MWC first manufactured the predecessor to this 300m/1000ft water resistant divers watch between the early 1990s and 2004, although some of the fine details such as the dial design changed over that period aesthetically the 1999-2001 pattern dial remains the clear winner due to the easily readable uncluttered layout and first rate night time performance, this watch retains that original dial pattern and although the original watches used tritium these new versions use Luminova but the encircled T has been retained for historical reasons.
This watch case is PVD treated, the PVD finish is often specified in military contracts for special forces units as well as by anti-terrorist units and for various covert operations. In the PVD process, the steel is not black all the way through because the colour is created by a special chemical PVD plating process which is vastly superior to the painted finish used on many budget watches which can easily fade or rub off. The PVD process means that the colour of the steel is altered at a molecular level, therefore it will not deteriorate even during heavy usage although it can be compromised if the case is badly damaged by a piece of metal being gouged out or if the case is worn down by really heavy abrasion against rocks or something similar.
Although this watch was originally discontinued by MWC 20 years ago there was an interesting turn of events a few years back when an MWC distributor in Australia told us they had discovered 500 brand new watches in their storeroom, the watches came to light when the current owners father retired and his son carried out a detailed stock check, these watches were made between 1999 and 2001, and had been supplied in batches of 500 over a three year period, the final delivery was somehow overlooked and although the current owner said his father could not recall how this happened we were offered the opportunity to buy these watches back, all of those watches are now sold but they had proven so popular we decided to remake the watch in the same design we had used over 20 years ago but at the same time carrying out significant upgrades to improve the overall specification, these improvements were possible due to advances in watch manufacturing which had taken place over the intervening 20 years. The main upgrades were the the crystal upgraded from hardened mineral glass to sapphire which is vastly superior due to being both highly scratch and shatter resistant. One further update was the use of a 120 click bezel versus the earlier watches which were 60 or 90 clicks and the introduction of this day/date version.
These watches are closely based on a case design originally made by the famous Swiss case making firm MRP S.A, other than a few minor updates the case is much the same as in the late 1970s, MRP was named after its founders M archand, R oth and P etignat, it was founded in 1953 and bought by Georges Hauert in 1979. The entire share capital now belongs to Mr Patrick Hauert so unlike many other major companies in the watch industry this company is still independent and going strong, the company website is here https://www.mrp-sa.ch In addition to ELVIA other watches using this case pattern have been produced by ourselves and companies such as Precista, Nilax and Heuer who were the predecessors to Tag Heuer and made the Heuer 844-1 in 1979, Chronosport another manufacturer made the Sea Quartz 30 - worn by Tom Selleck in the Magnum PI TV show, moving to other present manufacturers CWC also continue to use this case design as do various other companies. It's interesting that few people realise how historically significant this case pattern is nor how well it has stood the test of time having been in continuous production for well over 40 years.
The watch measures 45mm including the crown and 40mm excluding the crown although it uses the same 20mm military nylon webbing strap as many other current military divers watches which enables you to choose from a vast variety of NATO strap variants.
Dimensions and Specification:
- Casing: Black PVD Steel Satin finish
- Crown: Screwdown Locking
- Water Resistance: 30ATM/300m/1000ft
- Movement: Swiss Ronda 517 Day/Date
- Battery Life: 45 Months
- Dimensions: Width Inc Crown 45mm (Exc Crown 40mm)
- Thickness: 13.1mm
- Lug to Lug: 46.5mm
- Crystal Diameter 31mm
- Crystal Type: Sapphire with non reflective coating *
- Luminous Pigment Type: Super Luminova (Please note that the night image shows a slightly different variant of the watch but the performance of the day/date version would be identical)
- 120 Click Unidirectional Bezel
- Weight: 89.5g
- Strap: 20mm Black NATO strap
- Solid Fixed Strap Bars
- Guarantee: 24 Months
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