The Rolex Forums   The Rolex Watch


ROLEXROLEXROLEXROLEXROLEXROLEXROLEXROLEXROLEXROLEXROLEXROLEX

Old 30 October 2005, 03:58 AM   #1
padi56
Moderator & 2014 La Royale Patron
 
padi56's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Real Name: Peter
Location: Llanfairpwllgwyng
Watch: ing you.
Posts: 36,197
British issued dive watches.

British issued dive watches.

British Royal Navy Dive Watches – 1960’s to present day.

The first specs pertaining to a dive watch for the British Royal Navy were introduced in the 1960’s. At that time, 2 companies produced dive wristwatches that met the required specifications. These companies were Rolex and Omega. Here follows a brief description of the watches they offered :-

1) The Rolex Submariner ref 5513 & 5517

All stainless steel case, with water resistance of 200 metres. Black dial with circle T added to signify Tritium as the source of luminous. Screw down crown. Earlier models had a diamond shaped hour hand, with later models having the more easily recognised (to Rolex owners, at least) Mercedes hour hand. The steel case had fixed bars to lessen the danger of losing the watch through spring bar failure.
Case-back engraved with the Royal Navy stores numbers

0552/923-7697, broad-arrow below (signifying government property), and then below that an issue number and issue year. Eg 175/70, signifying watch number 175 of 1970.

The above modifications were made to the civilian 5513 before the watches left the Rolex factory.

2) Omega Seamaster 300

Similar to the Rolex, with all steel case and water resistance of 200m. This watch was basically the civilian model of the Seamaster 300, with subsequent modifications made after they left the Omega factory. The watches were delivered to the MOD’s UK agent (generally Goldsmiths) where modifications were then made. These included the brazing of fixed bars onto the case, circle T added to the dial (not always the case, as MOD conversion work is rarely consistent), and the case-back engraved with the stores numbers as per the Rolex above. The dials also came in a big triangle version IE a large triangle of luminous material at the 12 o’clock marker.

Onward into the 1980’s, and the Royal Navy saw a few different watch brands enter the scene. Among them were :-

1. Circa 1984, CWC made an automatic diver with an ETA movement. Based on the same MOD specs, so not dissimilar in looks to the SM300. Short lived though, probably due to the quartz revolution (more to follow)
2. Around the same time period, Precista also made an automatic diver with a 25 jewel ETA movement. Pretty scarce, and one that I have not seen in person and can command a very good price .
3. Cyma produced a jewelled quartz movement diver – again, fairly scarce in numbers. There has also been rumour of an Heuer version which appears to share the same case as the Cyma. If issued, the numbers were very small.

In more recent years, the CWC quartz divers have become the main issued dive watch for the Royal Navy. There are two versions of this watch available

1) The standard CWC dive model. Steel case with fixed bars, screw down crown, circle T dial. Water resistance now increased to 300m. Case back marked as follows

0552/6645-99 7573314, followed by issue number and year.

2) The SBS (Special Boat Service) version – same as above, but with black anodised case, and day date window on the dial. The black case is for extra stealth in special operations IE less reflections from a black case when compared with a steel case. Case back marked as follows

0552/6645-99 7995443


Both of the CWC dive watches are powered by a 7 jewel ETA quartz movement (cal 955.122)

In the last year, it is also reported that currently there are a number of issued versions of the current black dialled quartz Omega Seamaster. Some are still as per the stock civilian pieces spec., whilst others have been converted to include fixed bars and stores issue numbers on the case backs.

Notes

0552 is the prefix for Royal Navy. You may also see 0555, which relates to the Royal Marines.
6645 is the NATO stores prefix for wristwatches
99 is the NATO prefix for the UK.
__________________

ICom Pro3

All posts are my own opinion and my opinion only.

"The clock of life is wound but once, and no man has the power to tell just when the hands will stop. Now is the only time you actually own the time, Place no faith in time, for the clock may soon be still for ever."
Good Judgement comes from experience,experience comes from Bad Judgement,.Buy quality, cry once; buy cheap, cry again and again.

www.mc0yad.com

Second in command CEO and left handed watch winder
padi56 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 30 October 2005, 06:24 AM   #2
BruceS
"TRF" Member
 
BruceS's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Real Name: Sir Daft
Location: Cornwall, UK
Watch: Too many
Posts: 2,464
Very interesting Padi. Thanks for posting!
BruceS is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 30 October 2005, 10:19 AM   #3
JJ Irani
Fondly Remembered
 
JJ Irani's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Real Name: JJ
Location: Auckland, NZ
Watch: ALL SOLD!!
Posts: 74,592
Good one, Padi. You are a veritable encyclopedia when it comes to watches and vintage stuff!!
__________________
Words fail me in expressing my utmost thanks to ALL of you for this wonderful support during my hour of need!!

I firmly believe that my time on planet earth is NOT yet up!! I shall fight this to the very end.......and WIN!!
JJ Irani is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 9 October 2011, 02:50 AM   #4
dsio
"TRF" Member
 
dsio's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Real Name: Ashley
Location: Brisbane
Watch: Rolex Sub 1680 '79
Posts: 2,299
Not sure if this would count as its for casual use rather than dive use, but interesting none the less:

http://ialreadyhaveawatch.com/2008/1...mited-edition/
__________________
-- Omega Seamaster Grand-Lux Stepped Pie-Pan 14K Gold OJ2627 '53 --
-- Omega Cal 320 Chronograph 18K Gold OT2872 '58 --
-- Omega Cal 321 Speedmaster Pro 145.012 '67 --
-- Rolex Submariner 1680 "Ghost" '79 --
-- Rolex SS Daytona 116520 '04 --
dsio is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 9 October 2011, 11:03 AM   #5
bb3188
"TRF" Member
 
bb3188's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Real Name: Mark
Location: Melbourne Aus
Posts: 323
Quote:
Originally Posted by dsio View Post
Not sure if this would count as its for casual use rather than dive use, but interesting none the less:

http://ialreadyhaveawatch.com/2008/1...mited-edition/
lol.... I am pretty sure the SBS would be in the dive watch status.... would love to get my hands on one of theses rare seamasters.....

cheers
Mark
bb3188 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Banner Of The Month
*Banner Of The Month*
This space is provided free of charge to outstanding horological resources.







Copyright 2004-2015, The Rolex Forums. All Rights Reserved.

ROLEXROLEXROLEXROLEXROLEXROLEXROLEXROLEXROLEXROLEXROLEXROLEX

Rolex is a registered trademark of ROLEX USA. The Rolex Forums is not affiliated with ROLEX USA in any way.