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Smiths - W10 - British Army Issued Military Wristwatch - Issued 1969***NOW SOLD***

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A stunning example of a Smiths W10 British Army-Issued Military Watch - Made in England - Caseback Markings: W10/6645-99-961-4045 4498/69 

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 ascent 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 have always been of the highest order. It wasn’t until the end of World War II that the firm began producing wristwatches. Throughout the '50s, '60s & '70s Smiths held contracts to supply watches to the Ministry of Defence with the W10 being one of the most famous and recognisable.

What's on offer

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 a broad arrow above 6 o’clock which much like any other military watch, denotes the property of the crown.  Beating inside the 'English 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 they are a fine reproduction, they don’t have the same charm and charisma as an original such as this. 

It's rare that you see a case in such good condition on a military watch that's over 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. 

This watch is in beautiful condition, partly explained by the fact that it was sat in a draw for many years untouched by the previous owner who inherited the watch from his father but didn't wear it, and it was forgotten about until we purchased it from him recently!

The lume is intact on both the hour plots and the pencil hands and has evenly aged to an incredibly attractive light pumpkin colour, which is set off perfectly by the rich black dial. This will undoubtedly continue to age wonderfully over the coming years now it is seeing the light of day again, which is sure to bring much joy to the wearer. The Arabic numerals, Smiths' signature with Tritium marking and synonymous arrow dial details, have been preserved wonderfully and complete a cracking watch. 

A really enjoyable piece on the wrist that 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. 

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 

Caliber: 60466E

Jewels: 17

Waterproof: When new

Purchase details

Condition: Excellent condition

Model Reference Number: W10/6645-99-961-4045 - 4498/69

Date of issue: 1969

Guarantee: 12 Months by VWS


Width: 35mm

Lug width: 17mm

Lug height (lug to lug): 46.5mm

Wrist size: Adjustable