Call to arms: three military watches ready for action
Whether historically commissioned or simply inspired by the military, these wristwatches are ready for battle
- By Ben Winstanley -
Photo by David Harrison
Military watches from an army-inspired Tudor tool watch to a historically commissioned pieces from the Longines archives. It doesn't matter whether you're an armed forces nut or just love the rugged aesthetic, these three timepieces are perfect for whatever you can throw at them:
Tudor Black Bay 41 on a camo strap
After the success of the Black Bay 36mm in 2016, Tudor received such demand for a larger version that it unveiled the Black Bay 41 at this year’s Baselworld. But it would be unfair to say that this was just a larger version of the same watch – well, strictly speaking it is, but the case design has been carefully considered to keep it as streamlined as its slim little brother. While it’s military credentials aren’t especially obvious, save for a very handsome camouflage NATO strap, the highly serviceable 38-hour power reserve on its ETA 2824 movement certainly harks back to the days when these dependable tool watches were in the trenches. These days, it just makes for a versatile beater for the everyday – and at a great price point, too.
£1,790; for more information, see tudorwatch.com
Longines Heritage Military L2.8220.127.116.11
Delving into the archives for its latest timepiece, Longines has released a modern update to a classic military watch dating back to 1918. Like the original, the dial is dominated by strikingly large Arabic numerals and a sub-seconds dial – offering excellent legibility on the battlefield, you might say – but the brand has increased the case size to 44mm and lengthened the lugs to bring it in line with modern tastes, while also adding elegant cathedral hands to the aesthetic. Inside, an ETA self-winding L615.3 movement offers an impressive 42-hour power reserve for added convenience to this attractive timepiece. Really, though, this is a bold and beautiful example of why keeping one eye on the past can still create excellent watches for the modern wrist.
£1,390; for more information, see longines.com
Breitling Avenger Blackbird Boutique Edition
No watch shouts masculinity with quite the same throaty rasp as Breitling’s Avenger Blackbird. At 48mm, it’s one hefty unit, but thanks to a lightweight titanium case construction and inward curving lugs it’s surprisingly wearable as well as tough as nails. The self-winding Breitling 17 movement boasts a 40-hour power reserve is ready for war (not that you’ll be going anywhere near one of those), while this boutique version also features a carbon fibre dial and a painted pinup girl figure on its caseback. Like much of this watch, this is straight out of the 40s: grab your bomber jacket and wayfarers, and strap the Avenger Blackbird to your wrist.
Exclusive to Breitling boutiques. £4,495; for more information, see breitling.com