NATO STOCK NUMBER - NSN
It is crucial for reasons of procurement that military items have a NATO stock number. Once the number is issued its identity is fixed through the assignment of its own unique NATO Stock Number (NSN). Of course for watches these codes are ideal for gathering information regarding the country issuing the watches and also whether the code is genuine. As a point of interest a lot of fake CWC seem to have the code 86 which does not exist. You can see the typical NATO stock number format above.
The watch below has the NSN number indicated by the black arrow and the year of issue by the red arrow.
To explain the system the NSN is a 13 digit number and is divided into 3 parts :
The first 4 digits are the NATO Supply Classification Code and relate the IoS to the group and class of similar Items of Supply
The next 2 digits indicate the NCB assigning the NSN.
The final 7 digits of a NSN are computer allocated and have no inherent significance other than to uniquely identify the IoS to which they are allocated. In practice, this means that no inference should be drawn by the logistician or other data user based on any apparent serial progression. These 7 digits are assigned to one IoS within the originating nation's codification database, they may be duplicated in the Total Item Record (TIR) of another NCS user nation. To enable user friendly reading of NSN data, it is common for a dash to be inserted at strategic points in the NSN e.g. (1005-13-123-4567), however, whenever a NSN is read in an Automatic Data Processing (ADP environment, the NSN will be represented in its true form, (i.e. 1005131234567) as a thirteen (13) digit string.
For National Stock Numbers (NSNs), the 5th and 6th digits are a two position NATO/country code. For example: 1310-12-127-3749 denotes a German item; 1315-00-935-9212 denotes a U.S. item. The codes are as follows:
CODE AND COUNTRY CODE
00 United States
01 United States
18 South Africa
98 New Zealand
99 United Kingdom
Keep in mind that not all military watches will have an NSN number but where they do the above will help to confirm accuracy of the numbers. Many countries who are not NATO members do not use NSN numbers and some NATO watches do not have serial numbers especially when procured for use by other organisations such as the security services, police or certain other bodies.
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