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U.S. Military Watches
Early U.S. Military Wrist Watches
Prior to World War I, men did not wear wrist watches; they were considered a woman's fashion while men used a pocket watch. The convenience of a timepiece on the wrist was compelling and during World War I and the inter-war period, wrist watches started to appear in the U.S. military. At first, some were pocket models converted to strap on the wrist, others were commercial wrist watches ruggedized by the addition of screens or bars over the crystal. The Cartier Tank Watch and many others were procured privately, mostly by officers. It is not clear when the first U.S. military standard wristwatch was procured. There is a white face watch with markings "US 1917-H" made by both Bulova and Hamilton that is pre-World War II.
U.S. Military Watches From World War II and Forward
Large scale procurement of U.S. military wrist watches began with the build up of the armed forces prior to World War II. Since there is alot of personal preference with a watch, enlisted soldiers and, in particular, officers, continued to buy thier own watches and bands, even while the military issue watches were available. Many of these watches have survived and are avidly sought after by collectors. Certain modern watches are available commercially from the suppliers who make them for the U.S. military.
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Recommended Books about Military Wrist Watches
Find More Information on the Internet
There are many fine websites that have additional information on this topic, too many to list here and too many to keep up with as they come and go. Use this Google web search form to get an up to date report of what's out there.
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