Each of us can explain the concept of a military watch differently. Is it a watch with special features? Must have military camouflage colors? Or is resilience the most important? We asked six real soldiers for their opinion.
Tiger squadron pilot
"I would definitely endure a small detail in tiger colors as a fad. I would like to wear such a watch very much and at every opportunity, not only in the cockpit. "
As a helicopter pilot of the 221st Tiger Helicopter Squadron and a mission veteran, I can say that I consider a quality watch to be an absolute necessity. I prefer the watch with an automatic movement and especially the classic analog with an easy-to-read time. I would appreciate the possibility of analog stopwatches and especially the time countdown function. For the pilot, this function is essential for the accuracy of arrival on time or for determining the time of impact on the target. It would be interesting to visually signal by flashing the display that the countdown time is approaching (e.g. 30s, 20s and 10s before the set time). I would like to see the countdown in the form of three, two and one by flashing and lighting up at the time of the countdown, not just the very end of the countdown. Other functions, in addition to the data pointer, I find rather a problem.
It would certainly be interesting if the watch was adapted for readability with and without NVG equipment, so that it could be read at night without unnecessary backlighting.
I take waterproofness, scratch resistance and easy handling of watches in flight gloves for granted. At the same time, I want the watch to have an elegant design so that I can take it to a normal "non-green" uniform or suit. What I like the most is the leather strap, which is the least handy from a practical point of view, but if it is to be made, it must be made of really durable leather and in a design that can withstand everyday wear and extraordinary soaking. The spindle at the strap must be durable.
If the watch was dedicated in this way to a pilot of a tiger squadron, I would certainly endure a small detail in tiger colors as a fad. I would like to wear such a watch very often and often for every occasion, not only in the cockpit.
Paratrooper in Afghanistan
"I prefer a watch with fewer functions than the most modern fads, looking more self-tactical."
I work for paratroopers from Chrudim. I am now deployed in a foreign operation, specifically in Afghanistan.
Suitable military watches or "work" watches for me are especially those that fulfill their main function, they show the current time. It doesn't hurt if they also tell me the time in the Czech Republic, or another time zone.
If the tactical equipment for thousands of crowns, which the watch is for me without a doubt, accurately displays the time, but it is damaged due to the external environment or rough handling, it is wrong. That's why resilience is another main factor for me. The case, glass and, above all, the strap must be able to withstand shocks, pulls and all kinds of stress on the material, which it will definitely encounter during dynamic training and combat events. I take waterproofness and dust resistance for granted.
I don't need a watch with a compass that needs to be calibrated before every third use, because if I need this feature, I usually have air support over my head that requires determining the position of the target or myself as accurately and as quickly as possible. A classic liquid compass on the strap of the watch, which does not calibrate in any way, will suffice for this.
Working with the watch at night will make it easier for me to light with tritium, as I don't have to press any button, but the watch simply stays on. It doesn't bother me for anyone to see the light, because from a few meters away, this kind of lighting is practically unseen.
In conclusion? From my own experience, I know that hi-tech technologies often disappoint, so I prefer a watch with fewer functions than the most modern fads, looking more self-tactical. There is power in simplicity, and in unfavorable conditions this is doubly true. It's the same as with a car. The less functional it is, the longer it will ride. And anyone who rode a hundred will prove it to me.
Paratrooper in Afghanistan
"Luminox watches are reliable on my unit and, like military watches, they predominate in our country."
In the ACR, everything works on time. As a paratrooper of the Chrudim 43rd Airborne Battalion, I have to rely on my watch.
My favorite "work" watches include Luminox watches, they have various strap alternatives. I chose a textile strap that has withstood strokes of various kinds. As a privilege for military watches that get really busy, I appreciate that the sapphire crystal doesn't have a single scratch. The advantage of Luminoxes is their Night Vision Tubes system, which is constantly lit. They can be seen even in night vision without having to linger by pressing the light buttons and the advantage is that they do not use a battery.
Secondly, I use GARMIN watches, which are no longer completely military, but have many useful functions, whether it is a compass, the indication of the exact position according to GPS satellites or simple navigation. The problem with these watches is their battery consumption or the need to cover the display with a protective foil to protect against scratches.
With military watches, you can't tell which ones are the best. Every soldier must choose exactly what suits him. Nowadays, when the market is full of various brands and features that manufacturers give watches, it is difficult. In any case, Luminox watches are reliable on my unit and, like military watches, they predominate in our country. GARMIN watches are also used as a sports tester, so they are very popular with soldiers. Personally, I use them a lot when deploying in Afghanistan to give the exact location using GPS.
Reconnaissance Squadron Commander
"I prefer a classic hand-held watch with soft backlight or tritium hands, without the unnecessary extra features that just drain the flashlight."
I am a member of the 102nd Reconnaissance Battalion of General Karel Paleček in Prostějov as the commander of the reconnaissance platoon.
In my work, watches are an essential part of the equipment. I prefer a classic hand watch with a soft backlight or with tritium hands, without unnecessary extra functions that just discharge the flashlight.
If I use a watch with GPS, I just need to determine my position or grid. I mostly use GPS. I prefer the strap made of plastic or a combination of rubber and PVC. The fabric tears on prolonged contact and the metal straps are unmasking and can freeze to the skin in winter (personal experience).
I take breathability, water resistance and resistance to shocks and scratches for granted. As for the appearance, for me as a "explorer" certainly as little as possible, ie. Dark colors, no colorful elements and must not be too heavy. In addition, I will appreciate the stopwatch and date stamp among the functions.
On my next watch I would welcome the possibility of recharging the flashlight from an external source (Ideally MicroUSB, USB). Thanks to this, I can also show the data collected from the watch (eg the route of movement, elevation) after connecting to a PC. I would definitely welcome a battery status indicator. If such a watch were found at a favorable price, I would not hesitate to buy.
The most used brands in our department include Luminox, Garmin and Suunto.
Military school student
"For me, military watches are watches that can withstand demanding conditions without much damage"
I am a student of the Academy of the Armed Forces of General Milan Rastislav Štefánik. After graduating, I will go to the position of mechanical platoon commander.
For me, military watches are watches that can withstand difficult conditions without much damage and can still perform their role in combat conditions. This is the source of the properties I require from them.
First, it must be highly resistant to impact and also scratch glass. They should be equipped with a reliable power supply system that would guarantee their long-term trouble-free operation (ie solar panel or similar system).
As another requirement, I would mention the color, which is very important for soldiers. In combat conditions, it should not unmask the soldier, so I would welcome the brown or green color of the watch. If there is a possibility, I would choose a surface that eliminates the reflection of light from the glass of the watch.
Of the brands, I prefer watches from the Traser company, which also produces military watches.
Military school student
"The glass is ideal silicon with increased durability."
I am currently a student at the University of Defense and I have graduated from the Military High School in Moravská Třebová. Military watches are a term that is not defined, but for me these parameters are important - durability, color and special features.
Resilience? The slide is ideal silicon with increased resistance. Why did I choose mineral and not sapphire? The sapphire crystal is less prone to scratches, but all the more prone to cracking, and it's still better to have a scratch on the glass than not to have the glass at all. Water resistance at least 10 bar, ie diving without equipment. The strap is preferably rubber or fabric, because the leather is destroyed and cracks in frequent contact with water.
Color? Definitely darker shades of colors rather than variegated. Ideally black, brown, green or "desert".
Function? I prefer a classic analog watch with hands. They are clear and yet they can have a lot of functions (stopwatch, thermometer, compass, etc.). The compass is a welcome function for me, which I will use especially for orientation in training areas. Radio time management is another great feature that makes my job easier. I also require hand lighting, ideally tritium.
My favorite brands are Traser, Luminox and if I had to choose from a digital watch, it would definitely be the Suunto brand.