If you are interested in the UK Ministry of Defence Specification for British Military Watches it is worth checking out these URL's http://home.earthlink.net/~modguide/modguide.html
We have reviewed 5 CWC watches one review is below but all were fine. The SBS watch we tested seemed very solid and had a very good bezel action.
TEST OF THE CWC MECHANICAL CHRONOGRAPH
I last tested one of these in July 2006. I sold that watch in December but wished I hadn't so I got another one and this test was carried out in January 2008 is of the mechanical non dated CWC chronograph. Silverman’s product code is 64080 see http://cwcwatch.com/ the watch was originally produced as a pilot's chronograph for the British Royal Air Force.
General Description: The case is stainless steel, screw back and has a matt finish with an acrylic crystal, usual time functions, 30 min counter at 12, continuous sec at 9, standard start/stop pushers with flyback function when the pusher at 4 is activated. The winder is nicely finished and recessed.
Dimensions: Width 40mm, Thickness 13mm, Lug to Lug 46mm
Movement: Valjoux 7765
Accuracy during test: Excellent during the 3 week test period at a consistent +3 sec/day
Strap/options: Mine came with a grey NATO strap which is the most historically accurate but the US pattern strap in Khaki or Black looks good but is slightly small (three quarter inch) which is around 19mm although the lug size is 20mm
Conclusion: This watch is a nice piece of kit. I can’t say I am overly enthused by Silverman's who are the owners of CWC but the watches are often a good buy. This watch is not badly priced in my opinion at GBP399, Silverman’s make a dated version too for GBP26 more but my feeling is this model looks much purer. I bought this one for GBP325 and it was a few months old. I probably overpaid a bit but I liked it and after testing it thoroughly I recommend this watch for anyone whose into military timepieces or just wants a nice chronograph that does the job.Tested March 06: CWC British Army current issue G10 quartz watch
General Description: The case is stainless steel with push on back and has a matt finish with an acrylic crystal. The winder is nicely finished and recessed.
Dimensions: Width 38mm, Thickness 10mm, Lug to Lug 42mm
Movement: Ronda 715
Accuracy during test: Excellent during the 3 week test period at a consistent +3 sec/day
Strap/options: Mine came with a grey NATO strap which is the most historically accurate but the US pattern strap in Khaki or Black looks good too.
Conclusion: This watch is a nice piece of kit. I have to say in some ways it feels less solid than the models we have seen from the 1980s and 1990’s some of which still surface in unissued condition. It has to be said that with thousands of the earlier battery hatch model issued it is a tried and tested timepiece that is not likely to give you any nasty surprises. Somehow it does not seem to be as substantial as the older battery hatch model but that is not to say that in normal use it is a criticism and I prefer the case finish on this version. I note the ongoing question often raised by people regarding MWC using a battery hatch and CWC dropping them on this model but it must be considered that battery technology has improved in recent years and I think the question of the battery hatch is becoming academic. In fact I saw an MWC with screw back at a recent military show in Rome which I attended in December 2009 and although the watch was a prototype MWC gave me the image below so maybe they are coming round to the same way of thinking as CWC although I have to say a screw on back is a big plus over push on.
I found the finish of the GS2000 to be exceptionally good and accuracy was consistently within 1 or 2 seconds a week in the three months I had the watch. As far as appearance it was exactly as pictured on the site and the image from CWC below does not overly flatter the watch and shows it exactly as it is. As far as price goes £150 is not a fortune for a watch and I would be tempted if I was buying a G10. As far as minus points you need a watch press to replace the caseback so that is a bit of a hassle but then again the silver oxide battery could last as long as 10 years (I would reckon 7 is more realistic) so it is not a big deal. I don't like the perspex crystal but the Precista has perspex too and only MWC and Pulsar seem to have switched to glass. I think like everything it is a matter of preference but I found the watch to be ideal for the sort of use it is intended for. I have now sold it to a friend who is a Police marksman and he informs me it has no problems with recoil and general heavy use so I feel it is certainly a watch worth considering.
Where to get one:
CWC Watches: New from the manufacturer at £130.00
I have not seen any as surplus yet so I guess it is a case of pay full wack or enlist!
Anchor Supplies Can supply used earlier versions of the G10 which are used but serviced and a good buy at £59.95 probably seen some action too! A typical example is below.
The Pulsar G10 (Pulsar is a brand of Seiko) was also supplied to the British army some years ago and is an interesting alternative to the CWC although it was alleged to have quality control issues with the early batch with problems such as poor mineral crystals and crowns prone to falling off. Its life was therefore fairly limited, with the CWC winning back favour in 2005 - 2007. We have tested the Pulsar and found it to be fine. In fact I own one and regularly use it without any sign of problems it has a pleasing streamlined case design. In our opinion if you can find one it is probably going to be fine. The water resistance is however less that than both the CWC and MWC at 3ATM or 30M. The watch uses a V732
Japanese movement which is basic but fine for the job it is required to do. Keep in mind that Seiko supplied 308 PXD933 models in 2009 so it seems another Seiko model is now the favoured model for the British Army.
Expect to pay €75 / £50 / US$90 or more for a clean issued example of the earlier Pulsar model - if you can find one.
MWC G10 BH 100m Version with screw caseback and screw down crown
Secondhand: Some MWC watches float around which are surplus or contract overruns. Expect to pay €60 or £55 or US$80 for a tidy used (non GTLS) MWC 50m G10. Used 100m G10's are somewhat rarer because they were only introduced in the summer of 2010.
Where to get a new one:
Precista make a G10 based on a specification from from the early 1980s. The original CWC G10s of the time had minimal water resistance, which is nonsense for a military watch. This new Precista has a water resistance rating of 100 metres so it is superior in that respect even to the current CWC 2000 by a significant margin.
The improvements over the original G10s are:
The quality of the Precista is fine and the sample I have here is in my opinion really nice and vastly better qualiy than any CWC or Pulsar but it is costly at £90 although not so expensive as to justify ruling it out. Would I buy it? The answer is probably yes because although as far as I know it is not currently an issue watch it is £10 less than the CWC and offers a lot more watch for less money on the other hand the MWC is close in quality and £15 less so it really comes down to preferences. Whatever way it is looked at all the options are potential contenders and in direct competition with each other.
Where to buy Secondhand: Not easy because they are not made in large numbers but maybe eBay.
Where to get a new one:
Try Eddie at time factors http://www.timefactors.com
If you have any used or new CWC or other military watches I can recommend a number of dealers who are keen to buy them. Contact me at email@example.com and I will but you in touch.
Like all watch brands there are fake CWC's out there too! If you suspect a CWC is fake contact CWC via Silvermans on 020 7790 0900 or from outside the
I am aware from what I have been told that CWC can often mislead people when they call. An exmple is on their website where it says “Counterfeit brands make claims that the acrylic glass that CWC watches use is inferior, but this remains a government requirement for issue watches. Watches with other types of glass are not genuine and are not superior.” This is at best confusing when your consider that the Pulsar G10 used by the British Forces used glass!
These are the facts regardless of what CWC might tell you. The general story we are told is that if asked they will say that the MOD only bought a small quantity of Seiko's. To be certain of the true position it was confirmed with Seiko that the first RAF-issued Seiko chronograph ( Gen. 1 ) was procured from Seiko UK and issued primarily to Royal Air Force pilots and navigators beginning in the mid 1980's. According Seiko, 11,307 pieces of this Gen. 1 model were supplied by Seiko to the British Armed Forces.The NSN for this watch is 6645-99-768-3056 The Seiko reference number is: Seiko ref # SPR047. The MoD standard which was allocated for this contract awarded to Seiko was Def Stan 66-4(part4)/Issue 4. These MKI Seiko's are now among the most sought after military watches made in the last 25 years and regularly make GBP500 / USD1000 or more when they are offered for sale and are in mint condition. The MKII version, the NATO Stock number or NSN number for this watch is 6645-99-814-9181, the MKII is much less sought after and significantly cheaper if you find one for sale. See Pictures
Where all this becomes interesting is that it is not disputed that Seiko Corporation began supplying the British Forces with wristwatches in the mid 1980’s and they continue to do so today. As far as I know there have been three (there might be a fourth based on recent insider info) issued Seiko chronographs, this excludes the matter of the rare Yellow Face Vulcan Bomber Chronograph ($3000 if you can find one) and the Pulsar G10 general service wristwatch which is also becoming highly sought after. The story behind the Pulsar is that in 2001/2002, the MOD invited tenders to replace the CWC as the general service timepiece used by the MOD, the reason for this is not clear and I don't expect CWC will be keen to enlighten us! The crucial thing is that Pulsar was successful in beating CWC and securing the contract and supplied a quartz wristwatch with the standard UK/MOD requisite fixed bars and a Seiko 7N32C calibre movement, Luminova was used on black dial and a date window appeared at 15.00. We are informed that the Pulsar G10's were recently issued in Iraq so it suggests many are still current MOD issue.
The NSN for that watch is 6645-99-6052627.
What is of interest is that we confirmed that Nite watches models MX10 and MX20 are curently being issued to UK Special Forces. The MX10 watch is an incredibly tough high specification NATO issued military watch which has many outstanding features. These include, Swiss movement, gun metal stainless steel case, polymer strap with double locking clasp, screw in pin bars, sapphire glass c/w triple anti-reflective coating, four year battery and triple O-rings, giving water resistance to 330ft. These specifications combined with the failsafe illumination system is why the MX10-001 is one of the models issued as standard to many Special Forces regiments. The MX10 is a direct competitor to the MWC G10SL MKVWhat all this confirms is that clearly CWC whilst at one time the Number 1 MOD supplier are no longer the holder of any MOD contracts but that does not detract from the fact that the watches are robust and well worthy of consideration.