Iconic Specs of the Vietnam War: OG-107 & GG-W-113

Iconic Specs of the Vietnam War: OG-107 & GG-W-113

 In the tumultuous landscape of the Vietnam War, the US military relied on a range of equipment & specs as soldier equipment became standardized & modernized. Among these, the OG-107 Utility Uniform & the GG-W-113 Service Watch are some of the most iconic still talked about today. Both played a vital role in the daily lives and operations of soldiers in the thick jungles of Vietnam throughout the war. At Praesidus Watch Co. we felt the need to dive a bit deeper into both specs as we get ready to launch our Limited Edition Jungle Field OG-107.


 The OG-107 Uniform: Functionality and Adaptability in the Jungle

The OG-107 uniform, with its distinctive olive-green color and utilitarian design, quickly became synonymous with American military personnel during the Vietnam War. Made from 8.5oz. carded cotton sateen, this durable fabric offered soldiers protection from the elements while remaining lightweight and breathable in the sweltering heat of the jungle. Introduced initially in 1952 during the Korean War, its widespread adoption came by the start of the Vietnam War. 

The OG-107 uniform featured a straightforward design, including large front and rear patch pockets on the trousers for storing essential items like maps, rations, and ammunition. The shirt, with its button-down front and adjustable cuffs, provided ease of movement and ventilation, essential for soldiers navigating the thick jungle and sweltering, humid heat of Vietnam.

It saw a progressive evolution as the general garment industry evolved throughout the decades - culminating by OG-107 Type III in 1964 which introduced a poly-cotton blend. The blend made it much easier to maintain & wash the uniforms. Type III also introduced more tailored sizing for uniforms instead of the basic S/M/L sizes of the previous uniforms.

One of the most significant advantages of the OG-107 uniform was its adaptability to various combat environments. Whether soldiers were patrolling dense jungles, traversing rice paddies, or engaging in urban warfare, the OG-107 uniform offered extreme functionality with large pockets. However, the OG-107 Utility Uniform in Vietnam was progressively relegated to the rear-areas by 1966 as Tropical Combat Uniforms (TCU) were developed with even lighter fabric. The TCU also used the Olive Green-107 coloration.


The GG-W-113 Watch Spec: Maximal Legibility & Durability

In tandem with the OG-107 uniform, the MIL-W-3818B spec emerged as the indispensable watch for American servicemen during the Vietnam War. From that original spec was derived the iconic GG-W-113 spec; designed specifically for pilots. Although visually similar, the GG-W-113 required a better movement (with more jewels) & hacking capabilities.  

The spec called for a 34-35mm stainless steel case with a parkerized finish. Parkerization is a process of application of chemical phosphate conversion - increasing the corrosion resistance and simultaneously making the steel less reflective. 

GG-W-113 spec watch picture

The movement was a Swiss-made mechanical movement with at-least 36-Hours of power reserve. The luminous hands and markers were produced with radioactive Tritium, allowing clear legibility during night missions.

This spec was originally produced by three American watchmakers: Benrus, Hamilton & Marathon from 1967 to late 1980s as quartz progressively took over the military watch world.

Overall, the GG-W-113 spec was designed with the clear objective of ensuring reliable performance & legibility no matter the conditions. Its dial design has since  set the golden standard for what a field watch should look like: uncluttered & legible. The proof is in the copious amounts of modern-day field watch designs that follow the GG-W-113 guidelines to some extent.


The Vietnam War: Testing Ground for American Military Gear

The Vietnam War served as a testing ground for American military gear, including the OG-107 uniform and the GG-W-113 watch. Soldiers deployed to Southeast Asia faced a range of challenges, from extreme weather conditions to hostile terrain and guerrilla warfare tactics employed by the Viet Cong and North Vietnamese Army.

In the dense jungles and swamps of Vietnam, the OG-107 uniform proved its worth, providing soldiers with the protection and functionality they needed to navigate the hostile environment. Its lightweight design and breathable fabric helped troops stay comfortable and agile during extended patrols and engagements, while its olive-green color helped them blend into their surroundings, enhancing their survivability on the battlefield.

veitnam war og-107 clad soldier wadding through a river

Similarly, the GG-W-113 watch demonstrated its reliability and durability in the heat of battle, offering soldiers accurate timekeeping functionality in the most challenging conditions. Whether coordinating airstrikes, synchronizing movements with fellow soldiers, or timing critical operations, the GG-W-113 watch played a crucial role in the success of American military missions in Vietnam.

Today, the OG-107 uniform and the GG-W-113 watch stand as enduring symbols of American military heritage, evoking memories of the Vietnam War and the sacrifices made by those who served. At Praesidus Watch Co. we felt we had to pay hommage to both through an OG-107 colored Jungle Field edition. A limited edition design that meshes the history of both icons into a single commemoration piece.

Jungle Field OG-107 & Jungle Field OG-107 popcorn patina pictures

Reading next

Seiko and MACV-SOG: A Closer Look at Special Operations Timekeeping
The Dirty Dozen: 12 Legends of WW2

Leave a comment

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.