Welcome back to an original aBlogtoWatch feature, “My First Grail Watch”. In this series, we ask prominent people in the watch industry about the first timepiece that they lusted after.
aBlogtoWatch (ABTW): Who are you and what is your relationship to the watch industry?
Chistopher Ward (CW): Hello, my name is Christopher Ward and I am addicted to watches. I’m also one of the founding members of Christopher Ward London Limited. There may be some connection between those two points.
ABTW: What was your first grail watch?
CW: My hometown, Liverpool, is home to one (and only one) of the world’s best soccer teams but it also has a rich history in watchmaking. My first grail watch was a pocket watch by Thomas Russell, based in Liverpool. The company made early keyless watches, including Karrusels and chronometers, mainly in the second half of the 19th century.
ABTW: What did you like so much about the watch?
CW: I love the clarity of its design; it has such deceptively simple, clean lines and expresses the English aesthetic of watchmaking …. and I’m proud to see such a beautiful piece of craftsmanship from my hometown.
ABTW: Was there ever a time in your life when you could afford it?
CW: Yes, but it’s not about the price. Thomas Russell’s timepieces aren’t expensive but are absolutely wonderful to own and I get huge fulfillment from mine. I don’t think there is necessarily any correlation between the price of a watch and the enjoyment it can bring.
ABTW: Since they’re relatively affordable, did you ever get one?
CW: I eventually bought a broken one… which was hugely satisfying as I fixed and restored it myself. I also designed our C1 Russell watch as a tribute to Thomas Russell, helping to keep a great name alive