Military spec watches were crucial during World War II as a means for soldiers to keep track of time, coordinate their movements, and coordinate operations due to their durability, accuracy, and dependability in extreme conditions. The various branches of the armed forces used a variety of models. In use by the United States Army, the A-11 was produced by a number of companies and featured a black dial with white Arabic numerals. Another well-liked model was the W.W.W. (Watch, Wrist, Waterproof), which was issued to British soldiers and featured a black dial with white Arabic numerals for high legibility. Much like the A-11, the W.W.W. was produced by a number of different companies. Longines was among the twelve different watch companies including Jaeger-LeCoultre, Record, Cyma, Lemania, and Eterna, were contracted to make a field watch for the British army.
Yet, none of the others captured the imagination of watch lovers like the Majetek military spec watch made by Longines. also known as the “Czech Dirty Dozen,” a rare and highly collectible watch was produced for the Czechoslovakian military in the 1950s. Majetek Vojenske Spravy or accurately translated – ‘property of the Czech military’, was made by Longines between 1935 and 1948.
The original 40mm models featured a steel case with screw-down crown and black dial with bold, highly radioactive radium Arabic hours, characteristic of pilots watches that needed to be easily read at a glance. Although intended for aviators, this watch has in the past attracted a wider audience seeking a reliable, robust, precise and easy-to-read watch. Though strictly not a re-issue, it is a spiritually faithful new edition with a lot of work going into the latest Majetek from the St. Imier brand, particularly in the areas of technology and comfort. Its new, more rounded lugs and slightly elongated cushion shape are in step with modern tastes – similar to popular contemporary sports luxury timepieces.
The new COSC certified Longines Pilot Majetek 43mm
A matte black dial with large Arabic numerals coated in SuperLumiNova “old radium” to mimic the look of vintage radium and framed by a railway minute marker, these elements maintain the aesthetic spirit of the vintage model even though the 43mm new Longines Pilot Majetek model exhibits larger proportions compared to its predecessor. The baton-shaped hands of the watch are phosphorescent and tipped with Rhodium to maximize readability in the dark. Together with the fluted bezel, the oversized small seconds dial set low into the dial at 6 o’clock serves as a reminder of the watch’s original purpose as a pilot’s timepiece. The watch is beautifully designed and the overall effect is harmonious.
The exemplary exclusive movement from St. Imier is concealed behind the scew-in caseback, which features a commemorative plate marked “1935” in reference to the launch year of the first Longines “Majetek” model. The L893.6 calibre has a magnetically resistant silicon balance spring and 72-hour power reserve. As icing on the cake, the watch’s entire head has been certified as a chronometer by the Contrôle Officiel Suisse des Chronomètres (COSC), a distinction previously only bestowed upon Longines’ Record collection.
New Longines Pilot Majetek Price & Specs
Case 43mm steel with 100 metres water resistance
Movement Automatic calibre L893.6 with 72 hours power reserve
Price From SGD$5,630