Smiths W10 (0552) Royal Navy Military Wristwatch c.1968
The end of the Second World War by no means brought about total peace for Britain who became involved in conflicts all over the world. Such conflicts in Palestine, Malaya and Korea were fought with the equipment left over from WW2, which in watch terms for the British Army was primarily the W.W.W’s.
The W.W.W’s remained in continuous use and were joined in the late 1960s by the Smiths W10 wristwatch. These were followed by the W10 mechanical wristwatches produced by CWC and Hamilton in the 1970s.
The Smiths W10s were used by British personnel during the Falklands War in 1982 and up to the first Gulf War at the beginning of the 1990s.
Smiths have a grand history in the UK as watch, clock and instrument makers. They are famed for having produced watches for the British military and Smiths watches even accompanied members of the first Mount Everest Expedition. Sadly, Smiths produced their last military wristwatches in the early 1970s.
The Smiths W10 was the last mechanical wristwatch to be produced in the UK to be issued to the British Army. As such, it is held in high regard by watch collectors and military enthusiasts alike.
Interestingly, the example for sale would have initially been issued to the British Army but was subsequently re-issued to the Royal Navy. This is evident by the “0552” designation added to the reverse of the case back.
Royal Navy examples of these watches are incredibly scarce, making the watch for sale a must-have for any serious military watch collector.