WW2 Military watch - mystery movement

Thread: WW2 Military watch - mystery movement

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  1. #1
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    WW2 Military watch - mystery movement

    I picked up this small watch locally here in Adelaide Australia:
    Name:  milfront.jpg
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    Name:  41034917334_45c4ac8e01_h.jpg
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    It has all the characteristics of a military watch c1940:
    Black dial

    Arabic Numerals with Lume

    Minute markers, with seconds marked in 5 second intervals

    15 Jewel Movement

    Hacking feature

    Center Second hand - in red
    Waterproof
    Anti-magnetic
    Stainless Steel back - marked Sogoa, within a diamond shape
    Branded as Matex, but absolutely no markings/branding on movement, apart from the regulation speed adjustment.
    Not even country of manufacture anywhere.
    It still runs quite well, for about 31 hours.
    I've tried to find out more about the movement but no luck.
    Can anyone tell me who made this movement?




    Last edited by nickant44; April 30th, 2018 at 11:01.

  2. #2
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    Re: WW2 Military watch - mystery movement

    I've put up a higher resolution picture of the movement.

    And I have also come across this entry for the Hamilton 987S:
    http://www.ranfft.de/cgi-bin/bidfun-db.cgi?10&ranfft&0&2uswk&Hamilton_987S

    "...a wristwatch produced by Hamilton and generally referred to as the “Canteen Watch,” or the “BuShips” watch. This timepiece featured the 987S movement, a sweep-second variant of the 987A (small-seconds) used in other Hamilton military watches..."

    Mine is only 15J, not 17J, but the layout is similar.

    The Elgin 539 is also similar:
    http://www.ranfft.de/cgi-bin/bidfun-...uswk&Elgin_539
    Last edited by nickant44; April 30th, 2018 at 14:35.

  3. #3
    Vint. Forum Co-Moderator Mirius's Avatar
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    Re: WW2 Military watch - mystery movement

    Technically we like to restrict the usage of the term military watch to those actually issued by governments. Almost invariably such watches are engraved with relevant codes because governments and the military obsess about marking their property. Few European military forces were able to do more than issue watches to those in the command structure who needed them. This left a big market for the soldiers etc who wanted their own and hence the supply of military style watches which is what based on the the photos you’ve supplied I’d class this as.

    I can find little on Matex other than a suggestion that it was an Italian brand. The calibre is vaguely familiar but offhand I can’t place it.

    If you are attempting to match it by the centre seconds conversion, I’d suggest you’ll have more luck by ignoring the seconds wheel and matching it to the base calibre instead.


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