Most people know I’m a bit of a watch nerd and although I don’t really buy too many these days, I was pleased to pick this up recently.
I used to have quite a few in my military collection, but interest changes and watch collectors tend to through all sorts of different phases. The strap bars on this type of watch are fixed, so you are ‘forced’ to use a Nato strap – a one piece strap which passes through the lugs, as opposed to a two piece strap. This type of strap has become trendy recently, but they were designed specifically for a purpose and suit the watch well.
The CWC 1980 RN Diver Reissue, made to the exacting specifications of the original, probably the rarest milsub ever made for Royal Navy diving units. Now, getting your hands on an original is nigh on impossible, so when CWC announced a reissue of just 600 pieces, interest was overwhelming. That said, the initial batch had aged lume and for me, looked a little falso, so let it go. Later they added a slightly lighter lume and lastly, C3 lume – the modern material used in watches (lume glows in the dark).
Although I don’t like to use the term rare, there will only ever be 200 of this variant made, so it’s rare enough. The technical blurb…
“Up to 1980 the one contract CWC hadn’t managed to win was for diving watches. The Royal Navy had a long history with Rolex, dating back to the 1950s, and even worked with Omega for a while in the ’60s. But by the late ’70s, perhaps the higher price of the Submariner made the MOD look elsewhere and, given its good relationship with CWC, the Ministry came calling. CWC responded with a tough automatic dive watch of its own, built to the specifications of the MOD (DEF STAN 66-4 [Part 1] Issue 3, for those keeping score), which included a rotating bezel with a fully hashed luminous insert, sword hands and a boldly marked dial swathed in tritium lume, a 32mm mineral glass crystal, and fixed strap bars for use with pull-through nylon straps. Inside ticked the sturdy automatic ETA movement.
CWC sourced the rather curvy, beveled 44mm steel case that was first made by MRP S.A“.
So I’m really pleased and it will be a great watch to wear when knocking about.