Introducing the Christopher Ward C60 Apex Dive Watch

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Back in May, when we brought you news of the completely revamped Christopher Ward Trident 3, we thought it looked like the brand was taking a bit of a victory lap, celebrating how far they’d come in terms of their watch design and execution in a relatively short time span. Well, if any bubbly had been left uncorked, I have a feeling that with the release of their newest piece, the C60 Apex Limited Edition, new toasts are about to be made. Released in honor of the fifth anniversary of the brand’s SH21 in-house movement, this 100-piece limited edition takes what has come to be a familiar Christopher Ward aesthetic and turned it up a notch.

For the release of the C60 Apex Limited Edition, we had the chance to go one on one with Christopher Ward CEO and co-founder Mike France, who was able to provide some context for this release.

“It’s almost exactly five years since we introduced our in-house chronometer, Calibre SH21,” says France. “It seemed an appropriate time to celebrate with something extra special.”


Christopher Ward C60 Apex

  • Case Material: Stainless steel
  • Dial: Blue
  • Dimensions: 42mm
  • Crystal: Sapphire  
  • Water Resistance: 300 meters
  • Crown: Screw down  
  • Movement: Caliber SH21 
  • Strap/bracelet: Rubber 
  • Price: $4,243
  • Expected Release: August 28

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Since the C60 Apex was made to honor the achievement of creating a new caliber in-house, it makes perfect sense that the movement should be the star of the show. Christopher Ward has partnered with luxury Swiss watchmaker Armin Strom to skeletonize the SH21 in the C60 Apex to great effect. Bridges and the winding rotor have been customized for this edition, giving the C60 a dramatic look from either the front or the back.

The most prominent visual feature of the watch from the dial side is undoubtedly the implementation of the power reserve at 9:00. The orange indicator hand sits on top of a color-matched 3D bridge, secured to the edge of the dial with polished screws. The bridge is striking and set against a section of the dial that has been open-worked, providing a sense of depth to the dial that goes a step beyond pronounced hour markers and the like. It’s a really unique take, and a little taste of the high horology that Armin Strom typically dabbles in.

“A dive watch highlighting the movement at both the front and back is pretty rare,” explains France. “This is our first dive watch with an exhibition case back, and to show the SH21 off . . .  as well as link both sides of the movement aesthetically, we chose to use an aluminum outer ring for the rotor arm which allowed us to anodize in the same orange as the bridge work of the power reserve feature on the front of the watch.”

Looking beyond the very obvious design advances made with the C60 Apex, we still have an extremely capable dive watch that Christopher Ward guarantees to be just as useful at depth as their more mainstream offerings. The case is water resistant to 300 meters and includes a helium escape valve suitable for saturation diving, generous amounts of X1 GL C1 Super-LumiNova have been used on the dial, and the hands are beautifully multifaceted to further enhance legibility in a variety of lighting scenarios. The ceramic bezel is also lumed, and the case has been given the “light catcher” treatment that Christopher Ward has been employing lately, which is a finishing technique made to highlight the transitions between brushed and polished surfaces. And, of course, the SH21 movement that this edition celebrates is chronometer-certified and boasts a power reserve of 120 hours. 

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France is understandably proud of his brand’s newest creation. “The Apex series is, as the name suggests, where we push the boundaries of what we can achieve technically and aesthetically,” he says. “It’s our very own Formula 1 test track.” The comparison to Formula 1 is apt: France is hopeful that the tech that has been advanced in this edition will eventually trickle down to the rest of the line.

It’s been said many times, but Christopher Ward has really come a long way. Many brands now have some measure of an in-house movement and technically competent watches that can stand up to the elements, but Christopher Ward also offers a coherent and unique design language across their entire lineup that has matured right along with the brand. That is a little bit more rare.

The C60 Apex is a limited edition of 100 units and can be ordered on the Christopher Ward website starting tomorrow. Christopher Ward

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Zach is a native of New Hampshire, and he has been interested in watches since the age of 13, when he walked into Macy’s and bought a gaudy, quartz, two-tone Citizen chronograph with his hard earned Bar Mitzvah money. It was lost in a move years ago, but he continues to hunt for a similar piece on eBay. Zach loves a wide variety of watches, but leans toward classic designs and proportions that have stood the test of time. He is currently obsessed with Grand Seiko.
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