I’ve featured quite a few different CW watches over the past months, and I’ve really liked what I’ve seen coming from them. Today, we’ll be taking a look at the first of two watches they sent over for review – the C11 Manta Ray.You can tell by looking at the piece that’s its quite obviously aviation-inspired, much like what we’ve come to expect from B&R. There are a few things that struck me about this piece (ref. C11-AUTO-KKK). First, is it’s extreme legibility. Nice wide hands and a clean dial definitely make that possible, as does the size of dial that’s afforded by the 42mm case.
Next, I was struck by how thin the watch was (under 11mm) for being an automatic (you’ll end up with either an ETA 2824-2 or an SW200-1 movement). As soon as I saw that, I knew it would fit well under a shirt cuff, either at work or with a suit. And the watch worked well in both of those situations. Being such a dark piece, it fit a dressier occassion; given it’s relative size and squared off shape, it wasn’t out of place in a casual setting either.
I found the lume to be excellent (as you would expect for such wide hands), and the AR-coated sapphire crystal was quite welcome as well. I was surprised to find that the crown was not of the screw-in variety, but even with that, it’s still rated to 100m for water resistance.
One other minor quibble I should note – I found the leather strap to be a bit “squeaky” in between the 22mm lugs. Not a deal breaker, no, but something of note. And as long as we’re noting minor things – take a look at the date wheel. See that? It’s color matched to the dial!
Overall, there’s a lot to like with this watch. I think it’s a great fit for someone who likes the aviation style that’s very much associated with B&R, but wants something more affordable. It’s also rare to have a watch this wide be as thin as it is, which is another definite plus. Our particular model is available for $625, but others in the range can be had for as low as $550.
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