CWC W10 1976-1980
CWC W10 1976-1980
The W10 is the most humble and common of the collectible British military watches, a plain field watch issued to British Army serviceman since WW2. There is some general confusion around the terms used for these watches, as “G10” was a reference to the form that serviceman were required to fill-out to receive the W10 watch. Even though the form was called “G10”, this term is colloquially used to reference almost any general service MoD issued military watch, and CWC actually has a model “G10” that references their quartz models post-1980. To make things even more confusing, the term “W10” is used specifically by collectors to reference the “tonneau” shaped case versions of the watch that were issued during the 1970’s.
Smiths Years 1967-73
The first W10 watch was issued by Smith’s in 1967, a strikingly simple and balanced field watch featuring arabic white numerals on a simple black dial lined with a track around the edge of the dial. The W10/G10 has followed the same pattern ever since, and the CWC version is no exception.
Hamilton Years 1973-76
By the 1970s the UK military was back under some financial pressure, not least due to the ailing British economy of the day. Smiths watch production was nearing the end of its days, and a new company, Hamilton began producing the W10 that was to succeed the Smiths version, and was issued from 1973 to 1976. This watch was manual winding with a Hamilton calibre 649 movement, which was a rebadged ETA 2750 movement, again with hack seconds, and in a suitably 1970s tonneau shaped case. The case was also of a monocoque design, which increased water resistance, and the movement could only be accessed by removing the glass.
Hamilton Production Numbers
- 1971 0552/about 100 to 150 issued
- 1973 W10/ about 25,000 issued
- 1974 6bb/ about 7,000 issued
- 1975 6BB/ about 1,500 issued
- 1975 W10/ about 2,000 issued
- 1976 W10/ about 1,000 issued
Hamilton Geneve Production Numbers
- 1974 6bb/ about 3,700 issued
- 1975 6BB/ about 700 issued
- 1975 0552/ about 400 issued
The CWC Years 1976-1980
By the late 1970s Hamilton itself was on the ropes due to the Quartz crisis engulfing the industry, and pulled out of the military watch supply business. However, an enterprising British employee of Hamilton, Mr Ray Mellor, their contracts director, recognised that there was still a significant demand for these watches from the Ministry of Defence. Accordingly, in the 1970s he established the Cabot Watch Company (CWC) to take over where Hamilton left off.
Using the same components and Swiss suppliers as Hamilton, CWC began supplying an essentially identical watch to the Hamilton W10, except with CWC instead of Hamilton on the dial. CWC would go on to become one the most famous later producers of British military watches. Approximate production numbers for CWC are:
- 1976 W10/ about 10,000 issued
- 1977 W10/ about 5,500 issued
- 1977 0552/ with batch has 0552-523-8290 in one line
- 1978 0552/ with batch has 0552 on the first line and 523-8290 on the second line
- 1979 W10/ issue range seen: 857-9044/79 (perhaps 9,200 issued)
- 1979 0552/ with batch has 0552 on the first line and 523-8290 on the second line - issue range seen: 301-1292/79 and 9271-9645/79 (perhaps 1,800 issued)
- 1979 6BB/ issue range seen: 067-1434/79 (perhaps 2,400 issued)
- 1980 W10/ about 2,000 issued