New Christopher Ward C65 GMT Worldtimer is old school charm travelling through time

New Christopher Ward C65 GMT Worldtimer is old school charm travelling through time

The new 2020 watch release Christopher Ward C65 GMT Worldtimer is hands down the most bang for your buck watch of recent times. Heck even if you ignore the price point advantage — £995 — the combination of GMT function and worldtimer on an only 42mm diameter watch that is surprisingly 150m water resistant is simply hard to beat. 

Throw in the slim elegance of 60s-era dive watches and what you have is a watch that stands apart in an overcrowded dive watch market. 

Simply put, the C65 GMT Worldtimer is yesterday perfected today. 

The Journey

Since debuting in 2005 with the C5 Malvern Automatic and the C3 Malvern Chronograph watches — and updating their logo — Christopher Ward has come a long way.  

C65 GMT Worldtimer is a part of the young brand’s Trident series – a dedicated dive watches collection. It combines British born style and innovation with Swiss watchmaking skills. 

The Context

I remember when the C8 UTC Worldtimer watch was released back in 2016. A decent offering at a decent price point — and more of a pilot’s watch than a tool watch — it somehow missed the mark. 

It’s best to say it was received with mixed reactions: the watch was chunky at 44mm diameter and 53.7mm lug to lug spacing; dial was a bit too messy; hands seemed unnecessarily skeletonised; wasn’t very high on the legibility scale; had only 50m of water resistance; the bezel didn’t rotate; and two pushers at 2 & 4’o clock were visually jarring.

The Present 

It’s 2020, and now the British brand releases a new version, and not only does it take care of these faults, it also presents the new watch at a very price friendly point. The watch is a stunner in the looks department — I am using the word ‘stunner’ deliberately as GMT/Worldtime watches are usually not very aesthetically pleasing — and also a very practical everyday tool watch.

In the upheaval filled world we are living in today, and especially the way the financial markets are, brands are finding it harder to survive and even harder to retain customer loyalty.

In a climate such as this, I like when brands are tuned in to the reality of how their watches are being perceived and adapt.

The capability to adapt and turn out products that whisper echoes of the public demands is a quality not many brands possess today. I am happy to find that Christopher Ward is one of the few brands that has the ability to evolve.

The Comparisons 

We have gotten into a tendency to measure all Worldtimer watches against the Jaeger-LeCoultre Polaris Chronograph World Time. Now while we are in love with that particular offering from the Maison — featuring the JLC in-house movement Caliber 752 and you can read about that here — it still measures in at a large 44mm diameter. In-fact, majority of worldtimer watches are produced large. 

But not the new C65 GMT Worldtimer – measuring in at just 42mm and 47.1mm lug to lug, it is a daily wearable beauty. And this is where it begins to score.

Another comparative watch would be the somewhat recently launched Frederique Constant Worldtimer (Gray dial) but that comes in costlier at 4’195 USD. Also it is more of a dress watch somewhat along the lines of Christopher Ward’s own C1 Grand Malvern Worldtimer. And the latter measures in at 43.5mm making it much bigger.

Frankly, at the price point of £995 you would be hard pressed to find a solid, trustworthy daily companion that can take the beating of life (316L steel), stay with you in great depths (150m water resistance) and be your trusty flight mate (GMT). 

What’s New 

The C65 GMT Worldtimer can track 24 time zones simultaneously and the wearer can see three time zones by just glancing at the dial (using its worldtimer marker).

The watch also offers three ‘firsts’ for Christopher Ward:

  1. It is the brand’s first watch ever to combine GMT and worldtimer functionality
  2. It’s the first time a worldtimer complication has been introduced to the C65 Trident collection
  3. It features an all new black and yellow colour scheme along with a screw-down crown inclusion to maintain the high water-resistance

The Movement 

The heart used — Sellita SW330 — is a trusty workhorse self-winding mechanical movement beating at the frequency of 4Hz (28’800 A/h). 

The movement is encased inside a slim ‘light-catcher’ 42mm diameter and 12.05mm thick brushed and polished marine-grade 316L stainless steel case. It comprises of 25 jewels, Christopher Ward ‘Colimacone’ finish on rotor and boasts of a 42-hour power reserve.

The case-back is closed featuring a black diamond-like carbon (DLC) “Trident” motif and unique engraved serial numbers.

C65 GMT Worldtimer
Courtesy © 2016 Christopher Ward (London) Ltd.

The Dial 

The watch face shows the traditional functions of hours, minutes and central hacking seconds, along with a date window at 3’o clock, and a fourth (yellow) GMT hand which can be set to track a different time zone read against a 24-hour ring at the edge of the dial. It is protected by a vintage inspired ‘glass box’ sapphire crystal.

C65 GMT Worldtimer
Courtesy © 2016 Christopher Ward (London) Ltd.

The legibility appears to be high thanks to the black and yellow aesthetic with printed top-brushed indexes with diamond polished facets and Super-LumiNova® Grade X1 GL C1-filled hands. 

C65 GMT Worldtimer
Courtesy © 2016 Christopher Ward (London) Ltd.

Aesthetically the signature Trident counter-balance on seconds hand stands out along with the yellow and white printed 24-hour ring on a matte finish dial with twin flags debossed at 12’o clock. 

The look is completed by the bi-directional steel bezel with printed international cities and brushed steel/black diamond-like carbon (DLC) finishing.

C65 GMT Worldtimer
Courtesy © 2016 Christopher Ward (London) Ltd.

Watch Ya Gonna Do About It?

The watch is a daily wearable watch size coming in at 42×12.05mm. It will fit under the cuff, and given its sporty look, it will also be at home equally at either a soccer field or a tarmac. For those of you who like to spend their lives with more or less one watch, this is definitely a strong contender. And for those who would like to add a ‘beater’ or GMT complication watch to their collection, they can’t go wrong either. 

The new 2020 watch release Christopher Ward C65 GMT Worldtimer has the undeniable appeal of yesterday’s vintage charm mixed with today’s practicality.

Now that we have placed this new release in context, watch out for our detailed hands-on review coming soon.

For more information on this watch and other Christopher Ward watches, head to their website here.