By James Phang
Looking back, I recalled Christopher Ward was one of the first few watches I owned when I first started my watch collecting hobby a couple of years back. I was very impressed back then when I found out that Christopher Ward was one of the few brands which only sell Swiss-made watches directly over the internet/ local distributors without the use of brand ambassadors, thereby shaving off marketing costs to bring the most value to its customers.
Therefore, it came as pleasant news when I found out that Christopher Ward recently introduced a new dress watch with a revised in-house designed hand-wound movement which also happens to be COSC certified, serving as a strong indication of its quality. Its first in-house SH21 movement was first introduced to the market in July 2014 through a merger between Christopher Ward and Synergies Horologères (founded by industry veteran Jörg Bader), sending a strong message to the watch industry that in-house movements is not exclusive to haute brands and giant luxury corporations only.
Through the young watchmaker Johannes Jahnke’s innovative modifications, the new Christopher Ward C9 5 Day Small Second Chronometer now sports a hand-wound movement with a small-second hand display at 6 O’clock, housed in Christopher Ward’s classic C9 dress case.
Moving onto the design, it features an optic white dial, Roman indexes and blued steel hands, a classic combination that will never lose its charm. The blued hands in elegant curved forms flatter the optic white dial and roman indexes, bringing refreshed elegance and refinement to the C9 Collection. It is encased in a 40mm hand finished 316L stainless steel case, with 12.2mm thickness, no doubt an appropriate size for a dress watch.
The front and back of the Christopher Ward C9 5 Day Small Second Chronometer are protected by sapphire crystals with anti-reflective coating, allowing the wearer to appreciate the hand-wound Calibre SH21 movement through its case-back. It beats at an impressive 28,800 vibrations per hour with 120 hours power reserve, courtesy of its twin barrel construction. It also features a stop-second hacking mechanism, guaranteeing precision and accuracy.
The Christopher Ward C9 5 Day Small Second Chronometer is affordably priced at US$1,785 and is paired by a black, blue or brown alligator-embossed calf leather strap, with an optimal upgrade to a genuine alligator strap for additional US$87. Comparing with other watches priced in the same range which use stock Japanese or Swiss movements, I’d say that Christopher Ward certainly comes off the top in my list. For more info, please visit christopherward.co.uk
JAMES PHANG – CONTRIBUTING WRITER
James Phang is a young watch enthusiast from Singapore and is a self-professed fanatic of independent brands for their unique avant-garde designs. Some of his favorite brands include MB&F, Urwerk, Romain Jerome, Sarpaneva, Peter Speake-Marin and Azimuth. His love for art extends out to all things handmade, and he has made it his personal mission to find the best handmade straps and buckles worldwide for his humble collection. Read his articles here.