It has indeed been a busy old time at Christopher Ward, in the heart of their operations in the UK.
For many watch enthusiasts, last July’s stunning launch of Christopher Ward’s first in-house movement, Calibre SH21, provoked the industry’s quote of the year when the CEO of a major Swiss brand indignantly retorted, ‘What gives you the licence to do that?’
Since that high summer success, Christopher Ward are putting this innovative powerhouse to work in new models and now proudly present the C9 5 Day Automatic model but in a 40mm offering, this is after already putting it into the previously mentioned Trident COSC.
The new C9 5 Day Automatic (40mm) follows in the pioneering steps of the 2014 launch of its big brother (43mm), which was released simultaneously with Calibre SH21 – a debut that inspired a huge reaction from watch aficionados and the media, including a flood of requests for a smaller sized option housing the innovative SH21 movement. Though it will have to be seen to see if they have addressed the issue of the thickness of the original C9 5 Day Automatic.
Created by Christopher Ward’s watchmaker, Johannes Jahnke, SH21 is COSC-certified and, once fully wound, can run for 120 hours/5 days. The smartest element of Jahnke’s creation is that, unlike most movements with such extended reserves of power, there is no compromise in the stability or robustness of the movement. This means the wearer can be confident that the watch will withstand quite rugged conditions and requires the minimum of servicing.
Alongside those technical strengths, Mike France, co-founder of Christopher Ward, highlights the brand’s response to rising demand for smaller dial sizes: “The enthusiastic reaction to the C9 5 Day Automatic, the first model to house Calibre SH21, sparked a wave of calls for a smaller version. The new 40mm model expresses all the powerful design and technical qualities seen in the original C9 5 Day Automatic and gives those customers wanting a smaller size watch access not only to the C9 aesthetic but also the opportunity to own the stunning SH21 movement.
The design of the C9 5 Day Automatic is a study in elegance and high quality – from the sharpness of the dial’s indices to the subtle brilliance of the Bader deployment that gives the perfect, and practical, finishing touch to the fine embossed alligator pattern Italian leather strap with Bader Deployment.
The new model is offered in three choice of dial colour – white, blue and a new charcoal option – and, behind the stylish Galvanic sun-ray dial, the pièce de résistance on the new C9 5 Day Automatic is Christopher Ward’s in-house movement, Calibre SH21, viewed through the sapphire crystal exhibition window in the case-back. In fact there are 8 different colour and strap options available to pre-order on their website.
The SH21 movement’s subtle finish has sparked a spirited debate in watch circles as the brand has emphasised its English roots with a deceptively simple finish using a traditional, highly skilled, hand-grinding technique favoured by English watchmakers of an earlier era. Each wheel has been properly turned and each screw flat-polished, with the traditional English steel finish – design, quality and tradition combined.
The new C9 5 Day Automatic (40mm) is available for £1375 – a smaller size but the same meticulous Christopher Ward attention to the smallest of details. — See here for more details.
The most important is exactly that, with all the innovation and the step towards self sufficiency, Christopher Ward are still maintaining and offering a very attractive value proposition. That is what they excel at, and long may it continue.