Since their invention, personal timepieces have been important to military operations. From pocket watches used to synchronize attacks during WWI to GPS-enabled smartwatches allowing troops to call in precision fire support in Afghanistan, troops rely on their watches. With the dawn of smartphones and smartwatches, traditional mechanical watches have transcended their original tool watch function to be more decorative or commemorative pieces that are seen as status symbols. To that end, the official timepiece of the U.S. Space Force is an intricate watch that costs a whopping $1500.
Founded on December 20, 2019, Space Force is the space service branch of the U.S. Armed Forces and the only dedicated independent space force in the world. Part of the Department of the Air Force, the branch has pushed to carve out its own identity within the military. For nearly two years after its founding, Space Force collaborated with the Norwegian watchmaker Micromilspec to design a watch of their own. The company previously designed watches for Norwegian Air Force squadrons and the Norwegian King's Guard.
Micromilspec designed two custom watches: one for Space Force personnel and another for civilians. The Space Force-exclusive model features a black PVD coated stainless steel case, bezel, solid caseback and hands while the civilian model uses brushed stainless steel. Although both dials are matte black and feature the Space Force Delta and motto, "SEMPER SUPRA," the Space Force-exclusive model is darker and has a different layout of stars. Both models can be worn on a black rubber strap or stainless steel bracelet matching the case finish and feature a classic three-hand layout with a date window at 3 o'clock.
The stars and orbit patterns on the dial of the watch reflect the branch's warfighting domain of space. Moreover, the shape of the hands is inspired by the launch plume of a rocket. While both casebacks can incorporate a custom engraving like a callsign, base or promotion date, the solid caseback of the Space Force-exclusive model allows for more text than the display caseback of the civilian model. The Space Force watch is powered by a Swiss-made Sellita SW200 automatic movement, features a scratch resistant and anti-reflective sapphire crystal and is water resistant to 100 meters.
Both models cost $1500 and include a display box, spring bar tool to swap straps, certificate of authenticity and a 5-year international warranty. Pre-orders are being accepted for the limited release with deliveries expected in Q2 2024. While the Space Force-exclusive model is only available to current or former guardians and those with a special invitation, the civilian model can only be purchased by U.S. citizens and must be shipped to a U.S. address. Micromilspec states that the Space Force watch is only available during the pre-order period but notes, "While we generally don't reopen sales, exceptions may occur for units with re-runs for new employees."