1980s U.S pattern Military Watch in Matte Black on a Nylon Webbing Strap
SKU Code: MIL/46374/B
The original US military specification MIL-W-46374 was published on 30 October 1964 the objective of this specification was to set out the basic requirements for straightforward low cost watch to be issued to the U.S military. The actual wording from the original specification is below.
"This specification covers one type of plastic-cased wrist watch intended for use where a high degree of accuracy is not required. The watch is not intended to receive maintenance support with in the military supply system."
These 1960’s disposable field watches were simple watches with a one piece case design manufactured from plastic material measuring 35.5 mm with a simple non-hacking handwound movement.
In essence this 1964 specification called for a disposable watch in a plastic case it had minimal water resistance, minimal protection from shock, vibration or temperature extremes.
Interestingly the general dial design of the MIL-W-46374C was very much in line with current military dials, for example if you search the current US Mil Spec MIL-W-46374G on google you will see that the dial design laid down 55 years ago in MIL-W-46374C is still pretty much the same today.
The interesting twist with these watches was that we noticed starting in the late 1990s that more and more serving military were calling and asking if we knew where they could obtain one of these models. Interestingly this coincided with a massive reduction in the number of U.S military watches being issued to serving personnel plus a change in U.S. military issued performance standards for watches. The change was primarily based on results expected as opposed to details of construction and appearance. The result of this change was that commercial watches that met the standards became accepted military supply items along with specialized watches that still complied to military specific designs.
By the time of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, many military personnel wore the watch they personally preferred rather than a standard GI watch. It was because of this move to a watch of choice we asked a lot of military clients who bought quantities of watches for sale in PX stores etc whether an updated remake of the MIL-W-46374C made sense. The usual reply was that they liked the appearance but could the watch be updated to a quartz movement for improved accuracy? After batting the idea around in 1994 it was decided between a partner in the U.S and ourselves that it made sense to work on creating a more durable and easily maintainable product but still at a competitive price, in order to achieve this the design was upgraded from the original plastic case to metal and the movement changed from a cheap mechanical to a reliable and accurate modern quartz alternative. The primary goal was to retain the same outward appearance of the original but to bring it up to modern standards the result was this model which we have manufactured jointly with our U.S partner for the last 25 years - for comparison an original watch can be seen in the final image. .