In line with an established commitment to accessible, high-quality timepieces, Christopher Ward is today releasing two new watches that build upon their Malvern designs. Coming to the collection for January 2017, the Christopher Ward C3 Malvern Chronograph MK III and C5 Malvern Automatic MK III watches retain the design aesthetic of Christopher Ward’s line of dress watches, as well as the brand’s recent visual updates which we’ve seen applied throughout their dress and sport models.
Following the recent release of the Christopher Ward C1 Grand Malvern Power Reserve, the Malvern line of dress watches has attracted some attention. With a no-frills approach to generally appealing designs, both of these new models seem to offer more basic, budget options alongside that of the C1 Grand Malvern Power Reserve watch with its Chronometer-certified in-house movement and long power reserve. That is accomplished with a sourced mechanical movement in the Automatic model, and a quartz movement for the Chronograph model.
Both the Christopher Ward C3 Malvern Chronograph MK III and C5 Malvern Automatic MK III cases measure 39mm in diameter, provide 30m of water resistance, and are made of 316L stainless steel. The case features a mix of brushed and polished finishes on the C3 Malvern Chronograph, with full polishing on the C5 Automatic – complemented well by the sunray dial finishing for each. The Christopher Ward C5 Malvern Automatic MK III draws from the same visual lineage as the Grand Malvern Power Reserve with a simple dial with circular dish detailing, a beveled date window, and raised machine-slanted indexes.
The Christopher Ward C3 Malvern Chronograph MK III takes a slightly more automotive spin when compared to the Automatic. We see the same circular dish detailing plus the integration of a simple two-register chronograph layout. The two sub-dials are located at 12 o’clock and 6 o’clock and provide a clear reference for both the chronograph’s dual 30-minute/12-hour counters and the running seconds, respectively. An aggressive set of piston-inspired pushers ties the racing theme together and brings a sporty touch to an otherwise dressy piece.
Running inside of the Christopher Ward C5 Malvern Automatic MK III is a basic Sellita SW200-1 movement, which Christopher Ward has decorated with its bespoke Colimaçoné-finished rotor and recognizable twin-flag motif. It’s a fitting choice for a watch that aims to deliver value, style, and durability at a price point that’s friendly for buyers interested in getting a watch with a Swiss mechanical movement at a digestible price when compared to other watches containing the same base movement. The Sellita SW200-1 delivers 38 hours of power reserve and operates within a timing tolerance of about +10/-20 seconds per day. The Christopher Ward C3 Malvern Chronograph MK III, on the other hand, is powered by a Swiss-made Ronda 3520.D quartz movement which Christopher Ward has also used in several of their previous chronograph releases.
Both of these new models also offer a variety of visual appointments that stay true to the Malvern look. Each of them features double-domed antireflective sapphire crystals, brushed and polished blued or steel hands (depending on the dial color), along with either a display case back on the Christopher Ward C5 Malvern Automatic MK III or an engraved snap case back on the Christopher Ward C3 Malvern Chronograph MK III. To add even more variety to the dial options, Christopher Ward offers a choice of an oak leather quick-release strap with dress buckle, shell cordovan quick-release strap with Bader deployment, or a Milanese mesh bracelet to pair with either.
While these two new models might be a bit minimalist for my personal taste, I really appreciate that Christopher Ward offers so many options for such a fair price-to-quality ratio. The blue, white, or black dial color variants, strap combinations, and movement options all provide attractive entry points into their dress collection, and it’s hard to say no at these prices. Both the chronograph and automatic models can easily double as dressy or casual pieces, and that versatility helps make the Malvern line easy to love. The Christopher Ward C3 Malvern Chronograph MK III is priced at £349.00 while the Christopher Ward C5 Malvern Automatic MK III is priced at £499.00. christopherward.com