The "Sandhurst" from the military collection

Discuss Christopher Ward watches
Post Reply
Posts: 15
Joined: Fri Jun 24, 2016 1:09 am

The "Sandhurst" from the military collection

Post by miket-nyc »

I got a CW magazine a few days ago and was intrigued about the CW watches that are homages to British military watches. In particular, the "Sandhurst" is an homage to the Smiths W 10, a famous watch made for the British military and supposedly the last watch made entirely in England. In addition to being into watches, I'm also into old British motorcycles and I have friends who are SERIOUSLY into old British vehicles of all sorts. Smiths, the maker of the W 10, also made the speedometers and odometers for almost every British car or motorcycle of the classic period, so I shared a post about it with some Brit-bike lovers, expecting there to be some interest in these watches.

And there is -- one of my friends is all excited now and wants to buy a watch. But he wants to buy a Smiths W10, not a CW Sandhurst. I explained that it was a great watch in its day, but it's manual wind and pretty rare. (They're selling used on eBay for about twice the price of most CW watches, and that would be for an example that would probably require work. Also, there are people parting them out on eBay, so there must be no ready source for broken parts).

I was going to suggest he get the CW Sandhurst instead (which is half as expensive and would be far more usable for daily wear). But when I actually compared them, I saw that the Sandhurst isn't a good copy of the original and apparently didn't try to be. Here's the W 10: ... 1480174187

And here's the CW Sandhurst (watch in the middle): ... es-1-range

There are some styling cues from the W 10, but the dial is wrong, the font of the numbers is wrong, the crown is wrong, and above all the dial doesn't say "Smiths," it says "Christopher Ward." A legion of owners of Triumph, Norton, BSA, Jaguar, Land Rover, etc., might be interested a watch that actually looked like the Smiths W 10 with a modern CW movement inside, but these folks would have no interest in a watch under another brand name. Smiths is still in business (they no longer makes watches), but they've licensed their trademarks to people before and I think they'd likely do it here.

Of course, I assume CW prefers to sell watches under its own name, not some long-gone British watchmaker's name, but people going to their site to buy a replica Smiths W 10 might see other watches there as well. (And if they don't, the money for their replica W 10s is still good).

User avatar
Amor Vincit Omnia
Posts: 21864
Joined: Sat Jun 11, 2011 7:34 pm
CW-watches: 4
Location: Norfolk, UK

Re: The "Sandhurst" from the military collection

Post by Amor Vincit Omnia »

An interesting notion, though you should be aware that the Smiths name is still being put on watches, and the rights to that are owned by Timefactors.

The half minute which we daily devote to the winding-up of our watches is an exertion of labour almost insensible; yet, by the aid of a few wheels, its effect is spread over the whole twenty-four hours.
Charles Babbage


Senior Forumgod
Senior Forumgod
Posts: 3272
Joined: Sun Oct 03, 2010 5:45 pm
CW-watches: 5
Location: Alberta, Canada (The Great White North, eh!)

Re: The "Sandhurst" from the military collection

Post by Lavaine »

miket-nyc wrote:
Mon Sep 16, 2019 5:24 am
There are some styling cues from the W 10, but the dial is wrong, the font of the numbers is wrong, the crown is wrong, and above all the dial doesn't say "Smiths," it says "Christopher Ward."
I think the issue here is that you were expecting a W10 homage. That isn't what the Sandhurst is. To quote from the CW webpage: " the C65 Sandhurst takes some of its influence from the Smiths W10". It is not an homage, but rather is influenced by the W10. As such it is not meant to be a copy of the W10, hence the "wrong dial, wrong font, wrong crown, and wrong name".
If your friend really wants a W10, direct him to Timefactors. Eddie makes very good homages to historical watches. If your friend wants a modern interpretation of a W10, send him to CW.
2017 CW Forum "Darwin Award" winner.

User avatar
Senior Guru
Senior Guru
Posts: 633
Joined: Tue Mar 05, 2019 12:28 am
CW-watches: 3
Location: NE North Dakota, USA

Re: The "Sandhurst" from the military collection

Post by watchaholic »

Personally I would take the Sandhurst with the chronometer rated swiss movement over the Myoita powered W10 copy any day. Although I still don't know where the red section on the second hand came from.
Time is fleeting....happy hour, doubly so.

Posts: 23
Joined: Sun Dec 30, 2007 2:56 pm

Re: The "Sandhurst" from the military collection

Post by coquin »

The Smiths PRS-29A (inspired by the W10) has the ETA2801 movement. The Miyota powered watch with the red seconds hand is inspired by the Smiths A454 Part of the Everest range) which Hillary and Fuchs took with them on their trans-Antarctic expedition in 1955, hence the name "Everest Expedition". The red seconds hand is historically correct.

Post Reply