Editor’s note: Given the nature of the watch, we decided to take it out into the wild. Meet the Christopher Ward C60 Lympstone. For our other detailed hands-on reviews, please head to our dedicated reviews section here. This is NOT a sponsored post.
Ready For All, Yielding To None
There is a military quote I read online that goes:“Ready for all, yielding to none”.
The Christopher Ward C60 Lympstone is built for the intrepid. It is the calling card for those brave enough to test it to its 600m water-resistance; for those tough enough to withstand anything life throws at them, just like the watch’s marine-grade stainless steel body; for those brave enough to venture into the darkest of places, and still be in command with the Super-LumiNova® Grade X1 GL C1 filled indexes, hands and bezel; for those whose wild adventures require them to use the compass on the inner bezel; and for those who are “ready for all, yielding to none”.
The easily wearable 42mm diameter and 13.8mm thick watch also features specifications that are willing to kick ass of any competitor. With a COSC-certified movement (with -4/+6 sec p/day accuracy), a forged carbon dial with marbled and near-camouflage appearance, screw-down dual crowns, and a 120-click brushed unidirectional ceramic bezel, not only are its wearers cut from a different cloth, but the watch itself is “ready for all, yielding to none”.
Heck, for only 1’395 AUD, this is as close to asking-for-the-moon-and-getting-it as you are going to get.
No Retreat, No Surrender (First Impressions)
Even though there is a Sylvester Stallone designed watch for Richard Mille — RM 25-01 — that the likes of John Rambo can use, truth be told, the chances of wearing a RM in the line of duty are very minimal. The C60 Lympstone on the other hand, not only is financially viable for the Marines and for most of us ordinary humans, but in appearance and feel is perhaps more suited to be the one watch that someone like Rambo might actually wear.
There is a certain ruggedness and quiet brooding charm about it, that straight up harks to the idea of someone like Rambo or Commando wearing it; bold, handsome, and simply exceptional value for money. The Christopher Ward C60 Lympstone is perhaps one of the best offerings from the Anglo-Swiss yet.
It’s also very different for CW.
As you can see below, I have included numerous shots of other Christopher Ward watches we have gone hands-on with in the past, including the same sized C60 Trident Pro 600. None of these feature the same visual look as that of the C60 Lympstone (with the C60 Trident Pro 600 wearing visually bigger than the C60 Lympstone).
The 42mm Trident Pro 600 ref. C60-42ADA3-S0BB0-TB with a blue dial, blue bezel on a blue hybrid strap retails for $1’195 AUD. It features the same measurements and movement but no COSC-certification and an accuracy of +/- 20 sec p/day. Now for only 200 bucks extra you get a rather unique C60 Lympstone with an added certification and inner bezel.
The combination of the brushed steel case coated in gun metal PVD, black DLC bezel and case-back (with a laser-engraved Royal Marines crest), and a black dial made from chopped carbon fibres and resin make this a very stealth and distinctive timepiece.
I also appreciate that there is an actual reasoning behind giving these a military-esque makeover: the Christopher Ward C60 Lympstone is named after the British Royal Marines’ Commando Training Centre at Lympstone in Devon. And what’s even more impressive is that the C60 Lympstone is also approved by the Ministry of Defence and bears the Royal Marines official insignia.
Inside the Christopher Ward C60 Lympstone ticks the tried and tested Sellita SW200-1 movement, which has been COSC-certified.
The SW200-1 measures 25.60mm in diameter and is 4.6mm in thickness. This self-winding movement features 26 jewels, beats at the frequency of 4Hz (28’800 A/h), and offers a 38-hour power reserve. The version used in the new Christopher Ward C60 Lympstone is COSC-certified and features a timing tolerance of -4/+6 sec p/day.
While not in-house, it is good to remember that other brands such as Sinn, TAG Heuer, Montblanc, Hublot, Tiffany, Bell & Ross, Baume & Mercier, and IWC to name a few use or have used this movement in the past. The only drawback of the SW200-1 is the low power reserve of 38 to 42-hours. In the world of Tudor’s 3-day power reserves, this is definitely something that perhaps the brand can work on.
Christopher Ward C60 Lympstone The Wrist
The Christopher Ward C60 Lympstone comes packaged as a 42mm diameter and 13.8mm thick timepiece — for a 600m water-resistant watch that thickness is pretty impressive actually — with 49.3mm lug-to-lug spacing.
For someone with slim ~16cm wrists, the sizing can be of some concern. Usually my upper limit is 50mm lug-to-lug spacing and 42mm diameter. The C60 Lympstone is pretty much at that threshold. Given the C60 case architecture is not as streamlined and slim-wrist friendly as the C1 and C65 light catcher cases, the watch does wear big. Add to that the 22mm lug intern spacing and the thicker strap adds bulk as well.
So for those with larger wrist sizes, the C60 Lympstone will fit like a glove. As for me personally, even though it’s not ideal around 39/40mm in diameter and ~48mm lug-to-lug, despite the large-ish dimensions, I would still go for it.
Unlike say the 42mm C60 Trident Pro 600 that I would say is for those with larger wrist sizes, the C60 Lympstone’s design language shouts for a large presence. I wouldn’t necessarily prefer a smaller 40mm version. It’s a bold timepiece, one that despite its stealth colour tone treatment, makes for a grand presence on the wrist.
And sometimes, one just needs a watch in their collection, that takes over the wrist (in a good way) and commands respect.
“To command is to serve, nothing more and nothing less,” wrote the French novelist André Malraux.
The Christopher Ward C60 Lympstone has a commanding presence on the wrist, and commands the attention it does thanks to its bold and rugged aesthetics. But also courtesy a plethora of features it serves its wearer, and serves them well.
A professional hazard of reviewing watches and being surrounded by them for the better part of the working day is that the lure to buy most of them is always strong. But like a true Jedi, one just masters the skills to block out the force. But sometimes the shields get penetrated. We have had the Christopher Ward C60 Lympstone on loan from the brand for more than a fortnight now, and I can confidently state that barring funds, this is one watch that has served me so well that I am highly keen on buying it.
The dimensions also work given the 42mm diameter fits well within the brand’s dedicated Military collection.
Not every watch has to fit those with slim wrists. CW’s current Military collection catalogue ranges from 38mm C65 Sandhurst with 45.3mm lug-to-lug spacing for those who want slim military-esque timepieces to the 41mm C63 Colchester (47.5mm lug-to-lug) with the 41mm diameter C65 Dartmouth and 41mm diameter C65 Cranwell thrown in the middle for good measure. The new Christopher Ward C60 Lympstone adds to the upper end of the sizing.
Christopher Ward C60 Lympstone In Action – Test Driving
One of the first features of the Christopher Ward C60 Lympstone that capture your attention is the colour scheme; the PVD gunmetal coating in dark grey catches light nicely and showcases the subtle changes in shades of grey as and when touched by light. When paired with the stark black bezel, and the marbled effect carbon dial with its own differing shades of grey, the timepiece as a whole brings in a welcome nuance of 50 Shades of Grey.
On this sombre tone, the use of orange overtures is both welcome and aids in readability of the dial. The bold appliqué indices are not only lume filled but also feature depth and textural interplay with a mix of polished and brushed surfaces. They are also fairly raised and assist with daytime legibility as well.
The dial is symmetrically balanced, and the minimal text on dial along with the absence of a date window ensures that the dial is even more clean. And for those who get nightmares about it, that 9’o clock logo is gone too.
Courtesy the Super-LumiNova® Grade X1 GL C1 filled indexes, hands and even the markings on the bezel, rest assured, one doesn’t need to worry about night-time legibility as well.
Like all CW watches I have handled in the past, the ‘feel’ of the watch is way above its 1’395 AUD price mark. The sturdiness of the bezel rotation action is solid, and the angled internal rotating compass bezel is easy to read and use (you can orientate yourself by using it in conjunction with the sun).
The screw-down crowns were easy to operate as well, and both of them feature embossed logos which neatly tie in the branding.
And even though the watch is kind of thick at 13.8mm, the way the polished and brushed surfaces of the watch catch light, the perceived thickness becomes quite alright for my slim wrists.
Throw in the brand’s 60|60 policy too, and as always, what you get is premium quality without the premium price tag.
Christopher Ward C60 Lympstone – Landscape
Christopher Ward has really hit upon a niche offering, something that may very well be just limited to them. I don’t think there are any other dedicated mechanical watches, Swiss made especially, that feature a rotating compass bezel and are also water-proof to such an extent.
There is of course the aforementioned Richard Mille RM 25-01 that upon release back in 2018 retailed for almost a million US dollars. A completely different beast, it nonetheless features a compass and a mechanical movement (amongst a plethora of other features).
Then there is the Traser P68 Pathfinder that retails for a similar 950 CHF or ~1’435 AUD. It also features a PVD-coated stainless steel body and a Swiss Made automatic movement. It is also bigger in size, coming in at 46mm diameter, and offers a lower water-resistance of only 100m (though technically 100m, 200m, 300m or 600m, makes no difference in the real world with mostly desk divers wearing dive watches). Good looking watches, and I like the way the lume lights up. And if we look at Swiss quartz options, there is the Luminox Ice-Sar Arctic series.
Going the Eastern route, the Seiko Prospex Automatic Field Compass from 2019 — or the similar Seiko Prospex ‘Land Tortoise’ series with the calibre 4R45 (only date, no day complication) — is another good looking & practical watch that comes to mind. It features a 43mm diameter and ~14mm thick case with almost non-existent lugs. Water-resistant to 200m, it is powered by the calibre 4R36 with a 42-hour power reserve, features a day-date window on the dial and a non-sapphire crystal covering, and is regulated within -35/+45 seconds per day. Upon release, it retailed for around 600 AUD.
Christopher Ward C60 Lympstone – Compass
Technically, you don’t really need a compass in-built to a timepiece. But then, you also don’t really need to have a watch to tell the time these days. There is nonetheless, something really cool about owning a mechanical timepiece with a compass that can also be pushed to its limits.
And just in case you are wondering how the compass setting works on the Christopher Ward C60 Lympstone, follow the below instructions to set it (if you are in Australia or the Southern Hemisphere). For the Northern hemisphere, just flip the script.
Hold the C60 Lympstone horizontally, and point the 12’o clock marker towards the sun. The midpoint between the 12’o clock marker and the hour hand is north. Simply rotate the internal bezel compass marking ’N’ to that point and read off the rest accordingly.
That’s All Folks!
Acta non verba is Latin for “deeds, not words”.
The Christopher Ward C60 Lympstone is a bad-ass watch that backs up what the brand or the website would say, and then some. It’s a practical tool watch, inspired by the hard-core suitability for the British Marines. And it acts the part.
Acta non verba. No compromise. No retreat, no surrender.
If you are burdened under the overwhelming task of figuring out which watch to buy at the 1k mark, it’s time to quell the storm and ride the watchmaking thunder that the Christopher Ward C60 Lympstone is.
To find out more about the C60 Lympstone and other CW watches, please head to their website here. All images unless stated otherwise are ©Watch Ya Gonna Do About It.