrist. Watch. Waterproof. or the “Dirty Dozen”
The Army Trade Pattern designation received these watches because of the contract to the British MoD. Under this contract, the designation secured 150,000 models. These watches are made possible with the help of 12 different watch companies in late 1945. Big companies in the Swiss watchmaking industry participated in this contract and ensured the manufacture of reliable watches. The Wrist. Watch. Waterproof timepieces are made to endure tough conditions because of their high standard built. It offers mechanical movements engineered by the finest watchmakers at the time. Manufacturers during this time highly ensured the accuracy of its chronometer. To this day, you can still purchase some of these watches because they made quite a lot of them.
5. The A.T.P or the “Army Trade Pattern”
Aside from the 6B/159 and other military watches issued before, the A.T.P or the Army Trade Pattern were the ones used widely by the British forces during WWII. About two dozen Swiss watchmaking companies produced these watches with the same features. The A.T.P. usually has 29-33mm steel cases or chrome-plated, manually wound movements, a 15-jewel, silver, or white dials that have a luminous pip or baton indices and central and hands or sub-seconds. The same with the Dirty Dozen, they manufactured quite a lot of these that some are still available in several markets.
6. The B-Uhren
Until this day. Some watch companies still make watches inspired by this legendary military watch. Five companies, namely Wempe, IWC, Walter Storz (Stowa), A. Lange & Söhne, and Lacher & Company/Durowe (Laco) manufactured this watch called Beobachtungsuhr. The Beobachtungsuhr is also called the “observation watch”. It has two types of dials: A and B. Manufacturers produce these dials with only little differences when it comes to layout, though all the versions are placed in large 55mm cases. These watches’ internal mechanisms are driven by hand-wound movements.
Find out more about military watches
Here are just some of the military watches that served in history. If you want to know more about it, you can check out other sites that talked more about it. Even today, you can find these renowned brands that manufactured sturdy and reliable watches.