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.

Nice detail carried over from the case on the buckle

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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Christopher Ward, Reviews,

Last Update: May 25, 2012