What does Ombré mean? According to Wikipedia it is a French word meaning shaded. For Christopher Ward it is a dial treatment where the dial has been “hand distressed” to make each one look unique. The first Ombré was released as a limited edition using the C60 Trident Mk II case in bronze. Now they have revisited this limited edition with a Bronze Ombré in 42mm using the Mk III Light-catcher™ case. Is this a limited edition that should make your credit card twitch?
The Light-catcher™ case added a level of sophistication to Christopher Ward watches. The case features a blend of surfaces and finishes that play with the light making the watch look lighter and smaller on the wrist. Here this design language has been applied to a 42mm bronze case made from C5191 alloy. This results in lovely bronze hues which will patina over time. The case has been completely brushed and the brushed finish compliments the brushed ceramic bezel. The bezel itself features lumed dive markings and a triangular pip and surround at the 12:00 o’clock position. The case back is in polished stainless steel and features an embossed Trident logo and serial number. There is a date window with a surround neatly integrated at 3 o’clock.
The hands and indices are from the regular C60 Mk III but, from the published images are also bronze in colour and are filled with X1 GL C1 Super-Luminova®. So far, this is everyday CW. What makes this one special? “It’s the dial, stupid.”
For the Ombré watches Christopher Ward takes an innocent bronze dial, ages it and then hand distresses each dial. The result is a dial that is dark at the indices and which lightens towards the central pinion; hence Ombré. The hand distressing for each dial is carried out by one person and each dial will be subtly different. The dial has the embossed twin flags logo at 12 o’clock, wordmark in white at 9 o’clock and “Chronometer” and a depth rating at the 6 o’clock position.
The Ombré dials don’t sound too exciting. They are very hard to describe in words. The subtle shading and the surface finishing give a truly spectacular look. In images and renders it is a look which may not appeal. However, that would be to underestimate them. In real life these dials look like nothing else. They have a rugged character to them as if they have survived one too many gales in the Atlantic and have decided to sit in a harbor side bar and tell stories about the one that got away instead. Changing light reveals new character as the individual marks on the dial giving the watch reams of character throughout the day. These really do have to be seen on the wrist to truly appreciate the work that goes into them and their craggy beauty.
With the C60 Bronze Ombré COSC LE you are getting a 600m dive watch with a bronze case, COSC certification, a reliable SW200-1 movement all for the trifling sum of £950. This is a limited edition of 500 pieces with deliveries set to start in April 2021.
The design has been very well thought out. The use of a brushed case and brushed ceramic bezel give the watch a lived-in look where the decision not to use fautina lume compliments the design. Fans of the original C60 Ombré may be a bit disappointed that CW has reprised the design but this is a very worthy upgrade. At pieces this isn’t a very limited, limited edition by CW standards but the strength of the design and the hand finished dials means that this should be another winner for the brand.
Is it for me? Sadly, no. I am a big fan of the Ombré dials but bronze cases aren’t my thing. They are undeniably fashionable and look lovely when new. The inevitable patination of C5191 bronze would drive me nuts (very slowly but still…). If you are a fan of bronze and can live with the patina then this is a highly specified, very reasonably priced watch where each piece has a unique dial and a strong character that will draw compliments for many years to come.
The C60 Trident Bronze Ombré COSC LE is available for pre-order for £950/$1,095 from the Christopher Ward Website (www.Christopherward.com) with deliveries expected in April 2021. If you have a favourite serial number then contacting Christopher Ward Customer Service by telephone may even help you secure a precious number for a great watch.
Specifications (from CW website)
Lug-tip to Lug-tip 49.3mm
Weight (inc. strap) 120g
Water resistance 600m/2000ft
Lug width 22mm
Movement Selitta SW200-1 (COSC)
Lume SLN X1 GL C1