So can you guess what I got myself as a Christmas present? Yup, a watch. (Surprise surprise). So why did I end up buying this watch, out of all of the models out there that pay tribute to the British Royal Navy-issued MilSub? Here’s why. The Commando has:
1) Key characteristics echoing the original MilSub design: sword hands, full 60 minute marked bezel (unlike the 15 minute civilian version) and circle T marker.
2) A date function, which preserves the look of the no-date MilSubs while giving me the date functionality that I like in a daily wearer.
3) A 40mm case (more accurately reflecting the original MilSub dimensions), instead of the 42mm cases of most of the other models I’ve found, which are also a bit too large for my wrists.
4) An affordable price, especially relative to other boutique brands.
5) Great customer service from Hager owner Pete Brown and his wife Brenda, which should not be left unmentioned! (Each watch is individually inspected by Pete before it’s dropped off at the post office).
Now, that’s not to say that this watch doesn’t have some shortcomings. The watch is water resistant to “only” 100m, short of the 200m dive watch minimum. The bezel is also only a 60-click bezel instead of a smoother 120. Yes, reference 5517s didn’t have white gold surrounds on dial markings, and no, the lume here won’t blow you away. But all in all, the Hager Commando is the one that has most closely hit all of the features I want (though time will tell if quality holds up in the long run). If you do run across any other nice MilSub examples, please let me know.
Interested in MilSub style without the $50,000-$100,000 price tag? Pick up one of these Commandos from Hager Watches!
For another write-up, check out Gear Journal’s coverage of the Hager Commando.
Modeled after 1960s Vietnam designs, this limited edition watch features hacking mechanical movement. This one is handwound, but if you’re looking for a watch that’s automatic (or that features a date), then click here.
For other military watches I’ve featured on this blog, click this link.
It’s been a little while since I’ve featured a military watch on this blog, so here you go. With this guy, you get an automatic movement, classic looks, and a very cheap price. Pick one up on Amazon for $63 and get yourself that’s cheaper and more legit than J. Crew’s Timex offering.
Click here for other budget buys.
Awesome concept! Looking forward to seeing these guys grow. Check ‘em out—a company making watches designed for doctors in the developing world. For those of us here in the States, each one will cost $95, and for every one purchased, one will be donated to a doc via partner non-profits.
It seems like the military watch craze is in no danger of wrapping up any time soon. I still get asked about them on a pretty regular basis, so here’s another budget post for those who don’t want to fork over $150. This Darch has a full metal case (though not stainless steel) and features a Miyota quartz movement. $12.99 shipped from Hong Kong. Try beating that!
Find a detailed review and photo gallery of this watch here.
Remember my post about alternatives to J. Crew’s overpriced military watch offering? Why pay $150 when you can buy a Timex Camper on Amazon for less than $25? One drawback of the Timex Camper, though, is the loud ticking, which my roommate Matt described to me after he bought one. Another is the fact that the Camper still has a resin case; for me personally, steel still gives a watch some needed heft.
Enter American Eagle’s amazing steel-cased military watch for $24.50, and compare it to J. Crew’s $150 Timex below! Some readers have complained about the prices of some of the items featured on this blog, so let this be my Christmas gift to you. It seems like AE seems to be the place to go these days for a great bang for your buck, whether it’s shoes or NATO straps ($6.50 instead of $20 at J. Crew).