June 2, 2022
by Kenny Yeo
Vintage-inspired dive watches are nothing new, but their popularity shows no signs of waning. And if you love them, Christopher Ward has just announced a new collection of vintage-inspired dive watches called the C65 Aquitaine. The name references the coastal region in southwest France, the place where famous French diver Jacques Cousteau was born. There are three versions: a stainless steel automatic, a stainless steel GMT, and a bronze COSC-certified chronometer.
Regardless of which version you pick, the case size is a very moderate 41mm. What’s impressive is that, despite the 200 meters of water resistance, thickness is kept well below 13mm. The GMT version is the thickest at 12.7mm, while the stainless steel automatic and bronze COSC versions are both 12.45mm-thick. To improve wearability, Christopher Ward has designed the watch with compact lugs. This keeps the lug-to-lug distance to just 46.8mm.
There are some common elements across all models. The first is the prominently domed sapphire crystal, and the second is the domed bezel with sapphire insert. Christopher Ward openly admits this design was inspired by the legendary Blancpain Fifty Fathoms. All three watches also feature an applied Christopher Ward logo at 3 o’clock and the date window at 6 o’clock. This layout gives the dial a greater sense of symmetry.
The bronze COSC model only comes in one dial color, and that’s Marine Blue. As for the stainless steel automatic, you can get that in three colors: Marine Blue, Seamoss (green), and White Sand (beige). The GMT model comes in Marine Blue and White Sand. All models come with the brand’s signature trident handset with a rich application of lume.
The stainless steel automatic and bronze COSC models are both powered by the Sellita SW200. The movement is visible through a sapphire display caseback and features a custom rotor. This movement beats at 4Hz and has a power reserve of around 38 hours. The bronze model obviously has a movement that’s been regulated to chronometer standard and so is accurate to -4/+6 seconds a day. The GMT model, on the other hand, is driven by the Sellita SW 330-2 and features an independently adjustable 24-hour hand, and has a longer power reserve of 50 hours.
There’s really no shortage of vintage-inspired dive watches in the market but having more options never hurt. Fans of the Blancpain Fifty Fathoms will surely relish the chance to own a watch that looks references the famous Fifty Fathoms at a much more palatable price. And objectively speaking, I see little wrong with these watches. Christopher Ward clearly paid attention to wearability, as well as performance.
The Aquitaine watches will come on a variety of straps, including rubber, leather, and a stainless steel bracelet. Prices for the C65 Aquitaine starts at $1,075 for the stainless steel automatic model, $1,350 for the GMT model, and $1,325 for the bronze COSC chronometer model. For more information, visit the brand’s website.