Pulsar / Citizen

The Pulsar G10 General Service wristwatch

In 2001, the British MOD invited tenders to replace the CWC as the general service timepiece used by the MOD. Pulsar was successful in winning a contract and produced a quartz wristwatch with fixed bars, Luminova lit black dial with a date window at three. The movement was the one jewel Seiko 7N32C calibre. This watch was found to have quality control issues surrounding it – poor mineral crystals and crowns prone to falling off !! Its life was therefore fairly limited, with the CWC winning back favour. The Pulsars were used in the recent events in Iraq, but mainly due to a general lack of available issue watches within the MOD stores.

The NSN for the watch is 6645-99-6052627. An issue number and year completes the military markings on the snap-on caseback.

These are hard to find but not impossible. Hard to know where to start really. I guess it’s a case of hunting around.


Royal Air Force Issue Pulsar V657-072R

Whilst the Pulsar G10 was not a particularly thrilling watch - although worth adding to a collection - the RAF Pulsar chronograph model V657-072R is a different matter entirely. One of these watches is pictured below.

The Specification is below:
  • Full stainless steel case 
  • Movement - Pulsar V657
  • 39mm X 48mm X 11mm thick, with 20mm lugs 
  • Push-in crown 
  • Screwdown caseback 
  • Mineral glass crystal 
  • 12-hour movement 
  • Central running seconds 
  • Chronograph, 60-minute capacity 
  • 6H: Chrono seconds 
  • 9H: Chrono minutes 
  • 12H: Chrono 1/10th-seconds 
  • 3H: Calendar 
This watch is very desirable in my opinion and below is the civilian model which is a Pulsar PJN305X. Frankly the civilian watch is nigh on identical and potentially a much cheaper option. Regardless both are first rate chronographs and either of the models are becoming hard to find.

Citizen BN0000-04H

Citizen are doing really well with UK contracts and are currently the primary UK Royal Naval Issue apparently the Citizen BN0000-04H is the current choice and a quick search on eBay shows why because at around $165 (€125 or £102) it is much cheaper than the retail price of £389 ($655 / €477) for the CWC and clearly even in a procurement contract CWC could clearly not compete. What is clear is that bit by bit CWC is heading down the same road as Rolex and IWC in the past when they were just too costly for the military to procure due to increasingly tight budgetary restraints and effectively became commercial brands with a military heritage. Returning to the Citizen BN0000-04H another plus is the almost zero maintenance because the watch is charged by light hence no battery swaps are needed so not only does the MOD save on initial outlay they save on maintenance too.


Citizen / Pulsar G10 Alternatives are below and most of these manufacturers make chronographs and divers watches as well:

http://cwcwatch.com/ The CWC G10 Navigator with date is available new from the manufacturer at £165 (US$279 or €202) this is a classic G10 but keep in mind the water resistance is low at 30m on account of the plastic / acrylic crystal. Great watch though and until comparatively recently was officially issued by the UK MOD to the British forces and is still a popular choice for private purchase by serving military.

http://www.mwcwatches.com The MWC G10 100m water resistant in Stainless Steel or PVD with Luminova at £119 (€145 or US$199) although a Tritium GTLS model is available at £175 ($295 / €215) these are probably the highest spec G10 models although the glass crystal cannot be polished to remove scratches like the CWC although this is swings and roundabouts because being glass its hard to scratch although it can shatter if impacted.

http://www.anchorsupplies.com/cwc-g10-watch.html Used but serviced CWCs at £145 (€178 or US$244 likely to have seen action too!

http://www.marathonwatch.com/product/GPM-steel The Marathon is another viable option at $595 (£350 / €435) this watch has tritium vials and is a limited production run of 600 with a ETA 2801 BENRUS (manual wind) movement. I feel this is a good G10 type watch to keep in mind and it will probably have a rarity value in future. One factor though is that the the water resistance is only 30m - in other words splash proof - this is baffling as 50m would have been much better and should have been easy to achieve with the sapphire crystal used on this model but I think they is that everything must be balanced against the future collect ability of the model and the initial purchase price.