For a long time the only dive watches Christopher Ward made were in the C60 Trident range. They have dabbled with the C65 range since 2014 but the range was re-introduced as the “Retro Dive” range in 2018. The C65 range has since expanded to include three military watches (C65 Dartmouth, Sandhurst and Cranwell). These two ranges form the core of the current Christopher Ward range and offer a lot of different size, dial colour, functionality and design choices. On April 29th 2021 Christopher Ward announced the C63 Sealander range of watches. This new range includes three new watches; the C63 Sealander, Sealander GMT and Sealander Elite. They’re described as “everywatch” so let’s see what they have to offer.
C63 Sealander Automatic
This is the simplest and least expensive watch. It has a diameter of 39mm and is a slim 11.25mm high with a lug to lug length of 45.8 mm. The indices are applied and are the typical Christopher Ward filled baton indices. The hands will also be familiar to Christopher Ward fans with the “sacrificial dagger” hour hand, simple minute hand and second hand with the instantly recognizable “trident” counter balance. There is a date window at the 6 o’clock position. There is no twin-flags logo on the dial and the Christopher Ward logo is at the 12 o’clock position.
What differentiates this from the C60 and C65 ranges is the bezel. It has a polished stainless steel, non-rotating bezel which should help the watch wear a little smaller. Its diameter sits between the 40mm and 38mm C60 Trident’s and is smaller than the C65 retro divers. The dial is made from polished lacquer and has a satin sheen. The rest of the dial is very clean with minimal text. There is a minute track outside of the indices with subtle red dots and small “arabics” indicating the minutes. These enhance the clean dial which has a minimal amount of text.
There will be two dial colours available at launch; a black and white dial. The simplicity of the design begs for more colours and I wonder if we’ll see a broader colour palette in the future. What should make many micro-brands very afraid is the price. This is a watch with an SW200-1 movement, 150 meter water resistance, on a quick release bracelet for just £595. The quality of the Light-catcher™ case and bracelet are enough to buy the watch, that it’s a new size for Christopher Ward which means a lot of new parts means that this is a real bargain. Look out world.
C63 Sealander GMT
When I first saw the C63 Sealander GMT I did a double take. I said to myself is this the return of the C65 Anthropocene Limited Edition? At first glance it really seems so. There is a white and black dial, the simple applied indices and an orange GMT hand. Now the hands from the C60 range and the modern Light-catcher™ case are used. There is the same attention to detail seen on the C63 Sealander Automatic. There are little orange dots above the indices now and the depth rating (150m) is printed on the dial in the same colour as the orange GMT hand. It shares the same 39 mm diameter and lug tip to lug tip length as the Sealander Automatic making it a discrete and easily worn watch. The Sealander GMT, like the Sealander Automatic has an exhibition caseback.
The stand out feature of the watch is the bezel. This is a fixed, brushed, stainless steel dial. The dial shares proportions with the C65 range being narrower than would normally be seen on a dive watch. This gives the watch a slightly retro look which separates it from the modern Sealander Automatic. The bezel has 24 hour marks in a slim, elegant font.
Once again you are buying a very high quality watch with a Selitta 330-2 movement and a classic GMT look. The C63 Sealander GMT is available with a black or white dial on a quick release bracelet for £795.
C63 Sealander Elite
The C63 Sealander Elite is the most original design of the three Sealander watches. It is a 40mm diver with a water resistance of 150m. The dial uses the same design of indices and hands as the other watches in the Sealander range. On this watch the seconds hand is painted orange which gives great contrast against the matte black dial. Between the indices and the chapter ring is a series of segments cut in the dial between each five minute mark. These slots follow the curve of the dial and bring to mind the slots on diving equipment.
The Sealander Automatic and GMT employ the familiar 316L stainless steel that is familiar in many watches. The Sealander Elite case is made from Grade 2 titanium. The use of titanium means that the watch head weighs only 40g and Christopher Ward claim that this is the lightest mechanical watch they’ve ever made. The use of titanium combined with a small size and matte black dial make this an unusual watch in Christopher Ward’s range. It also uses orange for the 12:00 o’clock marked on the fixed bezel.
The C63 Sealander also uses the Sellita SW200-1 but this time the movement is COSC certified. Christopher Ward supply the COSC document with each watch that is COSC certified which is a nice touch.
The C63 Sealander Elite is priced at £1,150 on the hybrid strap.
“The Everywatch”. I thought about this and I came up with “everyone, everywhere, every time”. The Christopher Ward website has been non-gender specific for quite some time. They haven’t sold a range of watches aimed specifically at women for many years and so this is likely a result of that. However it does capture the zeitgeist quite nicely.
At 39mm these are slightly smaller than most watches in the Christopher Ward range. There are still a couple of 38mm C60 Tridents in the range but the majority of watches are 40mm or greater in size. The new C63 is also slimmer than most of the range too. Did they go small enough? I do wonder if they should think about introducing 36mm watches into this range.
In terms of design I referenced the C65 Anthropocene earlier but here is a certain resemblance to the Explorer and Explorer II with both the Automatic and GMT. The design of these watches is a bit “generic”. They have all the right quality in terms of case, index and hand finishing. The choice of colourways is also very conventional. I do wonder if we’ll see a much broader colour palette in the future. I hope so, but not green. I’m bored with green already but an orange 36mm might be fun.
For me the standout of the range is the Sealander GMT. At only 62g in weight and with a height of 11.8mm this is a discrete, interesting design with just the right amount of colour to offset the dial. This is the real “everywatch” of the range for me. And I can see one making its way to me very soon.
The prices of Christopher Ward watches has been creeping up for some time. They are not the bargain brand that they were when they launched in 2004. The C63 Sealander range gives them a way back to compete with the likes of Zelos, Farer or RZE.
The C63 Sealander range is available to pre-order from the Christopher Ward website (www.christopherward.co.uk).