Notes from the Field: What real soldiers wear
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  1. #1
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    Notes from the Field: What real soldiers wear

    I just had the honor of spending a lot of time with a bunch of GIs. I'm not talking rear-echelon guys but real war fighters. Many with Ranger tabs on their shoulder and multiple combat tours under their belt. And I couldn't help but notice that not one wore a "tactical" watch or anything meant to conjure up any sort of military association. Instead they wore cheap black plastic/resin Casio or Timex Ironman watches. One tough sergeant wore an Adidas brand digital watch. Black and very utilitarian looking.

    I love mechanical watches as much as the next guy, but sometimes it's good to get a reality check.

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    I thought everyone knew this already.

    A G-shock (or an Ironman, or half a dozen other similar things) keeps better time, has more functions, is tougher than the best mechanical watch and is affordable on the average soldier's salary.

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    Re: Notes from the Field: What real soldiers wear

    My friend wore, in his words, "the cheapest G-Shock I could buy" when he was in. But he did notice a few guys with nicer mechanicals, like Omega and Rolex dive watches.
    TAG Heuer Monaco LE|Omega Speedmaster|Seamaster 300MC|Rolex Submariner|Tudor Ranger

    How did it get so late so soon?

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    Re: Notes from the Field: What real soldiers wear

    Quote Originally Posted by DCOmegafan View Post
    I just had the honor of spending a lot of time with a bunch of GIs. I'm not talking rear-echelon guys but real war fighters. Many with Ranger tabs on their shoulder and multiple combat tours under their belt. And I couldn't help but notice that not one wore a "tactical" watch or anything meant to conjure up any sort of military association. Instead they wore cheap black plastic/resin Casio or Timex Ironman watches. One tough sergeant wore an Adidas brand digital watch. Black and very utilitarian looking.

    I love mechanical watches as much as the next guy, but sometimes it's good to get a reality check.
    This is the truth. I myself am as guilty as anyone when it comes to getting caught up in marketing or the idea of ruggedness in a mechanical watch. Lots of watch manufacturers advertise their watches to adventurers. Well, actually they are advertising to people who wish they were adventurers. I've been up my fair share of mountains and let me tell you: the most elite guys who do it for fun wear casios or suuntos at the priciest. You want the rugged lifestyle? Go on a backpacking trip. Go surfing. Go biking. Don't buy a watch. The same thing applies to tactical watches. You want to act like a Navy Seal? Lose 15 pounds and start doing pullups and jog daily. The LAST thing that will make you look like a spec ops is dlc coated Jaeger LeCoultre (as much as I adore the watch). So in the end, I agree with you. It's good to get a reality check once in a while.

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    Re: Notes from the Field: What real soldiers wear

    I have herd and witnessed to some degree that it is popular amongst the special ops community to sport nicer luxury 'tool' watches such as Rolex. Contrary to what some believe spec ops soldiers aren't poor, some make quite a sum of money, especially when deployed in a war zone. Rolex was the watch to wear in Vietnam, the GMTbeing very popular if I am not mistaken.
    Calm down.....It's just a watch....

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    Re: Notes from the Field: What real soldiers wear

    Agreed. Anytime I am doing anything outdoorsy out come the quartz beaters while the automatics rest softly on their pillows. Analogous to those rough and tumble SUV`s that never see anything but paved roads.
    Quote Originally Posted by fasthandssam View Post
    This is the truth. I myself am as guilty as anyone when it comes to getting caught up in marketing or the idea of ruggedness in a mechanical watch. Lots of watch manufacturers advertise their watches to adventurers. Well, actually they are advertising to people who wish they were adventurers. I've been up my fair share of mountains and let me tell you: the most elite guys who do it for fun wear casios or suuntos at the priciest. You want the rugged lifestyle? Go on a backpacking trip. Go surfing. Go biking. Don't buy a watch. The same thing applies to tactical watches. You want to act like a Navy Seal? Lose 15 pounds and start doing pullups and jog daily. The LAST thing that will make you look like a spec ops is dlc coated Jaeger LeCoultre (as much as I adore the watch). So in the end, I agree with you. It's good to get a reality check once in a while.

  8. #7
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    Re: Notes from the Field: What real soldiers wear

    I've never been a soldier, but "utility" is a word which has really no meaning to a huge proportion of people these days. I've been on smartphone forums and read people who think that using a 2-year old iPhone is "humiliation" and Android 2.1 is "almost useless". It might be an indicator of our success in keeping the peace, but it can be very trying to me, never mind an actual soldier. When you are away from the comforts of home, the rules of cool get stood on their head.
    lord_rayleigh likes this.

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    Re: Notes from the Field: What real soldiers wear

    Quote Originally Posted by wristclock View Post
    I have herd and witnessed to some degree that it is popular amongst the special ops community to sport nicer luxury 'tool' watches such as Rolex. Contrary to what some believe spec ops soldiers aren't poor, some make quite a sum of money, especially when deployed in a war zone. Rolex was the watch to wear in Vietnam, the GMTbeing very popular if I am not mistaken.
    I heard the same from an old high school buddy who is currently a serving army ranger. Did you mean they wear their luxury watches on deployment? That seems like a stretch to me. During Vietnam, when Rolex prices were a more reasonable, I could see it. Currently, Rolex starts at about $6K retail, even a well paid special ops solider would cringe at the thought of losing/breaking that much money. Whenever my ranger buddy is on deployment he packs a casio leaves his Rolex at home. He's the only serviceman I know, so I don't know how prevalent the affinity for fine watches is our armed forces.

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    Re: Notes from the Field: What real soldiers wear

    Pah! Next you'll be saying Navy SEALS don't all wear JLC Master Compressors!
    And on a side note, this thread now makes me wonder what watches soldiers in the Swiss army really wear...

    Anyways, here's an interesting article regarding military watches from e-how:

    Wrist Watches Used by the Military | eHow.com

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    Re: Notes from the Field: What real soldiers wear

    Quote Originally Posted by LosTresGatos View Post
    Pah! Next you'll be saying Navy SEALS don't all wear JLC Master Compressors!
    And on a side note, this thread now makes me wonder what watches soldiers in the Swiss army really wear...

    Anyways, here's an interesting article regarding military watches from e-how:

    Wrist Watches Used by the Military | eHow.com
    Article is approximately 60% BS. Commercially produced, privately purchased watches do not need to meet any standard aside from appearance, in the US military anyways. Permission is not required to spend your money on anything legal so long as you are meeting your financial obligations. Any military unit that has a high number of Rolex wearers is in the true minority. Military members are largely representative of society. Watch fanatics are present, but being military does not pre-dispose one to watch enthusiasm or even more careful consideration.

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