Friday, June 05, 2009

Hamilton GG-W-113

In recent months, I have gotten myself badly bitten with military watches. It is indeed an interesting read and an interesting subject. But why military watches and why issued watches and not new watches? Well I like the history attached to the watches. There are many types of military issued watches, from very expensive ones to the common field watches. I am collecting (trying) to collect field watches or a representation of the available issued field watches.

So here is my first military watch, the Hamilton GG-W-113. I got this watch off WUS. The Orsa military watch that appeared in an earlier review is a homage to this watch.

This watch is manufactured to the GG-W-113 specification (6/6/1967). Companies that produced watches under this specification for military issue includes Benrus, Waltham and Marathon. The GG-W-113 watches have been issued to the American Air Force (USAF) since the Vietnam war.

General Specifications:

Function: Hour, minutes and seconds, 24 hour indicator
Case: Parkerized steel
Movement: 17 jewel ETA 2750, Hamilton cal. 649 hand wind hacking movement
Dimensions: Diameter: 34 mm, lug width: 18 mm, height: 11 mm

This is a simple watch as can be seen for the photographs. The dial is black. Although the dial has the 12 hour and 24 hour markers, the dial does not look busy. The hour index markers are luminous. The hands are also luminous and that includes the second hand. The lume on this watch have aged well and is even across the dial and hands. I just love the patina.

The watch is fitted with a hand winding Swiss made ETA 2750 hacking movement. The hacking movement allows for precise synchronization of the watch to a known source of time. According to what I have read, some movement will have the H.W. Co. (Hamilton Watch Co) cal 649 signature on the movement. And some are unsigned.

The watch was issued with a black nylon band. Some were issued with the olive drab band. Mine is fitted with a new Maratac black band. I guess the original band is long gone.

The watch is pretty thick, but this is attributed by the high crystal fitted. Images on the Internet shows both high and low crystal fitted on this watch. The low crystal is made by Stella and is the wedge ledge low dome crystal type. The high crystal is the Stella WRA style crystal (Other manufactures include GS? and Sternkreuz?). Also it is believed that some of these watches were issued with armored crystal.

This watch comes in 2 case design, the one-piece case (earlier issue) and two-piece design (later issue). This watch being reviewed is the one-piece design version. The case is made of corrosion resistant steel (parkerized?). It is 34 mm in diameter and measures 41mm lug to lug. Servicing these watches is possible but best left to the professional as access to the movement on the one-piece design is via removal of the crystal.

The watch comes with fixed lugs, hence the use of a one-piece band.

The crown is non screw down crown. It is 5 mm in diameter and is big compared to the case.The crown has 2 position, the first is for winding and the second for adjustment of the hands. The large crown is wonderful to use and pulling out the crown for adjustment is easy. The crown is unsigned.

The military markings are on the case back. The markings:

FED STOCK NO 6645-00-066-4279
SERIAL NO 736736

The second line the is the model number.
The third line is the Federal Stock No. From the MIL-W-46374 Information site:

"This is known as the "FSN" (Federal Stock No.) on older watches or the "NSN" from 1975 until the present. This code begins with the four-digit FSC (Federal Supply Classification) code 6645 that designates "Time Measuring Instruments". Every watch issued since the 1950’s, as well as stop watches, clocks, timers, etc., carries this designation incorporated into its NSN.
The National Stock Number (NSN), has a two number "country code" following the FSC "6645" on the National Stock Number (NSN). So a newer (1975 and later) NSN would read, "6645-00-952-3767", but an older FSN for a similar watch would read, "6645-952-3767". This two-digit country code is formally known as the NATO code for the National Codification Bureau (NCB). All US issues have either a 00 or 01 country code in this spot. Examples of other country codes that might appear on military issue watches are: 21 for Canada, or, 99 for the UK.
The final set of seven numbers called the National Item Identification Number (NIIN), designates the specific item. This is similar to what is known as an SKU (Stock Keeping Unit) in the civilian retail world. The NIIN designates a particular item usually required to be made under a specific military specification (although not always) and adding specific requirements of its own. For example, the NIIN 066-4279 designates watches made under various specifications but limited to watches that hack and have a high quality movement with 15 jewels or more.
The NSN and FSN are important to collectors of issue watches because they provide more specific information about the quality of the watch in question than the mil spec alone."
The forth line is the Hamilton part number.
The fifth line is the contract award number. This is an order number for the purchase of the watch by the U.S. Department of Defense.
The sixth line the date of manufacture.
The seventh line is the watch serial number. I like my serial number.
The last line, US - United States.

I like this watch. Although this watch is 34 mm, it does not wear small. It is light and very comfortable. The minimalist design is wonderful to look at and reading the time is easy.


  1. Hi Susan,

    Welcome to my blog. Thank you for your kind comments. Please do comment on the blog and how it can be improved. I hope you enjoy yourself here.

    Best regards,


  2. I have this watch too! I bought it in a military shop in Berlin a couple of years ago for about 90 euro. And I really like it!
    It was so good to come to know its history..
    thank you, Lorenzo

  3. Hi Lorenzo,

    Welcome to the blog. Congrats on the watch and wear it with good health.

    Best regards,


  4. Hi,

    I am looking at purchasing a replacement Hamilton 1983 issue field watch like this, but was just wanting to know if the luminous markings were still radioactive, as it doesnt include the H3 symbol?


  5. Hi anothergloriousbattle,

    Welcome to the blog. With regards to your question, the Hamilton GG-W-113 does not come with the H3 symbol. The luminous material used is either tritium or promethium. The watches issued under MIL-W-46374Bs and later have the propeller and H3.

    Best regards,


  6. I too am a lover of the GG-W-113 series of watches. I really enjoyed your blog and the information regarding the NSN numbers. I currently have two GG-W-113 homage watches (one from MWC and an older one from Tulex Watch Company). I also have a Hamilton field mechanical but it isn't really a GG-W-113. I'm on the lookout for a good condition Hamilton. I also have a CWC G10 from our British brothers. Keep up the good work! I fear that with the changing of the military's attitude toward purchasing commercial off the shelf items that true military issue watches will very soon be a thing of the past.

  7. Hi TheBronze,

    Welcome to the blog. Thank you for the kind words. If you are interested, I will be selling my GG-W-113 soon.

    Best regards,


  8. Hi Ivan,

    Nice GG-W-113. I came by your blog after looking through the web about military watches. I like to know if you have sold your GG-W-113 yet?



  9. Hi Interfax Gordon,

    Welcome to the blog. With regards to your question, no I have not sold it yet. I am just too lazy to post the watch up for sale, but I will soon.

    Best regards,


  10. Not sure what happened to your watch, but the exact same model/serial number is shown here:

    Is this your old watch? How certain are you that yours is not/was not a replica?

  11. Hi Myron,

    Welcome to the blog. Thanks for the link. I believe the post was a link to the original for sale post in MWR. The photographs were taken in 2009 before I bought the watch. I have checked with MWR and there is no for sale dated 1/11/2011 for the said watch.

    I am pretty certain mine is an original but like I said many times, it is a mine field out there, hence the reason why I have stopped collecting Military watches (due lack of knowledge on my side).

    Once again, thanks for the link.

    Best regards,


  12. Cool Hamilton military. How much for one of those these days? I have to wonder why they don't have a date window. I recently discovered my dad's Hamilton Titan. If I can build back my savings, I'll send it off to that guy in California who restores them. This is one of the rare ones too, it says "pat pend" at the bottom of the dial, indicating that it is from the first couple of years.

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