Launch Review : Christopher Ward X Worn and Wound: The C65 Sandstorm and C65 Sandstorm Blackout

The watch media. It’s a funny old game isn’t it? In the old days the watch media consisted of a few magazines and the occasional blog. Now it’s websites, Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, podcasts and the occasional magazine. It’s also a business and as a business you have to find ways to pay the bills. If online advertising isn’t keeping the lights on, what do you do? The obvious answer is to look at what Hodinkee are doing and see if you can make it work for you.

One of the things that Hodinkee have done very well is special editions or collaborations with brands. Now you have retailers doing this too, think of the Toppers X Oris collaboration. Today we have a very unexpected collaboration, Christopher Ward X Worn & Wound. Christopher Ward is famous for their online only retail strategy so this is a real change for Christopher Ward.

On Tuesday November 17th at 09:00 EST we saw the results of this latest collaboration. So what did they produce? Here it is the Christopher Ward X Worn & Wound Limited edition C65 Sandstorm and Sandstorm Blackout.

Specifications

Scottish Watches and Bark and Jack

Case diameter                   38mm

Lug width                            20mm

Lug tip to lug tip                43.6mm

Height                                   11.6mm

Water resistance              150m

Movement                         Selitta SW200 (COSC certified)

Specifications from Hodinkee.com

Design

The case is the familiar C65 lightcatcher case but now it’s available in stainless steel and black DLC. The crown of black DLC case has a red ring around the twin flags logo. The small size makes this a discrete watch which will probably wear smaller than its size suggests. There is no bezel on either watch and the visual drama is saved for the dials. Let’s dive into the storm to find out what is being offered.

C65 Sandstorm Blackout

The dial of the C65 Sandstorm Blackout has a white centre section with sector marks at the cardinal points. This is surrounded by a ring marked with the days of the month. The date marker is a small red square. This is a first for Christopher Ward. The date marker is quite small and on a 38 mm watch could be hard to see. Surrounding the date ring is another concentric circle, this time in black with Arabic numerals at 3, 6, 9 and 12. The next circle is a minute track with red Arabic numerals at five minute intervals. Between these markers are individual minute markers.

The dial is layered with the large Arabic numerals being cut out from the black track. The layering of the dial adds visual interest and depth to the dial.

The hands are the familiar C65 hands with the exception of the second’s hand. This hand is coated in a white colour to match the centre of the dial and does not have the traditional Trident counterbalance. The tip of the seconds hand is red in colour which adds a nice visual contrast. The hour and minute hands are black and lume filled.

This is an unusual design for Christopher Ward and looks very good. It has lots of details for your eyes to linger on and the use of contrasting hands should ensure good visibility.

The case back is solid and in stainless steel which is a good contrast with the black DLC of the Sandstorm. The words Worn & Wound and Christopher Ward are etched into the case back and surround an abstract pattern which evokes the motion of sand in the desert.

C65 Sandstorm

The C65 Sandstorm Blackout will be a watch that everyone notices in an instant. The Sandstorm will be a watch that keeps their attention. It is available in a stainless steel version of the C65 lightcatcher case in 38mm.

The dial is predominantly dark grey but shares a concentric circle design with the Sandstorm. Here the red date indicator stands out as a flash of red on the dial and has more visual prominence due to the strong contrast between the dial and date indicator. The ring carrying the Arabics at 3, 6, 9 and 12 is in polished metal and the numbers themselves are applied to the ring rather than being cut outs. The five minute marks on this ring and on the outer minute track are in bright blue which adds a further pop of colour. The use of colour was never a Christopher Ward strong point and now with this limited edition and the C65 Chronograph Christopher Ward has shown what they can do when allowed to explore with a wider colour palette.

The hour and minute hands are in polished stainless steel and are filled with light blue lume. The minute hand is again a simple design without the Trident counterweight but retaining the red tip of the Sandstorm.

On both watches the amount of text on the dial is minimal. There is the Christopher Ward logo at 12:00 o’clock and Chronometer at 6:00 o’clock. This is a COSC certified watch.

Conclusions

The fact that Christopher Ward was going to take part in collaboration was a surprise. They picked a great partner with Worn & Wound who have supported the brand very well over the years. That they produced two so different COSC certified watches was an even bigger surprise. Then we have a new complication from Christopher Ward as well. The use of a date marker not a date window is a first for Christopher Ward and adds a dash of style to two unique watches from the brand. This is a good day for Worn & Wound and Christopher Ward. Will we see more collaborations from these two organisations? I hope so.

The watches will be available exclusively from the WindUp  Shop. The C65 Sandstorm is priced at $1,085 on a canvas strap and $1,205 on the steel bracelet. The C65 Sandstorm Blackout is priced at $1,130. Further details of pricing will be available from the WindUp shop at 5:00 PM UK/12:00 PM EST.

These are limited editions and there are 200 pieces of the C65 Sandstorm and 100 pieces of the Sandstorm Blackout.

There has been a lot of interest in these watches on social media so you may have to hurry to get your hands on one.