Christopher Ward has caused something of an upset with its mission to dramatically cut the retail cost of a Swiss made watch.
Prices are driven down due to having no multi-million dollar celebrity endorsements, no exorbitant marketing campaigns and no sky high rentals being paid for round the world prime retail space.
The savings are then ploughed into further development and passed on to shrewd customers who have come to admire Christopher Ward’s quality watches and applaud their extremely reasonable costs.
C8 Pilot Mark II Vintage
The new C8 Pilot MK II Vintage is a new take on the watches used by pilots and navigators in World War II.
The design shares many of the characteristics of the watches commissioned by the Luftwaffe German air force, and then the RAF, designed to be worn over thick flying suits. The watches had large faces to provide maximum visibility. In the cramped, cold and extremely noisy environment of a fighter plane’s cockpit, such a watch was a godsend.
The design of the Christopher Ward C8 Pilot Mark II Vintage owes much to the input of members of the independent Christopher Ward forum. Customers, fans and watch enthusiasts – particularly those that collect aviation watches – championed the retro watch design and asked for wider luminous hands so they were more clearly visible at night.
The beige coloured luminous paint on the hands and indexes is styled on the colour of many World War II uniforms – adding to the sense of nostalgia that the watch evokes.
As an additional authentic feature it even has a soft-iron anti-magnetic cage inside the outer case to protect the movement from interference which occasionally resulted in potentially fatal navigational and timekeeping errors for wartime pilots.
ETA 2824- 2 movement
The watch shares the same automatic movement – the ETA 2824-2 –, which is a mechanical movement created by ETA SA Manufacture Horlogère Suisse, as the C8 Pilot Mark I and its balance wheel can be seen on the reverse of the case through an exhibition window.
The result is a watch that combines an outstanding contemporary specification with a design that captures a period in history when clarity, simplicity and accuracy were absolutely critical.
High praise for Christopher Ward
So are the claims true? Can Christopher Ward really deliver top quality at a fraction of the price. This is genuine feedback from one customer upon receiving his watch:
“I am totally blown away by the quality of this watch. It feels rock solid…nice weight and heft to it…it just feels well built. I love IWC pilots watches and have tried on and lusted after several of them for the last year but they are way out of my price range… I honestly feel this watch looks and feels JUST as good as an IWC (I know…that’s a bold statement but I mean it) for a fraction of the price. Very clear and easy to read dial and the hands and face just look positively gorgeous.”
And the cost? Just US$615.