One of the more compelling recent releases from Christopher Ward has been The Twelve collection, which is the brand’s integrated bracelet sports watch that represents a seriously value-packed offering in what has historically been somewhat of a premium category of timepieces. While the original Christopher Ward The Twelve made its debut appearance earlier this year with a 40mm case in either stainless steel or titanium, the latest new release from the British brand for 2023 is the Christopher Ward The Twelve (36), which takes this highly popular integrated bracelet design and scales it down into a watch with a more compact 36mm case diameter.
From an external perspective, the new Christopher Ward The Twelve (36) is very much a smaller version of the existing model, and it features a stainless steel case that measures 36mm in diameter by 9.95mm thick with an overall lug-to-lug profile of 40.8mm. Just like its larger siblings, flat sapphire crystals are fitted to both the dial side of the watch and its screw-down display caseback, while the top of the case receives The Twelve’s signature dodecagonal (12-sided) bezel with brushed, sandblasted, and high-polished surfaces. Similarly, a signed screw-down crown sits between two separately attached guards at the 3 o’clock location, while water resistance comes in at the same 100 meters to protect virtually all forms of moisture contact.
Where the new Christopher Ward The Twelve (36) differs the most from its full-size sibling is when it comes to its dial, which offers much of the same overall design and format but omits the date window at 6 o’clock and instead opts for a time-only format. Due to the smaller case size, keeping the date window would mean completely losing the 6 o’clock hour marker, so the decision was made to skip the date complication entirely and slim down the hour markers to create a simple and refined appearance. Beyond these updates, the core design of the dial fitted to the new Christopher Ward The Twelve (36) is very much in line with what can be found on the full-size version, complete with its 3D textured surface, luminous arrow-shaped indexes, and the brand’s “twin-flags” logo appearing as an applied element below the 12 o’clock hour marker.
At the time of launch, the new Christopher Ward The Twelve (36) is available in four different colorways, with two of them carried over from the full-size range and the other two exclusive to the new 36mm format. The two blue dial models (Nordic Blue and Glacier Blue) can both be found among the 40mm series, and they are joined by Frosted Lichen (a pale mint green) and Alta White, which is a twist on the brand’s Arctic White colorway that embraces a slightly warmer appearance due to its use of rose gold-finished hands and markers. While all four versions are offered with the collection’s signature stainless steel integrated bracelet as the standard option, they can also be purchased with rubber straps that match the color of their dials (although the Alta White model receives a black strap), and users who purchase both options can easily swap back and forth between the rubber strap and the bracelet using The Twelve’s integrated quick-release system.
Powering the Christopher Ward The Twelve (36) is an Elaboré-grade Sellita SW200-1 automatic movement, which is the same caliber that can be found inside the stainless steel versions of the full-size 40mm model (the titanium variation receives a COSC-rated SW300-1). Just as you would expect, the movement inside The Twelve (36) runs at a frequency of 28,800vph (4 Hz) with a power reserve of approximately 38 hours, and it gets fitted with a custom rotor that features the brand’s “twin-flag” logo motif. The Sellita SW200-1 is Christopher Ward’s go-to movement for the vast majority of its three-handed automatic watches, and while the SW200-1 itself is rather unremarkable, it offers a proven design and is easy to maintain over the course of long-term ownership.
For those who haven’t yet had a chance to experience the Christopher Ward The Twelve in person, the full-size 40mm version wears slightly smaller than the standard Tissot PRX, and its thin profile and considered proportions allow it to fit comfortably on a fairly wide range of wrist sizes. That said, if an integrated bracelet watch is too large for your wrist, there aren’t really all that many strap-changing tricks you can do to help mitigate its size, and when The Twelve collection was first announced earlier this year, there were a number of people who loved its design and value-driven package, but felt that it was simply a bit too large for their wrists. At 36mm, the new Christopher Ward The Twelve (36) strikes a nice balance of being noticeably smaller than the full-size model, yet it is still large enough to be worn by those who could probably also wear the 40mm version. In addition to appealing to those with smaller wrists, The Twelve (36) is also likely to be popular among enthusiasts who appreciate it for its clean and symmetrical time-only dial, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see the brand expand this new 36mm format in the future.
A common trend for integrated bracelet watches is to release a smaller version once the original full-size design has been established, and this is true for many of the original models that first pioneered this design in the 1970s such as the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak and the Patek Philippe Nautilus. Given the incredibly warm reception to The Twelve when it was originally launched earlier this year, a smaller version seemed like an inevitability, and with an official retail price of $995 USD on a rubber strap or $1,225 USD should buyers opt for the bracelet version, the new Christopher Ward The Twelve (36) costs the exact same as its full-size 40mm sibling, which means that price will not be a determining factor, and buyers are simply free to choose their favorite colorway and the version that best fits their wrist. For more information on the Christopher Ward The Twelve (36), please visit the brand’s website.