Mechanical watches in the under-$1,000 price range tend to be thicker and larger these days. A 42 mm x 12 mm automatic can pass for a dress watch, and even the slimmer manual offerings are mostly thicker than 6 mm—until now.
Christopher Ward has managed to stuff a manual ETA 7001 into a slender 39 mm x 5.95 mm case. As the name suggests, the final watch is 5.95 mm tall. The kicker, though, is the price: £595 ($845USD). [Update: U.S. pricing has been released and it is even better than the exchange rate suggests: $680 on leather; $775 on mesh]
Comparably slim watches from Stowa or Nomos are, respectively, either a millimeter thicker or cost hundreds more. Examples from these Germans use the ETA 7001 or a close cousin, but neither claim to hit the sub-6 mm mark AND the sub-$1,000 price point that Christopher Ward has achieved with the C5 Malvern 595. While 1 mm isn’t much, it can matter on the wrist and it certainly matters for horological bragging rights.
In keeping with the minimalist aesthetic, the dial is sparse. Either domed pearly white or light grey, it has simple printed indices and polished black hands to match. There is nothing extra here, not even the 7001’s usual small second hand. The crown is also diminutive and delicate, but I hope it will still be workable since this is a manual movement with a fairly standard 42-hour power reserve.
We’ll find out soon enough how the crown performs, because we have examples of both white and grey varieties in-bound for hands-on testing. Let us know below or on Slack if you have any questions we can answer once these wafers land on the review desk. christopherward.com
Christopher Ward C5 Malvern 595
- Price: £595 ($845USD) [Update: U.S. pricing has been released and it is even better than the exchange rate suggests: $680 on leather; $775 on mesh]
- Case Material: 316L Stainless steel
- Case Dimensions: 39 mm x 45.8 mm x 5.95 mm
- Weight: 33 g
- Lug Width: 20 mm
- Movement: ETA 7001
- Crystal: Anti-reflective flat sapphire crystal
- Strap: Oak leather: black, brown, camel with pin buckle; Milanese Mesh
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