I’ve long looked in askance at companies like Daniel Wellington and Christopher Ward. Not only are their names execrable – they sound like guys you don’t want coming to your share house on the Hamptons – but the designs have been me-too and too simplistic. When CW asked if I wanted to check out their latest C65 Trident Classic Mk II I was a bit worried that I wouldn’t like it.
I was right, but there’s a twist.
First, a bit about my mission here. My goal is simple: to drag watches out of the fashion ghetto through education, appreciation, and support. I want watches to be respected as technological artifacts, tools, and works of art. Watches are not something you strap on because the band goes well with your shoes.
So when I see fashion brands I get frustrated. They sell cheap watches to the style-conscious and the watch is as durable and ugly as a pair of cheap jeans. I always put CW in the fashion brand category but now I’m changing my tune.
I like a few of their pieces. The Moonphase is nice and the Worldtimer and they have a few nice mechanical chronos. While the Mk II wasn’t quite as excited as I would have liked it is a nice piece with a deeply engraved back and nice aesthetics. I’m a sucker for a nice, readable, and well-lumed face and CW offers all of those.
What frustrates me about modern watchmaking is that it’s about commodity and the more sold the better. Watchmakers like MVMT, while bold, are in the t-shirt business. I want a bespoke linen shirt with a nice color and some detailing. Watchmakers like Daniel Wellington are in the everything-to-everyone market. I want a watch that’s polarizing.
So what I’m saying is while I can’t say much about this particular piece I am pleased the CW is actually taking pains to create watches that aren’t run of the mill. While I’m not exactly sure where these fit in the pantheon of watches just yet (and they could probably get rid of that san-serif on the watch face) I am glad they’re trying and I’m glad I got to change my mind about a brand that is quite popular but not yet mainstream. Bully for Mr. Ward. He can come to my share house any time he wants.