Thursday, May 25, 2017

Vintage military W 10 watches

W10 military watches

Throughout the 1950s, ‘60s, and ‘70s, Smiths watch has held contracts to supply watches to the UK Ministry of Defense, with the W10 being perhaps the most iconic. The W10 would become the last serially produced British watch with all of its components including the movement to be manufactured in the UK.

The W10 is 35mm with an approximate lug-to-lug height of 40mm. The lug bars are fixed, a common feature amongst mil-spec watches, so the W10 is an ideal match for most nylon mil-straps.  The W10 black dial features traditional aviator configuration found on numerous mil-spec watches: a legible hours index with a triangle at 12, sword hands, and an outer railroad track for the minutes. Right under 12 oclock is the “SMITHS” logo and an encircled T indicating the presence of tritium.

At location above 6 is the pheon (broad arrow), the official mark designating property issued by the British government dating back to the 17th century. Right below 6 along the inner perimeter of the minutes track is a proud “MADE IN ENGLAND,” a small element that differentiates the W10 from scores of other mil-spec watches. The W10 uses the cal. 60466E, a 17-jewel manual movement produced in-house by Smiths, which has a beautiful golden bronze coloured movement.

CWC W 10 (Cabot Watch Company)

Besides Simths. the W10 pattern was manufactured by CWC, Hamilton. Hamilton ceased production in the early 1970’s and production was continued by Cabot Watch Co better know by the initials CWC. It is a very robust with a thick steel case, good quality accurate Swiss jeweled movement, hacking function, easy to read dial, fixed strap bars & extra thick tough plexi.

This style of watch replaced the Smith's W10 and was the last general purpose mechanical watch ever issued to the military in the UK. This "Tonneau" shaped case watches were issued to all 3 branches of the M.O.D Army Navy and RAF from 1973-1980.

Case-back markings markings:

W10 indicates Army issue.
6645 Nato code for Timepiece.
99 country code for UK.
523-8290 = General Purpose wristwatch.
/|\ Arrow = M.O.D property, and the last set of numbers (e.g.)

1XXX/ 76 are the serial number & year of issue.

CWC, Smiths together with the Hamilton W10. This is my 3rd attempts in collecting the W10. I have my first Hamilton W10 in the 1988 in Singapore and sold it later. My second attempt was a few years back when I found another Hamilton W10 in Hong Kong but sold to a friend as it was not fitting into my collection. This 3rd attempt was a success as I have managed to find all 3 variations. I am now hunting for the Lost navigator...


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