Royal Navy Issued Precista RN82 Automatic


The British MOD realized Submariners were getting far too expensive way before the rest of us. In 1979, the MOD and Royal Navy stopped using Rolex and put out a call for British watchmakers to answer, a criteria defining what would be the Milsub’s replacement. CWC won the contract. However, CWC lost the contract only…

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Bundeswehr 3501 IWC Porsche Design Ocean 2000


We now live in a world where a good Milsub is a 500K proposition in USD. So how does it make any sense at all that Bundeswehr-issued Ocean 2000 is still just over 20K? This is a combat diver issued, under-hyped, comparatively economic (I suppose anything is when contrasted against a milsub), materially innovative, 1980s…

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US Navy Tornek Rayville TR-900


This is about as special as a Fifty Fathoms gets, mostly because it technically isn’t one. Tornek Rayville was (is?) a company created in the imaginative American spirit of creatively avoiding laws, to get around the US Navy’s ‘Buy America Act’ in 1933. That put Blancpain’s Fifty Fathoms well out of consideration for the US…

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‘3H Bund’ Blancpain Fifty Fathoms


Veblen goods are those for which demand increases as price increases, breaking traditional economic models. If this does not compute, ask a guy named Philippe Dufour to explain it to you. But I’d like to suggest there’s a similar but distinct phenomena in military watches. Usually, collectors uniformly aim for golden tritium, perfect razor cases,…

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Mk1 Enicar Sherpa Jet GMT


A small but vocal section of the vintage watch collecting community has for years tried to make the case that Enicar’s sport watches from the 1960s and 1970s measure up to their counterparts from Rolex and Omega. This Sherpa Jet can and should be Exhibit A in their case. This reference 126/002, circa 1964, was…

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FAP 6263 Rolex Daytona


You should always read the caseback, but also know what you’re looking at. There’s the famous story where Dr Jim Norton, driver of the Porsche Cayman team which won the GX Class at the 2013 24 Hours of Daytona, brought his Daytona to a Tampa jeweler to be told it was ‘likely’ a fake because…

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IDF-Issued 7928 Tudor Submariner


The military Tudor rabbit hole goes deeper than you think. You will be familiar with the snowflake-handed 9401/0 Marine Nationale which has recently seen new life via the FXD. But Tudor’s military history extends far beyond France. South Africa issued its Navy divers a small run of ref. 7016 subs. There are US Naval 7928s…

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Fuerza Aérea del Perú (FAP) 2913-8 Omega Seamaster 300


FAP. Three little engraved letters with multitudes of meaning to just a few people. The best sort of watches, I’ve always said, are those that don’t shout for the attention they garner. But a Fuerza Aérea del Perú (Peruvian Air Force) Seamaster 300 takes that notion a bit further. You wouldn’t even know unless someone…

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‘Digital’ Breitling 765 AVI


If you want to keep people guessing, a Rolex ghost dial is a great start. But if you want to take anonymity to its ultimate extent, who would have guessed Breitling would outdo themselves? Far from the garish oversized Breitling for Bentleys of the early 2000s, this is an aviators chronograph that represents the polar…

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SAS 216570 Rolex Explorer II

It’s really not often that the rear of a watch without a display back is more captivating than dial-side. It’s all a bit Kim K if you know what I mean. But that’s about all this Explorer II shares in common with the Kardashians, because otherwise this one of the hardest modern tool watches out…

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