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CWC 1983 Quartz Royal Navy Dive Watch

By: Michael Penate

It might be time for me to admit that a mil-sub is my ultimate “white whale” grail watch. I can’t explain why, but something about the design just speaks to me – it’s been this way ever since I got into watch collecting. With Rolex 5517s commanding prices well into the six-figure range, I’ve always turned to CWC for a real alternative that has a special place in British military watch history. Now, CWC is announcing what is perhaps one of their most modest reissues – the CWC 1983 Quartz Royal Navy Dive Watch. While it isn’t as glitzy or as rare as some of the original automatics, this particular quartz version is more in line with some of the earliest issued CWC designs.

After getting rid of my early-2000s CWC tritium dial automatic, I’ve been spending a ton of time thinking about a watch that would fill that hole. Do I spring for the $2,000+ 1980 reissue, look for an issued quartz version, or wait to see what CWC releases next? Well, while the heritage 1980 reissue is gorgeous, I was happy to see CWC approach the reissue trend from a different angle – quartz. It’s still a little pricey, but it may just be the best potential watch to fill that mil-sub-sized hole in my heart.

Early 2000s automatic example that’s no longer in the author’s possession

CWC 1983 Quartz Royal Navy Dive Watch Specs:

  • 41mm Case Diameter
  • 20mm Lug With
  • Sapphire Crystal
  • 300m Water Resistance
  • ETA 955.122 quartz movement
  • Super-LumiNova
  • Supplied with 20mm NATO grey strap
  • MSRP £899

At the time of publishing, I think it’s safe to say that nearly $1,200 USD for a quartz dive watch may be a bit of a stretch. To me, CWC is one of those brands that still have a ton of room to realize their potential and learn what their audience really wants. But, in comparison to the previously released 1980 reissue, I think we’re headed in the right direction. Personally, I find myself very attracted to this watch and hope that CWC is able to generate a bit of a buzz after the release. The design is just perfect – and I don’t use that word lightly when evaluating dive watches. Tell us what you think! Is this a reissue that’s worthwhile? Be sure to visit the official CWC site for more.


Photos: CWC Watches – Silvermans Ltd.


  1. On one hand it’s a wonderful looking watch. On the other hand, way out of my price range.

    I know you guys have done an episode of your podcast on starter watches from $250-500 range but would love to hear another episode on trying to build a well rounded watch collection of no nonsense quartz watches that are either good budget picks or have great features that make them worth paying a little more for. Maybe this has been done and I am late to the party but would love a breakdown on what to look for in a quartz watch (don’t want something that is meant to only last a few years, how do I watch out for the loud ticking watches when shopping online, etc.) and some specific pieces by type of watches (dive, chrono, field, dress, etc.) or by budget range.

  2. After hearing about this watch last year, it was in my cross-hairs for a wedding anniversary gift. Number 092/19 reserved to date this year’s wedding anniversary year for 1992. Currently tracking this watch online with the courier, which i have purchased and should be in my hands before 1300 UK time today 11/05/2019. Yes it may be a little pricey but many things are today! It is a nostalgic watch for me as I was a Royal Navy Dive Maintainer for many years and this watch will have so so much meaning. And the value of a watch like this with so much meaning? Priceless!
    Eagerly waiting…

  3. My baby was born yesterday but delivered at 10:45 today, it’s beautiful. With original vintage grey NATO strap just as issued back in the day!

    • Got one of these on the way, it’ll complete my little collection of nice modern military re-issues (newmark 6bb RAF chrono / Precista PRS-18Q /CWC 83 diver).

      I briefly owned a late 90s issued original that cost me around £200, but sold it when Ebay prices skyrocketed.

  4. The fit and finish it stellar. The ETA quartz is high-end accurate. The illumination on the dial is first rate. Yes, it’s pricy, but the quality and attention to detail are splended.

  5. a great review and a truly awesome watch. provenance and quality finishing all round. i missed this one but have the 1987 sbs diver re-issue (sans day/date). the blacked out matte case might be a little better for everyday use however, i will be all over your version if they re-issue it again. i hope you still have it and enjoy it just as much. mine is a keeper.

  6. Several times have I almost bought one of these lovely CWCs – either the Automatic or the Quartz.
    But I always had a watch higher on the priority list.
    Now, the Tudor Pelagos FXD filled that hole for a military diver.


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