MWC is based in Zürich, Switzerland and was founded slightly later than CWC in 1974 by Wolfgang Obrigheimer who is still closely involved with the company although now in his early 80s. MWC are a leading supplier not just to the military but also to police forces, anti terrorist units, GA Pilots, airlines and mining companies along with various government
departments. They are one of the leading manufacturers of genuine military watches and manufacture a wide range of models either to customers specific requirements or by tendering for contracts. They also supply private individuals seeking a high quality watch for personal use as well as wholesalers, retailers of military products and government departments.
MWC 2014 100m Military Quartz with Superluminova
I haven't had a chance to test this latest model G10 but it has only received a slight makeover from 2010 model and there is an independent test on the Army Rumour Site and based on everything I have experienced and read the current versions of this watch will be just as good when it comes to long term service as their predecessors. The only difference I have noticed from the 2010 model is that it seems to be slightly more streamlined with cleaner lines and now has screw in pins. This adoption of screw pins seems an excellent idea because it offers the strength benefits of fixed pins with the ability to fit any strap you choose and personally I have always found that being restricted to a NATO strap can be annoying.
I have owned and evaluated a large number of both MWC and CWC watches over the years. I find both are solidly built and I have tested around 16 watches from the two factories in total, as a rule I found them all to perform extremely well. The MWC is frequently better priced but UK buyers often tend to be swayed by the fact that CWC previously held the UK MOD contract which does not seem to interest MWC although I am aware they have supplied various UK government departments such as police anti terrorist units etc.
It is clear that MWC is a direct competitor to CWC and the companies claim to hate each other although over the years I have noticed the MWC and CWC range have greatly diverged so any similarities are generally quite superficial. For example the new G10 automatic has no CWC equivalent and CWC do not make Tritium GTLS watches, on the other hand MWC do not currently make mechanical chronographs although they have in the past. MWC also make watches aimed at the General Aviation market such as the one below which again has no equivalent in the CWC range.
MWC 100m SWISS GENERAL AVIATION PILOTS WATCH
I purchased one of these Swiss chronographs from MWC for my personal use mainly because it has 100m water resistance which gives me a lot more confidence because I spend a lot of time sailing and swimming.
The watch seems very well put together and is 100% Swiss (MWC assemble mostly in Germany) with a ETA G10.211 Movement. I have outlined below the basic specification.
Movement: Swiss ETA G10.211
Case Diameter: 43.5mm
Dial Colour: black
Case Material: 316L PVD stainless steel
Caseback: 316L stainless steel
Crown: 316L stainless steel PVD plated
Water Resistance: 10 atm (100m/330ft)
Battery: 395 / expected life around 40 months
Glass: Hardened Mineral Glass
Strap: 20mm Silicone Rubber
Illumination - Super Luminova
The whole watch seems extremely solidly built and the strap looks first rate and will most likely last for years. I have tested the various chronograph functions and the hands return to the correct positions faultlessly. My previous chronograph was a Seiko which occasionally needed recalibration and whilst this is quickly achieved it was somewhat annoying and also arose on another chronograph from Caluola which used a Miyota OS10. As far as accuracy the MWC is now a month old and has gained 2
seconds but that is well within acceptable limits because +/- 2 seconds a day is acceptable with most manufacturers and it has exceeded that by a large margin.
As far as the casing the finish looks to be up to the same standard as the black PVD cases on their divers watches so should last for the full life of the watch.
In summary there is nothing about this watch I don't like and am currently using it as my day to day watch until I get bored with it - as I always do with any watch after a few months! I feel that for under €400 it represents good value and has a very contemporary look and feel.
OTHER MWC TESTS
I think one of the most interesting tests I made was last year when thanks to a collector I had the chance to test two Divers watches one from CWC and one from MWC which enabled me to make a direct comparison. I found the PVD plating to be better on the MWC but the bezel action a bit more precise on the CWC. In addition the CWC has day and date and the MWC just date. The water resistance rating on the CWC and MWC are both 300m or 1000ft. At one time CWC and MWC divers models were very similar because they used the same basic MOD specification but there are few MWC divers now which have any real similarity to the CWC so it is a case of preference based on appearance and price is probably a factor too. Looking back at this test I see that CWC SBS is £359.00 (US$545 or €420) and MWC retail their model at £159 ($268 or €195) this is a colossal price difference. The main concern I have is the movements because the CWC uses a ETA 955.122 7J Movement which has the plus that it is durable and cheap to replace if needed for £20 / $30 see http://www.gleaveandco.com/eta-955-122.html the fact remains its battery life is three years where MWC use a Ronda 715li with a 10 year battery life. The problem here being that a new battery means a case reseal so the less frequently you need to open the case the better.
CWC SBS WATCH
Having tested the two watches for night performance the CWC might have has a bit of an edge but the difference was minimal and of course with the difference in price between the MWC and CWC you would have the option to take a MWC with GTLS tritium tubes and automatic movement at £269 / $453 / €330 and still be £90 / $152 / €110 better off. I have pictured the CWC below but make no mistake its a great watch and it was issued to the SBS so it has all the credentials if you want something a bit special. If you are asking me what I would buy I would go with either the MWC Tritium diver or a Marathon Quartz diver at $495 / £295 / €360. As far as the marathon goes its is at this link and having owned a Marathon I can confirm that they take a lot of beating and the tritium tubes are to my liking as well.
As far as the MWC GTLS tubes they are supplied to MWC by MB Microtec who make Traser which put it in a different league when it comes to night performance. It is at least 100 times brighter than a Luminova equipped watch after several hours because its performance does not decline and it requires no exposure to light to charge it. As regards the Marathon I would stake money that it also uses MB Microtec tubes but I rate both of these GTLS Divers watches 5 out of 5 for both value and performance.
The pictures below shows two of the current MWC Divers watches with both Luminova and the tritium light sources.
MWC 2014 Luminova Model MWC 2014 Tritium GTLS Model
An MWC dealer was good enough to lend me one of the latest MWC Aviator models. Having looked at the picture of the watch it resembled the MWC MKIII but once I physically got my hands on it there was no similarity at all. The MKIII is 38mm excluding the crown and 40mm including the crown the Classic Aviator is much bigger - in fact XL is the right term - because at 46mm excluding the crown and near 49mm including the crown this is a big chunky timepiece. The feature I liked which I have never seen on an MWC before was the clear case back giving a view of the automatic movement.
I wore the watch for two weeks and it was amazingly accurate and had a really solid feel. The movement is a Self Winding 21,600 BPH automatic 22 Jewel so its pretty high spec. The stainless steel case was impressive too as was the high quality leather strap which seems to be made of a very thick high quality oiled leather. The luminosity was excellent as well and lasted well. Overall I like this watch a great deal and have decided to buy the US market variant which is pictured below.
There are a number of these models some with sweep second hand and others with subsidiary dials and I have added this link for anyone interested in taking a look. I think for $369 (£229/€275) this is a great buy for an automatic watch which has such presence.
MWC G10 EVO Chronograph Dual Time
Test Date: May 2014
General Description: The case is stainless steel with screw on back and has a matt finish with a glass crystal. The winder is nicely finished and recessed and protected.
316L Brushed Stainless Steel Case
Hardened Mineral Crystal
Strap: 20mm Military Webbing Strap
Width Inc Crown: 45mm
Width Exc Crown: 42mm
Lug to Lug: 45mm
Crystal Diameter: 35mm
Usable in 2 Time Zones
Digital Module with Alarm, Stop watch, Chronograph and backlight
Quartz analogue movement (Independent from the digital movement)
Water resistance: 50m / 165ft / 5 ATM
There are a number of these G10 EVO models which can be seen at this link. As far as price I thought $199 / €156 / £125 was very reasonable for what is clearly a very well put together product with a vast range of features. The G10 EVO's are available in stainless steel and black PVD as well as a Titan variant and I have pictured some above. This watch has so many features it is frankly hard to see how MWC did it at the price. I am informed the watch was produced mainly for the police and law enforcement market. It has two totally independent movements of which one is digital and the other is analogue enabling use as a GMT watch in two timezones. Because the movements are independent of each other it tends to offer significant advantages in the event one was to fail. The digital part of the watch has a standard timekeeping function with both date and backlight as well as a digital stop watch and chronograph function which can count elapsed time up to 24 hours. What impressed me the most was the caseback which has 4 screws to additional security. I have owned one of these since March last year and gave it to my son who finds it is still running well and highly accurate. I am aware there are some of these floating around as contract surplus from time to time and two collectors I know picked one up on eBay brand new at £40 ($67 / €49) which is an incredible buy for a watch of this type.
If you see a suspicious MWC that might be a fake you can email
email@example.com or call the number below
Tel: +41 44 586 9591 or in the US +1 917 338 9657
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