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Smiths W10 British Army-Issued Military Wristwatch - Issued 1969

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Smiths W10 British Army-Issued Military Watch - Made in England

If the Smiths name seems familiar to you, then it’s rightly so. Rumour has it that it was in fact a Smiths watch that was strapped to the wrist of Sir Edmund Hillary on his assent to the peak of Everest yet some argue it was in fact the Rolex Explorer. Myths aside Smiths watches have been in and amongst the action since being founded by Samuel Smith in 1851. From being regularly seen in cockpits to the dashboard of a vehicle, their precision and excellence has always been of the highest order. It wasn’t til the end of World War II that the firm delved into the waters of wristwatches and certainly made up for any lost time. Throughout the 50’s, 60’s & 70’s Smiths held contracts to supply watches to the Ministry of Defence with the W10 being one of the most famous and recognisable.

Being legible in the field is of course crucial and the Smiths W10 doesn’t disappoint. Built to specs given to them by the MoD, the dial is a stark black affair with Arabic indices and broad arrow above 6 o’clock which much like any other military watch, denotes property of the crown. In comparison to modern pieces, the 35mm case may come across as small but trust us it certainly wears like a larger piece and naturally the fixed bars are again a standard requirement for a military watch to ensure no matter the situation, the watch won’t leave the wrist of its wearer. Beating inside the British made watch is the in-house 60466E 17-jewel movement which is common in such pieces from the period. Reissues of these legendary watches are available and although are a fine reproduction, they don’t quite have the same charm and history as a genuine issued timepiece such as the present piece available here.

What's on offer

It's rare that you see a case in such good condition on a military watch that's 50 years old. The case back and case edges are incredibly well-preserved, and the lugs remain clear-cut, sharp and teamed with a nice NATO strap in a colour of choice, the watch really pops. A really enjoyable piece on the wrist which oozes historical provenance and quality, this British icon is a wonderful piece to add to a collection or even a fantastic starting point as you delve into the military watch world and for the price point, we can’t think of a better value for money watch for this pedigree of a timepiece which would be sure to lure you into collecting others.

Ready for your wrist now as the watch was very recently serviced by the renowned military watch specialist John Senior so runs extremely well and hacks as it should!

Additional information

Made from

Case: Stainless steel

Dial: Black

Crystal: Plexiglass

Bracelet: New NATO military style strap.

Technical specifications

Winding: Manual wind

Movement type: Mechanical hand wound

Calibre: 60466E

Jewels: 17

Waterproof: At time of manufacture. 

Purchase details

Condition: Excellent condition.

Model Reference Number: W10/6645-99-961-4045 - 4916/69

Date of issue: 1970


Supplied with a 12-month Vintage Watch Specialist guarantee  


Width: 35mm

Lug width: 17mm

Lug height (lug to lug): 46.5mm

Wrist size: Adjustable