Hereby i present you a very special and mysterious watch. The CWC SBS diver. Issued to the SBS and troops that went along in missions. These watches are still kind of a mystery.Well the last 2 weeks i heard some different stories about these watches. But from what i was told from the owner and a good friend and military-watch specialist this is the story so far.
End of the 90th there was a SBS group operating in HongKong. Doing stealth recon on the chineese border. Operations at night. Black ops ;-) And they needed a less 'shiny' watch for that. The unit seemed to contact CWC if they could get the watches made black. CWC made some prototypes and as the SBS unit liked it they wanted to order about 120 watches. CWC did tell them that that was not an option, as they had to make a bigger series. The outcome was, that the SBS got their numbers but CWC was allowed to sell the rest of the watches on the market. And there seems to be the big difference. The other watches also have the military numbers on the back (0555...). But not the issue number and year. As that number was engraved by the military itself.
The rest of the watches hit the market without issue-number and as the original bunch was still in service in the middle-east, it seems that a lot of people thought on the CWC SBS as a marketing watch. Well it ain't! The issued watches have seen their share of action. And there is the difference also. As the issued versions only came back after 2000 when the unit came back from Hong Kong. After the rest was already on the market. Mine was issued in '98.
Ok it ain't a Rolex... it even has a battery. But the, when we look at it from the history. It has the same. Used by the SBS and also units who went into missions with them.
Even closer then we think... the guy i bought mine off... he was issued one, when he was in Pole with the SBS. He was issued a Rolex Milsub at first... but when the bezel felt off in bad swell on the beach he went to the MOD. They took the Milsub and gave him the CWC as the better alternative. Imagine....
The owner also gave me something special to me. This smock he got when he came into Poole.
There are more stories to the watches. Still have to learn more about it.
Keep you posted.