Smith W10 "SMITHS" British Army The appeal of vintage military watches

The appeal of the Smith W10 British Army Military Watch

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When we think of watches, the first thing that comes to mind is probably "Swiss Made" or, for quartz watches, "Made in Japan."

The watch we will introduce today is a "Made in Britain" wristwatch that does not fall into either category.

Today we will be talking about Smith's military watches, which are a must-have addition to any collection among military watch enthusiasts.

SMITHS British Army Vintage Military Watch

The table of contents looks like this.

1. The world situation at that time

2. W10 management code found on the back cover

3. The appeal of English movements

4.What kind of brand is Smiths?

Finally, here is a summary.

So let's get started right away.

The world situation at that time

The end of World War II did not bring complete peace to Britain, but rather sparked conflict around the world.

Conflicts in Palestine, the Federation of Malaya (Malaysia), and the Korean Peninsula are remnants of World War II, and watches with almost identical specifications were issued to soldiers.

The brands that had been used up until then were known as the Dirty Dozen, and watches made by famous brands such as Omega, IWC, and Jaeger-LeCoultre were issued.

However, with the next generation of watches, the manufacturer was changed to a different one from the one that had been used up until that point.

At that time of generational change, the company that was adopted was Smith SMITHS.

This was in the mid-1960s.

This next generation watch was given the name W10.

This is the military code, for example the Air Force would have the code 6BB.

So the army code is W10.

Then, in the early 1970s, CWC and Hamilton's W10 mechanical movements were added.

Although these W10s were produced, they were never used in combat.

They were first used in combat from the Falklands War in 1982 until the first Gulf War in the early 1990s, when they were issued to British soldiers.

Let's take a look at the back cover

Now let's take a look at the back of this Smith W10 military watch.

SMITHS British Army Vintage Military Watch Case Back

As mentioned earlier, the W10 was delivered to the British Army, and there were three manufacturers.

Therefore, there is a code to distinguish between these three companies.

If you look at the back cover, you will see that it starts with W10 and then has consecutive numbers.

These are the management codes of each manufacturer, and their breakdown is as follows:

British Army W10 Control Code: CWC, SMITHS, HAMILTON

・Smith W10/6645- 99- 961- 4045

・CWC W10/6645-99-523-8290

・Hamilton W10/6645- 99- 523- 8290

Now, look at the back cover again.

The marking below that resembles an upward arrow is called a "Broad Arrow" and is a mark indicating British military property.

Below that, 0110/070 is the serial number and date of manufacture.

0110 is the number, and in this case it means the 110th number.

The 70 that comes afterwards means it was manufactured in 1970.

Let's take a look at the movement

Pictured here is the movement installed in the Smith W10.

British Army Smiths Military Watch Movement cal. 60466E

Generally, movements are provided by ébauche manufacturers, but Smith's watch is equipped with their own in-house 17-jewel hand-wound movement, cal. 60466E.

The plate and bridge are decorated with frosted gold plating, giving it a luxurious feel.

British Army Vintage Military Watch Smiths Dust Cover

The cal. 60466E is heavily influenced by the structure of the Jaeger-LeCoultre caliber that was installed in the Mark XI of the late 1940s, and is also equipped with a dust cover to protect the caliber from magnetization.

As it is military specification, the movement is equipped with a hacking function.

What kind of manufacturer is Smiths?

Catalog of British watch brand Smiths

Although its activities are little known in Japan, Smiths is a watch and instrument manufacturer with a long history in the UK.

As mentioned earlier, Smiths was one of the manufacturers that produced watches for the British military, and their watches also accompanied members of the first Everest expedition.

Unfortunately, despite being such a historic watch brand, Smith stopped producing military watches in the early 1970s.

Fellow British brand CWC subsequently produced the quartz W10 and continued to manufacture military watches, but Smiths was not selected as a supplier.

CWC actually used Swiss-made movements, but Smith manufactured its own movements as well, demonstrating the technical capabilities of a truly Japanese-made watch.

The Smith W10 is highly regarded by watch collectors and military enthusiasts for its single model and for being a simple mechanical military watch.


Both the dial and the movement are marked "MADE IN ENGLAND," making this a rare piece in the world of vintage military watches.

By learning about the functions, appeal and history of these watches and wearing them on our wrists, we feel like we have come a little closer to being British gentlemen.

I think it's a wonderful watch that gives you that feeling.

This is definitely a watch that we would recommend to anyone, whether they already have a military watch collection or are thinking of purchasing one for the first time.