Shining Bright, It “Warms The Coldest Nights”: Hands-on Review Of The New Christopher Ward C1 Worldglow
Editor’s note: This review of the new Christopher Ward C1 Worldglow is part of our ‘W.R.A.T.H’ series, or ‘What’s Really Available Today Here’ watch photo reviews. It is a series where we go hands-on with watches that can at least at the time of photographing be bought! Today’s watch is brought with the grateful assistance of Christopher Ward and please note that the following opinion is solely ours, this is neither a sponsored post nor were we paid anything for it.
Meet Mr Worldglow
The Watch: The new Christopher Ward C1 Worldglow that continues the brand’s foray into timepieces emblazoned with lume-extravaganza. The chapter that was started in 2019 with the launch of the C1 Moonglow (detailed review here), is slowly turning into a full-fledged novel, one whose future chapters I am eagerly anticipating
Available At: Online only for $2’850 AUD (black cordovan leather strap) or $2’935 AUD (Milanese mesh bracelet). Check it out on the Christopher Ward website here.
Suited For: Travelling is an alien concept these days. But imagination and hope are part of the foundations of mankind’s evolution, and multiple-time zone watches like the new Christopher Ward C1 Worldglow do a perfect job of allowing us to dream. It also doesn’t hurt that this particular world-timer also happens to look like a dream as well.
I reckon the new Christopher Ward C1 Worldglow is for those who are ready to brave the new world and embrace travel whenever it happens. It’s for those dreamers who can appreciate the fine package this watch is as a whole. And it’s definitely for those who love lume (and count me in here)
Our In-person Impression
The combination of the following shows why the new Christopher Ward C1 Worldglow is stellar proof of what the brand is capable of offering and how it is a strong competitor within the industry:
- the dial’s multiple layers that showcase a contoured, three-dimensional sapphire world map with luminous “sea” are well executed
- the presence of 7 segments or horizontal layers on the dial (discussed in detail below) provides for a great deal of depth
- the domed brass outer bezel adds to this depth play
- the use of colour (red) — in the form of the red ‘city selector wedge to pinpoint a specific time zone, the second’s hand tip, and the ‘London’ text — adds life
- the Milanese mesh bracelet is soft and comfortable
- the signature Light-catcher™ case that I have come to love and admire introduces welcome nuances to the design
- the combination of monochromatic worldtime GMT dial execution with a red sector indicator for a specific city is rather unique
- at this price point, CW offers an in-house world time module
- and the generous use of Super-LumiNova® Grade X1 BL C1 seals the deal
This and That
In essence, it follows in the successful footsteps of the rather unique — and one of my personal favourites from the brand — moonphase complication watch the C1 Moonglow. Come to think of it, essentially, CW has combined the two specific timepieces in their current catalogue to spawn this new release: the C1 Worldtimer ref. C01-43AWT2-S00W0-CB with the C1 Moonglow reference C01-40AMP1-S00K0-CK.
In the C1 Worldglow, Christopher Ward introduces that same stunning lume filled aesthetic of the Moonglow to the worldtimer complication.
Personally, it is the bright, shining, Super-LumiNova® Grade X1 BL C1 in-filled dial that paints not just the hands but also the dial’s intricate world map that ends up being a show-stealer.
Will You Like It
Depends. Ask yourself, do you like dollops of lume? Do you want a worldtimer in your collection? Do you feel the need for a dress watch that sets itself apart from others? Do you wish to buy timepieces that offer exceptional value for money and punch above their weight?
If you answer yes to any one of the questions, you are someone who would like what Christopher Ward has to offer, including other timepieces like the C1 Moonglow, C1 Worldtimer.
But if you answer yes to all the questions, then definitely, the new Christopher Ward C1 Worldglow is for you.
Once strapped on the wrist, you will like it. What’s not to like?! The combination of near-total luminosity with the world timer functionality is not only rather unique but also beautifully executed.
I realise people might question the charm about the lume once the novelty wears off. But I contest that. In the two weeks we had this for, and the longer duration we had the similar C1 Moonglow for, I was never even once bored of the lume. That transition from well-lit places to darker rooms is simply divine. Every time we wore this outside and came back to our underground carpark, the watch just lit up. It’s rather handsome and sexy, and commands your attention.
The only concerns we have are with the sizing and pricing (with the former only applicable based on your wrist size).
An aspect I find misplaced for someone with smaller wrists like myself is the increased 43.5mm diameter compared to the C1 Moonglow that came in at 40.5mm. Since I have spent some time with the Moonglow, I know that on my nearly 16cm wrist the Moonglow sat fabulously and the smaller diameter formed a major part of its charm.
The new C1 Worldglow sits a bit large, both on my partner’s 15.5cm and my 16cm wrist, owing to the 51.9mm lug to lug. To put this into perspective, compared to the Omega Aqua Terra Worldtimer that boasts of the same diameter, the Worldglow is bigger. The Omega version comes in a smaller lug to lug size of ~50mm. You can see how the Omega Worldtimer sits on my wrist below. I have also included a size comparison shot alongside the 39mm Breguet Marine Big Date for reference.
That said, the specification where the Worldglow beats both the Moonglow and the Aqua Terra is the thickness of the case. The Worldglow is only 11.55mm thick, while Moonglow sits at 12.35mm thickness and the Aqua Terra at a whopping 15.5mm.
The watch overall looks smaller visually owing to the complex dial layout but with a large lug to lug size, is not the easiest watch for me or someone with slimmer wrists to pull off.
When it comes to pricing, there are two ends of this spectrum: the pricing compared to the competition from other brands and the pricing compared to CW’s own internal lineup. The former, C1 Worldglow wins. Easily.
The latter, well, that’s debatable.
For instance, price-wise, comparing it to 2020’s C65 GMT Worldtimer and for someone looking for maximum bang for their buck, the Worldglow falls a bit short.
Like Ming watches, a big part of my respect for these two brands stems from their relatively pocket-friendly watches.
The C65 GMT Worldtimer, for only $1’770, has got the combination of GMT function and worldtimer on an only 42mm diameter watch that was thankfully 150m water-resistant as well. Measuring in at just 47.1mm lug to lug overall, it is the definition of a daily wearable beauty that costs only $1’770 on a bracelet. Now that’s nearly half the price of the new C1 Worldglow.
Or take the C1 Worldtimer. It retails for $2’335 AUD on a Milanese strap. It is 600 bucks cheaper. And everything else in terms of specs reads the exact same as the C1 Worldtimer. So then you gotta ask, is the lume on the new Christopher Ward C1 Worldglow worth this premium?
Personally, I would rather have more lume than less, but 600 is still a decent amount of dough and I will leave that decision with you.
At the end of the day, both the C1 Worldtime and C1 Moonglow retail for the same price of $2’890 (strap) / $2’935 AUD (bracelet). They are both impressive and unique compared to what’s out there especially under the 3k AUD range and you couldn’t go wrong with either. I loved the C1 Moonglow on my wrist, and the Worldglow doesn’t let down either.
I realise that both are CW’s premium offerings and as such command more money given they also provide more value, but a small part of me wants these to be a little less expensive. Personally, if the C1 Worldglow came with a COSC-certified rating for the price it’s listed for, I would see the definite edge here.
Here’s Looking At You Kid
Again, compared to other brands, it is a great offering, and very competitively priced, no doubt. When it comes to the competitive landscape, of course, there are lots of other brands that offer worldtime complication watches, though Swiss-made mechanical watches with this complication under 3k are rare.
The Farer Roché — especially for lume and nighttime aesthetics — and the Montblanc Heritage Spirit Orbis Terrarum — for the day time aesthetics — are the ones that come to mind first. The former is cheaper, and the latter more expensive.
Here’s placing the new Christopher Ward C1 Worldglow alongside some other worldtime watches and their pricing in ascending order (but without going into the whole true worldtimer vs GMT with printed cities debate):
- The Farer Roché World Timer would have competed directly with the C1 Moonglow had it not been a much smaller watch, coming in at only 39mm diameter. It also features an outsourced Swiss Made ETA 2893-1 Elaboré movement compared to the inclusion of the somewhat — will explain this a bit later — in-house module calibre JJ03. On strap, the Roché retails for £1’180. This is cheaper compared to the £1’750 for C1 Worldglow on the strap. In the case of the C1 though, the aesthetics are very different; the world map glows, and they have an interesting black/white monochromatic styling
- Then there’s the Tissot Heritage Navigator Automatic 160th Anniversary COSC ref. T078.641.16.037.00 listed out-of-stock on the official website for £1’300. This is again cheaper than the £1’750 for the C1 Worldglow. The Tissot offering has a completely different aesthetic, and given lume is the name of the game here, sadly, this Tissot falls way short of that
- Next up is the very minimalistic Junghans Master Worldtimer ref. 27/3010.02 (non-Swiss on this list). Compared to the C1 Worldglow’s €2’095, it retails for € 1’690. Very understated, and smaller at 40.4 x 10.5mm, it’s got a very different aesthetic (and again the burst of lume is absent)
- The new Christopher Ward C1 Worldglow comes next. Talking from a brand strategy perspective, I appreciate how CW is offering this as their higher-end, premium offering. The C1 Worldglow is not just another watch from this young brand; it takes every expertise and skill it has to offer and packages it as a premium product
- The now-discontinued Ball Trainmaster Worldtime was also an obvious go-to for comparing, but when it was around at retail, it cost a significantly higher $3’299 USD (compared to $2’045 USD of the C1 Worldglow). The present Ball range includes a number of worldtimer watches, ranging from $2’934 USD (~3’750 AUD) to 4’034 USD (~5200 AUD). Again, higher pricing than CW
- The discontinued Maurice Lacroix Masterpiece Worldtime sells on Amazon for $4’200 AUD
- Another aesthetically comparative watch would be the Frederique Constant Worldtimer (Gray dial) but that again comes in costlier at 4’195 USD
- Like I said earlier, design-wise, the Montblanc Heritage Spirit Orbis Terrarum comes very close to the new Christopher Ward C1 Worldglow. It again uses a Sellita base with an in-house module on top just like the C1 Worldglow, but upon launch back in 2015 retailed for about 6’000 AUD
- The minimalistic and quite stunning Nomos Zurich World Time Midnight Blue ref. 807 retails for $8’270 AUD (again a non-Swiss watch like the Junghans)
Some other discontinued watches like Baume & Mercier Capeland Worldtimer, the Montblanc MB126108 Star Legacy Orbis Terrarum Automatic 43mm, and the Longines Master Automatic GMT also come to mind. All are more expensive — above 5k — than the C1 Worldglow.
End story, for a Swiss-made mechanical watch, the C1 Worldglow is a very decently priced offering. And when you bring into the mix superb finishings, unique-ish aesthetics, tons of lume, and CW’s 60|60 policy — 5 years warranty on movement and 60 days returns — the new Christopher Ward C1 Worldglow pretty much flies solo.
Where does it score the most (besides the lume)
One of the peak non-redeeming qualities of most worldtimers out there is the presence of a busy dial. Usually, dials carrying a map of the world are cluster-messes and given they are divided into segments that correspond to the planet’s 24 time zones, legibility can be a concern. Thankfully, and this is something that doesn’t come across in press images, the dial of the C1 Worldglow is decently legible.
CW is going with the whole ‘Sin City’ vibe with the black, white and hint of red on the dial, and this works in its favour. There is a geometric and symmetric proportion to the dial architecture, that aids in legibility. The shiny lume filled metallic hour and minute hands contrast well against the black background, and the seconds hand, fortunately, bears a red painted tip.
Day or night, we didn’t have any difficulty reading the time (though the seconds hand at night is not visible at all, and that’s something the brand should work on).
The new Christopher Ward C1 Moonglow features the somewhat in-house calibre JJ03. Somewhat because this movement is a part of the family developed by Johannes Jahnke for CW (hence JJ).
Jahnke is Christopher Ward’s master watchmaker — who now also works as director of development at Sellita, hence the movement in the Worldglow is a combination of an in-house module on top of a Sellita base SW330 that is essentially a clone of the ETA 2893-2 and measures 26.20mm in diameter and 4.10mm in thickness — and there are currently four JJ Calibres in this family: JJ01, a jumping-hour module; JJ02, a single-pusher chronograph; JJ03, a worldtimer; and JJ04, the moonphase.
The automatic calibre JJ03 with in-house Worldtimer module comprises 25 jewels, beats at the frequency of 4Hz (28’000 A/h), provides an okay power-reserve of 42-hours, and a timing tolerance of +/- 20 seconds per day.
The calibre equips the watch with a rotating ‘GMT’ disc, printed with the numerals of the 24-hour clock. Once it’s correctly paired to a location on the ‘cities’ bezel — turning the crown clockwise engages this 24-hour disc — the watch is ready to tell multiple times at once.
The movement is encased inside the previously mentioned 43.5mm x 11.55mm brushed and polished marine-grade (316L) stainless steel case that weighs a relatively light 66g and features an interhorn spacing of 22mm. The case allows for a basic 30m (3 ATM) water resistance and through the display case-back, you can marvel at the diamond-like carbon (DLC) finished rotor with twin flag engraving finish.
The Hands-on Experience
The unboxing and reveal were as expected, in that they were the same as our previous (positive) unboxing review of the C65 Trident Automatic that you can read here. The watch comes securely inside environmentally-friendly packaging.
Moving on to the actual timepiece, the intricacies of the dial architecture and the beauty arising from that is what draws you in.
The watch is pretty monochromatic toned, with blacks, grey and whites ruling its canvas. The addition of red to the peripheral sunken city marker, second’s hand tip, ‘London’ text and the red ‘city selector’ on the sapphire crystal is an excellent contrast providing a device that brings about a sense of quirkiness.
Lord of the Rings
The dial is divided into seven segments, making the face appear smaller. There is also a play of perception of depth and heights. Going from the centre of the dial outwards:
- Segment 1: Smack in the middle is the pure sapphire dial with a vivid representation of the globe. Partly transparent, it is covered in loads of Super-LumiNova® Grade X1 BL C1
- Segment 2: Following this is the sunken and contrasting grey-white ring that features the rotating red marker. Worthwhile to note here that this sunken ring is in-filled with luminous material and if you look at the lume shots, it appears to be lit like an arena marker ring that encompasses the world
- Segment 3: Then raised again is the black ring that features the moving 24-hour disc which is read in conjunction with the international cities ring that later surrounds it
- Segment 4: Between the 24-hour disc and the international cities ring is another sliver of sunken space, though this time it’s not lumed
- Layer 5: Then comes the thick, slightly grained, subtly domed, brass outer bezel international cities ring with names of 24 prominent global destinations in white, with London marked in red
- Layer 6: Then a thin black minute track rings follows
- Layer 7: The final layer is another lume filled ring, though it’s not sunken this time
At night, when the lume is charged, layers one, two, three (numerals), and seven come to party and are joined by lume filled CW branding at 12 and the hour & minute hands.
On the wrist, the Light-catcher™ case activates its charm, and the use of a straight, monolithic appearing case with long but widely tapered lugs makes the watch wear a lot dressier. Adding to these perfect proportions is the scalloped underside of the case that features contrasting surfaces, with both flanks being curved or should I say dug into to create recessed concave trenches on the underside. This not only helps the case to bounce off light impressively but also makes the watch a fair bit more comfortable to wear.
This is also the first CW I have tried on a mesh bracelet and it was thicker than we expected it to be. It was decently comfortable, but personally, I would buy this on the leather strap. I find it to be dressier that way.
The new Christopher Ward C1 Worldglow in the brand’s own words is a “luminescent dress watch that brings the world to your wrist”.
Simply put, it’s for both, the busy globetrotter who would like to sport a timepiece that’s practical and cool, and for the watch enthusiast or collector — like myself — who would simply like to add a fun, lume filled piece to his collection.
That’s All Folks!
Shining bright, the new Christopher Ward C1 Worldglow “warms the coldest nights”.
When I first saw this watch earlier this year, the “Neon Rainbow” song by The Box Tops came to mind. I will leave you with its opening lyrics: “The city lights, the pretty lights, They can warm the coldest nights, all the people going places, smiling with electric faces…”
With the new Christopher Ward C1 Worldglow on your wrist, you can dream about travelling again; you can have a quirky timepiece that lights up your day (or night); and like the lyrics above, the watch lights up the (24) cities, with its pretty (neon) lights, the lume can warm the coldest nights, all the people going places (marked on the dial), smiling with electric faces…
To find out more about the Christopher Ward C1 Worldglow and other Christopher Ward watches, please head to their website here. All images are ©Watch Ya Gonna Do About It, unless otherwise stated. We would again like to thank Christopher Ward for sending us this watch to review. For our coverage of all new 2021 releases, please head here. For our in-depth deep dives, please head to our dedicated hands-on section here.