April 30, 2020
As a relatively young brand, Christopher Ward has set itself apart from the pack of fellow newcomers with a focus on movements, a value driven price point, and distinctly British design sensibilities. One of the cornerstones of this approach has been the staple C60 dive watch series, which has evolved over the years to create an array of capable and unique riffs on classic diver principles. The latest of these, the Christopher Ward C60 Sapphire, combines a unique clear-dial alternative to the skeleton watch theme with a playful new colorway and solid finishing for this price point.
The Christopher Ward C60 Sapphire begins with the brand’s C60 Trident 3 series case. This 40 mm 316L stainless steel case takes most of its pages from the classic dive watch playbook – the sporty wide set lugs, the prominent crown guards, and the deeply toothed dive bezel – but gives them all an injection of the brand’s own personality. This is most evident as the lugs flow into the case sides, where a broad bevel along the edge flows from a polished character line to a wide polished top surface for the entire crown guard. The other major distinctive element here is the bezel, with an intricate multilayer etched insert featuring a pop of royal blue lume covering the first 15 minutes. This blue also reappears on the caseback, where the sapphire display window is given a dramatic blue tint. Even with a display caseback, Christopher Ward claims an impressive 600 meters of water resistance for the C60 Sapphire.
For the Christopher Ward C60 Sapphire, the real star of the show is the dial. While skeleton and open heart dials have become increasingly popular as a way to show off the inner workings of a watch’s movement, transparent dials are much more of an oddity. A few watchmakers turned to these in the ‘60s and ‘70s for models such as the Bulova Accutron Spaceview and the funky transparent orange dial of the Seiko 7015 Time Sonar chronograph, but in the modern day this sort of solution is far less commonplace especially for more affordably priced watches. As the name might suggest, the transparent dial of choice here is made from sapphire, tinted to a matching blue to the caseback. While the Sellita SW200 movement visible below is far from the most ornate or mechanically impressive movement out there, there’s something inherently charming about seeing the mechanism within doing its work. The dial design itself is very much standard for the C60 line, with Christopher Ward’s signature exaggerated arrow hours hand and trident-counterweight seconds hand coupled to a series of lumed applied rectangular indices. Splashes of orange on the seconds hand, dial text, and minutes track add some playful contrast to the mix.
Fully visible at the heart of the C60 Sapphire is a Sellita SW200 automatic movement. While not the most technically impressive movement, this powerplant offers +20/-20 seconds per day accuracy, a 38 hour power reserve, and features a uniquely finished signed rotor.
In terms of straps, Christopher Ward provides the C60 Sapphire with a blue fabric strap with either blue or contrasting orange rubber lining. As an additional option, the brand also offers a brushed oyster-style three link bracelet.
With the C60 Sapphire Christopher Ward continues to dance to the beat of its own stylistic drum, creating a distinctive and capable diver that sets itself well apart from other offerings in this bracket. The Christopher Ward C60 Sapphire is available now through authorized dealers with an MSRP starting at £795. For more information, please visit the brand’s website.