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Thread: What got you started..

  1. #1
    Moderator lambstew's Avatar
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    Default What got you started..

    ..into collecting military watches?

    Going through some of my older pieces today I took out the watch which was basically the cartridge in the chamber which for me started it all - a JLC which was liberated from the wrist of a German officer by a paratrooper vet I knew.

    Before being offered to me, the watch had been chucked in a tool box in the vet's basement since being beaten with a stick by his young son which broke the balance staff. The watch looked like a wreck with a badly worn case, bent lug, pitting & damage, but the dial was good so back in the 90's I had the watch & case restored. Rather than look for another case I decided to keep the original & have it refinished and after the overhaul this is how it looks. I wish I had taken some before pics so you can see the difference and back then didn't care that the plating was shiny..\






  2. #2

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    .....it was all going so well.............out on the town enjoying night life..chasing skirt

    ....then i found eBay and .....military watches

    Mark L

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    Senior Member foilguy's Avatar
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    Mine was a Tudor submariner small rose with 2 expanding riveted straps. Cost 400 in 2002

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    Administrator ianp's Avatar
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    Well, it all started in a little store called Laurence Corner where I once bought an surplus military watch



    IAP
    Order of the Invisible Ethereal Electron with Crossed Wizard's Wands

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    Senior Member DaveH's Avatar
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    A small watchmaker's shop in Crockett, Calif. He had a Hamilton canteen for $125.
    D

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    Senior Member Flightpath's Avatar
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    Bought a Waltham A-11 from Phil Gore at Malvern Antique Market, I'd never thought of getting watches to add to my military collecting until then, they turned into the stuff that held my collection together.
    Last edited by Flightpath; 11-26-2017 at 13:33.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ianp View Post
    Well, it all started in a little store called Laurence Corner where I once bought an surplus military watch

    IAP
    Lordy that brings back memories....I used to pop into Laurence Corner when I was bunking off from school! I was in the Sea cadets in Hornsey back then.

    Started to use Silvermans when I was in the Army, getting decent cold weather kit for exercise seeing as the Amy issued kit was rubbish!.....we still had Puttees when I joined FFS!

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    I started to collect 'Space' related watches...copies of those that had been on space missions (or more than likely been on space missions). Once you get to the era of shuttle missions though every Astronaut took a bunch of different watches up as well as their issued Speedmasters/X-33's so it became a bit tiresome. I still need to get a few but they are the mega expensive ones (Ed White Speedmaster! Rolex Turn-o-graph etc!)

    ..........And all the while in one of the drawers was the humble old CWC G10 watch which I nicked from the Squadron stores in Bosnia...er... managed to acquire on my military travels! I decided to collect just post-war British watches... but that has kind of ballooned now to foreign Military watches too. I keep clear of Eastern Block they don't really interest me, But Pakistan, Sweden, US, Germany etc. are all game. And I have about 20 odd now.

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    Senior Member river rat's Avatar
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    I started collecting pocket watches first. I bought a Hamilton 992 railroad pocket watch at a pawn shop in Hayward Calif in the 1980's right after I got my first real job out of active duty still got it. Then my Dad gave me my Grandfathers hunter case Waltham he got on his 21 first birthday and I was off and running it has a cool elk on the case. I use to work for the city of Fremont and in Nile's there was a vintage watch shop called the store well I bought a few pocket watches from him. Then one day I went into the store to see what he had new and saw a Bulova A-11 and I bought it and I switch to vintage military watches but still once in a while I buy a vintage civilian wristwatch if it's cool but mainly military issued timepiece of any kind if the price is right but am thinking of cooling it after this year I mite be done adding stuff but not done learning about them. There is only one thing I would like to ad a ships chronometer with Fusee movement that's military issued only thing I keep putting off but with no clockmakers were I live to handle the service of it I just mite give up on the idea there to delicate for shipping to a trustful clockmaker out of state.

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    Super Moderator dave's Avatar
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    probably this -


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    1998 riots in Jakarta but I'll leave the story for another time.

    Terry

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    Member pilotswatch's Avatar
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    Same book for me too.

    Quote Originally Posted by dave View Post
    probably this -


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    Member dave.charlton's Avatar
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    I started with Rolex bubble backs (thats another story) but quickly became very wary of Rolex once I learned the extent of the fakery that went on. I looked for something that was too cheap for the forgers to be bothered about, and came across Lemania - this ultimately led me to military Lemanias... and then I was hooked by anything complicated and military.

  14. #14
    Member Mark Wilson's Avatar
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    I always liked watches

    But then I started working for the same company as Ian Darge

    M

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    Member hookedseven's Avatar
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    I liked watches since I was a kid, when I'd flick through the watch section of the Argos catalogue and lust after the Ironman and Seiko divers. My brother got an explorer 2 for his 21st, but I was always a fanatical mountain biker and I got a new bike for mine. I still kept looking in shop windows through the nineties (I remember I always wanted a Tag Heuer Kirium back then ), but it was only when I got a better-paying job in Japan in 2001 that I thought I could splash-out. So after a lot if deliberation I ended up getting an IWC Mk XV, with my preference, a 1655 explorer, being just too much to justify.

    I had another job change in 2009 and started working alternate weeks between the UK and Germany. That meant ten nights in a hotel every month, and lots of free-time to kill. I had time to surf the internet and found myself drawn into watch forums like Timezone.com. Well it quickly ballooned, I joined here and a few other forums to ask about a specific watch, and now I have an out-of-control buying habit. I collect mainly vintage divers and chronographs, and of course military stuff but that's mainly because they have such great design (rather than just because they were issued).

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    Liked watches as a pre-teenager, then served 6 yrs in the Canadian Navy, then Army Reserve (some exposure to Mil. watches). really didn't get into it until MWR though.

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    An US Ordnance Hamilton 992b with the wooden case, I think my wife hates this watch since

  18. #18
    Member Sinnlover's Avatar
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    For me it was a love of history and aviation
    I could not afford a Spitfire or BAC Lightning but I could buy a watch the pilots wore :-)
    In my case it was a Hamilton 6B bought from a well known watch shop on the Strand.
    I then moved on to flight jackets and other bits.
    The rest as they say is history.

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    My girlfriend came back from a jumble sale with an old watch she'd bought for 50p, a lovely Timor atp watch. And that was that, then found out my grandad came back from Hamburg in 1945, he was a merchant seaman, with a lovely Lange and Sonne B uhr, must be in the blood!

  20. #20

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    I've been fascinated with watches for as long as I can remember. I can recall admiring my father's and grandfather's watches as a child and got my first Timex for Christmas at the age of 6. My first vintage watch was a 1940's Hamilton tank. When I later became interested in military history and started collecting WWII memorabilia, mil watches just seemed to fit right in at the intersection of the two hobbies. It's been all downhill from there!
    Tom

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