Some military watches in the UK, EU and US continue to use fixed pins (such as the example on the right which was made for the Specialist Group Information Services which is a British Army unit ) because historically they were designed for hard use, and also enabled manufacturers to make the watch lighter. The other benefit of fixed pins is that watches are virtually impossible to lose when worn with a NATO webbing strap. Keep in mind that using spring bars or pins doesn't necessarily disqualify a watch from heavy use, for example both Rolex and Seiko use spring pins (on very heavy duty versions) of their dive watches. It is also worth bearing in mind that prior to WWII all watches used fixed lugs and many after the war continued to do so, both options have distinct advantages and disadvantages. The main consideration is that spring pins enable easy strap changes and the ability to use any strap type you choose whereas fixed pins are very limiting and other than a one piece strap there are few options. This means that where a CWC is ideal if you want to use just a NATO strap a Precista, Marathon, MWC or Nite offers more options if you want the greater flexibility to use a wide range of strap variants. Keep in mind though that MWC uses a mix of pins with spring, screw and fixed variants but the fixed pins are mainly on the G10 battery hatch and 100m G10 variants which are popular with serving military, although MWC favoured screw pins for years I have noticed that recently they are tending to revert to solid bars or spring pins depending on the model whereas many other companies have continued with solely spring pins. My feeling is that the key might be to use heavy duty spring bars as an option because they are more robust than those on standard civilian watches. I have owned several military watches with screw pins and frankly with all the hassle of using Threadlock such as Loctite 243 to secure them it's more hassle than it's worth (maybe the same realisation MWC and Nite have made!) and I think the robust spring bars make more sense and solid bars for watches solely targeted at the military market.
Screw Pin / Bar
As mentioned above prior to WW2 and going right through to today many UK issued watches used and continue to use fixed bars, these continue with the CWC range which were issued to UK forces as well as their newer 200m G10. MWC also tend to use fixed bars on some G10 models and spring on others as mentioned earlier. Personally I think the CWC G10 with Sapphire crystal and 200m water resistance shown here would be better with spring bars but that is of course a matter of preference. A friend of mine owns one of these but agrees that the solid bars tie him to using one piece straps. As regards the MWC they tend to use solid bars on these models but not the high end 300m models see MWC models with solid strap bars. I also own a couple of Nite watches with screw pins but looking at the site here they seem to be moving more and more toward spring pins and my instinct is that they probably found the screw pins with the need for Loctite etc too much hassle for clients. Like many things the concept of screw in pins seems a good compromise between strength and flexibility but in reality it does not work as well as you would presume. Of course if you didn't unscrew the pins there wouldn't be any problems, the difficulty is that if you're not going to take them out and don't want to change the strap then obviously solid fixed bars make a lot more sense.
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