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Thread: The CWC GS Sub-Hunter - A Panegyric

  1. #1
    Master Geralt's Avatar
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    The CWC GS Sub-Hunter - A Panegyric

    In 2010 I bought a ‘C’ serial G10 from Silvermans. Like many others I love the size, the essential acrylic crystal, the classic MOD design, not to mention the DIY battery changes. Over the years it’s been a constant, trustworthy companion and my most frequent daily wearer until the irresistible Smiths Air Ministry came along. I’ve been wearing the AM pretty much all the time, so the G10 has been consigned to ‘stores' pro-tem (with the battery removed). I tend to get attached to stuff and will certainly wear it in the future, but I digress...

    I'm assuming everyone is familiar with the heritage of CWC so I won’t prattle on (much). As a long-time CWC fan, the new(ish) GS Sub-Hunter has been on my radar since it came out last year. (and I think I might be finally cured of the monotony of black dials). It’s not simply a white dialled version of the GS Sapphire, but has an all-new case and crown specifically designed for this watch.


    This is my first watch buy in quite a while and I've dawdled over it long enough. Since I’ve now lived with it for a few weeks I thought I’d share my subjective and entirely partisan and shamelessly biased opinion for anyone else thinking of picking one up.

    Specs:
    • 36mm without crown
    • Slightly domed sapphire crystal
    • 200m WR
    • Screw down crown
    • Screw case back
    • Matt white dial
    • Superluminova C3
    • 19mm lug width*
    • 3 year warranty

    Watches now come in an attractive and no-fuss foam-padded cardboard box with sleeve rather than a tin, complete with a plastic serial-numbered and dated warranty card. (Apologies for the poor pic. I took this one on arrival and CBA doing another!)


    The notable features for me are:

    The movement, which is the same ETA 955.102 as in my G10. This is a no-date, gilt finished, 7 jewel movement with EOL (end of life) function. The G10 runs at +2s/month. Conversely the Sub-Hunter is running at -2s/month so no surprises there and in any event pretty much luck of the draw. It has what I can only describe as an unhurried or languid tick rather than the rather more impatient twitch of other quartz movements. Battery life should be a little over three years based on my G10 but the watch was running when received.

    The pièce de résistance ‘torpedo timer' red seconds hand is a joy to behold. It's exactly the right shade of red, not dark pink or scarlet but blood red and I love it. CWC have really nailed the colour, but don’t be fooled – for some obscure reason it’s misleadingly more anaemic looking in pics than in reality. There is no seconds hand 'bounce' either and it hits 95% of the markers bang on, only off by a hair where it doesn't. I can live with that. Hour and minute hands are gloss black wiith SL infill, the usual MOD style and importantly are the correct length reaching to both the hour numerals and to the far edge of the minute track.

    Pic from Silvermans/CWC

    You don't have to be Sherlock Holmes to notice that a vintage-style broadarrow replaces the ‘QUARTZ’ wording on the G10. A welcome enhancement from the MOD spec. And as Clarkson would say, “I like it. A lot”.

    Interestingly, the much improved crown has been redesigned for this watch and it screws down into the case, not onto a crown-tube. It’s foolproof and a pleasure to operate with super-smooth threading and the nicest SDC I’ve ever used with no back-threading required. It's also nice and beefy. I have a loathing for puny crowns and conversely I'm a sucker for decent size (ie proper) crowns. Shows that manufacturers are thinking about functionality rather than just design.

    There is no AR treatment on the sapphire crystal but reflections are not much of a problem with white dials anyway, especially when the crystal is gently domed as in this case. There is a bevel at the edge and it sits slightly proud of the case.

    *I measure the lug width to be 19mm. Silvermans/CWC show 18mm on the website. I’m guessing that the webpage must have been written on a Friday afternoon. A G10 strap is more or less obligatory, which is good thing because I’m a big fan. Default for me is Phoenix Admiralty grey or black. IMHO the very best G10 straps are Eddie's and Phoenix. Really should add CWCs own straps to the list as they're also excellent, are heat-welded and have etched branded buckles but only available with polished hardware (as are Phoenix to be fair).

    I daresay some will still pull a face at the price for a quartz. As ever, it’s really a question of whether you think a watch is worth the money considering the brand, specs, build quality and perhaps most important in this game, as in other things, intensity of lust. Naturally, with any watch, opinions will vary as lots of past threads testify...

    Phoenix G10 Admiralty grey


    Eddie's G10 black

    My impression is that CWC have brought some clear thinking and sound deliberation to the design of the GS GS Sub-Hunter rather than just cobbling something together. If it was up to me, whoever had the brainwave and/or gave this the thumbs up at CWC should get a huge bonus, an immediate pay rise, and a weekend away with Scarlett Johansson, because it's that good. It's a hackneyed phrase but, just like the legendary G10, the details all add up to make the whole greater than the sum of the parts. Certainly a perfect example of a worry-free everyday watch – and from a British company. It ticks all the boxes, there’s plenty to appreciate and nothing at all to grumble about. For me, this is another impressive addition to the CWC inventory – and it's good to see them releasing new watches. I’m almost impossible to please these days (getting jaded), but the GS Sub-Hunter deserves the full 5 stars and I can thoroughly recommend it whether you’re already a CWC fan or a future one.


    ...and if you got this far, well done!
    Last edited by Geralt; 27th July 2020 at 20:17.

  2. #2
    Grand Master abraxas's Avatar
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    White dials with red secs is the in-thing at the moment. Quartz not so much. But I am sure that's the way you like it.

    I love the look. Maybe you should try some Perlons on it.
    And now, for something completely the same.

  3. #3
    Master Sinnlover's Avatar
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    Thanks for taking the time to write the review. It’s the first independent review I have seen on these.
    I am a CWC ‘fan boy’ but when these came out they did not float my boat (or submarine) but your pictures do the watch justice and show what it is like in the metal, something the CWC website does not. Your pictures make it look much nicer than I thought it might me.
    The improvements in the crown and the sapphire are definitely welcome over a standard G10 for an every day wearer.
    What is the lume like?
    Good long lasting lume could make it a fantastic summer / holiday watch.

  4. #4
    Grand Master Velorum's Avatar
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    That's a great write up.

    As mentioned above - your pics show it in a much better light that Silvermans website.

    Although these saphire G10s are relatively expensive at least you get some WR and they are classic pieces.

    Sent from my SM-G970F using Tapatalk
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  5. #5
    Master
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    If Carlsberg did watch reviews,very entertaining write up thank you.

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    Journeyman
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    Great review! As mentioned - any chance of a lume shot? Thanks.

  7. #7
    Master Geralt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Velorum View Post
    Although these saphire G10s are relatively expensive at least you get some WR and they are classic pieces.
    Yes, can't argue with that! And thanks to all for the charitable and generous comments. Much appreciated.

    As for lume, in my experience SL C3 is as just as good as Seiko's proprietary Lumibrite, but a lot depends on how much of it is used - of course a thicker layer will be brighter for longer. On the G10 and Sub-Hunter the time is still readable in darkness after 8 hours or so, if a bit faint. This is without any prior charging beforehand.

    I have mixed feelings about lume shots. OK they can look great, but they're not much use. We don't know what setup was used to take the pic so they don't offer any real world indication of the lume performance. If you have a decent camera and hold a UV torch against the crystal for five minutes, even the crappiest lume will glow like a nuclear reactor. Also, if the watch has a black dial the contrast will be much greater.

    Anyway, I've had a bash at taking a lume shot. It's a bit grainy, but I'm afraid this is the best I can do with my limited equipment/skills. My ancient Sony digital camera struggles with such low light shots (the poor workman always blames his tools) - and I used a tripod, otherwise no chance of getting anything. For reference, I stood outside for five minutes before coming in and taking the pic after faffing around with the camera. The lighting is natural daylight with curtains almost closed. The only image adjustment is a little sharpening. Objectively, the lume is a little brighter than the pic shows.


  8. #8
    Journeyman
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    Thanks for taking the time to do the lume shot! Under the conditions that you describe the lume looks perfectly acceptable although you do make a good point with regard to the comparison between a white face v. a black face dial.

  9. #9
    Grand Master
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    Thanks for taking the time to produce an excellent review. This is a watch I've looked at many times and considered buying. My issue is that it's 50% (£100) more expensive that the PRS-10 for the same spec, dial colour aside.

    Is the CWC over-priced or Eddie's under-priced? I suspect it's the latter.

  10. #10
    Grand Master learningtofly's Avatar
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    That was a good read, thank you, and the watch has a lot of charm.

  11. #11
    Craftsman
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    Good review. Love that bigger crown.

  12. #12
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    I bought one just over a week after launch but off eb, presume the first owner was not a fan of their purchase, or maybe they couldn't get on with the second hand not hitting its markers on this particular example, which probably I should get CWC to rectify but seems minor for the hassle of sending it off.

    Otherwise a great watch and I prefer it to the CWC Sapphire Black I had before, which I have since sold on.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by TaketheCannoli View Post
    Thanks for taking the time to produce an excellent review. This is a watch I've looked at many times and considered buying. My issue is that it's 50% (£100) more expensive that the PRS-10 for the same spec, dial colour aside.

    Is the CWC over-priced or Eddie's under-priced? I suspect it's the latter.
    I was considering a CWC G10 sapphire and possibly a GS Sub Hunter but in the end purchased one of Eddies PRS10's. The only thing I think I prefer is that the CWC can be had with a no date option. I really like my Timfactors watch but I keep looking to another CWC purely for the 'no date' dial.
    Oh, well .............!

  14. #14
    Grand Master magirus's Avatar
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    Good write up, thanks for taking the time. I like this watch a lot, with the screw down crown and case back giving that welcome WR the watch is much more usable than a standard G10. The larger crown gives it a look of a "baby" Damasko DA37, and it's my ownership of a DA37 along with an Archimede deck watch that means I'll never get one of these, enough white dials already. The only thing I don't care for is the rather tacky name, but then lots of watches suffer from this, albeit usually fan boy contrived. It'll look good on a Haveston canvas, but I'm not too sure one would squeeze in the bar/case gap, I'll try one in my G10s and see if it goes.

    Edit. Just tried a 20mm Haveston canvas in 2 G10s (unissued bought new from Silvermans @ 2004, and issued 1984 Precista 6BB) and there's no way it fits on either. The width is ok as the strap is what I use on my PRS-5, which has the same claimed lug width 19mm (actually a fraction over on all 3 watches @ 19.07/8mm), it's the bar/case gap that's too small. Although the strap is 20mm I give it a gentle stretch while it's wet after washing and this takes it down to @ 19.6/7mm.
    Last edited by magirus; 3rd August 2020 at 09:29.

  15. #15
    Master Geralt's Avatar
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    Thanks, Magirus. Your thoughts are appreciated, though as I said above, I've worn the G10 for years without problems. I'm just getting a bit fed up with black dials. The Air Ministry was a moment of truth for me at this stage, and the CWC gives me an excellent no worries quartz option...

    I have tried the Haveston and it's a little too thick, sadly. CWC have their own canvas straps and they show a Sub-Hunter on one but without trying it I'm not sure how much of a struggle it might be to fit.

  16. #16
    Grand Master magirus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Geralt View Post
    Thanks, Magirus. Your thoughts are appreciated, though as I said above, I've worn the G10 for years without problems. I'm just getting a bit fed up with black dials. The Air Ministry was a moment of truth for me at this stage, and the CWC gives me an excellent no worries quartz option...

    I have tried the Haveston and it's a little too thick, sadly. CWC have their own canvas straps and they show a Sub-Hunter on one but without trying it I'm not sure how much of a struggle it might be to fit.
    The Havestons are advertised as 1.5mm thick, but in reality they are @ 1.75/1.8mm. Whilst a small amount of oversize can go in between lugs easily, these fractions are a much larger proportion where thickness is an issue. I've had to fit curved springbars to my both my Damaskos and 1.5mm bars to the PRS-5 to allow a friction free fit when pulling the canvas through the gap. The stitching of the tang holes is what catches otherwise.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Geralt View Post
    Thanks, Magirus. Your thoughts are appreciated, though as I said above, I've worn the G10 for years without problems. I'm just getting a bit fed up with black dials. The Air Ministry was a moment of truth for me at this stage, and the CWC gives me an excellent no worries quartz option...

    I have tried the Haveston and it's a little too thick, sadly. CWC have their own canvas straps and they show a Sub-Hunter on one but without trying it I'm not sure how much of a struggle it might be to fit.
    The CWC canvas strap is OK on the Sub-Hunter just slightly snug pulling over the pin hole stitching when fitting.

  18. #18
    Master Geralt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ed875 View Post
    The CWC canvas strap is OK on the Sub-Hunter just slightly snug pulling over the pin hole stitching when fitting.
    Thanks for posting. If the CWC canvas is as good as their G10 straps I'm very tempted. Didn't want to spend 25 quid if they're too thick - though to be fair they do confirm the fit on the web page but suggest using pliers on some G10s which did put me off!

    Is there a huge gap twixt strap and wrist or is it a soft canvas? Thanks.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Geralt View Post
    Thanks for posting. If the CWC canvas is as good as their G10 straps I'm very tempted. Didn't want to spend 25 quid if they're too thick - though to be fair they do confirm the fit on the web page but suggest using pliers on some G10s which did put me off!

    Is there a huge gap twixt strap and wrist or is it a soft canvas? Thanks.
    More than happy with the quality of the CWC canvas strap, not super soft fabric but supple enough. No need for pliers with the example I have fitting to a Sub-Hunter, though its normally fitted to a RN 71 Hamilton W10; the Sub has a standard CWC 'Bond' 18mm NATO.




  20. #20
    Master Geralt's Avatar
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    Have to say that looks very good and hugs the wrist below the bars much better than I expected. I dare say that after a bit of wear and a few washings they soften up nicely. Right, off to Silvermans to spend a few quid...

    Much obliged to you for taking the trouble to post the pics - and your 'help' in relieving me of some cash!

  21. #21
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    Great pics - the pheon on these has always struck me as rather more 19th century convict, than MOD; that looks less pronounced in your pics for some reason. Very nice.

    Is the crown long enough to warrant reversing the watch?

  22. #22
    Master Geralt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brauner Hund View Post
    ...
    Is the crown long enough to warrant reversing the watch?
    Unsure what you mean. The case is 36mm excluding the crown, so if you're used to wearing anything larger you should have no problem.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Geralt View Post
    Unsure what you mean. The case is 36mm excluding the crown, so if you're used to wearing anything larger you should have no problem.
    Sorry, I meant, does the crown protrude sufficiently that it would be more comfortable if moved to the left side of the watch - ie does it dig in to the back of your wrist/hand?

    Sent from my SM-T819 using Tapatalk

  24. #24
    Master Geralt's Avatar
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    In a word, no. By today's standards this is a small watch and I have 7 1/2" wrists. There must be an inch and a half to two inches between the crown and the back of my hand as I wear a watch above the wrist bone (see pics).

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