The Five Best Military Watches of the 1960s

When you think about watches, you probably think about something that allows you to constantly know the date and time, no matter where you are. When it comes to military watches, this becomes more important than virtually anything else. A watch that is designed for military use has to be able to run smoothly, keep the correct time and deal with a tremendous amount of punishment without failing. As a direct result, these types of watches are built to different specifications than those used in the civilian world. Therefore, many of them are still in working condition today, even the ones that were built several decades ago. Below is a list of five of the most impressive military watches that were built during the 1960’s. If you look hard enough, you might be able to find one for yourself.

Hamilton GG-W-113

Everything about this watch is simple and straightforward. It has a brown leather strap and a stainless steel case and clasp. The black dial is offset with white and yellow tick marks and hands that allow you to count seconds. The watch is not oversized, and as a matter of fact it might be considered rather small by the standards of today’s watchmakers. However, the idea was to provide something that was durable enough to stand up to anything that was thrown at it and yet small enough to allow it to be worn without being cumbersome.

Bulova MIL-W-3818A

This watch was actually manufactured from 1958 until 1962 and it’s still fairly common to find one in working condition today. It features a durable nylon wristband and stainless steel case with a black face. As is the case with almost all military watches, the watch incorporates the second hand and it’s easy to see the time because of the contrast between the color of the dial and the color of the tick marks, as well as the hands. When you look at this watch, it actually looks older than it really is but if you manage to find one in a military surplus store or online, you should do yourself a favor and purchase it.

Benrus DTU-2A/P

This is the watch company that took over the military contract for the United States from Bulova in 1962. This particular watch was manufactured from 1964 until the last year of the decade. It looks and operates a lot like the Bulova version that’s discussed above, with one important exception. As opposed to utilizing a nylon strap, this one uses a leather strap. It’s also fairly easy to find one of these watches today. In fact, they can be found both online and at military surplus stores on a fairly routine basis.

Tornek-Rayville TR900

If you manage to find one of these, you know you found something that most people will never see with their own eyes. These watches are extremely rare in today’s world but during the 1960’s they were prevalent for a couple of years. They were only manufactured from 1965 until 1967 for the US Navy. This watch, with its black nylon band, stainless steel case and black face, was only produced in relatively small numbers. Experts think that about a thousand were initially made. However, the Navy itself destroyed the majority of them when their service life was over. Today, there are fewer than 60 that are known to exist.

Seiko 7005-8030

Produced from 1969 until the early 70s, this unassuming watch with the black face and brown leather strap is considered a rare find today. The watch was actually used by a special operations group and as far as anybody knows, it’s the only time it saw military service. When the group disbanded in 1972, there was no longer a need for this watch and the military destroyed most examples. Unfortunately, only a few of them managed to survive. Those few examples can usually be found safely in the hands of collectors.
As you can see, some of these watches are relatively easy to find and others are extremely rare. It really depends on the exact watch that you’re looking for. Every once in a great while, you run across one at a flea market or garage sale when someone doesn’t realize what they have and they’re trying to sell it for cheap. If you’re lucky enough to find one this way, don’t hesitate to buy it because that opportunity will probably never come around again.


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