Christopher Ward Editorial Hands-on Reviews New Releases New Watches New Watches 2021

Under The Microscope – A Closer Look At What Makes The Christopher Ward C63 Sealander Such A Compelling Buy 

Editor’s note: This quick hands-on review of the Christopher Ward C63 Sealander Elite follows our introductory coverage of the C63 collection that you can read here. For our usual detailed hands-on reviews, please head to our dedicated reviews section here. This is NOT a sponsored post.

Christopher Ward C63 Sealander

Doing What They Do Best 

Christopher Ward has garnered watch community fame purely by delivering exceptional pieces for extraordinary pricing, and the C63 Sealander collection is no different.

In-fact, it raises the stakes, and has the potential to really compel other brands to revisit their watch designs and pricing strategies. 

Christopher Ward C63 Sealander

Imagine a watch (or a collection) from a brand that takes care of all your basic horological needs. And with pricing starting for an automatic Swiss watch under 1k AUD, you really wonder what’s the catch?

The name of the collection harks to the concept of a sealander, which is a kind of towable trailer that can be used both on land and in water. Dual purpose. German designer Daniel Straub developed this concept a few years ago. It gives you the best of two worlds; it’s for those people who wish to camp both on solid ground or sea. 

Christopher Ward C63 Sealander

The new Christopher Ward C63 Sealander collection does just that: it is a versatile ‘Every-day watch’, a ‘go anywhere, do everything’ timepiece that marries the opposing worlds of luxury watches with affordable practicality.

Christopher Ward C63 Sealander

Christopher Ward C63 Sealander – The Allrounder

Back in April 2021 the Christopher Ward C63 Sealander Elite (with quick-release hybrid strap retailing from 1’850 AUD) was released alongside C63 Sealander Automatic with quick-release strap from 950 AUD, and C63 Sealander GMT with quick-release strap from 1’250 AUD. Later in the year it was followed by the C63 Colchester retailing for 1’595 AUD.

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C63 Colchester

The Christopher Ward C63 Sealander collection brings a dedicated ‘Sports’ range to the brand’s growing portfolio, and the best part is that it covers a lot of ground.

Christopher Ward C63 Sealander

Sizing of Christopher Ward C63 Sealander

For starters, the C63 Sealander collection features a wide range that includes 39mm, 40mm, and 41mm diameters allowing enthusiasts with varying wrist sizes to find a perfect fit.

Christopher Ward C63 Sealander

The C63 Sealander Automatic comes with a choice of black or white hand-finished, polished lacquer dials. Or a hand-distressed ‘ombré’ finish green that  not only makes each watch unique but also capitalises on the green dial trend in line with the watch industry’s colour of choice for 2021. 

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© 2016 Christopher Ward (London) Ltd.

Even this base Christopher Ward C63 Sealander model features 150m water-resistance, decent finishings and the Light-catcher™ case silhouette, crisp legibility with applied, faceted brushed and polished indices, and most importantly, the heaven sent measurements for very slim wrists: 39mm diameter with only 45.8mm lug-to-lug and and 11.25mm thickness. The next model up, the GMT variant, features the same measures with a very slight increase in height to 11.85mm.

For those with slightly bigger wrists but still relatively not humongous is the Christopher Ward C63 Sealander Elite, measuring in at 40mm diameter with only 46.9mm lug-to-lug spacing and a thinner 10.9mm brushed and polished titanium case.

Christopher Ward C63 Sealander

In the photos below, it can bee seen on a ~16cm wrist. Hugging the wrist curve perfectly, these feature a 34.2mm dial — by itself (sans bezel) — that makes them work well for those who prefer larger 40mm diameter watches by default and also for those who like timepieces with a smaller visual aesthetic courtesy minimum real-estate. 

Christopher Ward C63 Sealander

To put this sizing in perspective, below there a few more wrist shots — on either Jacqui’s or my wrists, both being roughly the same size — of other timepieces such as the Tudor Black Bay Fifty-Eight — 39mm diameter, 12.5mm thickness, 47.2mm lug-to-lug — and the Audemars Piguet Millenary (39mm x 34.5mm case, 8.5mm thickness, 41.5mm lug-to-lug). 

Christopher Ward C63 Sealander
40mm C63 Selander Elite on ~16cm wrist
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40.5mm Christopher Ward Moonglow on~16cm wrist
Christopher Ward Worldglow Hands On 43 768x1024
43.5mm CW C1 Worldglow on ~16cm wrist
CW C60 31
40mm Christopher Ward C60 Trident Pro 600 on ~16cm wrist
Tudor Black Bay Blue On Tide Strap 2 768x1024
39mm Tudor BB58 on ~16cm wrist
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39mm AP Millenary on ~16cm wrist

Folks with larger wrists fret not; the Christopher Ward C63 Colchester comes in a larger 41mm diameter case, with 12.6mm thickness and 47.5mm lug-to-lug spacing.

One aspect I love is that despite different sizes, all of these barring the C63 Colchester feature the same lug interior spacing of 20mm. Not only is it remarkable how easily one can change the straps thanks to the quick release mechanism, but switching between different models should you intend on owning more than one or even buying after market straps is simply a breeze. 

Christopher Ward C63 Sealander Elite x
Christopher Ward C63 Sealander Elite

Materials & Colours 

Both the Christopher Ward C63 Sealander Automatic and GMT models come in brushed and polished marine grade stainless steel case that frames either an Ombré finish ‘Hunter’ green coloured dial or gives you the option of white, blue or black dial hand-finished, polished lacquer dials. The GMT model also features a circular brushed and polished fixed steel bezel with black lacquer filling.

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© 2016 Christopher Ward (London) Ltd.

The model we are going hands-on with today, the Christopher Ward C63 Sealander Elite features a lightweight — 45g sans strap — brushed and polished Grade 2 titanium case with an embossed retractable titanium crown. 

Christopher Ward C63 Sealander
Christopher Ward C63 Sealander

But if you are a seeker of lightweight watches and you thought that for under 2K AUD the 45g titanium case with was good deal, then the C63 Colchester will surprise you even more; with an injected carbon case, this blacked out stealth beauty with an ultra-tough forged carbon dial weighs an even lesser 38g (sans strap). 

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© 2016 Christopher Ward (London) Ltd.

Complications and Movements 

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 a low 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.

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© 2016 Christopher Ward (London) Ltd.

Both the Christopher Ward C63 Sealander Elite and C63 Colchester feature the same Sellita SW200-1 but offer a timing tolerance of -4/+6 sec p/day thanks to the added COSC-certification.

Christopher Ward C63 Sealander

One aspect to note between the two is that the C63 Colchester showboats a partially visible exhibition case-back with a deep-stamped ‘coin’ featuring the Parachute regiment’s heraldic badge, and the Christopher Ward C63 Sealander Elite features an entirely visible case-back with the twin-flag engraving over ‘Colimaçoné’ finish on the rotor.

Last but not the least the is the Christopher Ward C63 Sealander GMT that 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 much more decent 50-56 hours power reserve and a timing tolerance of +20/-20 seconds per day.

Christopher Ward C63 Sealander
C64 Sealander Elite

Keen Observations 

Out of all the versions released, the C63 Sealander Elite is my favourite. It’s got all the elements that make the base model great, but adds a sense of whimsy to the design that I appreciate. The inclusion of a COSC-certified movement is simply the beginning; even the light-weightiness of the Grade 2 titanium case is not the defining aspect. 

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The brand adds to the Christopher Ward C63 Sealander Elite the quirkiness of a retractable crown as seen in the likes of the Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra “Ultra Light” (retailing for 74’250 AUD) and the use of a case architecture that sees the dial almost float like the Hublot Classic Fusion Ferrari GT (~30’000 AUD). 

Christopher Ward C63 Sealander

It is the combination of these factors is what so impressive about the Christopher Ward C63 Sealander Elite watches. 

Christopher Ward C63 Sealander

Though that said, as much as I enjoyed having a ‘disappearing’ crown in the Christopher Ward C63 Sealander Elite, working with it was a bit tough; I really appreciate the concept, but the execution needs a bit more work in my humble opinion. Not only is it a bit hard to unscrew and wind, but being very slim, its harsh on the skin as well. 

Christopher Ward C63 Sealander

And yes, in 2021/22/moving forward, the 38-hour power reserve is simply too low. 

Christopher Ward C63 Sealander

In the piece we were sent by the brand for reviewing, the 12’o clock orange pip marker in the internal bezel didn’t fully align. Given I have never had any QC issues with the brand before, my guess is that either this is a one-off instance or is due to it being a media review sample piece.

Christopher Ward C63 Sealander

Talking about orange though, its use is very welcome and adds heaps to the aesthetics of an otherwise plain ol’ black dial. Pair this with their black orange #tide ocean material® strap and it will look stellar.

The dial of the Christopher Ward C63 Sealander Elite also features subtle grained texture, that forms for an ekccelnt backdrop for the nicely finished and fairly raised appliqué indices. 

Christopher Ward C63 Sealander

Legibility is not sacrificed at any point, and even the lume shots are rather satisfactory thanks to the indexes and hands filled with Super-LumiNova® Grade X1 BL C1 for luminosity after dark.

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Christopher Ward C63 Sealander

I also appreciate that while its not the case with the green C63 Sealander Automatics or GMTs, but overall, the date wheel colour is matched to that of the dial. In the Christopher Ward C63 Sealander Elite, because the dial features a sort of floating aesthetic, the date window his perfectly aligned with the indices, making it appear that the movement is designed especially for the case. Smart and impressive.

Christopher Ward C63 Sealander

Christopher Ward C63 SealanderCompetitive Landscape

Like every Christopher Ward review, one of the aspects I always hark on, is the brand’s 60/60 guarantee. I always find it to be one of the brand’s central redeeming qualities. The 60-day return and a 60 month warranty especially for a Swiss made collection that begins at only 950 AUD is a pretty awesome deal. 

Christopher Ward C63 Sealander

In regards to comparing the Christopher Ward C63 Sealander Elite with what’s around, a good starting point would be the Formex Essence 39. The Formex is overall smaller in every aspect with a 39mm diameter, 30mm dial by itself (sans bezel), 10mm thickness, and 45.6mm lug-to-lug (though has the same 20mm lug interhorn spacing). 

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39mm on ~16cm wrist

Both watches retail for about the same price — 2’250 on a bracelet for the Formex Essence 39 and 2’220 for the Christopher Ward C63 Sealander Elite on a bracelet — and feature the same COSC-certified Sellita SW200-1 movement. The C63 Elite does have a slightly higher water resistance of 150m and while the Formex Essence has a unique case suspension system, the C63 Sealander Elite has a unique retractable crown system. 

Christopher Ward C63 Sealander

These are both great offerings for the money, and pretty much boils down to whose design you prefer more. 

Christopher Ward C63 Sealander

Then there is the Muhle 29er Big ref. M1-25-31-MB with a diameter of 42.4mm and height of 11.3mm. Same movement, again not COSC-certified. It retails for €1’530 (~2’400 AUD).

Christopher Ward C63 Sealander

The discontinued TAG Heuer Carrera ref. WAR211A.BA0782 featured a 39mm diameter case, the Calibre 5 movement which is essentially SW200-1, a black dial with an azurage effect, and retailed for 3’700 AUD. The new Carrera ref. WBN2112.BA0639 with the date now at 6’o clock features the same movement, measures 39.5mm x 11.5mm, and retails for 3’950 AUD. These of course have more legacy and are handsome to boot. 

Christopher Ward C63 Sealander

The Longines Conquest ref. L3.776.4.99.6 in a striking sunray blue is another sports watch that works within the same parameters. 39 x 11.7mm, it has a lug-to-lug spacing of 47mm. It is water resistant to 300m and retails for 1’775 AUD. 

Christopher Ward C63 Sealander

There is a brand I have heard good things about but have no experience with their QC and built quality. Archimede with their Outdoor Sports Utility Watch (SUW). It features the same SW200-1 but not COSC-certified. It’s a sports watch for really slim wrists, measuring 39mm in diameter with a 10.6mm thickness but only 43.5mm lug-to-lug spacing. With 200mm water-resistance, it retails for €960 (~1’500 AUD).

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The Tissot PRX Automatic is another contender here with a AP-esque honeycomb motif dial. It impressively offers an 80-hour power reserve as well. It features a 40mm diameter and 10.9mm thick case. I haven’t gone hands-on with it yet, but even though the initial lug-to-lug is around 45mm, due to the fixed end links of the bracelet, this increases to around the 50mm mark. 

The tonneau shaped case wears big and I have heard it’s not really approved by those with slim wrists. Awesome price value though; only 1’050 AUD. 

Christopher Ward C63 Sealander

That’s All Folks!

Even if you are a seasoned watch collector who doesn’t really want another sports watch in his collection, when it comes to the the Christopher Ward C63 Sealander Elite specifically, its orange and black theme really sets it upon as a Halloween watch. 

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Christopher Ward C63 Sealander

Trust Christopher Ward to keep disrupting the Swiss watch industry. With a plethora of options, innovative design features, premium built quality, yet shockingly affordable prices, the Anglo-Swiss brand knows how to corner the watch enthusiast community. 

They had me at 950 AUD. 

Christopher Ward C63 Sealander

To find out more about the Christopher Ward C63 Sealander Collection and other CW watches, please head to their website here. All images unless stated otherwise are ©Watch Ya Gonna Do About It.

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