A Legendary British Field Watch Has Finally Gone Automatic

The CWC G10 was issued to British forces in quartz, but the new G22 offers a Swiss mechanical movement.

cwc g22 automatic watch
Courtesy

It's hard to beat the allure of actual military-issued watches, and those made for Britain's armed forces are legendary. The CWC G10 was among them, and it has the distinction of being the first watch issued for the Ministry of Defense to feature a quartz movement. Now, the same company that's continually produced said field watches is offering a new version with a Swiss automatic movement called the G22.

Established in 1972, CWC (Cabot Watch Company) had produced other watches for British forces, and the G10 was similarly made to government specifications. The difference was that it was 1980, mechanical watches were on their way out, and quartz made perfect sense for a military watch: more accurate, reliable, robust and affordable than mechanical counterparts, it's all a soldier would need.

Courtesy
CWC G22 Automatic
cwcwatch.com
$580.00

CWC has continued to produce the G10, and we watch-loving civilians have long been able to get our own quartz versions just like those issued watches — "broad arrow" symbol, and all. But now, you can also get one with a Swiss automatic movement. The new version features nearly the same specs and dimensions — acrylic crystal, 50m of water resistance — but it's powered by a Sellita SW200 automatic movement. CWC gives its case dimensions at 38.5mm (0.5mm wider than the quartz versions), but since that includes the crown you should expect it to wear even smaller (as a classic field watch should).

An automatic version of a historically quartz military watch makes for a bit of a conundrum for watch enthusiasts who tend to value mechanical movements but also historical authenticity. Of course, you can still get a quartz version, but a Swiss automatic movement offers the kind of daily wearing experience many of those enthusiasts are looking for — and much of the same historical connection. It'll look appropriate on its supplied NATO strap, comes with the option of a date display, and the price is pretty reasonable, too, at (currently) around $580.

Courtesy
CWC G22 Automatic
cwcwatch.com
$580.00

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