Special forces need specialized equipment. Luxury watch companies, such as Rolex, Omega and Longines, have been commissioned throughout history to equip armed forces with timepieces that offer unique technical functions. The Army, for example, uses chronographs with telemeter and tachometer scales, while Navy watches incorporate time zone and diving features. Two Rolex timepieces in the Watches Online auction (18–25 June, Online) were custom ordered by the Special Reconnaissance Regiment of the British Armed Forces (SRR), which was established in 2005 to provide Her Majesty and the United Kingdom with heightened surveillance, particularly regarding counter-terrorism efforts. Here, discover more about what makes each of these military-issued watches so collectible.
Launched in 1954 at the Basel Watch Fair in Switzerland, the Submariner and is one Rolex’s most recognizable models. Its rotating bezel can measure the amount of time elapsed during a dive. The Rolex Submariner on offer in Watches Online is one of just 167 special ordered by the SRR. Each limited-edition watch has its "BA101" engraving on its case, and the SRR also issued a certificate with the watch serial number and "BA101" engraving.
Rolex’s Explorer II line was first introduced in 1985. From 2008, the Explorer II in the Watches Online auction features a sleek black dial and is in excellent condition. It is number 52 of 139 produced specially for the SRR. Its bezel and 24-hour hand allow the user to keep track of time in two different time zones.
These exceptional lots are rare finds for collectors of Rolex sports watches looking to acquire timepieces with military prowess.