We’ve talked quite a lot lately about Christopher Ward’s upmarket push, moving watches like the C9 5-Day SS Chronometer into higher quality (and higher price) segments of the market, but almost all of the conversation has centered around their flagship C9 line. The brand is hardly stopping their improvements there, however, and the next line to be overhauled is their popular C60 diver. The brand’s approach to this is twofold, revealing both the C60 Trident Titanium and the C60 Trident Pro Chronograph 600 ahead of Basel.
First up, the C60 Trident Titanium offers a titanium case swap along with either a partial or full DLC treatment, depending on the model. Variation #1 mixes the darker tone of brushed titanium with a blackout treatment on the bezel and dial, while Variation #2 is fully DLC cut through by stark white bezel markings and indices. Both looks are aggressive, tactical, and modern, but have slightly different appeal. Variation #2, with its full DLC coating, is louder but perhaps a bit more coherent as a design. All the elements work together as well as they do in steel, but as for Variation #1 I can’t help but feel the C60’s ornate trademark hands look a bit out of place in a black-on-black SpecOps look.
That said, the overall look of both variations is handsome and eye-catching, displaying the new material well. Both manage to capture the high-tech titanium diver spirit without drawing too much on any one source, creating something unmistakably C. Ward. The actual case design is classic C60 Trident, athletic and broad-shouldered at 43mm wide with a 22mm lug width. A shallow, contoured crown guard protects the signed screw-down crown, and around back a deep stamped caseback proudly displays both the C Ward Trident logo and the Trident Pro 600M Titanium designation.
The SuperLuminova-filled bezel is handsomely modern as well, with a broad numeral set slightly reminiscent of the Omega Planet Ocean. Moving to the matte black dial, we see the current C60 Trident 600 arrangement of applied baton indices and the signature teardrop hour, stylized Roman sword minute, and trident counterweight second handset. The standard design is most obviously modified in the Variation #1, with its black lume, but both designs share a few subtle changes. At 12 o’clock in the outer minutes track is a small red marker, adding a subtle touch of color echoed in the red “600m/2000ft” line in the dial text. It’s a minor addition, but one that gives an otherwise monochrome space a touch of vibrance. Inside the C60 Trident Titanium is an ETA 2824-2 or a Sellitta SW-200, solid workhorses that dhave been a cornerstone of C. Ward’s movement line. Christopher Ward is offering the C60 Trident Titanium on a choice of either rubber, handcrafted leather, or a titanium bracelet when it goes on sale in mid-March, and at a starting price of $1030 should be an interesting proposition.
C. Ward’s other new offering, the C60 Trident Pro Chronograph 600, takes a feature-laden approach to revitalizing the C60 and creates some fascinating details in their first diver chrono. Marrying a hefty 600 meters of water resistance to the legendary Valjoux 7750, the C60 Trident Pro Chronograph 600 also offers a helium escape valve as well as a unique “breathing” running seconds. All this functionality comes in a handsome package, starting with the 43mm case. A bit on the large side, but well-proportioned, the C60 offers classic diver lines along with a mixture of brushed surfaces and razor-sharp polished bevels.
The wide-set lugs have a gentle but steady downward curve, while also featuring a dramatic undercut to the ends. This helps prevent the hefty case and long lugs from overwhelming smaller wrists to a certain degree. The screwdown signed crown at 3 is flanked by stout screwdown collared pushers at 2 and 4. At 9 o’clock on the case is an automatic helium escape valve, decorated with the periodic table designation for helium, He, along with “HELIUM VALVE RELEASE” around the edge. The ceramic bezel here is a departure from the usual C60, featuring numerals for the first 15 minutes every five minutes, rather than classic marks, making the chronograph seconds easier to read at a glance.
Dial-wise, the C60 Trident Pro Chronograph 600 is busy without feeling overly cluttered. Immediately the eye is drawn to the metallic yellow rings surrounding the 30-minute and 12-hour chrono registers at 12 and 6, contrasting sharply with the navy blue below and sitting slightly raised above the sub-dials as well as the sunken wave-pattern guilloche center section. Overall there are four separate layers here, with the outer hour track, wave-pattern inner dial, sub-dial rings and sub-dials all sitting on separate planes, and three separate textures (wave-pattern guilloche, matte navy, and metallic yellow), creating impressive depth and dynamic reflections at different angles.
At 9 is the C60 Trident Pro Chronograph 600’s party piece- a “breathing” running seconds indicator consisting of a partially lumed disc rotating underneath a set of cutouts in the dial. In motion, these cutouts pulse and fade, creating a unique and visually arresting effect. Inside the ring of cutouts is the Trident Chronograph branding along with its 600m/2000ft depth rating. Visually balancing this at 3 is the Chr. Ward logo. Around the outer track is the typical C60 set of applied baton indices, albeit with cutouts for the chrono registers and running seconds. Another minor change is the movement of the date window from its usual 3 o’clock to a window inside the 12-hour register at 6.
The hands are the C60’s ornate teardrop and roman sword combo, with the central trident-counterweight chrono seconds highlighted in yellow. It’s a surprisingly balanced design overall for the amount of action in it, with the highlighting of chrono functions in high-contrast yellow and the equal weighting of elements at 12 and 6 as well as 3 and 9. It’s a design that also lends itself to instant legibility, an important trait for a serious dive watch. The powerplant for the C60 Trident Pro Chronograph 600 is the venerable Valjoux 7750, backbone of countless chronographs since all the way back in 1973. We’ve seen this one many times before, and its use here is a reassuring mark of reliability and quality. Christopher Ward is offering the C60 Trident Pro Chronograph 600 on either a rubber strap or stainless bracelet, and plans to market the watch at a base price of $1920 when it goes on sale in mid-March.