Recently, I composed an article about the wristwatch that succeeded the Rolex Submariner as official issue to the United Kingdom’s Royal Navy jumpers. That watch, made by Cabot Watch Company, was just worked in self-twisting structure for a long time – 1980 and 1981 – making it one of the rarest military watches, and profoundly collectible. CWC 1980 Reissue Royal Navy Diver went ahead to make refreshed forms of a similar look for dissemination to Navy and Royal Marines jumpers, yet fueled by quartz developments.
The organization additionally discharged refreshed programmed variants, which were not military-issue, and unpretentious changes were made to the fundamental watch stage throughout the years, for example, another CWC logo, Luminova-painted markers and hands, and an aluminum bezel embed. However, all variants of this jump watch held the straightforward, reason assembled advance that came straight off a 1970s Ministry of Defense spec sheet. This year, CWC chose to notice the developing fuss over the first programmed jumper, and make a restricted arrangement reverence to the first from 1980 that began it all. I as of late got my hands on one to look at.
The 1980 Royal Navy Diver Re-issue (as it’s authoritatively called) is a contextual investigation in little points of interest having the effect. All things considered, with so few changes made to the watch since 1980, there’s a constrained palette with which to work. As it were, it’s similar to the distinctions in Omega Speedmasters throughout the years. Initially, a 1968 Speedy looks the same as a 2017 one. Be that as it may, things like ventured dials, connected logos, textual styles, and obviously, lume, are determiners of advance and attractive quality for authorities and enthusiasts, which is the reason the “Set of three” version Speedmaster discharged at Basel was such a sensation, reproducing the main Speedy, and featuring the ages of progress between the Alpha and… er, Omega Speedies. Similar remains constant with the 1980 RN Diver Re-issue.
For one thing, the most evident similitude to the 1980 unique is in the dial markings. Since the mid 1970s, on its Army and Royal Air Force watches, Cabot Watch Company utilized a modest logo at 12:00 that completely needed twists. It was only three minor letters – CWC – and appeared to be right around an untimely idea. At that point in the mid ’80s, that logo changed to a bigger serif textual style, encompassed by an oval. Still truly simple, yet perhaps CWC at long last chose to contract a visual creator. Perfectionists still lean toward the first logo, and it was tidied off for CWC’s re-issued 1970s Royal Air Force pilot’s chronograph of the mid 2000s. Here again we see it on the Diver re-issue, alongside a much littler “circumnavigated T” image at 6:00, signifying the utilization of tritium on the dial and hands. But the re-issue doesn’t utilize tritium.
After tritium dropped out of normal use on watch dials around 20 years prior (for wellbeing and viability reasons) CWC changed to Luminova, the new business standard for luminescent paint. On dials of its watches, the circumnavigated T image was supplanted with a surrounded L. The re-issued RAF chronograph was maybe the last utilization of tritium by CWC and those watches hold the genuine T dial, and their lume will probably start to age to the “bistro au lait” patina (ie, “rot”) we as a whole know and love on our vintage watches. The re-issued Diver displayed a problem to CWC: to utilize the orbited T, per the first, on a Luminova dial or not? As should be obvious, they chose to fail in favor of visual, rather than material, exactness.
This mission to imitate the tritium dial of a 1980 CWC jumper stretches out likewise to the shade of the markers and hands, using “vintage tinted” paint. It is the most discernible quality of this watch and the most stamped contrast from later forms of the watch. The utilization of what has turned out to be known as, “artificial patina” is a fervently practice, and one utilized by many brands from Jaeger-LeCoultre to Omega to Oris. I’ve generally been of the conclusion that a yellowed marker shading is essentially another tasteful decision, similarly as splendid green or white may be. Also, the truth of the matter is, a great many people worship the yellowed appearance of lumed markers on vintage watches, frequently searching out the most alluringly smooth emphasess. So why the dislike for this same shading on present day watches? Is it since it was accomplished through paint tinting rather than the maturing of a radioactive material? Does that by one means or another make it less legitimate?
As a memorial piece, there are no issue markings on the back but instead a MoD stock number, the expansive bolt symbol (here and there called a “crow’s foot” or “pheon,” showing property of Her Majesty’s Government) and a serial number from 1 to 600. Additionally, CWC has engraved the organization name and “Swiss Made”. While the majority of this data is displayed in a genuinely dry way, it unquestionably feels like a business watch, and not some bit of military unit from the officer.
Around front, the watch now wears a level sapphire gem set up of the first mineral glass of the first; a genuinely undetectable update, and not unwelcome. Given the decision between acrylic or sapphire, I’ll generally pick acrylic for its glow, however mineral glass does not have the advantages or interest of either, so sapphire is superbly fine.
At last, inside the CWC 1980 Reissue Royal Navy Diver ticks the ETA 2824-2, a development that, at this point, needs no presentation. The first watch would have contained an ETA 2783, which was the 2824’s forerunner however ticked at a slower recurrence. The two developments had a date wheel, however for CWC’s watch, a no-date dial shrouded this capacity. In a few examples, a watch organization will go to the inconvenience of evacuating the date wheel so you don’t hear or feel that little snap as the date wheel ticks over under the dial. Yet, CWC left the minimal date wheel in place, which shocked me. I got some information about this, and they answered that the first 1980 watch was a similar way so they kept it set up. Little points of interest for sure.
CWC has never been particular with its bundling and this one is no special case. A basic crease open tin is utilized, as it is for other CWC watches, yet for the re-issue, they additionally incorporate a little calfskin watch move with space for an extra tie. Two lashes are given; both are dim nylon “NATO” style, with cleaned equipment. Previously, CWCs dependably accompanied the now-notorious “Chief of naval operations’ office Gray” NATO tie made by the Phoenix organization of the UK. These new ones are not as delicate and are additionally more vigorous. I for one lean toward the delicate length and immaculate stormy green/dark of the Phoenix ties, yet at NATO costs, it’s a sufficiently simple swap.
The impression with which I am left by the CWC 1980 Reissue Royal Navy Diver Re-issue is a blended one. On one hand, it is a period container gem from the time when genuine instrument watches were as yet self-winding. On the wrist it wears well, looks great and would likely be a reasonable partner for some enterprises. Be that as it may, the charm of CWC watches has dependably been their absence of reluctance. The whole history of the organization was the direct creation of watches worked to spec and accommodated deliberate utilize. No ornamentation, no advertising, scarcely even item names, about as moderate as “Watch, Wrist, Waterproof”.
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To purchase another CWC felt practically like requesting from a military surplus store and to grab up an issued watch, even the quartz rendition (which I possess) has a craving for finding a push off bit of unit. With the 1980 Re-issue, that inclination is to some degree reduced for me. The organization’s star has ascended in the dynamic commercial center for military watches, and this has prompted a memorial version with coordinated yellow lume, an old logo, and an excellent cost.
I assume it’s the same as any of alternate brands bouncing on the praise, “re-issue” fleeting trend the previous couple of years. Pilots don’t wear Mark arrangement IWCs any longer, substantially less the Mark XI tribute piece, nor do race auto drivers wear a legacy release TAG Heuer Monza in the cockpit. So maybe I’m unjustifiably judging an organization that is changing with the circumstances. All things considered, the 1980 Royal Navy Diver Re-issue gives us what we need in our device watches—a cutting edge timepiece up to the rigors of a dynamic life, yet with a solid touch of sentimentality.