Watches:Army issue rubbish?Wrong

Ever looked at your G10 watchonthat grey strap and thought the Army was issuing junk again? Well if you did you were wrong.

During the Second World War the Army recieved a small (by todays standards) watch with a good quality jeweled movement and subsiduary seconds hands (thats a small sub dial by the 6 position). The case was made of Chromed Brass and the dials were either white or black depending on who made them. They were amde by several companies which were popular high stret brands at the time. They were caled ATP or Army Time Piece. Today a good one is worth around £150.

Just after the war until the late 60's another type was amde similar to the ATP but bigger (aroundthe size of the CWC Pulsar ones issued now) The cases were heavier al the dials were black and the cases were either steel, brushed chromed brass or alloy. The movements were very high quality and made by Omega, IWC (one of the most expensive brands available then and now) Eterna amongst others. They were called WWW Water Proof Wrist Watch. In short these were very expensive watches and today a good one will cost around £300-400.

Next an English company, Smiths introduced a hand wound mechanical watch called a W10. The 17Jewel Movement was developed by Jager Le Coultre, who make watches costing thousands of pounds, andthe case was all steel with a screw in back. Today these cost around £400 in good condition.

Into the 70's and the watches on issue were supplied by either Hamilton, Hamilton Geneve or CWC these had a 17 Jewel mecanical movt, of high quality. They had a steel Monoblock case (a one piece case, very waterproof and exceptionally tough) fixed bars,like the ATP and WWW, which means that if you are wearing a single piece issue strap you wont loose your watch. The plastic crystal means that if you scratch it you can polish out the scratches with brasso or similar. These watches were caled W10's. CWC is today owned by Silvermans and these watches can be brought for around £150 which for a mechnical watch is good.

Then came the quartz G10 which are still quite common they were amde mostly by CWC but some were made by Precista. These watches remained the issue until 1999/2000. Unusually the for a quartz the movements are fully jeweled and Gold plated (gold is a super conductor), the crystals (thats the glass) is a special and very expensive plastic so it can be polished. The battery hatch in the back means you can change the battery without removing the back (an idea copied by SWATCH). In terms of quality these are as good or better than any watch found in the highstreet up to the £200 mark. Silvermans the new owners of CWC have just been awarded the new contracts from 2005.

The Pulsar is a bit ofa failiure where the other watches were made to a Def Stan (Defence Standard) laid down by the MOD, the Pulsar is a commercial model brought off the shelf, there were cost and quality control issues so its going to be replaced. If you have a G10 chit and the watch a Yank collector will pay around £100 a british Collector around £40. But then the army only paid £17.50!

There have been several models of Chronograph, a hand wound mechanical made by Hamilton, Precista, CWC, Newmark and Lemania. arge watches they fetch around £400-500 today and were isued until the early 80's.

Seiko have made two models the earlier one worth around £300 on the collectors market the newer a bit less at £200 or so.

Divers have been the recipients of top quality watches, Rolex Submariners were issued through the 70's until the late 90's, whilst civillian models are worth £2000 or so a military model, withfixed bars, sword shaped hands currently fetch £8-10,000 (yes ten grand). Omega Seamasters were also on issue during the 70's and these are worth perhaps £2-3000 (yep three grand). The CWC Automatic diver replaced the Rolex and these are still available for £350 from Silvermans, (nearest thing you can buy on the high street in terms of quality is an Omega Seamster automatic £1100 or a Tag Huer 2000 Aquagraph at just under £1000) issued pieces fetch £3-500 on the internet. They were replaced by quartz models which were otherwise identical, these CWC's are not the same as the MWC's despite the advertising, the movements are especially high quality.

Next time the QM gives you a watch remember its probably better than almost anything you would want to buy on the high street unless your feeling flushed.

or you could go down the market and buy a digital watch for a fiver which is waterproof, has a back light and will be accurate for at least a few years.
next time the CQMS pulls out a load of G10 watches try finding 2 telling the same time :wink: ditto silva compasses pointing in same direction..


Book Reviewer
Small amendment.......CWC lost the G10 watch contratct around 1997 as it went, for a short while, to MWC, who are the characters producing the copies that are around at the moment. the MWC ones are fine for a tough, dispoable watch.

The wartime movement manufacturers included Oris, Revue Thommen, Tissot and Vulcain amongst many other Swiss manufacturers. Many wartime German watches were identical to the British except for the part number markings. German ones however generally fetch more on the UK market.
Wrong! MWC didn't get the Govt contract it went from CWC to Pulsar (Seiko) and now back to CWC.

The ATP movts were in no way similar to the German watches. The German watches had shock proofing for a start, most had Steel cases which British ATP's didn't.

Although not an expert on ATP's of WWII I think you will find neither Revue Thommen or Vulcain produced watches for the British Army either as ATP's or WWW's.
After 9 years trying to get one on issue, finally i signed the magic 1033 and less than 6 months later the cog fell off and it stopped dead! Pity coz i was going to go diffy! :(
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