I do not think that I am alone in appreciating what Christopher Ward has been doing – offering compelling designs with solid movement options (both quartz and automatic) at reasonable price points. As we have mentioned in previous writeups, even when the brand extends to some higher end pieces, the pricing is still in-line with the overall mission. This is evident in the launch of the new Christopher Ward C9 5 Day Automatic.
A little bit over a month ago we brought you word of a Christopher Ward model that was going to house the in-house SH21 movement, the excellent C60 Trident. Well, it seems that movement is going to be used more and more by the brand, as it’s also showing up in the Christopher Ward C9 5 Day Automatic. What really appeals to me about this watch is the new, smaller size.
The Christopher Ward C9 5 Day Automatic will be made in a 40mm case (13.45mm thick) which may seem small given modern tastes and trends, but it’s hitting a sort of sweet spot that I find myself in. Sure, if you are going to wear a tool watch, then something pushing the 46mm size works. When you’re going for something else, especially if it leans a bit more towards a refined look, the smaller case sizes make sense.
With a 40mm case, you are hitting a good compromise – you have a watch that will not disappear on your wrist, but it also won’t dominate your shirt cuff. In other words, this will be a good every day sort of watch, fit for the office as well as a night out. This is true no matter which of the three dial colors you’d go for – blue, black, or white.
Legibility on the Christopher Ward C9 5 Day Automatic is crisp, courtesy of the applied nickel indices and hands (blued on the white dial). If you take a look at the indices, you will notice a surprising detail. While most of the indices are slender, stick style, at 12 o’clock and 6 o’clock you have very narrow Roman numerals appearing. This is a unique design choice, and mixes up the design from what we might come to expect.
While the main attraction around the Christopher Ward C9 5 Day Automatic might be the SH21 movement (more on that here), for me it really is the more compact size along with the overall look. Simply put, I am a fan of watches that pull near to the “dress watch standard” and then mix in a few different ideas. If you find yourself in the same boat, you can pick up a Christopher Ward C9 5 Day Automatic for $1,895, on your choice of a blue, brown, or black strap (interestingly, the blue is not available with the black dial). Delivery is anticipated to be by the end of March. christopherward.com
- Brand & Model: Christopher Ward C9 5 Day Automatic
- Price: $1,895
- Who we think it might be for: You want a watch for the office and to wear with a suit, you want an in-house movement, and you don’t want to wipe out your savings in the process
- Would I buy one for myself based on what I’ve seen?: Indeed – I could see the blue-dial variant coming home
- If I could make one design suggestion, it would be: On the darker dials, a darker (if not color-matched) date wheel would be beneficial.
- What spoke to me the most about this watch: The smaller size, and the surprise change in indices at 12 and 6.
Specs from Christopher Ward
- In-house calibre SH21 automatic movement (100% Swiss Made) by Johannes Jahnke
- COSC certified chronometer
- Twin barrel construction in a series connection
- 120 hour power reserve
- 31 jewels
- Date display at 3 o’clock
- Full tungsten automatic rotor with ball bearings
- Continuous central second
- Stop-second hacking mechanism
- Galvanic sun-ray one-piece metal dial with raised nickel indexes and nickel hands
- Hand finished, surgical grade, stainless steel case and crown
- Museum-grade sapphire crystal with AR08 anti-reflective coating
- Screw-down transparent case back with full diameter AR08 anti-reflective sapphire crystal
- Embossed alligator pattern Italian leather strap with Bader Deployment
- Luxury presentation case and owner’s handbook
- Diameter: 40mm
- Height: 13.45mm
- Calibre: SH21 automatic
- Vibrations: 28.800 vph
- Case: 316L stainless steel
- Water resistance: 5 bar
- Strap width: 20mm
- Strap length: 110mm x 90mm