A Short Introduction of MWC Kamikaze watch

Published on 11 February 2024 at 15:19

Today I would like to give you a brief introduction of a very interesting watch, made by the company MWC. MWC is a German watch company established back in 1974, the name MWC reveals what the company is focused on. Namely, MWC stands for Military Watch Company. Therefore all their watches are somehow inspired by some famous historical military watches, a good part of their collection are not just inspired by those watches but are "hommages" or replicas of them. Almost all MWC watches are low budget watches, using quartz or automatic Seiko NH35 movements, lately I noticed some watches with (probably Chinese) ETA 2824 clone.

There are indeed some very nice replicas covering navy, infantry and air force of different historical eras and from different armies. I focused a bit more on air-force watches.

Of course the main products there are the different replicas of the famous German Luftwaffe B-Uhr. During WWII, B-Uhren were produced by five companies, four German - A. Lange & Söhne, Wempe, Lacher & Company/Durowe (Laco), and Walter Storz (Stowa) - and one Swiss - IWC. Lange and Laco used their own in house movements (Lange cal. 48 and Laco Durowe cal. 5), Wempe used Swiss Thommen 31, Stowa used Swiss Unitas 2812, IWC of course used its own movement (cal. 52T). Why am I telling all this? Because even though MWC B-Uhr replicas look quite nice, I can't accept the B-Uhr with Japanese movement inside. 

However within the air force MWC collection there is one watch to which the Japanese or even better Seiko movement fits perfectly! I am talking about the Kamikaze model, which is a replica of the Seikosha Tensoku watch used during WWII by the Japan pilots who flew the Mitsubishi A6M Zero airplanes. Seikosha is nothing else but now well known Seiko, therefore Seiko movement within a hommage of Seikosha Tensoku is good mach!

I am not an expert of Seikosha Tensoku watches, I even never had a chance to see one in person. Therefore it would be unfair of me to now write something about the watch where I would in fact just copy internet sources. What I can do is to point you to a great article which covers several Japanese air force watches. But you can easily find some other articles about this quite rare and interesting watch.

Before I continue I have to make another disclosure. As I don't have an original Tensoku watch, for the comparison purpose I had to take some pictures from the web, they were copied from here.

Let me give you some basic facts about the MWC Kamikaze aviator watch. It is quite a big watch with a diameter of 46mm, thickness is 15mm. Lugs are 24mm, L2L is 54mm. On the same case platform also all B-Uhren replicas are made. The choice of having such a big case is actually a big plus for MWC as all original watches were very big (B-Uhren 55mm, Tensoku 48mm). Case is made of 316L stainless steel. Glass is sapphire with AR coating. Backplate is steel with the engraved Japanese text  特別攻撃隊  what is supposed to translate as Special Attack Corps. Since I have absolutely no knowledge about the Japanese language and its writing, I have to believe the MWC about that. Watch has a good water resistance of 100m. It comes on a black leather strap with a non signed pin buckle.

So, from a technical characteristic the watch seems to be quite a solid one. Let me now focus on the visual comparison between the original and the hommage. Below are - side by side - pictures of both watches from the front side.

Copy is remarkably good! Case design is very similar, there are some differences in the shape of the lugs. Bezel is ribbed almost as original. Crown is ribbed as original, however it is smaller. Dial is an extremely good copy of the original. Very similar fonts used for the numbers, color combinations excellent. All tiny details are well transferred from the original, minute markings, hours bullet markings, hours and minutes digits. Remarkably well done indeed. 

Another good thing is that even though Seiko NH35 offers a date complication, for the sake of the originality there is no date in this watch as the original was without it as well. Therefore there is a dummy first postion of the crown. 

Unfortunately hands are not reproduced so well or if I am rude, they are totally wrong. The closest to the original is the hour hand, minute hand at least have some similarities while second hand is fully wrong. The rhombus pointer at the end is missing, the rhombus shaped beginning is transferred to a tear or an arrow shape. While hour and minute hands are too long, second hand is too short. From the purists side hands are a total fail. The fun fact is that I like the replacement hands more than the original. Especially minute hand looks much better to me. So I can't say that I blame designers too much for this change.

Let's turn the watch and check the backplate.

As you can see the design of the plate is very different to the original one. The shape of the plate is different, the way how the plate is fixed to the case is totally different (snap against screwed in). The only similarities are the engraved Japan letters, but they are different. Again, that is the only thing I can comment on about the letters. Maybe the meaning of the text is similar or even the same, but if MWC put an effort into engraving something in the Japanese language they should have done the proper copy.

Let's finish with the strap. It is quite a quality one, but I would prefer some vintage look of it. It is a very classic, modern one.

Watch has surprisingly good luminova. Luminated are all yellow parts on the dial and on hands. Luminova lasts long, that is good. I can't compare this with the original watch, sorry.

Watch comes in one of the simplest boxes that I have ever seen! Very small, basic. Warranty card is just a piece of paper. What is great, the only place one can find the MWC mark is on the box. They did not ruin the watch's general look and similarities with the original by placing the logo somewhere on the watch. As it would not fit! Congratulations for that. 

Below you can see how everything looks on my wrist. On my wrist watch fits perfectly, I can't complain. The watch has its presence, it was noted and commented by my friends, comments were all positive.

So, for 350 EUR, which is the official price for this watch, you receive an interesting, quite good replica of one of the most interesting WWII watches. Quality of the watch is better than one would expect from the price range in which it is fitted. MWC saved some Euros with the very basic box, but that is in my opinion a very reasonable approach. At the time being the entire MWC collection is on sale at orologichepassione.com web shop so you can get every MWC watch, which is on stock at this shop even cheaper. Including Kamikaze. So if you are a fan of different "flieger" replicas, with this you can get a lot of fun for a very reasonable price.

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