A few months ago, when we went hands-on with Christopher Ward’s newly released C1 Moonphase, the comments made clear that while people thought the watch was unquestionably beautiful, they were also put off in turns by the size, lack of indices, and price. Whether these criticisms were justified isn’t really important, as watches and their appreciation are highly subjective. As if it were anticipating some detractors, the British brand has just announced another aventurine watch that addresses all three concerns: the Christopher Ward C63 Celest.
I suppose I should clarify that they managed to address those concerns but did so with a watch that is not a moonphase. The C63 Celest is part of the C63 collection, which in this watch includes the brand’s signature Light-catcher case in 36mm. That makes it decidedly more wearable than the C1 Moonphase, though I’m sure there will be people who say that this is too small. Those who have experienced this case in person will know how smashing it is, with its sweeping curves, alternating polished and brushed finishing, and excellent fit on just about any wrist. The Celest measures 11.05mm thick and 42.87mm lug to lug and sports a flat sapphire crystal and a screw-down crown assisting with a 150m depth rating. That’s more water resistance than most aventurine-dialed watches have and is one less thing to worry about. Christopher Ward has provided two band options: its 5-link consort bracelet or a blue leather strap, both of which feature quick-release tabs.
The dial here is a bit busier than the C1 Moonglow, and it pulls the sparkling aventurine glass in a sporty direction that’s not too common. Instead of the vast emptiness of the Moonphase, you get applied indices at each hour which are beveled and polished, plus the CW logo up top (about which I’m sure no one will have anything to say). Everything is shiny, even the handset, which I’ve frankly never been a fan of; the long, tapering triangular hand and the dead-straight baton have always clashed in my eye. I’m partial to the matching taper of the obelisk minute hand seen on the Dune and Aquitaine models. In any case, the addition of indices should make this a bit more legible at a glance, and the Super-LumiNova in the hands will give it some low-light utility.
The C63 Celest has a transparent caseback that shows off the Swiss automatic Sellita SW200-1 movement, with a custom rotor featuring the repeating flag motif seen on all CW rotors. It runs at 28,800 vph with a quoted power reserve of 38 hours and an accuracy of -/+20 seconds per day. Regarding the power reserve, while CW states 38 hours, and that is the minimum reserve provided by Sellita in the movement’s spec sheet, Sellita also includes that the typical power reserve is actually 41 hours. It’s not a meaningful difference but does push it up and over the 40-hour requirement that people seem to have arbitrarily established.
With this new model, you get the visual delight of an aventurine dial in a sportier package, with few, if any, sacrifices. There is some intense juxtaposition going on here: The dateless aventurine dial with its polished, unlumed indices pushes and pulls against the sporty hands and case. It’s a delicate balance that has been struck, and in being delicate, will surely have its detractors; I find the sporty elegance to be attractive in its own way. The Christopher Ward C63 Celest is priced at $960 USD on leather and $1,160 USD on bracelet. For more information, please visit the brand’s website.