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Thread: What got you started..

  1. #21
    Member msa6712's Avatar
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    My grandfather had a Hamilton RR watch that he wore religously throughout his 60 year career on the RR. He told me when I was a kid (~ 8 years old) that one day when he was through with it, it would be mine (and it is). Then when my dad came back from his second tour in Vietnam he passed along some of the aircrew gear he came home with including an issued mil watch (still have it). Most of my pre-teen and going into my teen years, my parents would give me watches as "milestone" presents (certain birthday years, Christmas skiing in the Alps trip, graduation from HS, college and even joining the military -- an Omega). During my 30 year military career, I've been issued a couple along the way and added to those other diver and military watches.
    Once my father passed away, I inherited several watches that he had owned/ wore from the 50s through 2000s, including others that were owned by my grandfather and great grandfather.
    I initially joined MWR (while deployed, on some down time) in 2002 on the old site while researching.
    I was also a fixture on the origiinal SCWF/SCTF site before it switched over.
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  2. #22
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    It was a CWC G10 Fat Boy. I exchanged a used strap with a friend. He got it from some and didn't want it because it was a quartz watch and too small for him.

    I didn't know what it was so the next few days were spent days researching the net and forums (mwrf of course). It was really fun and that is probably what has kept me going. Every military watch since has given me the same or more amounts of fun.

  3. #23

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    My son took advice from someone on here and had my dad’s ATP repaired by J Senior and up until then I knew nothing about ATP watches and to be fair I don’t know a lot now other than I think I’m a few years too late.

  4. #24
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    My Dad used to employ military contractors, older chaps with a lot of service behind them. When I was a boy he would take me to work and I'd spend time with all these ex servicemen, listening to their stories, being shown how to prepare equipment, I was fascinated by their watches mostly ex military or divers. At that time my Dad had a BP Fifty Fathom and an interest in watches himself, when I'd go to Jersey or London with him we'd wonder around looking at the watch shops together. Then when I joined the services I was fortunate enough to be around people being issued interesting watches, even getting a few myself.
    If I had served God half as well as I have served the King, he would not have given me over to die in such a place as this

  5. #25
    Senior Member river rat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dave View Post
    probably this -

    Don't you wish the prices that book says there worth was still the same today if it was I mite still want to ad stuff to the collection the new prices stop me most of the time.

  6. #26
    Member George W. Olney's Avatar
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    Default My own interest isn't in military issue watches as such.

    By the way, hello, James. Glad to see you.

    In the US military, issue watches are way down on the priority list of equipment, primarily because the government knows most GIs have their own. In fact, US issue watches are of rather low quality IMO. They are usually not issued if a unit even has them. Instead, they are worn as "Gee Whiz" merit badges by supply types or senior officers in the unit. Some special operations units have unit purchase watches and those are normally of high quality or specially marked.

    If someone wants a watch that was worn by a real US soldier and possibly in combat, the best bet is a Seiko of the appropriate age. Thousands have been sold in the military exchange system and are usually divers because they are tough, reliable, and keep reasonable time. That's for Vietnam or later. During WW2 and Korea, it was Hamilton and Timex. Again, not issued.

    George
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  7. #27
    Senior Member river rat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by George W. Olney View Post
    By the way, hello, James. Glad to see you.

    In the US military, issue watches are way down on the priority list of equipment, primarily because the government knows most GIs have their own. In fact, US issue watches are of rather low quality IMO. They are usually not issued if a unit even has them. Instead, they are worn as "Gee Whiz" merit badges by supply types or senior officers in the unit. Some special operations units have unit purchase watches and those are normally of high quality or specially marked.

    If someone wants a watch that was worn by a real US soldier and possibly in combat, the best bet is a Seiko of the appropriate age. Thousands have been sold in the military exchange system and are usually divers because they are tough, reliable, and keep reasonable time. That's for Vietnam or later. During WW2 and Korea, it was Hamilton and Timex. Again, not issued.

    George
    I was never issued a watch in the whole 22 years I served in the Navy. But I think they were issued in WW2 and Vietnam more than you think. My Dad was a ball turret gunner in a avenger torpedo aircraft in the Navy in WW2 was issued a Waltham A-11. My friend Bob who passed away a few years ago was a retired US Marine he served in WW2, Korea, Vietnam in Vietnam he did recon they would shoot them out of a submarine torpedo tube off the coast of Vietnam one day I wore my Benrus type II class A diver once over his house he said dam a recon watch he was once issued one. One thing I notice when on a Sub tender when in the Navy we had diver's on board to inspect the sub hauls they all had Seiko divers this was around 1980 they ether bought them or unit bought never ask was not into watches then I did buy a Seiko diver from the ships store my self when in the Navy still got it 30 years later.

  8. #28
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    I thought Lawrence Corner was near a train station? I remember going there when I was in the cadets hoping to buy the world with my 10 note.

    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



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    If I had served God half as well as I have served the King, he would not have given me over to die in such a place as this

  9. #29
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    Hi George, thanks.
    I think you're right back in 2011 I did an exchange with the 28ID (a National Guard unit from PA), great guys and good friends but crap watches. Apart from their company commander who had a Hamilton Khaki automatic almost all of them had G Shockings aside from one or two Seiko. The guy I exchanged with, the Command Sgt Major, was such a good man and now a close friend I gave him the Marathon TSAR. In fact the only good watches I saw that time at Fort Dix, McGuire and Lakhurst were Seiko divers worn by the Coast Guard and even they might not have been issued.


    Quote Originally Posted by George W. Olney View Post
    By the way, hello, James. Glad to see you.

    In the US military, issue watches are way down on the priority list of equipment, primarily because the government knows most GIs have their own. In fact, US issue watches are of rather low quality IMO. They are usually not issued if a unit even has them. Instead, they are worn as "Gee Whiz" merit badges by supply types or senior officers in the unit. Some special operations units have unit purchase watches and those are normally of high quality or specially marked.

    If someone wants a watch that was worn by a real US soldier and possibly in combat, the best bet is a Seiko of the appropriate age. Thousands have been sold in the military exchange system and are usually divers because they are tough, reliable, and keep reasonable time. That's for Vietnam or later. During WW2 and Korea, it was Hamilton and Timex. Again, not issued.

    George
    If I had served God half as well as I have served the King, he would not have given me over to die in such a place as this

  10. #30
    Super Moderator dave's Avatar
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    Default Euston





  11. #31
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    I was always aware of watches as my dad was into watches all his life(not so common back then). When the digitals came along in the late 70's when I was around ten I got into them and bought some really cheap and nasty no name far eastern jobs with my accumulated pocket money, but always lusted after the Seiko's and the like. My dad had bought the first Seiko calculator watch sold in Ireland(77, which I still have) and a Longines VHP when they first came out so he wasn't a snob about the battery Still the fancy digitals always stayed out of reach of my pocket so because my maternal father was a collector of old stuff and often brought me with him on the hunt I started going around "junk shops"(later gentrified into "antique shops") most of which had a box of "old watches" near the counter. I got Longines, Rotary and Omega that way even on pocket money. Later on with a little more of a budget I attended the occasional auction mostly house clearances and got some watches that way. Steel cased "windup" watches were very low in value in the early 80's, generally the only bidding was for gold cased stuff and the occasional steel with gold bits used car salesman Rolex.

    Military watches I always liked. That again was kicked off by my dad who had a 30's Zenith pilot who he'd gotten from an ex Stuka pilot in immediate post war Hamburg. Sadly Ireland back then had extremely slim to no pickings on this score. Trips to the UK got me many more options, but the fancy stuff was always out of my budget. I remember seeing(early 90's?) a Rolex MilSub that was priced at around 1500 pounds, a price I thought madness. I did get a Stowa B-Uhr for around 300 quid and a few years on a Longines Czech for about the same outlay. Then the interwebs happened and I started buying online from dealers from 95 onwards(IT guy so was a pretty early adopter of the web). Got into Trench watches for a while. They really fascinated me. Oddly they're one area where prices in general have stayed remarkably static since then. EG a good condition basic Longines Trench has nearly always been about 3-500 quid, then and now, with Borgels at the higher end*. Early LED digitals the same. Both seem to have a small but consistent base of collectors. Mill watches have climbed in price like crazy in the last ten years. Rolex Bubblebacks were huge for a couple of years and you hear almost nada about them nowadays.






    *dealers have variable ideas of course and big ticket name auctions can cough up mad money for them.
    Careful now....

  12. #32
    Administrator ianp's Avatar
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    The arrow is pointing to the intersection of Hampstead Road (the main road) and Drummond Street. (the smaller cross street). Walk down Drummond Street to the right 3 or 4 blocks and you will get to Euston station.

    Seems like the old Laurence Corner shop is now a chemist, but they have kept the name. I used to work just across the road in Stephenson House which looks a little different now as the pub that was on the corner by the traffic lights has gone and they have extended into that space and done some renovation.

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    Last edited by ianp; 12-02-2017 at 21:57. Reason: added links
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  13. #33
    Administrator ianp's Avatar
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    Government Surplus. That's where it all started. Government Surplus.

    By chance a friend whom I met when we were both working across the road - see my reply to James K. - arrived today on a business trip from Australia where he now lives. He muled a pair of Blundstones over the equator for me. Crimbo present for me from the wife.

    Warning content includes a slightly out of focus 5512 that was worn today.



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    Last edited by ianp; 12-02-2017 at 22:33.
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  14. #34
    Senior Member Joe A.'s Avatar
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    My march started in October 1988. During the course of my work I met a traffic safety engineer who I happened to notice changed watches about four times a day. I politely inquired "why" and he pulled out a velvet sleeve loaded with 14 watches. An Omega Speedmaster caught my eye but alas it was beyond my budget so I bought an Elgin tank style watch made in 1916. Being a student of history I asked if he had any military watches. He laughed and retorted "What is a military watch?" Nevertheless he invited me over to his home and while his charming wife served us coffee, he brought out a Nibelungenesque treasure trove of vintage watches. After about two hours of perusing and his wife ready to see me go, after all it was a "school night," I came away with a porcelain dialed trench watch with "Advance" on the dial. From that point on I have "advanced" steadily into military horological madness...Joe A.

  15. #35

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    It started with a Smiths because it was British ("Back Britain - Buy British" campaign). Being an apprentice with ERF, all quality vehicle manufacturers - from lorries to motorcycles - used Smiths' instruments! I even had a Smiths Empire watch glued to my car's dashboard; it was like driving a Rolls Royce; one could hear the clock tick! Yes, the W10 is in a class of its own...

  16. #36
    Moderator Revo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brenellic2000 View Post
    Yes, the W10 is in a class of its own...
    Yep. Got an Ingersol when I was about 10 (i.e in about 1981) and it was mil watch style: black dial and red seconds hand.

    Then a Swatch when I was about 15 or 16 (all the rage in the 80's) and then learned about Smiths while living in Cheltenham.

    Now know rather more about them than I ever thought possible . . . from the Mk X to Quasar via Everest and Antarctic.
    "Early this year I saw ex-army watches exhibited in a showcase at a little under 4 each. A week or two later I succeeded in buying one of them for 5. Recently their price seems to have risen to 8." (George Orwell, "As I Please", Tribune, 29th November 1946)

  17. #37
    Member TickaTicka's Avatar
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    Used to purchase military pieces from disposals at Rosyth dockyard for buttons, knock nine bells out of them at work and back for a couple more until one day for some reason and I suspect it was this forum I realised there was more to watches.
    Unfortunately by this time Babcock had taken over disposals and prices started going northwards and not long afterwards all disposals ceased

    An early Precista,
    Stuart.



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