The British military switched to quartz chronographs with the Seiko Gen 1 in 1984; CWC competed for the contract with a new mechanical chronograph based on the Valjoux 7765, but lost out to Seiko.
According to CWC, some of these watches were subsequently issued to the Fleet Air Arm, potentially as a direct purchase from CWC rather than through the centralised MoD process.
Most of the watches seen now are those made in the 90s for the civilian market, a good example being here. However, there are some watches that appear to be from the 80s, and which share a very similar case and handset to the last issued 7733s. One of these may be a prototype or sample for the contract bid, as the NSN is not completely correct. Another has an NSN similar to the 1980 issued 7733 chronograph, and although it does not have a service code, issue number or broad arrow marking, it is tempting to think that this one could have been in the small number used by the Fleet Air Arm!
The BBC also used these watches, and those also share the 80s-style case, hands and NSN.
Two watches from the 1980s, with the same case, hour and minute hands as the issued 7733 watches (the central seconds hand is different, however, with a shorter end). The watch on the left was bought in Portobello Market in "as new" condition in the early 1990s, from a vendor who described it as a CWC prototype. The crown on the watch on the right is not correct.
The NSN from the 1980s "prototype" watch (on the left above). The NSN is not engraved completely correctly as it has a dash mark after the 99 on the top line and another before the 924 on the bottom line.
NSN marking on the other 1980s watch (on the right in the picture above) - similar small markings to the issued 7733-based watches.
1980s watch on the left, 1990s watch on the right. The 1980s watch shares the same pencil-style hands with the 7733-based chronographs (although the end the seconds hand is slightly shorter), as well as a similar, brushed case. The 1990s watch has sword hands (similar in shape to those used on the G10), and a case with a more rounded contour and an overall matt finish. Also note the slight cut-
Detail of case finish and contour; the 1980s on the left, the 1990s on the right. The crown on the 1980s watch is a later replacement.
1980s watch on the top, 1990s watch on the bottom; again, note the difference in case finish and contours, and the cut-out for the pushers in the 1990s watch. Also note the wide bevels on the pushers on the 1980s watch.