It’s fair to say Christopher Ward’s first attempt at a premium 1,000m dive watch was a bit of a corker. Machined from Grade 2 titanium for a weight of just 75g, with bulletproof build quality, a pleasingly intricate case design, ceramic bezel and Helium release valve, the C60 Trident Elite 1000 matched far more expensive dive watches from much more established watch houses blow-for-blow.
That run was limited to just 300 pieces and became the brand’s fastest-selling watch ever after it was released last summer. But those who missed out the first time around will be glad to hear that a new and improved version has been released as an unlimited series and represents even better value than its predecessor.
While the price (£1,250) remains the same, the trusty Sellita SW200 movement has been replaced by its big brother, the SW220. Both are COSC-certified chronometers, but the 220 includes a Day/Date display at the three o’clock dial position. The movement seems to account for an extra 2g of weight, but we don't think you'll notice.
Christopher Ward has expanded the offering by adding a second colour option (black and red) alongside the original blue and orange, a new bracelet in matching Grade 2 titanium (at a not unreasonable £220 premium) and a host of rubber and Cordura fabric strap for a total of five distinct references.
The low-key black and red watch features a brushed matt ceramic bezel instead of the high gloss finish of that on the blue, making for a more subtle aesthetic.
I’m less enamoured with the addition of a sapphire crystal exhibition caseback, not because I doubt its ability to keep the watch watertight (even at 1,000m, which as the name suggests is the depth the watch is certified water resistant to), I just find solid casebacks more reassuring on dive watches, in the same way that a glass-bottom boat would be somewhat terrifying in deep water. Its inclusion clearly points to just how much the watch-buying public likes watching rotors spin. The rotor in question here is embellished with Christopher Ward’s two flags motif while the rest of the movement maintains Christopher Ward's preference for a fairly industrial finish.
I spent a few days wearing the original C60 Trident Elite 1000 last summer and was astonished at the build quality given the price point. Neat little touches like the highly polished bevels above and below the brushed metal caseband don't add to the functionality of the watch but add so much to the look of the watch.
That Christopher Ward felt the need to add an upgraded movement to an already compelling watch without hiking up the price tag should tell you everything you need to know.
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