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The Best Budget Military Watch - Authentic British Army G10

Posted on February 12 2021

Best Affordable Military Watch

Some watches look like the military would wear them. Others are actually worn by soldiers.

The G10 is an iconic military watch that is insanely popular with watch fans.

It has handsome military styling and many versions have been issued to British troops. If you want an authentic military watch, at an ultra-affordable price, this is the watch for you.

Swiss brand MWC - Military Watch Company - has a wide selection of G10 models. But this is their bestseller. The inexpensive G10LM. A mid-sized reliable quartz watch.

It's great value for money. What other charismatic watches can you get for this price?

MWC G10LM Infantry Watch

MWC G10LM Infantry Watch

  • 35mm Diameter
  • 11mm Thick
  • 18mm Lug Width
  • Stainless Steel
  • Swiss Quartz movement
  • Acrylic Crystal
  • 50M Water Resistance


MWC’s G10 is a simple watch. There’s no flair here. It’s a spartan tool watch designed to be legible and comfortable to wear. It’s small by today’s standards and has two features - the time and the date (there is a non-date version too).

You wear this model because you want an authentic military watch. And that’s how it looks and feels. I’ve found that the MWC G10LM is popular with ex-forces buyers. They love to recreate the experience of wearing an army-issued G10.

To be practical in combat environments, reliability is crucial. You can’t have a watch that doesn’t keep the exact time. MWC - who are Swiss-based - equip the G10 with a high-quality Swiss quartz movement.



The design of the watch is as you’d expect. It’s built to the G10 template and has the styling that is central to this military classic. It’s retro - as it should be - and understated. It feels like a timepiece rather than a piece of jewellery.

A man’s tool, not a boys fashion accessory.

It’s has a slim, 35mm stainless steel case with screw-in strap pins. The strap is a canvas NATO style and can be quickly and easily replaced. Black or Olive are the standards, but the strap is often swapped for a flag or regiment colours. I wear the Black and Grey James Bond design - classic British military.

Although this watch isn’t a diver, it does have 50M water resistance. The case back screws down and has various issue markings.

Best of all, the MWC G10 has an RRP of £72. Not much for a piece of British military history.



More About British Army G10 Military Watches


I first got interested in military watches when I discovered Vostok. I didn’t even know that Russian military watches existed. Once I had a couple of Vostok’s, I asked myself - what do our guys wear?

That’s a rabbit hole that you can disappear down. You can get lost in the world of military watches. But at the affordable end of the market, there is a watch that stands out. A watch issued to British troops for years.

The G10.

Over the years there’s been a couple of different G10 manufacturers. The most famous being CWC - 200,000 of their model were issued to the British Army between 1980 and 2006.

The term G10 is used to describe a specific style of British Army watch.

They were issued from the 1960s onwards. The original mechanical version - produced by Smiths, CWC and Hamilton - was later replaced by a more reliable quartz model.

This newer watch is usually what we mean by a G10.

MWC G10 Military Watch

CWC was the big name in G10 watch manufacturing. The company was founded by Ray Mellor who had been Managing Director of Hamilton’s UK arm.

As an ex-serviceman involved in the British watch industry, he knew that Smith’s had folded. US brand Hamilton was no longer trying to win MOD contracts. He decided to create a watch company to fill that gap.

It was a successful strategy.

At 36.5mm the CWC G10 is a small watch by today's standards. The MWC G10LM is a similar size, retaining authenticity. They do also produce other larger versions - including some with very high specs.

Pulsar also produced a G10 for the MOD. It wasn’t particularly well-received and MWC is now the main seller of G10 models. Their impressive range of G10’s includes some with increased specs from the original CWC. This can include

  • Larger Cases
  • GTLS Illumination
  • Automatic or Hybrid Movements
  • Battery Hatches
  • PVD Coating
  • Sapphire Crystal
  • GMT Functions

Most G10’s regardless of manufacturer come with a canvas NATO style strap.

Conclusion


The G10 watch has a unique style. It was designed for the British Army and worn in combat - including the Falklands War. The MWC G10LM is the most affordable and popular version of the watch.

It’s an entry-level piece that gives you all of the style and feel of a classic military watch. What you don’t get is the expense and wear and tear of an issued example.

It’s smaller than most modern watches, but that is how the original manufacturers designed the G10. It was meant to be unobtrusive and do one job - tell the time in all conditions. It wasn’t on a soldiers wrist to look good or attract attention.

If you want your watch to attract girls attention. This isn’t the watch for you.

This is an uncomplicated and practical tool watch. It also happens to be very affordable.


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