MWC Stainless Steel Automatic Military Divers Watch - Tritium / GTLS Illumination, Sapphire Crystal and 60 Hour Power Reserve
MWC first manufactured the predecessor to this 300m/1000ft water-resistant divers watch between the early 1990s and 2004, this watch is very closely based on a model which MWC introduced in 2005 and was the first MWC divers watch to use tritium gas tubes. The self-luminous GTLS tubes make the watch very easy to read at night and the light sources remain consistently bright from dusk until dawn. The hour and minute hands and the hour markers each have a brightly glowing vial of Tritium gas. Whilst the vials contain radioactive gas even when they are all taken together they contain less than the personal limit of 25 millicuries. (see U.S Nuclear Regulatory Commission regulations 10 CFR 30.15).
Military watches of this type are the easiest in the world to read in low light or total darkness thanks to the self-activated light source which are up to 100 times brighter than traditional light sources such as luminous paint. The light-emitting tubes require no battery power or any other form of charging, and never need servicing or maintenance. The life expectancy of the light sources is at least 10 years after which they would start to fade. To compare Tritium GTLS tubes and Super-LumiNova and Luminova click here
Although the predecessor to this watch with GTLS tubes was originally discontinued by MWC in 2007 there was an interesting turn of events two years ago when an MWC distributor in Australia told us he had discovered 500 brand new watches in their stockroom of the standard Luminova variant, they came to light when his father retired and his son carried out a detailed stock check, the watches were made between 1999 and 2001, and had been supplied in batches of 500 over a three year period, the final delivery was somehow overlooked and although his father could not recall how this happened we were offered the opportunity to buy these watches back, all of those watches are now sold but they had proved so popular we decided to remake the watches in the same design as we used over 20 years ago but at the same time carrying out significant upgrades to improve the overall specification, these improvements were possible due to advances in watch manufacturing which had taken place over the intervening 20 years. The main improvements were the use of an automatic movement with a 60-hour power reserve which is exceptional today but unheard of over 20 years ago, the movement can also be hand wound and has hacking for synchronization, we also upgraded the crystal from hardened mineral glass to sapphire which is vastly superior due to being highly scratch and shatter resistant. One further update was the use of a 120-click bezel versus the earlier watches which were 60 or 90 clicks. In the case of this specific model which as mentioned above is closely based on our first GTLS divers watch in 2005 we also took advantage of the improvement in the performance of the Swiss Tritium GTLS tubes which has been achieved over the last two decades.
All of this range of watches are closely based on a case design originally made by the famous Swiss case-making firm MRP S.A, other than a few minor updates the case is much the same as in the late 1970s, MRP was named after its founders M archand, R oth and P etignat, it was founded in 1953 and bought by Georges Hauert in 1979. The entire share capital now belongs to Mr Patrick Hauert so unlike many other major companies in the watch industry this company is still independent and going strong, the company website is here https://www.mrp-sa.ch In addition to MWC watches other watches using this case pattern have been produced by companies such as Precista, Nilax, Elvia and Heuer who were the predecessors to Tag Heuer and made the Heuer 844-1 in 1979, Chronosport another manufacturer made the Sea Quartz 30 - worn by Tom Selleck in the Magnum PI TV show, Elvia another manufacturer from the 1970s also continues to produce watches using this case and MWC are factory authorised distributors for this brand, moving to other present manufacturers CWC also continue to use this case design as do various other companies. It's interesting that few people realise how historically significant this case pattern is nor how well it has stood the test of time having been in continuous production for well over 40 years.
The basic design of the standard version of these MWC watches goes back to the British Ministry of Defence (MOD) specification shown in the final image.
The watch measures 45mm including the crown and 40mm excluding the crown although it uses the same 20mm military nylon webbing strap as many other current MWC military divers watches which enables you to choose from a vast variety of NATO strap variants.
Dimensions and Specification:
Casing: Satin Finish Non-Reflective Stainless Steel
Crown: Screwdown Locking
- Water Resistance: 30ATM/300m/1000ft
- Movement: Miyota 8315 with 60-Hour Power Reserve
Dimensions: Width Inc Crown 45mm (Exc Crown 40mm)
- Thickness: 14.4mm
- Lug to Lug: 46.5mm
- Crystal Diameter 31mm
- Crystal Type: Sapphire with non-reflective coating *
- Luminous Material: Tritium Gas Tubes
- 120 Click Unidirectional Bezel
- Weight: 89.5g
- Strap Bars: Spring
Strap: 1 x Black and 1 x Grey Nylon Webbing Straps
- Guarantee: 24 Months
* A lot of people ask us what are the benefits of sapphire crystal over a standard mineral crystal? The answer is that synthetic sapphire is by far the best material for watch crystals because it is very strong and also shatter and scratch-resistant, these characteristics make it very appealing to military and security personnel, police officers, and people who lead active outdoor lifestyles, these groups account for over 70% of our customers. To get things into perspective we find that when clients have accidents with watches resulting in a cracked crystal over 90% usually watches with mineral glass crystals, even factoring in that we use hardened mineral crystals they still do not come close to sapphire for durability under adverse conditions. The reason that sapphire crystals are so strong is that after the sapphire glass is manufactured it is also heat-treated to remove its internal stresses—which can cause weakness—it is then made into the watch crystals and two layers of anti-reflective coating are applied, interestingly sapphire crystal is now used on the latest iPhone. Of course, sapphire crystal comes at a price hence you find that it's normally only fitted to higher-end watches.