Christopher Ward just launched its new C7 Rapide motorsports collection, but this is no mere marketing exercise. They’ve also launched the Need for Speed competition, an expansion of their amateur athlete Challenger Programme that now includes up-and-coming motorcycle and car racers. The winner of the Need for Speed competition will receive a place on the Challenger Programme alongside other extreme athletes, benefiting from financial backing, PR support, and a watch allowance. The Need for Speed competition is UK-only—so park it if you drive on the right-hand side of the road.
The new C7 Rapide watches, however, are for all of us and there is a bit of something for everyone. There are six new models in all: the Quartz and Chronograph Quartz; Automatic and Chronograph Automatic; plus two limited editions, the Day Date COSC automatic and Chronograph COSC quartz. Prices range from $455USD to $1,780USD. The entry-level price point gets a Swiss-made Ronda 715.2 quartz movement and the top-of-the-range Chronograph Automatic runs an ETA Valjoux 7750.
Two features jump out on the new C7 Rapide Collection.
First, if you hate the new 9:00 Christopher Ward logo, you’ll be glad to see it has been replaced by the company’s twin-flags logo. I’m a fan of the new text logo, but the twin-flags is a sporty touch that works well on these sporty watches. The faces also get double-height numerals and indices, extra matte finishes, and a slathering of SuperLuminova. Sapphire crystals top things off across the range.
Second, the C7 Rapide Collection uses a brand new four-part 42mm case. Cut-away lugs evoke skeletonized racing components and a band that sits around the case body can be spec’d with any texture or color Christopher Ward designers pick. No word yet on whether you and I can customize that ring, but why not? The lugs have a fast-looking shape. I wonder if the ring adds unnecessary bulk to the case, but at 42mm they seem to have kept things in the sport watch sweet spot.
Anyone in the market for a sporty watch should find something to like in the C7 Rapide Collection. We’ll try to go hands-on with at least one example from the collection. Any requests? christopherward.com