Friday, July 24, 2009

My Military Collection, sort of..... (updated)

Well, I have decided the path by which my military watch collection will head. I have decided to go along the British Military. It of course does not mean I will not look at other military watches along the journey. I do appreciate that I am late into the game, but we all have to start somewhere. I am slowly learning about British issued military watches. There are a lot.

On a side track, there is an interesting article in the watch magazine QP, Issue 36. There are articles on the Blancpain 50 and 500 Fathoms, about Military collecting and about the book by Mr. Konrad Knirim, British Military Timepieces (a book I really need to get). The article on military collecting is interesting in that it does list down a repertoire of watches to get to form the basic military collection.

From the magazine; a basic repertoire that will not break the bank (that should form the basis of my collection):

1. Any common small-seconds W.W.W. model, e.g. Vertex, Timor
2. Lemania or CWC chronograph
3. 1960/1970s sweep-seconds Smiths
4. US Army Hamilton, Elgin or Waltham A-11
5. 1960s Bundeswehr 3H Heuer Chronograph

A dream collection that will break the bank:

1. Pre-WWII Longiness Weems or full size Lindbergh
2. Lange & Sohne or IWC Luftwaffe Fliegeruhr
3. Rolex Royal Navy Submariner
4. Breguet Type XX, early editions
5. Any pre-1960s Panerai, especially 1950s Egiziano or Rolex powered Radiomir
6. Blancpain, LIP or Tornel-Rayville Fifty Fathoms, especially labelled Milspec 1
7. 1880s Girard-Perregaux for the German Navy
8. IWC Mk X
9. IWC Mk 11
10. Jeager-LeCoultre Mk 11
11. Eterna W.W.W.
12. Omega 1953

Well, I do not have all of the above. All I have are a couple of CWC, Precista and Hamilton (Hamilton Geneve). So I shall start from there. I currently have 2 mechanical hand-wound British issued military watch. These are the stainless steel mono-block tonneau shaped watches. There were 3 different dials (2 manufactures). The manufactures were Hamilton and CWC. CWC took over from Hamilton when Hamilton withdrew from supplying the MOD watches. That is the reason why the shape of the watch and dials are the same (with minor differences). The Hamilton had 2 dial design, one signed 'HAMILTON' and the other 'HAMILTON GENEVE'.

I have the CWC G10 and the Hamilton Geneve G10 watch. The hunt is on for a Hamilton G10. Anyway, below is a table of the number of watches (mechanical CWC, Hamilton and Hamilton Geneve) that have been issued. This table is based on the great work of Mr. Terry from MWR.


Year Code No Issued

1971 0552 150
1973 W10 25,000
1974 6bb 3,000
1975 W10 7,000
1975 6BB 1,500
1976 W10 5,000


Year Code No Issued

1974 6bb 2,500
1975 6BB 600
1975 0552 500


Year Code No Issued

1976 W10 10,000
1977 W10 5,500
1979 W10 8,000
1980 W10 2,000

These watches were subsequently replaced by the quartz powered CWC and Precista G10 watches.

Anyway here are my watches. I will be reviewing them soon.

CWC W10 - refer note

Hamilton Geneve 6bb

Together, with one missing.....

Of course the hunt is on for the rest, a W.W.W. (perhaps to be filled by the soon the be issued Longines W.W.W. reissue), a chronograph, a Smith, the RAF Seiko (I do have a civilian version), and ........

Note: I have found out that the CWC has correct dial and hands but it is the wrong case. The case is a Hamilton. I am currently correcting this mistake. Such mistakes happen when the watches goes back to service and the servicemen put the wrong dial with the wrong case or they salvage parts to repair a watch.


  1. Hi, enjoyed your blog, my first visit.
    Re- Hamilton Geneve, I have two of these models one has in the past been put into the wrong case as the markings would indicate it to be a W10-1976. I was under the impression that the Geneve models were only issued to the royal Navy, and to the RAF. Cheers, Eddie Wright U/K

  2. Hi dipso,

    Welcome to the blog. You could be right in that the Hamilton Geneve were only issued to the Royal Navy and RAF. The W10, 0552 and other such numbers, from my understanding only indicates the division that put in the requisition. The watches may not be routed to that particular division.

    You can actually get more information from the military watch forum.

    Best regards,