Christopher Ward: British Flair, Swiss-Made
Christopher Ward is a burgeoning young brand that uses direct sales to offer high-quality watches at extremely attractive prices. Their catalog includes sports and tool watches with retro charm, as well as dress watches with in-house movements.
Fresh Island Breeze
Christopher Ward – where British design meets the art of Swiss watchmaking. Mike France, Peter Ellis, and Chris Ward founded the brand in 2004 in Maidenhead, a town west of London, with the aim of imbuing the dusty luxury watch world with a breath of fresh air. Christopher Ward thus became one of the first watch manufacturers to forgo traditional distribution in favor of selling their watches exclusively through their own online shop. This enabled the young brand to keep costs low without compromising on quality.
Christopher Ward began working with the Jura-based Swiss movement manufacturer Synergies Horlogères in 2008. Among other things, this cooperation produced the JJ calibers, ETA movements fitted out by master watchmaker Johannes Jahnke with features like jumping hours and monopusher chronographs. In 2014, the two companies merged and released the modular in-house caliber SH21.
Unlike other microbrands, Christopher Ward designs their own cases, known as light catcher cases. Similar to the Oyster case from Rolex, light catcher cases are available in a variety of shapes and sizes, but all are based on the same basic design principles. Here, flowing contours with perfect chamfering and precise transitions between polished and brushed surfaces play beautifully with the light and make these watches appear especially flat.
Christopher Ward's portfolio has grown to stately proportions over the years. Their retro diving collection C65 has been particularly successful, and offers not only classic three-hand models but chronographs and GMT watches as well. The C60 series offers enthusiasts an array of modern diving watches, some of which are water-resistant to 1,000 m (3,281 ft). The brand's sports watch collection C63, introduced in 2020, has proven equally popular. The company catalog also boasts military-inspired timepieces and dress watches like the C1 Moonglow, C1 Morgan Classic, and C3 Malvern.
Reasons to Buy a Christopher Ward Watch
- Outstanding value for money
- High-quality craftsmanship
- Top models come with the in-house caliber SH21
- Classic British design with Swiss know-how
- Available with GMT, moon phase, and chronograph complications
How much do Christopher Ward watches cost?
|C7 Rapide Chronograph||360 USD||Chronograph, date, quartz|
|C8 Flyer Quartz||400 USD||Black PVD-coated, date, quartz|
|C5 Malvern Mk III||600 USD||Date, automatic|
|C63 Sealander||690 USD||Date, automatic|
|C60 Trident Pro 600||700 USD||Date, automatic, water-resistant to 600 m (1,969 ft)|
|C65 Trident||750 USD||Date, automatic|
|C65 Trident GMT||1,000 USD||Date, GMT, automatic|
|C60 Sapphire||1,000 USD||Date, sapphire dial, automatic|
|C65 Super Compressor||1,100 USD||Date, internal bezel, automatic|
|C65 Aquitaine Automatic||1,150 USD||Date, automatic|
|C65 Chronograph||1,690 USD||Chronograph, date, automatic|
|C60 Elite 1000||1,690 USD||Date, water-resistant to 1,000 m (3,280 ft), automatic|
|C60 Abyss SH21||2,600 USD||Caliber SH21, date, small seconds, 120-hour power reserve|
|C60 Concept||7,650 USD||Caliber SH21, 120-hour power reserve, limited run|
Christopher Ward: Prices at a Glance
You can find Christopher Ward watches on Chrono24 for less than 300 USD. Most of these are older quartz watches from the brand's early days, like the C7 Rapide Chronograph or C8 Flyer. Automatic watches from this period go for 500 USD or more.
If you prefer more contemporary timepieces, plan to spend between 700 and 1,100 USD for a watch with a GMT complication. Top models with a world time function, moon phase display, or in-house caliber cost between 2,000 and 5,000 USD, depending on the watch.
Christopher Ward C65 – Diving Watches for Retro Fans
The C65 collection is one of Christopher Ward's most successful lines. Introduced in 2016, the watches in this collection have a beguiling, authentic retro design inspired by diving watch styles from the 1950s and 60s.
C65 Trident – Christopher Ward's Success Story
The C65 Trident is an especially popular model. This 41-mm stainless steel timepiece is water-resistant to 100 m (10 bar, 328 ft) and has a narrow, unidirectional rotating bezel as well as a domed sapphire crystal. The dial is available in black or blue and has a clean design with applied dot and line indices that, like the batons hands, shine brightly in the dark.
The Sellita caliber SW200-1 in this watch offers a 38-hour power reserve and date display at 3 o'clock. You could also get yourself a C65 Trident Handwound, which is equipped with the manual caliber SW210. You'll recognize this watch by its lack of a date display and by a dial adorned with line indices as well as large numerals at 6 and 12 o'clock.
The C65 Trident comes on a leather or rubber strap, or a stainless steel bracelet. Plan to spend between 750 and 890 USD, depending on the edition. Christopher Ward also produced a limited number of C65 Trident watches with a bronze case, chronometer-certified caliber SW200, and brown dial with an organic texture. One of these will set you back about 1,000 USD.
C65 Trident GMT
The C65 Trident also comes with a GMT function and a dial design that slightly differs from that of the three-hand model. In order to make the watch easier to read, Christopher Ward employs narrow baton indices. Furthermore, the bezel is bidirectional and furnished with a 24-hour scale. Several models are available: watches with a white dial have a bezel with a black aluminum inlay, and models with a black or blue dial are fitted with either a red and blue "Pepsi" bezel or a bezel made of brushed stainless steel.
However, the most striking feature of the C65 Trident GMT is certainly its GMT hand, a wide arrow hand available in red or orange, depending on the watch. Models with the orange hand cannot conceal a certain similarity with the Rolex Explorer II, but in contrast to the brand with the crown, prices for the C65 Trident GMT tend to be between 800 and 1,200 USD – a real bargain!
C65 Super Compressor – Two Crowns and an Internal Bezel
In 2020, Christopher Ward expanded the C65 collection to include a new family member: the C65 Super Compressor. For this timepiece, the watchmakers at Christopher Ward applied the mechanical principles behind the original Super Compressors developed by Ervin Piquerez SA (EPSA) in the early 1960s. The case is constructed in such a way that water pressure compresses its parts more tightly together, meaning the watch essentially generates its own water resistance. Using modern engineering technologies, Christopher Ward successfully created the first Super Compressor with a display case back. This affords you a view of the Sellita SW200-1 within.
The light catcher case underwent some adjustments for the C65 Super Compressor and now has a pillow-shaped silhouette. Christopher Ward also equips this timepiece with two crowns – just like the 1960s original. The crown at 4 o'clock is for setting the time and winding the watch, while the crown at 2 o'clock is for setting the diving scale on the internal bezel. The dial is protected by a domed sapphire crystal.
Plan to spend about 1,050 USD for a C65 Super Compressor on a leather or rubber strap. Models with a stainless steel bracelet cost around 1,200 USD.
C65 Aquitaine – Inspired by the Blancpain Fifty Fathoms
The C65 Aquitaine has been part of the collection since 2022. Unlike the C65 Trident, which is an homage to classic watches like the Rolex Submariner or Omega Seamaster 300, the C65 Aquitaine takes its inspiration from another iconic timepiece, Blancpain's Fifty Fathoms. The eye-catching feature on this watch is its diving bezel, which has a domed sapphire crystal insert in blue or green. The scale on the bezel is rendered in luminous material and thus easy to read in the dark. The same goes for the Aquitaine's luminous hands and indices.
The C65 Aquitaine is available with a matte black or cream-colored dial, or sunburst dials in blue or green. For a good fit on the wrist, the watch comes with a color-matched leather strap, a blue or black rubber strap, or a three-piece link stainless steel bracelet.
Regardless of your choice of strap or bracelet, a C65 Aquitaine with three hands will cost you between 1,150 and 1,340 USD. Or, you could opt for a C65 Aquitaine GMT with a second time zone complication. Prices for this watch range from 1,465 to 1,640 USD.
The C65 Chronograph
The C65 Chronograph may share some aesthetics with the C65 Trident, but compared to its three-handed sibling, the Chronograph, with its domed sapphire crystal, is a significantly thicker watch, standing some 15 mm tall. That's at least 3 mm more than the Trident; however, the Chronograph's light catcher case gives this timepiece perfectly proportioned optics.
This watch owes its high profile to the Sellita caliber SW-510 BH a. This movement comes with a 30-minute counter at 3 o'clock, a date display at 6, and a small seconds at 9. The screw-down push-pieces and crown make this watch water-resistant to 150 m (15 bar, 492 ft).
Applied bar indices mark the hours on this timepiece, and the white outer edge of the watch's dark blue sunburst dial is home to a tachymeter scale. The white subdials, with their radial structure, are set off beautifully from the dark blue background. Christopher Ward divides the first 10 minutes of the 30-minute counter into blue and red segments – a feature typical of regatta timers from the 1960s.
Depending on your choice of strap or bracelet (leather, rubber, or stainless steel), prices for the C65 Chronograph range from 1,690 to 1,850 USD.
A Military-Style C65
The C65 collection includes a few watches modeled after military timepieces. The C65 Dartmouth is one such watch, designed in cooperation with the UK's Ministry of Defence. This watch takes its inspiration from watches worn by the Royal Navy in the 1960s.
The C65 Sandhurst, on the other hand, is something of a tribute to the legendary Smiths W10 Field Watch, which was standard gear for the British Army in the late 1960s.
The C65 Cranwell closes the ranks. This timepiece borrows its design from pilot's watches worn by Royal Air Force pilots in the 1950s and 60s.
All three of these watches are kitted out with a chronograph-quality Sellita SW200. This movement is certified by the Contrôle officiel suisse des chronomètres (COSC) and has a maximum daily deviation of only -4/+6 seconds.
Plan to spend 1,140 to 1,290 USD on one of these retro military watches.
C60 – Modern Diving Watches for Professional Divers
There's nothing retro about Christopher Ward's C60 collection, the modern counterpart to their C65 line. These watches are characteristically contemporary and offer ceramic bezels, redesigned light catcher cases, and increased water-resistance to at least 300 m (30 bar, 984 ft). The cases now come with a crown guard and a choice of sizes: 38, 40, or 42 mm.
The stars of this collection are the models with the in-house caliber SH21. These include the C60 Abyss SH21 and the C60 Concept. The Abyss features a gunmetal PVD and black DLC-coated stainless steel case, as well as a matte black ceramic bezel with markers and numerals in black Super-LumiNova. Blackened sapphire crystals front and back complete this watch's stealth look. The dial is completely skeletonized and enables an in-depth view of the caliber's interior. A Christopher Ward C60 Abyss SH21 sells for around 2,600 to 2,800 USD, depending on the strap.
The C60 Concept is the crown jewel of the Christopher Ward catalog. Limited to just 210 pieces, this timepiece comes with some really special elements, like a titanium light catcher case and highly-refined, fully skeletonized in-house SH21 designed by Chronode, the Swiss company known for its work with MB&F and Czapek. An additional highlight is the orange triangular marker at 12 o'clock, composed of a special luminous ceramic called Globolight XP. Together with light blue Super-LumiNova on the hands, indices, and ceramic bezel, this marker helps put on an impressive play of light and color in the dark. On a rubber strap, this collector's item will set you back about 5,300 USD; one on a stainless steel bracelet can easily go for 8,000 USD or more.
Christopher Ward C60 Pro and Elite – Water-Resistant up to 1,000 m
Looking for a watch that will serve you well on extended dives? If so, you may want to take a good long look at the C60 Trident Pro 600 or C60 Elite 1000. These watches speak the same design language, and a quick look will reveal that the Elite 1000 has a day-date display, while the Pro 600, in addition to the time, "only" shows the date.
But take a closer look, and you'll see the real difference between these two timepieces is their water resistance. The C60 Trident Pro 600 is water-resistant to a depth of 600 m (60 bar, 1,969 ft), and the Elite 1000 – as its name suggests – can dive to an impressive 1,000 m (100 bar, 3,281 ft). With this level of water-resistance, the C60 Trident Pro 600 is on par with the likes of the Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean 600M and Sinn U1.
The C60 Elite 1000 measures 42 mm across and is available with a black or blue dial and matching black or blue ceramic bezel, as well as your choice of a stainless steel bracelet, rubber strap, or #tide ocean material strap made of recycled plastic. Depending on the watch, a C60 1000 Elite will cost you 1,200 to 1,600 USD.
The C60 Trident Pro 600 comes in sizes of 38, 40, or 42 mm, with color combos in black and blue, as well as a white dial with a black bezel. Prices for this three-hand watch start around 500 USD for older models (which you'll recognize by their pear-shaped hour hand) or about 800 USD for a newer model in stainless steel. GMT and bronze case editions are available for approximately 900 USD.
A Variety of C60 Designs
Further C60 editions include the C60 Chronograph and the C60 Sapphire. The C60 Chronograph comes with two subdials – a 30-minute counter at 3 o'clock and a small seconds at 9 – and a date display at 6 o'clock. This 42-mm stainless steel diving watch, with its screw-down push-pieces and crown, is water-resistant to 600 m (60 bar, 1,969 ft). The watch's black dial and black ceramic bezel stand in compelling contrast to the white, luminous hands and indices. Christopher Ward added a touch of color to this timepiece by making the chronograph hands yellow.
A C60 Chronograph will set you back about 1,000 USD.
The C60 Sapphire is essentially a special edition of the C60 Trident Pro 600 with a 40-mm case. The case, caliber, and band or bracelet options are exactly the same as the standard edition. The difference is in the dial, which is made of colored sapphire crystal. Christopher Ward finishes this look with a bezel of brushed stainless steel.
The C60 Sapphire is available with a red, blue, or blackened sapphire dial for around 1,000 USD.
C63 – A Sporty, Modern Touch
The C63 Sealander collection is the latest line in the Christopher Ward catalog. Consisting of sports watches with a modern design and moderate size of just 39 mm, this collection includes a number of models: the three-hand Sealander Automatic, the Sealander Bronze COSC, and the Sealander GMT with a second time zone complication. The latter is easily identified by the 24-hour scale on its bezel and its orange, arrow-shaped GMT hand.
Christopher Ward equips three-hand models with the reliable Sellita caliber SW200-1, bronze models come with a chronometer certificate from the COSC, and GMT timepieces in this collection are fitted with the Sellita SW330-2 GMT.
The C63 Sealander comes in an array of colors, with your choice of a blue, black, white, or green dial. The dial on the bronze model is made of blackened sapphire crystal, which gives this watch a unique look.
Prices for a Sealander range from about 750 USD for a three-hand model to almost 1,000 USD for a watch with a GMT complication. A bronze Sealander will cost you around 1,200 USD.
The C63 Elite – Extra Tough
The C63 Elite was conceived for all kinds of outdoor activities. One striking feature on this timepiece is its retractable crown, which rests flush with the case and makes an appearance only when it's time to wind the watch or set the time. The narrow dial cutout, which divides the center of the display from the rehaut, is also arresting, and enables you to look through the watch. In order to save on weight, Christopher Ward made this 40-mm timepiece out of titanium. The movement inside this watch is the chronometer-certified Sellita SW200-1.
A C63 Elite with a rubber strap can be purchased for approximately 1,300 USD. If you prefer this model with a three-piece link titanium bracelet, it will cost you about 1,650 USD.
Dress Watches by Christopher Ward
In addition to an assortment of sports and tool watches, Christopher Ward also offers a line of attractive dress watches. One particularly impressive model is the C1 Moonglow. This stainless steel watch measures 40.5 mm across and has a moon phase display that needs to be corrected only every 128 years, thanks to the watch's Sellita SW220-based caliber JJ-04.
Moreover, the moon phase display is a real feast for the eyes. The moon phase indicator, ornamented with two photorealistic, three-dimensional moons, takes up the entire center of the dial. The upper part of the display has a cutout that presents the moon in all its glory, while the lower part is covered with blackened sapphire crystal. The moons not only look real, they're also luminous – as the model name implies.
The C1 Moonglow is priced around 2,300 USD.
The C9 Harrison Jumping Hour is another great example of a Christopher Ward dress watch. This timepiece is equipped with the caliber JJ01, which is based on the ETA 2428-2 and comes with a jumping hour. This means that, instead of displaying the hour with a hand, this timepiece indicates the hour numerically in a window at the 12 o'clock position and jumps ahead at the top of every hour (hence the name). The minutes are displayed on this watch the traditional way, with a central hand.
You can buy a C9 Harrison Jumping Hour starting at about 1,500 USD.
If you're looking for something a little more traditional, you may want to take a look at the C5 Malvern Mk III. This timepiece was Christopher Ward's very first watch. It comes with a step dial – meaning the center of the dial is a little lower than the applied baton indices around the outer edge – as well as a date display and slender hands.
This classic timepiece is available with dials in blue, black, or white, and will cost you between 500 and 650 USD, depending on the model.