Raising The Daily Beater Ante: Defy Odds With The New Christopher Ward C63 Sealander Collection
When Released: 29 April 2021 at 1pm GMT
Where: Online only via the website here
- C63 Sealander Automatic with a quick-release bracelet from £595
- C63 Sealander GMT with a quick-release bracelet from £795
- C63 Sealander Elite with a quick-release hybrid strap from £1’150
Because not everyone can afford to buy multiple luxury watches, but watch enthusiasts love the idea of owning a daily beater. With the new Christopher Ward C63 Sealander Collection, enthusiasts get to choose from three new models, all encased inside the beautiful Light-catcher™ case and on offer is something for everyone.
Who Is It For
The C63 collection, especially the entry-level model is perfect for those looking to dip their toes in the world of Swiss mechanical watches; it’s for those watch collectors who want a solidly built watch with a reliable movement that can be worn daily without worrying about the watch; it’s for those enthusiasts who have slimmer wrists given the watches are either 39 or 40mm; it’s also for those like to swap out their straps pretty often as all models feature a universally easy 20mm intern-horn lug spacing.
How Does It Do
It’s almost insane how affordable the new Christopher Ward C63 Sealander collection is. When I first received the press release, it took a while for the prices to sink in. I love high-end Swiss, Japanese and German watches like everyone else, but I also appreciate a good deal when I see one.
C63 Sealander Automatic
There is something for everyone. The base model is a simple three-hander time only version that comes with a choice of black or white hand-finished, polished lacquer dials. Before this, the cheapest CW watch was the C3 Grand Tourer quartz watch that retailed for £395. Their quartz watches go up-to £600 with the C65 AM 1 VEV Special Edition. The cheapest automatic watch until now was the C60 Trident Pro 600 that retails for £740.
And shock and horror, wait for it, in a surprise and welcome twist, the new Christopher Ward C63 Sealander Collection with automatic Sellita movements starts at only £595. That’s £5 cheaper than their quartz model and £145 less expensive than the C60 Trident Pro 600 or the C65 Trident Automatic.
The latter we have gone hands-on with before, and even that model at a higher price than the new C63 Sealander Automatic was cheaper than a lot of watches out there, such as the Tissot Seastar 1000 Powermatic 80 ref. T120.407.17.041.00, Glycine Combat Sub Automatic ref. GL0094, or the Doxa Watch Sub 200 ref. 7184.108.40.206.
I know I am looking at divers above, but the new C63 Sealander Automatic with its 150m water-resistance is competitively priced even against brands like Baltic, Certina and Hamilton. The Hamilton Khaki Field Mechanical, Victorinox Swiss Army Ambassador and Junghans Max Bill, all with ETA movements, are good comparisons when it comes to affordable dress watches at the price point. And where CW lacks in terms of the legacy or heritage of Tissot or Hamilton, it makes that up with a number of other added features.
Think about it; for as low as £595, one gets a:
- solidly built, nicely finished and encased inside the handsome Light-catcher™ case timepiece
- featuring the workhorse Sellita SW200-1 movement
- Land or sea ready with a comfortable steel bracelet and 150m water-resistance
- dress meets casual sports watch vibe
- a universally wearable 39mm diameter
- crisp legibility with applied, faceted brushed and polished indices
- and hand-finished, polished lacquer dials
C63 Sealander GMT
The next level up is the new Christopher Ward C63 Sealander GMT. Just like the entry-level model, until now the cheapest GMT timepiece CW had to offer was C60 Trident GMT 600 retailing for £950. But the new C63 Sealander GMT retails for only £795 and also offers a higher 56-hours power reserve. Price-wise, it’s exceptional.
That said, the Rolex Explorer II similarities and vibes are something I don’t personally cherish. But I can also see that very quality being a big selling point for those watch enthusiasts who would love to somewhat carry the appeal of the iconic Rolex model on their wrist at a fraction of a price and without waiting for waitlists.
C63 Sealander Elite
Finally, we have the premium offering, the new C63 Sealander Elite. This version is my favourite out of the lot. For £1’150, one gets a whole world of horological awesomeness that is perhaps unrivalled:
- COSC-certified movement with Elaboré ‘Colimaçoné’ finish with Twin-flag engraving finish on the rotor
- Central hacking seconds hand
- A variety of wrists friendly 40mm diameter and a Grade 2 titanium case (again, titanium case for only £1’150). Also, cuff-friendly 10.7mm thickness and only 45g weight
- A slightly cut-out matte black dial featuring lume and with see-through segments that feature a stellar transparent aesthetic
- An internal circular brushed and polished fixed titanium bezel
- Embossed retractable titanium crown and screw in display caseback
- 150m water-resistance
When it comes to other options out there within this price bracket or higher but COSC-certified, there is the Formex Essence COSC, Mido Commander Automatic, Rado Couple Classic or Ball Engineer III among others. But the use of titanium, 60|60 policy and 150m water-resistance simply add to the value of the new C63 Sealander Elite.
In terms of value for money, the new Christopher Ward C63 Sealander Elite comes hot on the heels of the CW C65 Sandstorm and Sandstorm Blackout Chronometers. These COSC-certified, limited edition, sector-dialled handsome timepieces for only £818.46 (C65 Sandstorm) or £852.41 (C65 Sandstorm Blackout) were a steal.
Overall, this new collection is one of the best entry-level watch deals out there. It’s like the entry path to Swiss watchmaking has found a new gateway.
I am not someone who is particularly a fan of homages. Inspiration yes. Replicas, not so much. So as much as I see the relevance of a Rolex Explorer II lookalike existing for those who can’t get their hands on the real deal, I would have preferred that CW followed their own path; after all, their signature Light-catcher™ case is uniquely emblematic of their capabilities and design skills.
Also, it’s winding up to be the same critique every-time with CW watches: the low 38-hour power reserve of the Sellita SW200-1.
The C63 Sealander Automatic features the Sellita SW 200-1 with Elaboré ‘Colimaçoné’ finish that measures 25.60mm in diameter and 4.6mm in thickness. This self-winding movement features 26 jewels, beats at the frequency of 4Hz (28’800 A/h), offers an okay 38-hour power reserve and a timing tolerance of +20/-20 seconds per day. It also offers a central hacking seconds mechanism along with an anti-shock system. The movement is encased inside a 39mm diameter — only 45.8mm lug-to-lug and 61g light — and 11.25mm brushed and polished marine grade stainless steel case.
The C63 Sealander Elite features the same Sellita SW200-1 but offers a timing tolerance of -4/+6 sec p/day (within COSC-certification parameters). The movement is encased inside a 40mm diameter — only 46.9mm lug-to-lug — and 10.7mm brushed and polished titanium case.
The C63 Sealander GMT features a newly updated — the previous Sellita SW 330-1 automatic-winding movement featured only 42-hours of power reserve — Sellita SW330-2 with Elaboré ‘Colimaçoné’ finishing movement. This self-winding movement features 25 jewels, beats at the frequency of 4Hz (28’800 A/h), and offers a decent 50-56 hours power reserve and a timing tolerance of +20/-20 seconds per day. The movement is encased inside a 39mm diameter — only 45.8mm lug-to-lug — and 11.85mm (62g) brushed and polished marine grade stainless steel case with a circular brushed and polished fixed steel bezel with black lacquer filling.
That’s All Folks!
The entry-level model C63 Sealander is the epitome of affordable Swiss watchmaking and I reckon should do very well for the brand by inviting in more enthusiasts into the industry.
On the whole, the new Christopher Ward C63 Sealander Collection is perhaps the best value for money mechanical watch collection in the market today. The collection that starts from only £595, and offers:
- Swiss Made tag – that usually comes at a higher premium
- 60/60 guarantee – that’s one of the brand’s central redeeming qualities. The 60-day return and a 60 month — same as Rolex and Omega — warranty is the key highlight. I would say for £595 that’s a pretty awesome deal and as far as my knowledge goes, no other brand at this tier offers such a deal. I reckon for people who are just getting into watches and are testing the ‘Swiss Made’ stamp, this assurance of 60/60 is a pretty amazing comforter. Lots of times people, including myself, can have second thoughts about a watch post-purchase, but this guarantee really is a tool to put one’s mind at rest
- High level of finishings – whether be it the curvaceous ‘light catcher’ case, or the detailing, I have personally handled a number of CW timepieces and have found them to be exceptionally finished for the price point
- Great versatility – another leading scoring point of the CW C63 is its ability to go from a beach/swimming pool to a boardroom or a university classroom. The dress watch to a casual watch transition is amazing. It appears versatile enough to have something for everyone: multi-purpose use and different vibes.
The marriage of the best of both worlds — Swiss made luxury with affordable prices — has never looked more enticing. Simply put, this is an exciting offer that presents an opportunity to strap a modem mechanical timepiece on every wrist. This is CW ensuring good Swiss-made mechanical watches become accessible. This is the brand’s best value yet.
To find out more about the new Christopher Ward C63 Sealander Collection and other CW watches, please head to their website here. All images unless stated otherwise are © 2016 Christopher Ward (London) Ltd.