Smiths W10 military steel vintage wristwatch, 1970
A stainless steel manually wound wristwatch with hacking centre seconds made for the British Military
In the Horological Journal of December 1966 it was announced that Smiths Industries in “competition with several other well known makers of watches” had been awarded a contract to supply watches to the British Government. The article noted that the contract “which was placed by the Ministry of Defence, is for General Service watches for H.M. Armed Forces. Users of the watches will be forces personnel including helicopter pilots, paratroopers and tank crews” [Horological Journal, Dec. 1966, p.14]. The movement used for the model was based on the Smiths Astral movement but with exacting specifications and the addition of a hack feature to allow synchronisation of the seconds hand. Rigorous testing was carried out at laboratories of the Chronometer branch of the Hydrographer of the Navy at Herstmonceux. Field tests of the model were also carried out in the tropics and the arctic. Aesthetically, the styling of the Smiths W10 follows the design precedents established by the WWW watches made by Omega and others (the so-called dirty dozen) that were supplied to the British Military towards the end of the Second World War. The Smiths watch also has a similar design aesthetic to the IWC Mark XI, the latter also features a centre seconds with hack feature (unlike the ‘dirty dozen’ with their subsidiary seconds dials). Like its predecessors, the Smiths watch has a substantial and robust case with screw-down back and a black dial with white Arabic numerals and luminescent accents and hands.
The dial is in good condition with handsome colouration to the luminescent indexes and hands. The steel case retains good definition, there is some light abrasion to the bezel between 6 and 8 o’clock.
[M] Smiths cal. 60466E manually wound movement with hack feature, lever escapement, 17 jewels, mono-metallic balance, 18,000 BPH, shock absorber [D] matt black, white Arabic numerals, white outer track for minutes/seconds with luminous rectangles above the quarter markers and luminous dots above the intervening hours, luminescent hands, white centre seconds, military broad arrow [C] stainless steel case with moulded chamfered bezel, down-turned lugs with fixed bars, screw-down case back with military numbering and broad arrow [S] dial signed
Diameter excluding winding crown: 35mm
Length including lugs: 47mm
Depth to centre of crystal: 11mm
Strap width/lug gauge: 17.5mm
This watch has been fully serviced and is sold with a one year guarantee. A Black Bough leather watch pouch and detailed certificate will accompany this watch.