MKVI US pattern Military Watch (MWC Branded) in Olive Drab
Product Code: MKVI/BOL
The original US military specification MIL-W-46374 was published on 30 October 1964 the objective of this specification was to set out the basic requirements for straightforward low cost watch to be issued to the military. The actual wording from the original specification is below.
"This specification covers one type of plastic-cased wrist watch intended for use where a high degree of accuracy is not required. The watch is not intended to receive maintenance support with in the military supply system."
These 1960’s disposable field watches were simple watches with a one piece case design manufactured from plastic material measuring 35.5 mm with a simple non-hacking handwound movement.
In essence this 1964 specification called for a disposable watch in a plastic case it had minimal water resistance, minimal protection from shock, vibration or temperature extremes.
Interestingly the general dial design of the MIL-W-46374C was very much in line with current military dials, for example if you search the current US Mil Spec MIL-W-46374G on google you will see that the dial design laid down over 45 years ago in MIL-W-46374C is still pretty much the same today.
The interesting twist with these watches was that we noticed starting in the late 1990s that more and more serving military were calling and asking if we knew where they could obtain one of these models. Interestingly this coincided with a massive reduction in the number of US military watches being issued to soldiers plus a change in U.S. military issued performance standards for watches. The change was primarily based on results expected as opposed to details of construction and appearance. The result of this change was that commercial watches that met the standards became accepted military supply items along with specialized watches that still complied to military specific designs. By the time of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, many military personnel wore the watch they personally preferred rather than a standard GI watch. It was because of this move to a watch of choice we asked a lot of military clients who bought quantities of watches for sale in PX stores etc whether an updated remake of the MIL-W-46374C made sense. The usual reply was that they liked the appearance but could the watch be updated to quartz for improved accuracy? After batting the idea around we decided in 1994 that it made sense to make a more durable and maintainable product but still at a competitive price and in order to achieve this we upgraded the design from the original plastic case to metal and the movement from a cheap mechanical to a reliable and accurate quartz alternative. The primary goal was to retain the exact appearance of the original but bring it up to date. The result is the MKVI which we still make in both branded and sterile variants.