Founded in 2004 and selling its watches solely online, Christopher Ward has done some interesting watches at affordable prices, most notably the hand-wound, mono-pusher chronograph of 2017. But its latest is more straightforward: a range of watches inspired by vintage British military-issue timepieces. Unusally, the new models are licensed by the British Ministry of Defence to bear “the insignia of the Royal Navy, British Army and Royal Air Force” for public sale.
While not actual military-issue watches, the line draws on well-known watches once supplied to the arms of the British armed forces, with the army and air force models managing to best capture the look of the originals. Christopher Ward, admirably, cites the exact vintage inspiration for each of the new watches, so the new dive watch, for instance, is loosely based on the Omega Seamaster 300 supplied to the Royal Navy.
All three new watches have a “glass box” sapphire crystal, and are powered by a COSC-certified Sellita SW200, a robust and cost-efficient automatic movement.
Each model is named after the respective training academy for the service arm, starting with the C65 Dartmouth. It’s named after Britannia Royal Naval College, which sits beside the port of Dartmouth in southern England. The case is steel, 41mm, and rated to 150m.
According to the brand, it is modelled on the Omega Seamaster 300 “Big Triangle”, a specific type of the dive watch that Omega supplied to the Royal Navy in the late 1960s (the other type had a “12” instead of a triangle”). While the “big triangle” is obvious, the rest of the watch is only an approximation of the original.
Named after Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, one of the most famous officer training schools in the world, the C65 Sandhurst is inspired by the Smiths W10, a no-nonsense field watch made for the British Army by the now defunct English watchmaker Smiths. The steel case is 38mm in diameter, making it the smallest of the trio.
And the last of the trio is the C65 Cranwell, which takes its name from the Royal Air Force College, the academy for air force officers located beside the RAF Cranwell airbase.
The case is steel and 41mm while the dial design is derived from the “Mark XI” watches produced by IWC and Jaeger-LeCoultre to specification “6B/346”. The dial retains the same layout as the originals, but instead of hour numerals, it has minute markings instead.
Key facts and price
Water resistance: 150m
Movement: Sellita SW200, COSC-certified
Functions: Hours, minutes, and seconds
Frequency: 28,800bph (4Hz)
Power reserve: 38 hours
Availability: Direct from Christopher Ward starting early November
Price: £795 on a strap, and £895 on a steel bracelet
(Prices include 20% British VAT)
For more, visit Christopherward.co.uk.
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