The surviving relics of Britain’s horology industry seem without exception handsome. The ‘mechanical general service watch’ was manufactured for the MoD by the Hamilton factory from 1973 to 1975. The watches were issued to the Army, Royal Navy, and Air Force (those under the 6BB code). This is not a watch for those who pour over fine hand-finished details or engineering-intensive complication. This is watch built to survive hell and keep beating. The charm it offerings today is nothing more than a satisfying byproduct of intentional design refusing to age.
Cabot Watch & Clock began in the early 1970s after Hamilton closed their UK operations. The company took over the factory and began supplying the British Armed Forces in full. Their range of watches covered aviator’s chronographs, diving instruments, diving watches, clocks, this humble field watch. This W10 was built around an ETA2750 with a hacking seconds. Its case was a one-piece construction for durability with fixed spring bars. Purpose built throughout. Today the W10 and many other CWCs are increasingly collected as a value-based way to collect interesting military pieces. The only other watch I can name in a similar sort of value bracket is the 3H Heuer Bundeswehr. Or CP-2. But then, even those chronographs are beginning to run away in terms of price. This W10 offers serious collectibility and undeniable historic significance at an un-inflated ask.
This W10 has lived its life, but apparently relatively gently. The dial and handset’s tritium has not baked under the sun for too long; it is all present and evenly golden. The case still shows light brushing in areas with heavy surface wear throughout, as one would expect from a military piece. Back engraving still visible. No mention is made of service history but the watch is running and complete with NATO. It comes from a private collector.
Find this W10 available here from @mk3radial by DM on Instagram for 700 EUR.