At a Christopher Ward London gathering in summer last year, the company’s CEO Mike France declared that 2020 was going to be the year of the chronograph for the company with two major releases, the C60 and C65, unveiled in the first and second half of the year.
The schedule was disrupted by the covid quarter but, like London buses, you wait for ages then two come along at once.
First, the C60 Trident 3 family has been extended with a black, yellow and white chronograph dive watch, available now for $1,935, then right behind it is the even more striking 1960s-inspired C65 racing chronograph with exactly the same price on a leather or rubber strap, or $2,055 on a steel bracelet.
The timing of the C65’s release could not be more welcome. “It is about having fun, an antidote to these cynical times,” Mr France suggests.
It certainly does capture the zeitgeist of the late 1960s and early 70s when youth movements seemed to drive political, societal and creative debate and the post-war austerity was blown away by short skirts, wide collars and a riot of sound and colour.
“Think of it like this. The ’60s are coming to an end, the ’70s are looming, and everything’s become a little louder. We’re heading towards glam rock, and the C65 Chronograph is the sort of watch that David Bowie might wear on his way to a studio session in Soho. I may not agree with Tony Blair on everything, but I do on this: we’re at our best when at our boldest,” suggests Mr France.
Appropriately, Christopher Ward commissioned pop artist duo Craig & Karl (Craig Redman and Karl Maier) to create illustrations to promote the C65 Chronograph. We have used one of these Craig & Karl images for this month’s striking front cover. Other commissions by the artists have been used by some of the world’s most iconic brands including Apple, Google and Nike.
Christopher Ward has coined the term retro sport to describe the C65 Chronograph. The collection blends dive, motorsport and regatta watch elements from the 1960s in a watch with a dark blue dial with contrasting white sub-dials featuring distinctive blue and red sectors on the 30-minute register. Bright orange hands bring an extra pop of colour.
“The watch is a celebration of colour and the bold, optimistic spirit of the era. But make no mistake, this is also a cutting-edge chronograph that offers you a wealth of timing options,” Mr France describes.
Both the C60 and C64 Chronographs use a self-winding Sellita SW510 BHa, visible through a crystal back, in a 150 metre water resistant 41mm steel case with a screw down crown.