I just want to be honest with you here: the moment you develop an interest in vintage military watches is the moment you will have fallen down a rabbit hole so deep, that there is no chance of ever getting out. The real good news, however, is that once you get stuck down there, you will be adorned with an endless – like, never-ending – supply of absolutely stunning choices of vintage military chronograph watches that are packed with a lifetime worth of history and style you can ever hope to have.
Let’s get cracking then…
- Best Vintage Military Watches 2018
- Confused about the best vintage military watches? This review is for you
- Vintage military watches are perfect for your wardrobe – Here’s why I think so
- Vintage Military Watches
- The Best Vintage Military Chronograph Watches To Rule Them All!
- 4. Mudder Vintage Stainless Steel Quartz Pocket Watch Chain
- Vintage Vietnam Era U.S. Military Watch: Watch Video
- 9. Mil-Tec Luftwaffe ME 109 Pilot Vintage British Military Watches
Best Vintage Military Watches 2018
Since the mid-1800s, pretty much all the military forces out there had begun to rely heavily on tactical timepieces to better coordinate their missions, manners, navigation and range estimates. Even though the watches that were used then had many parentage’s that was stemmed from all over the world, we are rather sure that those watches were custom built to survive through tough climates, water, shock, grime and even a thorough beating or a bullet hit.
Just like anything that comes with “Military” as its prefix, the issued vintage military watches are some of the most versatile, collectable and durable watches in the world. Between the fans looking for a rough and tough watch to go on adventures with, fashionistas trying to pull off army-inspired looks, history nuts trying to add yet another jewel to their mantle, the Vintage military watch market is currently in the midst of a storm of demand that is showing no signs of dissipating any time soon.
Glad you fell down that rabbit hole aren’t you? I know I still am!
Confused about the best vintage military watches? This review is for you
A proper good set of vintage military watches can really be a godsend gift for anyone who prefers to spend their time in the great outdoors. But look further than that and you will see how badass they are and how great they can make you look. Made for the men to better suit their rugged needs, these watches are tough, stylish and carries with them a rustic charm that no self-respecting man could ever say “No” to in a lifetime.
Of course, there are a lot of options to choose from in the vintage military watch genre, and you my friend have to decide which one is the right pick for you. It can be a tough task to do, which without ample help can even seem more daunting than tackling the Everest.
So as always, I have picked out and reviewed a bunch of best vintage military chronographs that I think represents the best of what this niche has to offer. All you have to do here is read on through, pick out the ones that take your fancy, and just let the sheer wonderment of a good set of vintage military watches wrap you up.
Vintage military watches are perfect for your wardrobe – Here’s why I think so
Just like a Twinkie in a bag, the vintage military watches are built to last. Perhaps that is why the market for them is riddled with choices that are as murky as the river Thames on a Monday morning. Fortunately, there are still some good military watches out there to be had that won’t really make you break open your rainy day fund or your bank. (Phew!)
Before we jump into them, I think it’s better if we knew a bit more about them so we aren’t just be gunning for them just for their looks but also for their innate sheer practicality that they are known to bring with them.
Firstly, it’s rather worth noting that the term “vintage” often has a tendency to be mistaken with the meaning of the word “pre-owned”. Trust me, those two words has a world of differences between them, and it pays to keep that little factoid in mind the next time you go hunting for a great set of vintage military watches.
The sheer advantage of opting for a good set of vintage military watches for men vs the more modern replicas of them like the Burberry vintage military style watch for men, is that the vintage one is more likely to hold its value better while the modern one will suffer a stark dip in its value before it begins to be appreciated again for its worth.
Makes sense, right?
Fashion has a new poster boy to sport!
Street fashion has always had a habit of changing by the seconds, and since military style is the new “in” thing right now, it makes sense to go for a set of vintage military watches now more than ever. While pretty much everyone starts vying for the more obvious apparels like jackets, cargo pants or Boots to show off their trendiness and cool factor, nothing can say and impart elegance, toughness, and attitude better than a pair of vintage military watches strapped on to your wrist.
“Vintage Military Watches” while the term itself brings forth images of dusty old watches sitting in a grime filled shelves, the truth couldn’t be any farther from that. Nowadays whenever we make a search for the same, the answers we are going to be hit with will probably be pointing us towards watches that are brand new in nature but follows the same design guidelines on which its glorious war-bred predecessors were based on.
Vintage Military Watches
The templates on which they are designed may vary from one country to another, and that makes sense because since they are built primarily to brave the harshness of the battlefield, a support for a sole single environment might not be much conducive to the longevity they are supposed to have. While I still again reiterate the fact that we have an infinite number of them to choose from, their basic style has always been marked by the same qualities such as simple design, rugged build, mechanical guts and the sheer will to survive through anything.
What all this means is that whenever we opt for our own piece of this cake, underneath all that rugged look and multiple levels of grime and dirt, the actual watch would be hiding a heart that is ultra-modern and future proof. I have seen in my times a supposed set of vintage military watches that had a look of ordinary but had a set of smart features that clearly said otherwise (Bluetooth, really?). While going that extreme might be a bad idea considering that the whole basic theme of these devices would be lost on it, the sheer fact that we aren’t limited to those old times and their old ways is rather comforting nonetheless.
The Best Vintage Military Chronograph Watches To Rule Them All!
In the world of vintage wearable, one of the main names you dearly need to know and remember is Timex. Known for producing high quality and attractive watches that can be had and enjoyed at very affordable prices, it is no wonder that Timex would also be the best when it comes to producing some of the best vintage military watches you can find out there.
Clearly drawing inspiration from the 1940s, the watch sports a design that is old school and ruggedly charming. At 40 mm, the watch isn’t really on the smaller side, however, the minimally built steel body and super comfortable leather strap all combines to makes this one a sheer joy to sport.
The big wide display is undoubtedly its main selling point, the markers are huge and the fact that they are printed on in army font makes them all the better. Powered by their own Indiglo technology, the dials can glow in the dark and readily makes telling time in low light conditions a breeze worth having fun with. The handy military time markers featured on it looks quite good, and the fact that they are there, adds to the whole military theme quite nicely without being over-cluttered or feeling like an afterthought.
Water resistant up to 30 meters, the watch can easily handle short submersion and everyday splashes with ease. The mineral glass shielding has great durability and can withstand scratches and minor bumps. It does not have glare protection, but the toned down dark background does do a bit of help to better its sunlight visibility.
- Elegant, minimal design
- Steel based sturdy build
- Handy military time feature
- Indiglo dials
- Water-resistant up to 30 meters
- Quite big
- No antiglare coating
If you are looking for a vintage timepiece that perfectly embodies the retro charms of the 1920s, then look no further than this stunner of a vintage piece from ALPS. Sporting a colourful map monogram on its watch face, the watch might have looked quite cheesy if this was the times in question, however, with a set of minimal dials, small watch face and a simple old leather band to boot, the watch looks and feels quite vintage enough to make anyone’s list this summer season.
Sporting a steel build that’s been redesigned to give off an aged look, the watch looks and feels rather old and charming. The leather band has a ribbed texture, and it comes with a withered outlook that really adds to the whole vintage theme. The leather is untreated and that has left it with a stiff matte patina that is gorgeous to look at and to top it all off, the band even comes with a metal clasp system that perfectly imitates the ones used during the World War 2 era.
The watch face looks absolutely picture perfect with its embossed map monogram and dark toned pin dials. It’s not the most intuitive or minimal one out there, and readability often goes for a toss because of that. However, for the sheer unique factor, it brings with it, the many faults are something that could be glossed over pretty easily.
- Cool vintage design
- Sturdy steel frame
- Comfortable leather band
- Japanese quartz movement
- Water resistant up to 30 meter
- The leather may crack over time
- Cluttered watch face
Sporting a stunningly handsome hollow design that somewhat blurs the lines between modernity and classic charms, the AMPM24 vintage watch is definitely an attention grabber unlike any. The leather band with its over-sized rivets helps to make a tough statement, and the shininess of the outer frame brings it all together into a package that just begs to be picked up and revered.
Made from bronze, the watch has a premium look, which is perfectly balanced out by the old world charm that the leather band gives off.There is a light heft to it courtesy of its metallic build, but the weight really isn’t as bothersome as some of the other so-called vintage pieces out here.
Undoubtedly, the watch face is what that really makes this vintage piece really pops. Populated by a set of Roman numerals on the inner bezel, the face goes for a hollowed out theme that really brings out the intricacies of its inner workings to the forefront. A real nod to the more retro classic era, there is literally nothing to don’t like about its design.
Powered by an automatic self-winding movement, the watch can keep excellent time in all conditions, and since it is self-winding, there is never a hassle to change its battery or anything. For the price it comes in, this set of vintage British military watches really has a lot on their platter and if you ask me, they are a real bargain that’s worth not missing out on.
- Stunning hollowed out design
- Durable bronze topped build
- Durable leather band
- Self-winding Movement
- Comes in a great gift box
- A bit on the heavier side
- No mineral glass protection
Once there was a time when pocket watches were the determinants of wealth and status and even though that time is now long gone into oblivion, the sheer elegance and class of a vintage pocket time watch still remain to be the same as it did back then.
The Mudder vintage military timepiece might not be as “Military” as some of the other ones in this review, however, no one can argue that the sheer style of this one can move mountains if need be. Tinted black to bring in some stealth elements, the watch boasts of an intricate set of etched designs on its well-built steel body that gives it an air of class and luxury.
The watch face echoes the same design elements as the rest of the wearable. It’s minimal, stylish and the white background really brings out the blacks of the dials and markers.
Water resistance to a certain degree, this pocket watch can handle a fair bit of splashes and can even endure some short bursts of submersion without having many problems. The chain is removable, and it has a fair bit of length to play around with if needed. The clasp may look a bit flimsy and thin, but as far as I tested it out, I encountered no problems with its durability.
- Luxurious and elegant design
- Lightweight yet sturdy build
- Water-resistant up to 2-ATM
- Long alloy based chain
- Comes in a great gift box
- The chain clasp looks flimsy
- The accuracy goes for a toss sometimes
Obviously, the most expensive vintage watch we have here in this review, the Rolex 3065 is not really a device that is suited for the faint-hearted. A favorite among collectors, this particular Rolex brings with it a certain classic charm that is well worth its eye-watering price tag.
As with any other vintage Rolex military watches, the build quality is phenomenal here. It may not look as elegant or stunning as a submariner or a Date Just, but born from the same pedigree, this vintage piece to boast a luxurious charm that can be irresistible to anyone who gazes at it.
Made from an alloy, which is exclusive to the Rolex vintage range, the watch is extremely lightweight despite even boasting a linked strap made out of metal. The device is water resistant up to 5-ATM, and again like any other Rolex, the 3065 to comes with a sapphire glass top to protect it against accidental bumps and drops.
Always made in limited quantities, the Rolex vintage series has a reputation for being hard to get. Therefore, if there is any chance you can get it and can even afford it actually, I got one little thing to say to you – “Go get ‘em, tiger”
- Design – It’s Rolex, need I say more?
- Water resistant up to 5-ATM
- Automatic self-winding moment
- 18K gold coated lugs
- Not easy to get
A true blue military watch by heart, this ruggedly awesome wearable device from Hamilton certainly ticks all the right boxes to make it a real vintage timepiece worth vying for. Solidly built, this vintage Hamilton military watch comes with water repellent and shock resistance as its main highlighting features.
Staying rather true to its rich military heritage and the sheer dependability of their exclusive Khaki Field collection, this rugged yet contemporary timepiece comes with a time-tested and convenient Swiss quartz movement to better match your wild twenty-first-century lifestyle.
Vintage Vietnam Era U.S. Military Watch: Watch Video
The stainless steel frame is rather good and comes with enough durability to withstand some serious hits and shocks if need be. The mineral glass adds another layer of protection and the sheer quality in play here can often be baffling to describe. The watch face is a bit cluttered with too much info crammed into a narrow space. It’s not really a big problem if you get used to it, however, it’s something that we could have dearly done without nonetheless.
- Sturdy and strong build quality
- Convenient NATO strap
- Military time function
- Mineral glass top
- Cluttered watch face
- Small overall stature
If there were anything that I love better than a vintage watch, it would probably be a vintage watch with mickey mouse on it. Born under a one-time partnership with the mighty Disney, this particular series of vintage themed watches are released in a limited edition fashion. If you are looking for a quirky piece of vintage tech with a funny side to turn to, this particularly mouse-eared vintage watch is the perfect one for you.
Drawing ample inspiration from the vintage Longings military watches, the Disney 56109 too follows pretty much the same exact form and build as its main cup of tea. The stainless steel frame looks quite good and judging by its hefty feel, I really believe it can handle and endure some serious hits and beatings if needed.
Water resistant up to 100 meters, the device comes with a sapphire glass shield on top to better protect it against the perils of drops and bumps. The sweeping action of the second hand is rather fluid and smooth and for the added bit of fun and play, the minute and hour hands are actually embedded beneath mickeys glowered hands. It makes for a visual treat when mickeys hands are moving, and it really adds a great deal of fun to the otherwise drab and dull design and form.
- Quirky Disney inspired vintage design
- Tough and durable steel based build
- Comfortable Croco embossed strap
- Powerful Miyota movement
- Water resistant up to 100 meters
- The leather is susceptible to wear and tear
- The steel clasp leaves a lot to be desired
Vincero is a brand that is widely famed for their uber luxurious watches that blends the qualities of top-notch constructions and ultra-cool designs in a way unique to them in the world. But this time around, we are focusing more on their vintage and classic collections and being perhaps the best of the bunch, this particular Vincero vintage watch has all the make and wake of a watch that’s going to be a classic in no time.
With a focus based on strength, style, and utility, this watch comes with a steel alloy based build that’s durable enough to withstand some serious hits and drops. Every one of their vintage watches is known to come with a piece of history embedded on them, and this watch to is no different to that tradition. Placed right behind its steel plated back frame, we can find a piece of marble embedded flush into it.
What’s so special about it? Well, that particular marble belongs to the Roman Empire and was used to build it up back then – crazy cool, right?
The leather strap sports a worn-out look that really accentuates the black tinged modern watch face of this fine wearable, its supple, soft and the way it stays flush to the wrist can really make you enjoy it far better and more.
- Stunning and stylish vintage design
- Soft and supple leather band
- Water resistant up to 5-ATM
- Citizen Miyota quartz movement
- Unique and novel history-based feature
- It’s a bit on the Pricier end
- The leather’s viability is questionable
Made in Russia with love, the Luftwaffe ME-109 looks and feels like a timepiece that’s been stored in a safe since the Second World War and beyond. With a withered style that perfectly embodies the war-torn period on which it is based on, the ME-109 looks and feels as much as vintage as a real one would ever going to get.
Featuring a stainless steel based construction that’s been dyed copper to better simulate aging, the watch is quite tough and durable even though its appearance would say otherwise. The sapphire glass protection goes a long way in ensuring that this watch wouldn’t fall ill to the perils of scratches and bumps. The fish-eye effect is good and the way it accentuates the dials is a treat itself to watch.
The leather band to sports a withered look, however, since it is thicker and tougher than normal, the said style only goes skin deep. There is a slight texture on it, which is out there for better gripping. It’s not immediately noticeable but the feel of it might leave some people like me annoyed.
- A true vintage withered style
- Tough and durable steel build
- Glow in the dark dials
- Modern quartz technology
- Thick and comfortable leather band
- The annoying texture on the leather
- The clasp is rather flimsy
The only digital vintage military watches model in our review, the Casio A168WG-9 sports a golden-hued design that is really eye-catching and engaging. Modelled after their original Casio model that began it all, this particular eye candy Casio is a part of their limited edition series that were released to commemorate their anniversary that was held a few years ago.
Built along the same line as the first ever Casio to be put into production, the only thing that’s different now is the materials used and the color scheme. The display is as good as it has ever been, it’s bright, clear and the sunlight visibility is so good that it deserves a mention of its own.
Water resistant up to 5-ATM, the watch also comes with EL backlight to better facilitate its low light viewing. The battery can last for up to 7 long years and the other features include an inbuilt stopwatch, alarm, calendar, split timer, net time and the usual digital works.
- Time-tested classic design
- Alloy made sturdy build
- Digital quartz system
- Long battery life
- No smart features
- Slightly on the hefty side
Final verdict About Best Vintage Military Watches in 2018
Vintage watches are often seen as a set of collectable-only devices than something that is better suited for everyday modern use, but the truth is that these awesome timepieces are, if not morea better representation of the practical, durable and sober expressions of their ancient predecessors that are then built better according to the modern standards. While the underlying theme has always been their rustic charm and durable nature, the vintage military watches of today are better recognised for their sheer ingenuity, quality and tough attitudes they are now known to bring with them.
With a solid set of history backing them up, and a sheer good build quality leading them on, it’s no wonder that these engaging timepieces are considered to be the next big thing in modern fashion.
You don’t have to take my word for it, just look at their grimy sweet faces and tell me you don’t like them. I bet you can’t, can you?
Did you like my review? Is there something good you want to share with us? Are the Cubs going to win the World Series? Post us your opinions, ideas, and concerns below in the comment section, and I will get back to you as soon as possible.