“The cheapest most expensive watches in the world.” That’s their mission statement if they’ve got one. Christopher Ward is based in the UK, makes their collection of automatics and quartz watches in Switzerland, and has amassed a good chunk of fans since their inception in 2004. But they aren’t cheap. Not by any stretch. They also use Sellita vs. ETA movements, and that can cause some consternation among some collectors, since some view ETA as the superior movement making company (there are others who just don’t care quite that much).
They rarely do sales, and their seasonal events that feature “nearly new” items are about as good as it gets (usually around 30% off). Each watch comes with a 60 month guarantee on the movement, and you’ve got 60 days to get it back to the UK for returns. Shipping is steep (try $25.00 for standard international shipping), but they’ll refund your shipping if you have to send it back. All picks below are from the “nearly new” section.
NOTE: These “nearly new” options move EXTREMELY fast, due to their being very little inventory. Take a look at the main sale page as well as the nearly new section to see what’s left, since they seem to be selling out extra quick.
Created to celebrate the 250th anniversary of John Harrison’s H4 Chronometer (which after you read about it, it becomes clear how big of a deal that thing was). If you ever find yourself in London, it’s worth a trip to the Royal Observatory to seek out the H4 and Harrison’s previous models. The watch itself is aesthetically simple and feels great on the wrist. Exhibition case back. Nice touch with the blue seconds hand. Full review of the gold hands/white dial version over here.
- Optic White Dial + Brown Leather
- Optic White Dial + Black Leather
- Charcoal Dial + Black Leather
- Silver Dial + Black Leather
Maybe the best deal of the sale, even though it’s not an automatic. A stunner of a dress chronograph. Swiss made, not enormous by any stretch (a much more traditional 39mm) and available in many a dial and strap color combination. Dial style is inspired by vintage Aston Martin dashboards.
It’s a brick… house. Pulled from the instrument panel of an airplane, this uses aviation style through and through. 42mm wide, so, it’s not enormous. Nice angles on the case. Sapphire crystal and high density SuperLuminova markings and hands. Also available in a tan/sand combo.
Brushed matte case, cream colored hands, 42mm in diameter, and a sapphire crystal. Sure, squint and it looks quite a bit like a much more affordable (and much smaller) Seiko, but the feel and finish is pretty darn good. As it should be, for four hundred bucks. Points for not only a circular date window, but for making the backgound black, and thus, allowing it to blend in with the dial. Full review over here.
Tan strap! Black dial, tan strap. Black & brown absolutely can work together.
From the site: “There’s no doubt that Rolex’s 1954 GMT Master is one of THE greatest watch designs of all time and it is the inspiration for our own best-selling C60 Trident.” Y’know? Good for them for being so open about the homageness of their designs & looks. Homageitude? Homageification? Anyway, yes the design is a familiar one (this isn’t their GMT version, but the standard Trident). But that spade hour hand, trident second hand, and the balanced, not enormous 42mm case is an awfully eye catching combo. Their flagship watch.
Still extremely steep, even at the “nearly new” price… but the silver dial on brown strap was something else when we gave it away to kick off last year’s Reader Appreciation Week. Dual timezone function thanks to the extra hand and 24 hour inner ring.
The Christopher Ward Summer Sale goes live on their site to the general public starting 6/20. Here’s the information on their 60:60 guarantee (basically, their returns and warranty policy). One quick story about the “nearly new” thing. Ordered a “nearly new” watch from them once and it showed up looking completely brand new. Plastic crystal protectors were in place, box was free of dings and scratches, and the watch seemed like it had never been worn. But that was a few years back and your experience may vary. Got experience with C. Ward Nearly New watches? Leave that below.