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Thread: MWC Vietnam watch review

  1. #1

    MWC Vietnam watch review

    Yesterday I decided I had a yen for a new field watch. As is often the way with me, things moved fairly quickly and within a few hours I'd ordered one of these,, MWC's modern remake of the kind of disposable watch worn by American troops in Vietnam.

    MWC are a company who tend to provoke a strong reaction from military watch fans so this review will focus solely on the quality of the watch. Similarly, I'm far from an expert on military watches, so don't expect me to be imparting any specialist knowledge, I'm just a guy who likes watches

    I ordered the watch from an eBay seller rather than MWV direct as it worked out slightly cheaper, certainly I'm happy to have it in hand 24 hours after starting my search.

    Specs from MWC are as follows and all seem accurate:

    • Thickness 8 mm
    • Strap size 18 mm
    • Strap type: US Pattern Military Strap
    • Width incl crown 36 mm
    • Width excl crown 33 mm
    • Crystal diameter 29 mm
    • Movement Quartz
    • Water resistance 30 m (99 ft)
    • Supplied in tin with factory warranty card

    Packaging is simple but effective.
    IMG_2225.JPG by Olly Clarke, on Flickr
    IMG_2226.JPG by Olly Clarke, on Flickr

    When I opened the box I found that the watch had been set correctly (or nearly anyway, I ended up correcting it because I'm anal about things like that), which is a nice touch, though I don't know if that was done by MWC or the seller.

    IMG_2227.JPG by Olly Clarke, on Flickr

    The watch is exactly what it advertises itself as, a small (by modern standards), quartz, steel cased field watch.

    IMG_2229.JPG by Olly Clarke, on Flickr

    The casing has an olive coating to it, presumably some kind of PVD, which seems very well applied. Time will tell on it's longevity. The crown and caseback are bare steel.

    IMG_2232.JPG by Olly Clarke, on Flickr

    Speaking of the caseback, it spuriously claims a March 1969 production (which I guess is kind of okay on what is openly sold as a nostalgia piece) and claims the watch complies with mil-spec MIL-W-46374A which may or may not be true, but feels about right. Wikipedia states: "The 46374 was specified as an accurate, disposable watch. In its span, it encompassed metal and plastic cased watches with both mechanical and quartz movements".

    IMG_2230.JPG by Olly Clarke, on Flickr

    The band is a simple one piece affair which is fine (but too long for me, so I've replaced it with one that I had already that looks the same but has been cut to size).

    IMG_2237.JPG by Olly Clarke, on Flickr

    The dial printing is a little lacking in crispness but acceptable, even under a 10x loupe. The lume is pretty poor, interestingly it's the numbers rather than the triangular markers on the minute track which glow. The hands are nicely proportioned and look fine. The crystal is acrylic and pleasantly domed.

    The watch sets well with no apparent slack and the unidentified quartz movement ticks well, with none of the hand wobble you sometimes get in really cheap movements.

    Overall, the quality is more than acceptable for a watch that cost 33. It seems reasonable to compare it to 2 similar watches I have, the Timex Camper and the CWC G10, and it sits pretty squarely in between the 2. It's nowhere near as nice as the CWC, which has a really excellent case, very accurate swiss movement and a beautifully executed dial, but then the CWC costs 3 times as much. Compared to the Camper (which is cheaper at 20), the MWC is noticeably nicer, having a decent steel case rather than a plastic one and what seems so far to be a better movement (the cheap quartz modules Timex put in their lower end watches never thrill me).

    IMG_2235.JPG by Olly Clarke, on Flickr

    I'm certainly happy with the watch for what I paid for it, not one to set the heart racing, but a decently made and interestingly styled beater.
    Last edited by whatmeworry; Aug 15, 2015 at 11:38 AM.

  2. #2
    Quick lume shot taken with my phone after a full charge of the lume under a bright light, so maybe it wasn't as bad as I thought. I charged my G10 (whose lume lasts through the night) at the same time and will take a comparison shot of the two in an hour or so.
    DSC_0560 by Olly Clarke, on Flickr

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  4. #3
    Member pepperami's Avatar
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    Nov 2014
    Kildare, Ireland
    Great review mate.

    I love the domed crystal, they really don't big that up on the website?

  5. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by pepperami View Post
    Great review mate.

    I love the domed crystal, they really don't big that up on the website?

    Yeah, as is sometimes the case, the watch is nicer than you'd expect

  6. #5
    Well, I went back to the two watches and the lume on both wasn't something my camera could capture. It was visible to the naked eye though, once my eyes had adjusted at least, although the CWC was definitely better, I plan to wear the MWC overnight and see how it does.

  7. #6
    Moderator - Central tribe125's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Kent - UK
    Quote Originally Posted by whatmeworry View Post
    which I guess is kind of okay

    And kind of not.

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  9. #7
    Hall Monitor Samanator's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Sebring, Florida
    Looks like the case is ceramic coated, like I use to do on some of the watches I was doing mods to.



    Tell everyone you saw it on IWL!

  10. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Samanator View Post
    Looks like the case is ceramic coated, like I use to do on some of the watches I was doing mods to.

    It could well be, its certainly has that kind of sheen to it. That's a great looking mod, by the way.

  11. #9
    I tested the lume properly last night. It's certainly not as good as the CWC, but it was still just visible (to my dark adjusted eyes) at 5am when I got up.

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