Article by Dan Ames

The Christopher Ward C5 Malvern 595 is aptly named. As the slimmest mechanical watch Christopher Ward has ever made, the C5 Malvern 595 features a 5.95mm thick case, and is priced at £595. Armed with a Swatch-owned ETA 7001 movement, the Christopher Ward C5 Malvern 595 carves itself a solid niche in the category of mechanical dress watches.

Fat reduction began in the belly of the watch, so to speak, with the Swatch-owned ETA 7001 movement, which itself is only 2.55mm tall. The 7001, is a 17 jewel, hand-wound movement with a 42-hour power reserve and although decades old, it’s dependable and a good fit. In fact, the movement is seen in some watches (Bell & Ross, Junghans, etc.) priced considerably higher.

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Christopher Ward’s approach was to match the slender case profile with a simple and clean aesthetic. An ultra slim watch by its very nature is uncluttered, so the choice to apply the same principle to the overall design was the right call. The crown is neat, diminutive, and delicate in its design. There are no raised elements or extra details on the dial. The crystal is anti-reflective flat sapphire and the only real bit of flair is the crystal exhibition caseback which allows for a view of the movement.

The dial has a sandblasted finish with printed indices and the Christopher Ward logo. The sandblasted texture strikes a slightly discordant note in a watch that extols grace and simplicity. However, the effect is quite subtle and will likely not be a drawback for most watch buyers. In all of the simplicity, the Christopher Ward logo, while necessary for branding, seems a bit obtrusive.

The hour and minute hands are presented in black and polished with soft curves to create a monochromatic contrast into the dial for legibility. The C5 weighs in at 33g and measures 45.8mm lug-to-lug. The strap is 20mm and available in oak leather (black, brown, or camel) or a Milanese Mesh bracelet.

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Christopher Ward claims that the C5 Malvern 595 proves that less is more. While that may be true, some may feel that less watch should result in less cost. With a price tag of £595, the C5 presents an option for those interested in a slim watch, but whose pocketbooks aren’t necessarily the thickest.

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