Initial Impressions: Christopher Ward C9 Harrison Jumping Hour

Articles | 11.11.2011

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*Check out our full review of the Christopher Ward C9 here

To say that I have been eagerly awaiting the day that our Christopher Ward C9 Harrison Jumping Hour watch arrived is an understatement. I was ecstatic when I saw that C. Ward was happy to send us a sample of their most limited, most complicated and most expensive watch currently available.A watch that seems to defy the rules of pricing, the rules of luxury watches. At $1,585 dollars, this is not a cheap watch, in fact it is the most expensive watch we have had for review. But, at $1,585 dollars, this watch offers something rarely seen under several to tens of thousands of dollars: mechanical innovation. So…I have been waiting, trying not to think about how excited I was, like a 6 year old a few days before Christmas…and then it arrived.

There are few feelings more satisfying than when your expectations are met in reality. The C9 arrives in the same style luxurious box that our C8 Pilot sample did. Open it up, and there it is. The face is striking, simple and clean, but well decorated and not lacking in ornament. It is restrained and refined…exactly what a dress watch should be. The single black minute hand hovers above the pale silver guilloche dial and at twelve is the jump hour window. The subtle detail that on the surface seems like an effortless addition to the watch that in reality is a technical achievement. The hour is displayed with a big roman numeral, and as the minute hand passes the 59th second of the 59th minute, a satisfying click instantly sends the next hour into frame.

Putting it on for the first time, I immediately noticed the 103g weight of the watch, which is a comfortable heft. The 43mm case is detailed superbly from the way the rounded edge of the bezel flows into the sapphire to the tight brushing on the sides, and it sits very well on the wrist. The genuine Louisiana Alligator strap is a rich dark brown with white stitching, it is sturdy and easy to wear and clearly adds a lot of value to the overall package. Basically, the build quality is what you would expect from an expensive watch…beyond reproach.

There is another aspect to the initial impression of this watch though, the very nicely written booklet that comes with it. The handbook tells the story of the C9, from the conversation over beer and pizza that motivated its creation to the details of the proprietary jump hour modification. It also goes into a discussion about the 27-year old watch-maker, Johannes Jahnke, who created the complication and his involvement with the brand. After reading it, I looked at this stunning watch and realized that the C9 Harrison Jumping Hour watch is more than just another unique offering from C Ward. It is more than a surprisingly affordable luxury watch. It is a symbol of the brand’s dedication to bringing fine horology to a wider audience and it is an achievement for the brand that marks their entry into new and almost undiscovered territory.

Full review and gallery to follow

  • http://www.pretenseofknowledge.com/ Speedmaster

    A few years ago I was making fun of this brand, but they keep getting better. The joke’s on me. ;-)