Fashionable style and functional design rarely come together quite as well as they do at Praesidus, the company filled with horologists creating American-made watches with a story to tell. Praesidus military watches combine classic military looks with quality components. Using modern watchmaking techniques and one-of-a-kind materials for unique looks, these timepieces tell the heroic stories of Veterans caught up in extraordinary circumstances.
The Inspiration Behind Praesidus Military Watches
World War II was a massive conflict that would involve around 70 million troops fighting on both Allied and Axis sides. Within this massive number were more than 16 million Americans who served their country and the world to free millions from Fascism and hatred.
These patriots served with extreme levels of bravery and resilience to overcome the harshest environments mankind can endure. One of these heroes was a man from California named Tom Rice, who would go on to join the U.S. Army and serve in one of the newest components of the Armed Forces: the paratroopers. Rice’s story is one of the founding points of Praesidus and a testament to the bravery and strength American Veterans carry with them.
The Story of Tom Rice
Going from studying and engaging in athletics at San Diego State College to freefalling from a plane into a warzone is quite a contrast, but the sense of adventure and the opportunity for a personal challenge enticed Rice to join the 101st Airborne Division of the 501st Parachute Infantry Regiment rather than more traditional military roles. The extra money didn’t hurt either!
After signing up to serve, Rice found himself attending the U.S. Airborne Jump School at Camp Toccoa in Georgia, where strict physical demands and intense training would end the dreams of many hopefuls. But Tom Rice is a name synonymous with bravery and determination, and he overcame these obstacles to become an elite paratrooper, earning his paratrooper wings at Fort Benning, Georgia.
His story was only getting started, however, because Rice would become involved in a variety of military engagements over his esteemed military career, including Operation Overlord in Normandy, commonly known as D-Day. Despite suffering an injury during his jump, Rice would land successfully and end up fighting Nazi forces until ultimately winning the battle.
The victory at Normandy was only the beginning. Rice would find himself enthralled in battles for several months and even tasked with completing another important paratrooper mission. This time, he and his fellow service members were sent to fight at Hitler’s Eagle’s Nest in Berchtesgaden, Germany.
The war would come to an end on September 2, 1945, with Rice receiving an honorable discharge on December 21, 1945. After returning from war, Rice would go on to teach Social Studies and History before returning to Normandy to jump from a C-47 once again on June 5, 2019, in honor of the 75th anniversary of D-Day.
Rice left the battlefield a hero, but his military-issued watch never made it home. You see, an injury wasn’t the only thing that Tom would notice when he landed. He was also missing his timepiece. But his incredible story and watch live on thanks to the craftsmen at Praesidus who not only spread Rice’s heroic story but have also recreated his watch as a lasting testament to the legacy of Rice and all Veterans who have served.
A-11 Service Watch
The A-11 Service Watch is the iconic military watch inspired by the man, the myth, the legend, Tom Rice. It’s been recreated with a classic and stunning design. You can enjoy the A-11 Service Watch Tom Rice Edition, which replicates the exact look and feel of the real thing, and give back to Veteran communities while doing so.
Featuring either a black or white face with a choice of nylon, canvas, or leather straps, this beautiful timepiece lives on in the hearts of everyone who wears it as a reminder of the bravery service members displayed while overcoming Nazi forces in Normandy all those years ago. This exceptional timepiece can be yours starting at only $249.
You can check out the newest A-11 watch from Praesidus, the 32mm A-11 Combat, here.
More to the Story Than Military Watches
Praesidus doesn’t just begin and end with its offering of military watches for men. The story of Tom Rice is only one of many the company continues to keep alive. As history moves forward, it’s important to remember and preserve our past by highlighting Veterans such as Vince “Curse and Traverse” Speranza. And Praesidus does just that.
Beyond helping tell these important stories, the Praesidus Log Book keeps the memory of previous conflicts alive as a reminder that freedom isn’t free. Purchases from Praesidus have the horologists putting their money where their hearts are: Veteran communities. Every purchase automatically sends 5% of the proceeds into Veteran communities through a variety of community partnerships.
Are you sold on these amazing Praesidus military watch options and the inspiring stories behind them? We sure are! In fact, you can enjoy a hefty discount on the Tom Rice A-11 model by using discount code VETERANLIFE directly at checkout.
The A-11 Marston Mat Edition Is a Timepiece Right Out of History
Earlier this year, we delivered the best 15 military watches of 2022 you can buy right now; however, that’s going to need some revising because the A-11 Marston Mat Edition is a bada$$ addition to any collection.
While attending D-Day celebrations at Ste-Marie-Du-Mont, the Mayor of Ste-Marie-Du-Mont and Director of the Utah Beach Museum, Charles de Vallavieille, was so impressed with Praesidus that he donated a Marston Mat found by his own family near Utah Beach.
Though properly called pierced steel planking, Marston Mats, created by the United States at the Waterways Experiment Station, were a standard, perforated steel matting material first used at the Camp Mackall Airfield in Marston, North Carolina. The Marston Mats were deployed to create temporary runways, or in the case of World War II, roadways to assist in military operations and to bring the invasion force onto the beaches. De Vallavieille’s desire was to see this historic piece of history turned into dials on the watches, and thanks to the experts at Praesidus, this dream is now being realized.
Featuring the actual raw metal used to help liberate Europe, the wear and tear is actually visible in this rustic yet dignified finish. The A-11 Marston Mat is a truly unique timepiece that stands out without being overly flashy.
Praesidus is only producing 100-120 of the D-Day Marston Mat dial watch, making it a limited edition timepiece that’s a must-have. At 38mm in diameter, it’s powered by Swiss automatic movement P024 Soprod that ensures superior accuracy and reliability. The D-Day Marston Mat dial watch has a sapphire crystal case that is stunning, durable, and scratch-resistant. Designed to fit all wrist sizes, the leather strap is comfortable and form-fitting. Like all timepieces from Praesidus, this watch is assembled in the USA with distinct care and craftsmanship.
- Watch Case: 38mm Stainless Steel
- Movement: P024 Soprod SWISS Automatic Movement
- Glass: Double-Domed Scratch-Resistant Sapphire Crystal
- Dial: Triple Printed
- Lume: Super-Luminova
- Straps: Leather & Canvas (both included)
- Assembly: American
- Water Resistance: 5 ATM
- Price: $595
Overall, the A-11 Marston Mat Edition deserves a place in the conversation about the best military watch on the market this year. Praesidus military watches continue to impress and delight with important stories, poignant tributes, and style delivered through quality and grace. With Praesidus, you can feel good about supporting a company that supports our troops, our history, and the incredible heroes who inspired these timeless classics.