Primary Arms Odyssey 2023

Posts Tagged ‘History’

Raider Rolex: the Seiko MACV-SOG

Saturday, June 11th, 2022

The Vietnam-era MACV-SOG Seiko is the OG “Raider Rolex”: this is a vintage Seiko Automatic Watch 6619-8060 Vietnam SOG-MACV watch from approximately 1967.

Raider-Rolex-MACV-SOG-Seiko-watch

The following information was posted by a very interesting Instagram account called Watches of Espionage (@watchesofespionage). It’s a Social Media Account That Doesn’t Suck©®TM and thus is part of the FYSA files (specifically one dealing with tactical watches) The text was taken from multiple posts and also features information from @timelymoments. It has been edited slightly for readability. Additional imagery from @niccoloy, which is also a SMATDS ©®TM.

OG Raider Rolex

There is something about the red “SUN” on this MACV-SOG Seiko that is really cool. I know it’s not unique to this model but I love the detail. I absolutely love this watch and the history behind it. It’s a large part of why I love the brand. History is everything.

Original Seiko-MACV-SOG

The accepted three SOG Seiko models are as follows: 6619-8060 circa 1967, 6119-8100 circa 1968, and the 7005-8030 circa 1970.

The 6619-8060 was likely not actually issued officially but was purchased by members of SOG at the PX. This model is what led to this model of Seiko becoming the (un)official watch of the group and led to the official purchases of 6119-8100 circa 1968 and the 7005-8030 circa 1970.

Modern-Seiko-MACV-SOG with NATO band and survival compass.

It’s smaller than most modern watches but don’t worry, the NATO and tactical compass will still signal to others that you are a man. You can even wear it on the inside of your wrist to let people know you are tactical lmfao.

Above: a modern MACV-SOG Seiko. A modern MACV-SOG Seiko. When I posted my vintage Seiko Automatic 6619-8060 from the late 1960s I was asked if a modern version exists. As far as I can tell the closest thing is this #SNK381K1. Change out the bracelet to a green NATO and add a cool-guy tactical compass and you are 98% of the way there.

Vietnam era MACV-SOG

Vietnam era MACV-SOG “Raider Rolex” Seiko in the field. MACV-SOG Bobby Pruett, 1-0 RT New York, December 1971 – March 1972. I can’t tell which model this is but I’m sure some internet warriors can point it out.

Like most Seikos, it’s relatively affordable and you should be sub-$200 all in. Pretty cool watch.

Seiko-MACV-SOG watch

My first Vietnam era MACV-SOG Seiko, aka the OG “Raider Rolex”. Incredible heritage.

 

The following pics and text are from @timely_moments, which may be one of the few places to have a collection containing all three SOG Seiko models. 

 

MACV-SOG (Military Assistance Command Vietnam – Studies and Observations Group) was a highly secretive, multi-service, Special Forces (SF) unit which conducted covert and asymmetric military operations between 1964-1972.

Seiko-MACV-SOG

Unknown members of MACV-SOG.

The area of operations for this unit spanned Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos. Their mission statement was “…execute an intensified program of harassment, diversion, political pressure, the capture of prisoners, physical destruction, acquisition of intelligence, generation of propaganda, and diversion of resources, against the Democratic Republic of Vietnam.’’

Seiko-MACV-SOG

Enter Conrad ‘Ben’ Baker, a gentleman whose remit was procurement. He was responsible for providing kit and equipment to the SOG Operators in order for them to carry out their operations. He took his role so seriously that if there weren’t commercially viable options, he took to creating it himself, examples being rations and the famous SOG Knives issued to MACV-SOG personnel.

Seiko-MACV-SOG

Ben Baker would often travel to Vietnam and meet the teams that his equipment was being sent to; on one particular trip, it became apparent that the teams had requested the issue of Rolex watches. He is quoted as saying “at one point every team wanted 12 or 13 Rolex watches, the Oyster model I believe. They got Seiko watches instead at $6 or $8 apiece.” His reasoning for this was that they were already wearing Seiko watches so why fix what wasn’t broken.

The accepted three SOG Seiko models are as follows: 6619-8060 circa 1967, 6119-8100 circa 1968 and the 7005-8030 circa 1970.

Read more about the connection between watches and espionage.

 

DRW

David Reeder is a sometime SOLSYS contributor and reporter-at-large. He is currently the editor of the GunMag Warehouse blog (The Mag Life) and the world’s okayest 1/6 scale kit-basher. 

Electronic Battle: Cold War Peer-Threat SIGINT Then and Now | Cold War Wednesday

Wednesday, March 30th, 2022

As the man said, “Ivan will destroy your grid square if you even key your radio, let alone talk to your squad. Break out the books and practice. This is for real.”

Given recent events in and around Ukraine, we thought it might be interesting to consider the contrast of what modern technology – particularly social media – has to electronic-related security issues in contrast to what we were taught during the Cold War era. PERSEC, INFOSEC, OPSEC, ELINT, SIGINT, COMINT, and of course EMCON – there is absolutely no shortage of acronyms all those cell phones (among other things) might jeopardize…and with them, both missions and lives (see reported Redditor example, below).

Combat Electronic Warfare and Intelligence is one hell of a lot more complicated now than it was in the teen years of the Superbowl. Cyber Warfare and GPS Spoofing are just two examples. Geolocating is another. Even something as simple as a Google image search can precipitate an attack. Several examples of this have emerged over the last few weeks on both sides of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

“Compromised by TikTok” and “death by Reddit” sound funny until the Kalibrs and Bayraktars come calling. While apps like Air Alarm are certainly beneficial, they don’t counterbalance all the OSINT opportunities afforded by Telegram, Instagram, Twitter, and the like. This is why cell phones are often taken up before training evolutions and troop movements (unless, apparently, you’re Chechen).

But if you’re reading this, chances are you already know that.

What you might not know, depending on the length of your teeth, is what electronic warfare and signals doctrine looked like 40 or 50 years ago. And that’s why we’re sharing the following article.

Much like Crossfit workouts and pet shenanigans, you gotta take a pic of your invasion or it didn’t happen.

The Electronic Battle

Lt. Col. Don E. Gordon

INFANTRY Magazine, 1980

The Reddit Example

Even if this report is apocryphal, the lesson it delivers is not. 

Thoughts on then vs. now?

More SIGINT history

DRW

David Reeder is a sometime SOLSYS contributor and reporter-at-large. He is currently the editor of the GunMag Warehouse blog (The Mag Life) and the world’s okayest 1/6 scale kit-basher.