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.

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