Over the last few years, the watch-buying public has made known its seemingly insatiable appetite for sport watches with integrated bracelets – and smaller ones at that. In response, brands from Alpina to Zenith have given it their best shot. Today Christopher Ward fires the latest salvo in this movement with The Twelve, now in all of its 36mm glory.
Introduced in April of this year, The Twelve is Christopher Ward’s interpretation of the integrated bracelet sport watch, and the new release changes little other than its dimensions. Front and center is still the eponymous dodecagonal bezel, which is mirrored on the caseback with three types of finishing: brushed, sandblasted, and highly polished. The 36mm case features screwed-in crown guards and remains 9.95mm thin. Lug-to-lug distance is now 40.8mm (likely not including the male end links), and water resistance is still 100 meters.
At launch, you can choose from four dial options: Nordic or Glacier Blue, Alta White, and exclusive to this smaller size, Frosted Lichen (mint green). Inside beats the same Sellita SW200-1 that lives inside the non-titanium 40mm variants of The Twelve, but the date feature has been removed. CW claims keeping the date on this variant would have necessitated omitting the 6 o-clock hour marker entirely, something the brand elected not to do in order to preserve simplicity. Retail price is $1,225 on a bracelet and $995 on a tapering rubber strap.
CW has stated that this new 36mm size is agender as it is the dimensional crossroads of what modern men and women wear. This release undoubtedly widens the appeal of The Twelve, but it finds itself in a far-more crowded market than existed a few years ago. Perhaps its most recent and obvious competitor is Tissot’s 35mm PRX Powermatic 80, a watch that has its own legion of fans. While priced significantly higher, The Twelve 36mm offers an arguably more detailed, interestingly-finished case, higher beat rate, and quick-release strap system, albeit without a date function. Whether you prefer this new Twelve or one of its contemporaries, having choices like these is a win for all of us. Christopher Ward