A pictoral review of the Orfina/Porsche-Design "MILITARY" chronograph and it's many dial variations

©2008, 2009, 2012 W. A. Manning

i. introduction

after doing some digging and research i've accumulated some notes, observations and visual-aids depicting the range of dial variants of the orfina/porsche-design lemania 5100 powered "MILITARY" chronograph ref 7177, including actual-issued, quasi-issued, non-issued, and civilian variants. many thanks to the knowledgeable folks of the Military Watch Resource (MWR) Forum; without their insight and experience and generosity, projects like these would not be possible!

if you'd like a self-contained version of this project, click here to download this page in PDF format.

note: i have chosen to NOT address the BUND-issued variants manufactured by arctos/tengler, nor the similarly designed civilian example by sinn; this article focuses exclusively on those variants with orfina/porsche-design affiliation.

ii. observations

iii. here are images of the "baseline" dial configuration, both regular and PVD cases, and the associated caseback engravings:

iv. here are images of the BUND-issued variant, both regular and PVD cases. note how there is nothing special about the dial compared to the "baseline" dial. in addition, both there are 2 casebacks which show the added BUND and NSN engravings (one example was double-struck w/ an updated NSN and the second is a later example with the newer NSN only), and show the absence of the "7177" ref#:

v. here are images of the quasi-issued variants. again, they all feature the same 3 main elements as the "baseline" dial, in addition to some unique printing for each unique affiliated organization:

NATO - this particular variant features a unique gray PVD coating:


SWISS MILITARY - this particular variant features a unique olive-drab PVD coating:

UAE AIR FORCE - these are interesting in having PVD-treated crown and pushers. the last variant is a very rare gold-plated example, reportedly only 25 of these were made:

US AIR FORCE - it has been reported that these were commissioned by the 23rd tactical fighter group AKA "The Flying Tigers", which traces it's lineage to the 1st American Volunteer Group - the original "Flying Tigers":

VENEZUELAN MINISTRY OF DEFENSE - these examples feature unique "EJERCITO DE VENEZUELA" caseback engraving. this particular dial features the additional printing "by ORFINA":
(example in first image from the author's personal collection)

vi. here are images of additional non-issued "MILITARY" variants:

PORSCHE-DESIGN LOGO - instead of the words, this one features the "PD" logo:

ORFINA SWISS - this one features the additional printing "by ORFINA" along with a swiss shield:

ORFINA MK-II - this one features the additional printing "by ORFINA" along with "MILITARY MK II" and two stars, a relocated red "3H" logo, and a tachymetric ring with red print:

vii. for comparison purposes, here are some "civilian" variants - note the tachymetric chapter ring and "PD" logo and white-tipped "stick-and-ball" chronograph-minute pointer. of note, the caseback is essentially the same as the "baseline" caseback, except the ref# is 7176:

viii. here are a couple related "curiosities": Orfina offered the same design under the "Prestige Watch International" brand after the Orfina/PD partnership ended, including both "military" and "civilian" variants.

ix. lastly, here are 2 published references:

the first is from Konrad Knirim's fantastic book, Military Timepieces -- 150 Years Watches and Clocks of German Forces (the book is available here):

the second is from Wesolowski's excellent book, The Concise Guide to Military Timepieces 1880-1990 (the book is available here):