Christopher Ward watches are a bit like the SuitSupply of the watch world. On the very high end of what most would consider “affordable”, but superb quality for the price point when compared to the luxury competition. Designed in England and made in Switzerland with Swiss movements, the brand was launched in 2004 with the goal of making “the cheapest most expensive watches in the world.” Here’s their case as to why they can do what they do.
As simple and as dressed up as their C9 Harrison is, this Aviation inspired C9 from Christopher Ward is just as simple but dressed down. No gold indexes, crisp white dial, or chromed up case here. The C9 is all rugged-looking business, with a brushed matte case, dark dial, and cream hands/accents with a vintage feel.
42mm in diameter so while it has some size, it won’t totally overwhelm like some bigger aviator style watches. Light but not flimsy, you might think the case is Titanium but it’s a matte stainless. That fat “diamond” shaped crown is perfect, as are the shape of the hour & minute hands and the design of the second hand. The round black background date indicator at 3 o’clock is spot on. Blends in nicely with the rest of the face.
No exhibition window on the screw-down case-back, but each does have an engraved Sopwith Camel (paging a certain WWI Flying Ace). Crystal is anti-reflective sapphire, that when exposed to direct light can start to look a little navy, but won’t blind you with any bounce back. The deployant clasp has the same matte look as the case, and the Italian leather band (also available in brown) feels great. As always with Christopher Ward, it comes with a 5-year movement guarantee.
Just one slight disappointment. It’s only water resistant to 50m. So while plenty tough looking and solidly built, it’s not meant to be exposed to water for long stretches. That won’t be a problem for most, and it also makes sense. It’s an aviator watch. Unless you’re Captain Sully, an aviator in the drink does not a good outcome make.
Want to win the C10? Go here to get entered. One entry per person. Deadline for entry is 11:59 pm ET on 11/21/12.
UPDATE: Congrats to Derek H. who won the C10 Aviator! Thanks to all who entered…