It rarely happens that a limited-edition watch is based on a completely new design, but that’s exactly what we have here. These here are the C65 Sandstorm and C65 Sandstorm Blackout, the result of a collaboration between British watch brand Christopher Ward and U.S. watch blog Worn & Wound, and they are a completely new design that’s unlike anything else from Christopher Ward’s catalog.
With a case diameter of 38mm, these watches were clearly designed with enthusiasts in mind. Both watches have stainless steel cases, but the C65 Sandstorm Blackout stands out for having a black DLC finish. The two watches have box sapphire crystals and the same 11.6mm thickness. They also have sizable screw-down crowns and water resistance ratings of 150 meters.
The two watches have sector dials with different color treatments. The C65 Sandstorm’s dial is mostly silver and grey. Cyan markings on the outermost ring denote the minutes. An inner ring sees large Arabic hour markers of 12-3-6-9 cut out over a grey section. Further in, there’s a date ring with a small bright red indicator. It’s a busy but arguably functional design.
Personally, I think the C65 Sandstorm Blackout is the more attractive of the two. It has a black and beige dial. A beige outer ring with red markings shows the minute. And inside is a thicker black ring with cutouts for the Arabic hour markings of 12-3-6-9. Further in is another beige section and the date ring with a small bright red indicator. From the press photos, this dial looks more legible and pleasing.
On the dial, you’ll have a Chronometer designation at 6 o’clock which hints at the movement inside. Inside the watches are Sellita SW200 movements that have been regulated to meet COSC standards. This means an accuracy of +6/-4 seconds per day. Beat rate is unchanged at 4Hz and power reserve remains the same at 38 hours. Unfortunately, owners won’t be able to see the movement inside because the watches have solid casebacks that have been stamped with a vortex motif and engraved with a unique serial number.
As for straps, the C65 Sandstorm comes with either a canvas strap or a steel bracelet to match its stainless steel case. The C65 Sandstorm Blackout, on the other hand, only comes with a black canvas strap. All canvas straps come with quick-release mechanisms for easy strap swapping.
Even though I find the dials to be quite busy, I can admire the thinking behind the design. I particularly like the implementation of the date complication. It would probably have been easier to simply put a date window, but a date display like this shows more thought. Furthermore, these watches have COSC-certified movements and are truly limited because there will only be 200 pieces of the C65 Sandstorm and 100 pieces of the C65 Sandstorm Blackout. The Christopher Ward x Worn & Wound C65 Sandstorm is $1,085 USD on a canvas strap and $1,205 on a bracelet, while the C65 Sandstorm Blackout is $1,130 on a black canvas strap. For more information, visit the Windup Watch Shop.