Going down the rabbit hole of vintage military watches can be a hefty undertaking. There are so many little variations on the specs — with subtle differences between similar models — and often times the same spec is produced by several different watch manufacturers. On top of picking out the model you want, finding a clean example can be an uphill battle. Even if you do your research and manage to find the best possible watch out there, it’s still a gamble putting something with old seals and gaskets and potentially leaky crystals through the wringer. That’s where Mk II comes in.
Some may dismiss their watches as “homages,” but I think that’s a bit unfair. While designing something that looks just like a watch that’s currently in production is clearly in homage territory, making a modern interpretation of a watch that’s no longer available is something different altogether. Today, we’re taking a look at Mk II’s Cruxible-Hellion — a Japanese-made field/aquatic watch inspired by the WWII-era Elgin Canteen watch. The original Canteen looked just like the A-11 field watch, but with a crazy obtrusive crown sealing system that looked just like the tethered, screw-down lid to a canteen (hence the name). Mk II’s Hellion doesn’t go as far as the unwieldy crown system, but the watch is clearly based on this obscure, hard-to-find piece of military history.
Modern manufacturing methods and improved technology have allowed for a re-imagining of the watch by Mk II. The one we’re looking at today is a mirror-polished, 39mm watch with an oversized screw-down crown that’s good for 100 meters of water resistance. Do the thoroughly modern specs blended with a vintage design translate well to an every day watch? Let’s take a look and find out.