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Christopher Ward C9 Moonphase Watch

Christopher Ward C9 Moonphase Watch Watch Releases

Sure, we have all seen a moonphase before, but it is not the kind of complication one would necessarily expect from English watchmakers Christopher Ward – especially not something this jewelery-esque. Christopher Ward has made a name for himself producing honorific homages to many of the watch industry’s best-loved brands and their best-selling models. His watches are well made, sympathetically designed, and competitively priced. Crucially, the brand has, through consistently good reviews, managed to convince the buying market that a Christopher Ward is not an imitation, but rather a popular icon re-imagined. What we have here is a design one might more readily associate with a Piaget or Ulysse Nardin, rendered without diamonds or mother of pearl, and instead with affordable materials that make such a piece more accessible to the masses – kind of the Christopher Ward way.

Christopher Ward C9 Moonphase Watch Watch Releases

I must say, the brand has definitely grown on me in recent years – but, as I say, it took a while for me to reach that opinion. I was always comfortable arguing that every brand should offer something unique. Although I stand by that in principle, I came around to accepting that the uniqueness of Christopher Ward is the design and build quality combo one gets at their price point. It’s a humble brand expanding in an interesting fashion. Rather than blasting the socks off the market with something totally left-field, Christopher Ward is steadily adding choice and complication to its ranges.

Christopher Ward C9 Moonphase Watch Watch Releases

The growing appeal of this English brand hinges on what you get for your pound: A market-tested case silhouette, readily digestible designs that have a classic feel, a twist of originality, overall build quality, and the chance to buy into an up-and-coming name that already boasts its own movement, and several in-house modifications to existing base calibres. In the case of the Christopher Ward C9 Moonphase watch, head watchmaker Johannes Jahnke has successfully added a moonphase module to an ETA 2836-2 base. The ETA 2836-2 is a solid workhorse automatic that carries a date at 6 o’clock, a power reserve of 38 hours, an operating speed of 28,800vph, central hour, minute, and hacking seconds hands.

Christopher Ward C9 Moonphase Watch Watch Releases

The modified calibre is referred to as the JJ04 and has 25 jewels in all. The moonphase complication is accurate to within one day for every 128 years of the movement’s accuracy (which, in layman’s terms, is accurate enough for your bog-standard werewolf to keep things under control). Interestingly, Jahnke has geared this complication in a way that allows the moon disc to “creep” throughout the day. By accurately following the progression of the hours, the moonphase is able to achieve a better-than-average accuracy AND, quite crucially for a watch at this price, provide a constant source of visual interest throughout the day (and night). The watch case, measuring 40mm, is based on the C9 range and is made from surgical grade 316L stainless steel. The lugs are 20mm apart, and the luxury leather strap is available in either black, blue, or brown leather, can be upgraded for an alligator strap (each with a Bader deployant clasp), or can be replaced by a stainless steel link bracelet. Additionally, the Christopher Ward C9 Moonphase watch is water resistant to 50 meters.

Christopher Ward C9 Moonphase Watch Watch Releases

The most interesting stylistic thing about the Christopher Ward C9 Moonphase watch is most certainly its dial. The moonphase disc itself is 3D-stamped and sports a semi-matt galvanic treatment, which creates a surprising amount of depth and texture for such a slim component. Beneath the moonphase disc, a bespoke guilloche pattern evokes thoughts of the tide that is bound to the movements of the moon. A good deal of chromatic balance is added to the dial by the marriage of polished hands and raised indices. The Christopher Ward C9 Moonphase Watch is available in two dial variations: a white and gold version and a midnight (dark blue) and silver version. The Christopher Ward C9 Moonphase watch has a price of £1,295 on the luxury leather strap, £1357.50 for the alligator upgrade, and £1,395 for the stainless steel bracelet. The watch will be officially released during Salon QP weekend, held at the Saatchi Gallery in London, in November. christopherward.co.uk

About the Author

Rob Nudds is a watchmaker, freelance writer and American sports fanatic based in the UK.

Rob spends most of his time trying to design the perfect watch, but is pretty sure no one will like it when he finally gets it down on paper. He looks for intrinsic congruity and cultural relevance in watch design, and has been known to get quite grouchy when he finds neither. Despite practically living on Wikipedia, he still struggles to understand digital technology and believes the Casio F-91W is either a deity in plastic or entirely powered by magic.

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Comments

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  • I_G

    Is that real guilloche or stamped?

  • BIG CHRONO

    The dark dial is an especially relaxing piece, & when worn to bed, can be a good remedy for insomnia.

  • George Yang

    Wow really competitive price point there! Such a visually stunning moonphase complication.

  • Raymond Wilkie

    I was pleasantly surprised by the price of this watch. My guess is machine stamped guilloche but its very effective in the overall look of the watch, The stars are a bit haphazard but at the price , its not expected to be close to perfect. I couldn’t find a back picture of this watch but probably closed and quite boring. Ilike it a lot and would wear it.

  • IanE

    The Arnold and Son Moonphase springs to mind, so I guess this is a homage to that spectacular moonphase, at a fraction of the price. I think I’ll wait till I can afford the real thing though!

  • resonator resonator

    I told them if they made one, I’d buy it. Guess I will have to pony up! At this price point, I won’t feel a bit bad either.

  • egznyc

    The midnight color scheme on blue strap looks very good indeed. I’m just not sure I understand why the moon phase complication adds so much to the price. Isn’t it based directly off of the time?

  • IVA the LT

    I’ve never been really interested moon phase watches, but as soon as I saw this, I was smitten. While the moon isn’t as nice as the Arnold and Son version, I find the overall dial far more appealing.

    And the reviewer hit the nail on the head, Chris Ward offers some fine watches for the price. I have an original C60 Trident and the C11 MSL, both of which are top notch.

  • I have been dreaming about a moonphase watch, a fascination of mine since I was a wee lad.

    I have been flirting with the FC Slimline Moonphase. I wonder how to precisely set the time on it without a seconds hand. But, if it were to have a seconds hand, it’d also have to have seconds ticks, which would probably mar its clean design. I like it a lot, but its price holds me back.

    I was hoping that CW would add complications to the SH21, especially the moonphase. Though this new release uses an ETA movement, the way in which it was modified is just ingenious! Like the FC watch, this CW has no pushers and uses just the crown for adjustments by leveraging the day setting. Johannes is a genius!

    I was pleasantly surprised by the result. Not only does it use an uncommon design, making the moon its centerpiece, the attention to detail in the moon surface and in using a properly sized and colored date wheel, elegantly placing the round window near the outer edge of the dial, is commendable. Such results can only be accomplished by a true manufacture.

    As much as I have been set on only buying watches with inhouse movements, this CW watch is so well designed and cleverly modified that I am seriously considering a blue dialed one with the steel bracelet. The FC watch may have to wait.

    • egznyc

      The FC is very attractive but I’m not sure – I think I actually prefer the CW reviewed here. I like the date window and its placement a lot as opposed to the pointer date, and the emphasis on the complication, not to mention a seconds hand. But the FC isn’t much pricier, seems to me. I’ve seen it on some sales sites for around $2300.

    • somethingnottaken

      Frédéric Constant have released/announced a new moonphase watch, which is slightly smaller than the the slimline (40mm vs 42mm) and has a central seconds hand.

      • However, a lot less elegant than the Slimline.

  • DirtDiver9

    Definitely looks like an Arnold & Son inspiration. That being said, it’s ok, there are plenty of moon phase watches that have a moon phase complication, and how many of those are “unique?”

  • BrJean

    I like everything about this watch! Starting from its price and ending with round date window. Arnold & Son’s piece may have a better finishing but the general look of the CW’s dial is better for me (maybe because of the roman numbers). Can’t even decide which dial color to choose, I think these should be selling in pair.

  • SuperStrapper

    The dark dial is nice, I like it. The light dial with gold accents looks like it fell out of a Chinese gumball machine. Why don’t the straps fit though? Even in the marketing images, you can see how smashed into the case they are.

  • Skeletor

    Looks like bad set of English teeth. Frédéric Constant better bargain in quality and resale.

  • Ulysses31

    I find the dial looks very cheap, and the flat-looking hands and hour markers don’t help that impression. The “moon” looks like a piece of scrunched up tin-foil.

    • I_G

      Probably in the £1,295 price bracket that’s the level of 3D stamping you can source. Arnold and his beloved son can use a bigger moon with much more details for 10 times more pound sterlings.

  • spiceballs

    I think Chis Ward has done well (again) and produced an attractive watch for the money. What surprises me with these complications is why there is no added lume since one best sees the moon at night?

    • iamcalledryan

      Not common, unfortunately, but this one makes up for all the others!!

  • Mike Darwin Brown

    I thought they just made an in-house?

  • wallydog2

    I’ve never understood why anyone outside of Transylvania would want to know the moon phase.

    • somethingnottaken

      Well, Transylvanians have immigrated world wide. But seriously, a moonphase complication is more decorative than functional.

    • My ancestry did come from Transylvania, just saying…

      • Seth Lim

        there is a chinese holiday dedicated to the moon where we go around carrying lanterns and eat overpriced mooncakes under a full moon

  • somethingnottaken

    For me this design is a near miss. To me the minimalist C9 design clashes with the decorative guilloche and moonphase complication. Also I think this watch, and the C9 lineup in general, would benefit greatly from beveled hands – flat hands are fine on a tool watch, but look cheap on a rather nicely finished dressy watch.

    • Seth Lim

      i keep seeing cancer ward

  • So, I acquired a Moonphase, blue on steel, but, after a few days donning it, I grew disappointed at some details:

    – The
    domed crystal is nice, but it needs to have a better anti-reflexive
    coating, both inside and out, for not only would it pick any light, but
    the numerals would cast reflections under strong light too.
    – The
    hands are hard to read, not so much because of their narrowness, but
    because of their flatness. Were they beveled along the longitudinal
    axis, they might pick light more easily.
    – The moon texture adds almost 1mm to the height.
    – The dial is, for some reason, pretty thick, as made evident by the cutout for the moon.
    – Consequently, the watch is just too thick.

    In conclusion, though the moonphase complication is very classy, classy things do
    not scale. Making the moonphase larger does not make it classier.
    Making a moonphase watch thicker does not make it classier.
    I really wanted to like it, but, in the end, returned it, thanks to the generous no nonsense return policy by Chris Ward.

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