Coming off the heels of my recent review of the Seiko Field Watch, I decided to give my views on a seperate field watch. This time, the CWC military quartz watch.
Looking in the catalog of CWC there are numerous options, each utilitarian, military style, and bearing the history of the brand itself. Coming in a variety of quartz and automatic options, CWC has no short supply of great watches.
For me, I was looking for a military styled watch that felt traditional while also carrying an element of contemporary vibes; something that I felt could be on the wrist of a soldier in the future and still instantly convey a military history at a single glance. I came across the CWC GS Sapphire Black and knew that this was the look I wanted, sleek and modern feeling but clearly with a military look from a historic brand.
Unfortunately it was ALWAYS sold out. For months I would check back on the website along with ebay, waiting to see one pop up to no avail. One day, I found one on ebay, essentially never used, and immediately went for it! Lesson: be patient and good thing happen!
The PVD coated case comes in around 38mm without the screw-down crown, with an 18mm lug width, 11.5mm height, and 42mm ltl length. Overall, this watch is extremely wearable. The dial has the military tool watch design you would expect which is highly legible and comes with a nice minute track (which I personally love and always enjoy seeing it!), and a date function. Lume is well applied and the watch functions well at night. The glass is sapphire (as the name suggest) and a nice upgrade to the acrylic glass in the standard G10 version.
With a Swiss Ronda quartz, this watch is extremely light and durable. In all honesty, this was one of the reasons I went with a quartz version. As a tool, you would want something light, legible, robust, and precise, all features of this great quartz piece. With 200m of water resistance and a screw-down crown, this watch is prepared for anything and everything. As you would want in a tool you would take into the field.
In my previous review I commented how the field watch, as a thing, is a rather simple and no-nonsense design with purpose. But with that comes the surplus of options as there are many that serve that function and do it well and at any number of price points. This is where the CWC differs and why I decided to post this review afterwards.
Unlike other field watches in my collection, this one in particular feels different. The only reason I can come up with is that this watch brand has a true military history unlike watches purely designed to be a field watch. Would I feel the same way if I had a Vertex or a Hamilton Field Khaki? I don't know, if I'm being frank. The CWC seems to embody everything I want in this catagory of watch!
I have come to believe that when it comes to a military or field watch, the form and function have to align with the person for the best experience. I don't need a Swiss movement in a watch intended to be a frequent daily wear for me. I don't need artifical patina meant to evoke a heritage military legacy, when the watch exudes that ethos on its own. I also don't need a vintage piece that I won't ever wear purely because it has a specific branding on it. In short, this watch made me take pause and realize what is important to me in a watch.
And this is why I am so fond of this piece. It does EVERYTHING I would ever want. It sits lightly on the wrist, has a durable, scratch resistant glass, has a screw down crown and 200m of water resistance if I want to get wet, and it keeps time. It does all of these simple things while looking great and still carrying the legacy of the brand that built it.
So, this watch is meant for people that want a military heritage but in a contemporary package. In my opinion it is a great field watch and embodies that ethos in its truest form. And for that it is unique in my collection and the one where I really feel connected to the history of the brand when I wear it. Very few watches achieve that and for that, this watch gets a big thumbs up.