by Commander William R. Bricker and the Society of Military Horologists NAWCC Chapter 143, (NAWCC Special Exhibit at the National Watch and Clock Museum, March 2001). 5-1/2" x 8-1/2", 48 pages, and many photos.
Military timepieces often were designed like civilian timepieces, but they had to be specially constructed to do specific jobs. Luminous numerals or hands were needed for use at night. On aircraft vibration-free movements and cases were needed to keep timepieces running and accurate. Waterproof watches had to be designed for underwater operations. The timepieces had to be extremely accurate to coordinate timing for missions despite high or low temperatures or stale air on ships or mud in fox holes or trenches. Unbreakable crystals and non-glare dials also were very helpful. Bricker recounts the evolution of military timepieces as he talks about the first use of the wristwatch in the Spanish-American War in 1898; Lieutenant Theodore Gordon Ellyson, the first naval aviator in World War I; the navigation instruments used by Richard E. Byrd in his flights to the North Pole and the South Pole; the Lindbergh Aviator Watch, designed and worn by Charles A. Lindbergh; Britain’s combination land plane, carrier plane, and seaplane used in World War II; and the chronograph, an aviator’s most valuable instrument that was used to measure time intervals between the firing and the explosion of the shell.