Christopher Ward Introduces the Twelve X, One of their Most Ambitious Watches To Date

To say Christopher Ward has come a long way in the last 20 years would be a significant understatement. Their direct-to-consumer model and their maximum 3X mark-up has quite literally made them heroes among independent micro-brands. In fact, you can easily argue that they have thoroughly outgrown the micro-brand moniker, having been responsible for plenty of genuine innovations in the affordable sector.

The hits just kept on coming, especially over the last decade. In 2014 Christopher Ward launched their very first commercially viable mechanical movement. This was a 50-year first from a British watch company and it ruffled quite a few feathers. One indignant CEO of a large Swiss luxury watch brand approached them and said, “What gives you the license to do that?”. Clearly, they were on the right track.

Since then, they have dramatically refined their case finishing (via their “light catcher” cases), reinvented the compressor dive watch, improved their bracelets, and added alternative case sizes to many references for a variety of wrists. However, nothing could have prepared us for the release of the immensely popular Bel Canto in November of 2022. A piece that quite literally flipped the watch world upside down. How do you follow something like that?

Leave it to Christopher Ward to figure it out, and properly figure it out they did. Just at the peak of integrated bracelet sport watch mania, they threw their hat in the ring with The Twelve. Available in multiple sizes, a plethora of dial colors, in stainless steel and a version in full titanium, the Twelve (named after its twelve-sided bezel) has been a real success.


All along, the SH21 movement has been making appearances in various models. At first as a manual wind movement with small seconds and 5-day power reserve indicator, but then in 2019 Christopher Ward decided to take it up a notch. The C60 Apex was introduced, housing a partially skeletonized automatic version of the SH21 in the form of a titanium dive watch.  Then, to further outdo themselves, in 2021, they introduced the completely skeletonized C60 Concept, also in the form of a fully functional 300m titanium dive watch.

Well, if you think they were finished tweaking their signature, double-barreled movement, think again. For the 10th anniversary of the SH21, new for 2024, Christopher Ward has debuted the Twelve X. They claim to have removed even more material than ever before, exposing parts of the movement that have previously been hidden. Judging by the pictures, it is not hard to believe. In fact, if they removed any more material, the gears and springs would be floating in thin air.

The SH21 has never looked as good, and that is completely on purpose. In this new, skeletonized form, you get a clear view of the twin barrels winding and unwinding through the front of the watch. Each exposed part has been finished to a higher standard than before; many are deliberately made just a fraction of a millimeter too tall, so they can be polished down using custom-made diamond cutters. The result is a near visual match for hand polishing. They also simplified shapes, and added more contrast between finishes and colors.

That is not all that is new with this version of the Twelve. It is made of a mix of Grade 2 titanium for the bulk of the watch, same as the regular Twelve, and Grade 5 Titanium, as found on the Bel Canto, for the bezel and case back, which offers superior scratch resistance.  They also further improved the bracelet clasp, by adding 3mm of on-the-fly micro-adjustability. The latter is sure to please many collectors.

The Twelve X will be an open series watch, designed to be built in numbers, and showcases Christopher Ward’s belief that machine finishing is entirely appropriate for high-end watches. Now that the best machines can very nearly do the same as the human hand, it has become a tool to help deliver one of their key missions: making high-end watch-making accessible to all.

If this timepiece would have been produced by any number of multi-named Swiss watch brands, pricing would have easily been in the five figures. Instead, Christopher Ward is offering them for $4,865 on a matching Titanium bracelet and $4,495 on rubber strap. Christopher Ward

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Based in Montreal, Quebec, Marc has been an enthusiastic watch collector for well over three decades. Having witnessed and participated in the birth of the internet watch community, he has played a role on multiple watch forums and his articles have appeared on-line and in print since the late 1990s. Today his passion for all things horological is as pronounced as it has ever been, while he continues his never-ending search for watch next.