GG-W-113 Military Watches by Hamilton and Benrus

Review and images by H. Seung  


1987 Hamilton GG-W-113

Since the Vietnam war, the US Air Force had issued military watches, made under GG-W-113 specification, to their pilots. These watches were manufactured under government contract by various American watch companies such as Benrus, Hamilton, and Waltham.

1971 Benrus GG-W-113 with olive drab nylon band

The GG-W-113 watches had striking resemblances to military field watches (made under MIL-W-46374 specification) that were issued to soldiers on the ground. Same case, same hands were used, along with the usual 24 hour markings on a black dial. Both GG-W-113 and MIL-W-46374 watches were equipped with manual-wind movements. The GG-W-113 watches, however, differed in the following aspects:

  1. Equipped with a 17 jewel manual-wind movement, it had the desirable hack feature, allowing precise synchronization of watches to a known source of time. MIL-W-46374 did not have the hack feature until the mid-eighties.

    New old stock Aug 1987 Hamilton GG-W-113

  2. H3 and propellar shaped radiation marks were omitted from the dial to make the dials more legible.

    Close-up of 1971 Benrus GG-W-113

  3. Watches were normally issued with black (instead of olive drab) nylon band, although some were issued with olive drab band in Vietnam.

New old stock Oct 1987 Hamilton GG-W-113

Note that these are only from personal observation. I am sure there are more differences to the GG-W-113 specification, but unless I can obtain an actualdocument detailing the GG-W-113 military specification, those are the major differences I could find. If there is anyone who can help me in locating the specifications documents, please let me know. I doubt they are classified, but perhpas they are only available to US citizens. A Japanese watch magazine that did a special issue on military watches stated in one of their articles that most of the military specifications were documented at Picatinny Arsenal located in New Jersey.

1971 Benrus GG-W-113

Well, anyway, one thing is sure though, and that is that all of the differences listed above seem to focus on making the GG-W-113 watches more legible and accurate than MIL-W-46374 watches. And legibility is a critical issue for pilots sitting inside a cockpit filled with tons of gauges and dials.

Okay, then let's move on to the military specification and serial number inscriptions found on the casebacks of GG-W-113 watches.

This is the inscriptions found on the caseback of Benrus GG-W-113 issued in 1971:

Caseback of 1971 Benrus GG-W-113

Here's the inscriptions found on Hamilton GG-W-113 issued in 1987:

Caseback of Aug 1987 Hamilton GG-W-113

SERIAL NO. is the serial number of the watch. That part was pretty obvious. The 6645 part in FED. STOCK. NO. is NATO stock code for wristwatches. But I do not know what all the rest of numbers mean. Once again, if you know what they mean, please let me know.

Box for Oct 1987 Hamilton GG-W-113

To sum it up, the GG-W-113 military watches are what I'd refer to as a higher class version of MIL-W-46374 field watches. They do however share the same case design and have very similar dial appearances. Well, I hope you enjoy the scans. More military watch reviews to come later this week!

1987 Hamilton GG-W-113 sitting under the sun