Every Time I slip into the Ocean, it’s like Going Home
The C65 Trident Diver is a dive and dress watch from Christopher Ward. Does it achieve the aim?
Review by James Lambert
Christopher Ward, they’re English aren’t they?
Yes they are. Christopher Ward launched their first watch on 2nd June 2004 with the mission to offer, “the cheapest most expensive watches in the world”. Following research into the watch industry the trio behind the Christopher Ward realised Swiss watch brands were using the same components from the same manufacturers to produce their time pieces and then adding their own mark up; one Swiss brand was marking up their RRP by a factor of 34.
So how do Christopher Ward offer such a competitive price?
The brand decided not to open their own retail outlets (they do have two showrooms) and decided against letting their items be stocked by others. They decided to cut out the middleman, keep everything in house and for customers to purchase directly from them, becoming the world’s exclusively online luxury watch brand. Thus by cutting out traditional marketing and distribution Christopher Ward can sell their watches with a lower margin. In addition to handling all their sales online, Christopher Ward also handles all of their servicing via online forms.
In 2014 the brand merged with Swiss manufacturing partners Synergies Horlogères SA to create Christopher Ward London Holdings Ltd, which led to the brand’s first in-house watch movement, the Calibre SH21, in July 2014.
Excellent, so which of the range is this?
This is the C65 Trident Diver, a dress come dive watch.
… Riddle has a tiny favour to ask. Set up four years ago to shine an objective light on the best of British craft and heritage brands, we want to keep our journalism rigorous and and open to all, allowing us to give you unbiased advice and options. It is ever more difficult for high quality journalism outlets to secure income but support from you will enable us to grow and continue to support small British brands. It only takes a minute. Thank you. Make a contribution.
Sounds impressive. Will it appeal to new entrants to the watch industry such as myself?
Fear not, I too was something of a horological philistine myself. Some moons ago, I wouldn’t wear a watch at all for fear of damaging them (I was a rather clumsy young man). Only in the last few years – by virtue of my job in the civilian police and then military – have I taken to having to wear them. Initially preferring to wear the more robust and indestructible types, my preference has finessed over time to dress watches (diver watches in practice!) for those occasions when wearing a basic digital watch just won’t do. In particular, being something of a traditionalist and at the risk of sounding older than my years, I like those watches that place function over form and hark back to days when a gentlemen would conduct himself with sophistication and dignity.
What were your first impressions of the C65 Trident Diver?
It neatly fitted all of my expectations; delivered in a very high quality, elegant box the presentation of the device is superb. The watch itself does play well to both the dress and diver watch markets, although likely without the rubber wristband that I selected. The finish was detailed; the bevel rotated smoothly with reassuring audible clicks; the trident shaped second hand is a clever touch and evokes the best of diving mythos. Capable of usage down to a huge 150 metres depth – far beyond the use of most sport divers – it had the appearance of something I could imagine being seen on the wrist of many 1960s’ icons. At £695, it is very reasonably priced for something which looks like it’s worth a substantial amount more.
So does the C65 Trident Diver work equally well as both a dive and dress watch?
I wore it across a range of environments – in water, in the office and in formal attire – and it accosted itself very well indeed. It comes as no surprise that it works exceptionally well in the water; high visibility of the face clearly being a critical element, amplified by the Old Radium SuperLumiNova® in the indexes and hands. In the work environment too it was a good companion, and on many occasion it was commented on by my team workers for the classy retro looks.
Any other observations?
The rubber band is very robust, almost too robust – it meant that finding a sweet spot on my wrist was challenging. A tight strap only served to cut the circulation to my hand while the reverse meant the watch would be too loose and the face would swing around. However, this is a minor issue and one that doesn’t reflect on the watch itself. Indeed, I found the C65 Trident Diver to be a superb accompaniment to my wider selection of timepieces. It doesn’t matter that it can only operate to a maximum depth of 150 metres (!), it’s a classic.
Enquiries: Christopher Ward