MWC Asked me to point out that they have dedicated sites for MWC North America and MWC South Africa the important point here is that buyers can save Customs and delivery delays especially in South Africa so it makes little sense to buy from Zurich if they can order locally. In my experience here in the US I find watches are rarely taxed on arrival when I order from Europe or the far east (unless it is a high end model) but nevertheless it makes sense to pay in local currency.
Anyway on to the nitty gritty about the company itelf MWC is based in Zürich, Switzerland and was founded slightly later than CWC in 1974 by Wolfgang Obrigheimer who is still closely involved with the company although now in his late 70s. MWC are a leading supplier not just to the military but also to police forces, mining companies and other government departments. They are one of the leading manufacturers of genuine military watches and manufacture a wide range of models either to customers specific requirements or by tendering for contracts. They supply private individuals seeking a high quality watch for personal use as well as wholesalers, retailers of military products and government departments.
MWC 2010 Military Quartz with Superluminova
I have owned and evaluated a large number of both MWC and CWC watches over the years. I find both are solidly built and I have tested around 16 watches from the two factories in total, as a rule I found them all to perform extremely well. The MWC is frequently better priced but UK buyers often tend to be swayed by the fact that CWC hold the UK MOD contract which does not seem to interest MWC although I am aware they have supplied various UK government departments such as police anti terrorist units etc. In many ways MWC is a direct competitor to CWC and the companies claim to hate each other although over the years I have noticed the MWC and CWC range have greatly diverged. For example the new G10 automatic has no CWC equivalent and CWC do not make Tritium GTLS watches, on the other hand MWC do not currently make mechanical chronographs although they have in the past. MWC also make watches aimed at the General Aviation market such as the one below which again has no equivalent in the CWC range.
MWC Limited Swiss Pilots Chronograph
As far as the serious business of the actual MWC watches is
concerned I think the most interesting test in 2006 was the Black Special Forces Divers watches. Thanks to a collector I had the chance to test both the CWC and MWC at the same time so I can make a direct comparison. I found the PVD plating to be better on the
MWC but the bezel action a bit more precise on the CWC. In addition the CWC has day and date and the MWC just date. Looked at
allround the two watches are almost identical and the main differences seems to be the price with the MWC
being $160 / €110 / £100 cheaper.
I think the other factor is that MWC offer an Automatic Divers model with self luminous GTLS tritium vials at the same price as the standard quartz CWC so although the models are very close the tritium issue would swing it for me without doubt because nothing enables you to see the time at night like the tritium vials used in these watches.
This picture shows one of the current MWC Divers watches with the tritium light sources,
MWC GTLS / Self Luminous Divers WatchWith this watch the Tritium Self Luminous light sources put it in a different league when it comes to night performance. It is at least 100 times brighter than a Luminova equipped watch. We rate this and the other MWC Self Luminous Divers 5 out of 5 for value and performance.
Where to buy an MWC
MWC have a large number of dealers in various countries for example in the UK see ExtremeGB Group another main dealer is e-camo who also stocks a number of other military watches such as Traser.
For G10 and Divers models it has to be CWC / Silvermans
If you fancy something a bit different try Marathon
For Self Luminous models another option is the Traser
IMPORTANT: Before buying any G10 model from any manufacturer check out the independant test report by a member of the British Horological Institute. This report was commissioned by Telford Services and appears at CWC v MWC which is one of the links above.
The Latest MWC Tests
We recently had the opportunity to test some new MWC Models. We have briefly summarised the results below.
MWC Black PVD Automatic Divers Watch
This watch initially looked identical to the quartz MWC and CWC models (watch can be seen at MWC Automatic Divers Watch ) but on close inspection it is much more chunky and substantial than the MWC Quartz or the CWC Quartz or Automatic model which is a direct competitor. I am a little unsure why the watch is thicker than the quartz model to which it is closely related although I have to say it has real presence and I liked the extra bulk. I guess it is a bit like the old CWC G10’s they were very chunky and the new CWC 2000 just isn’t the same. In my opinion military watches look good when they are bigger and chunkier than the civilian equivalent.
The dimensions of the MWC Auto diver are below.
Width is 40 mm excluding crown and 45 mm including crown
Crystal diameter is 32 mm
Lug to lug is 47 mm
Thickness is 15 mm
As regards accuracy the watch seems pretty good at +/- 5 seconds per day. The case has a very good quality Black PVD finish which I feel is superior to the CWC but I think the CWC scores on the bezel action. Of course the price saving of the MWC compared to the CWC is a major factor and probably the reason MWC sell so many of this model.
Our Rating is 4.5 out of 5
This 2010 G10 with 12/24 hour dial is slightly different to the standard MWC G10 Battery Hatch models from earlier years. I checked out the G10 12/24 on the American MWC site and this one in black PVD both were up to the usual MWC case/build quality and had the same solid feel. MWC have been making the PVD version for months in the plain bezel version but at the time of writing (Feb 2008) it is not being offered to the public. The last G10 I tested before these was the new 12/24 Hour PVD model at this link MWC G10 12/24 Hour Model in Black PVD this model has the classic MWC Bezel design but the current two plain bezel models are very appealing. Being quartz watches accuracy was exceptional.
These models are excellent alternatives to the CWC G10’s. Quality wise they are much the same but MWC use genuine glass where CWC use Perspex. CWC claim Perspex is an MOD requirement (the MOD bought Pulsar with glass!) but in reality who cares what the reason is that CWC stick to Perspex, the fact remains Rolex switched to glass years ago as did many other manufacturers and my own experience tells me it wins hands down on scratch resistance.
Our rating 5 out of 5 (the same as we rate the CWC so both are excellent and both have their plus and minus points but the fact is either model will last for years. So in conclusion would I buy a CWC or MWC? The answer is that the MWC wins on price, battery hatch and glass crystal. The CWC is a bit slimmer and they hold a UK MOD contract. I really would be hard pushed to decide it is a bit like choosing between a Ford Focus and an Opel Astra they are very much the same thing designed for the same job.
MWC Automatic 21 Jewel G10
The latest MWC model we have evaluated was the Automatic
G10 with date see MWC G10 Automatic I found this watch to be very accurate and the new screw back case is an interesting upgrade. As far as price I thought $185 / €125 / £115
was very reasonable for what is clearly a very well put together product. Whether this will outsell the W10 automatic models which are made by both MWC and CWC remains to be seen but it is cheaper than the MWC W10 Automatic by £10 or $16 and cheaper than the CWC W10 automatic by over £100 or $160 so if price has anything to do with it it should be a winner. For comparison the automatic MWC W10 is at MWC W10 2008 Automatic with Date . I think the new G10 automatic which is very well finished internally and externally offers buyers
another option in the area of retro 1960s/70s military watches although in reality this model combines ingredients of the old style military watches and current day models. I tested one of these two weeks ago then sold it on and now have decided to get another one because I liked this
model so much. Anyway I am putting it on a long term test and so far the second one is as accurate as the first.
MWC G10 AUTOMATIC 2010
If you see a suspicious MWC that might be a fake
you can email firstname.lastname@example.org or call the number below
Tel: +41 44 586 9591