Watch Corner: Historical Military Watches from Longines and Hamilton

Watch Corner: Historical Military Watches from Longines and Hamilton

Professionals in certain fields often have special requirements when it comes to selecting the perfect watch. A nurse may desire a large second hand for timing a patient's pulse, or a pilot may need a GMT hand for use in tracking a second time zone. Military professionals have often required certain useful features on their watches as well. A variety of military-themed watches have been released over the years by some of the best brands in watchmaking. Two specific pieces come to mind when considering some of the more historical military watches.

First: The Longines Weems Second Setting watch. This piece allows the wearer to synchronize their watch with a precise source of time, traditionally a radio signal. Either a central sub dial or a rotating bezel has served the purpose of providing a 60 second scale in the synchronization process. The function of this specific watch was inspired by Captain Philip Van Horn Weems' invention which allowed for the synchronization of a second hand with an available radio signal. The original Weems Second Setting watch was approved for issue by the United States Army Air Corps in 1937. Such a timepiece was deemed most useful for pilots and navigators who relied on manual navigation techniques where a deviation of a few seconds of time could lead them off course. The original watch featured the rotating bezel, whereas today's version features an adjustable inner-dial. The modern edition is available from Longines in a stainless steel or 18 karat rose gold case.

The Hamilton Khaki Field Auto 40mm also holds a unique place in military history. Hamilton's Khaki Field series dates back to the World War II era when the company made watches for service in the U.S. Army. A 24-hour scale situated at the center of the dial allows for easy conversion to military time. The stainless steel case houses the H-10 movement which offers 80 hours of power reserve. The longer power reserve is useful in meeting the high performance expectations of military personnel. The military green canvas strap and dial are suitable considering the theme of the watch. Hamilton currently offers the Khaki Field Auto with a canvas or leather strap. A steel bracelet version is also available, along with a variety of dial colors.

Meierotto Jewelers is an authorized dealer for Longines and Hamilton watches. Contact us if you would like to learn more about one of these historical military timepieces or any other watch. Our knowledgeable watch experts are happy to speak to you, or come by and visit the store to browse our large selection.

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