When it comes to watches that offer a tremendous value, the catalog coming from Christopher Ward has been offering a lovely variety of watches, with various price points on tap for all budgets. Lately, they have expanded the range into something more approaching luxury territory, and the brand has also expanded to have some of their own movements. This has been most prevalent by their Johannes Jahnke’s designs, of which we now have a third iteration in the form of the Christopher Ward Jumping Hour Mark III.
This newest iteration houses the JJ01 (which is a modified ETA 2824-2) in a brand new 40mm case; previous iterations have come in a 43mm diameter. This is to follow a trend that the brand has noted with folks looking for smaller dress watches (something this writer can certainly appreciate). While most of the dial is fairly stark (as befits a dressier watch) with simple indices and minimal text, you have a very bold (read: large) window at the 12 o’clock position that callsout the current hour in Arabic numerals.
This allows for a very quick read of the time when paired with the slender hour hand that reaches to the very edge of the case. In many ways, this does give you the look of a single-hand watch, while allowing you to retain the ability to tell the time down to the minute. I do understand why the brand would want to color-match the hand and jumping hour display, yet I wish the color of that jumping hour disc was a bit more muted, so as to not be quite as stark a contrast.
Then again, perhaps that is just me, searching out for details that do not feel quite spot-on. One thing that is indisputable is the fact that the brand has remained focused on offering affordable watches. Their merger last year with Synergies Horlogères (their Swiss atelier) appears to be giving some benefits already, as they are able to offer the Christopher Ward Jumping Hour Mark III at a price of $1,375, which seems reasonable for a hand-assembled watch of this nature, and is a natural extension of the brand into premium offerings. christopherward.com
- Brand & Model: Christopher Ward Jumping Hour Mark III
- Price: $1,375
- Who we think it might be for: It’s like the brand states – you liked the earlier jumping hour, but wanted something a bit smaller
- Would I buy one for myself based on what I’ve seen?: There is a lot to like here – I’m just not sure if it would be a watch for me. If a single-hand watch made it into regular rotation, though, it would definitely be of the jump-hour variety like we have here.
- If I could make one design suggestion, it would be: As I mentioned in the article, I am curious as to what things would look like with a more muted color choice for the numerals
- What spoke to me the most about this watch: Aside from the work put into the movement, I am glad to see a lineup head towards smaller diameters