Christopher Ward just announced the release of their newest accessible luxury watch, the C900 Worldtimer. Following up on last year’s C900 Monopusher chronograph, and the C9 Harrison Jumping Hour before that, the new Worldtimer continues their collaborations with watchmaker, Johannes Jahnke. For those who haven’t seen the previous two (check out our reviews for greater info), what sets these watches apart from the crowd are their in-house complications, designed and built by Jahnke and surprisingly low price points. Coming in at $2,165, the C900 Worldtimer is more expensive than a typical C Ward, but for an in-house Worldtimer complication, it’s an exceptional price.
The C Ward and Jahnke approached the Worldtimer a bit differently than other brands, further distinguishing the watch. Typically, Worldtimers are tricky to read at a glance. There are multiple indexes set to different time zones, several hands ticking away and both 12 and 24-hour time in use. To create a simpler read, Jahnke took the widely used Swiss ETA 2893 GMT movement and modified it to be fully 24 hour, so both local and destination/home time are at the same rate.
Additionally, they took the time zone indicator and adapted it for better at-a-glance reading with a patent pending display. At 24 there is a window indicating an airport code, presumably that of the most trafficked international airport, for the set destination/home time. By using a window, they removed the clutter typically found on world time indexes. Further emphasizing the selected time zone, and perhaps in a more immediate and clear fashion, is the use of an indicator integrated in the World map dial itself. At the point of each of the major airports is an aperture that fills in red for the location that is currently set.
The design of the watch is classic and straightforward, utilizing the robust, yet elegant 43mm case that was featured on the C900 Chronograph. The display case back, which shows off the well-decorated JJ03, ETA 2893 base, movement also features a chart with the various airport codes and their related cities for reference. The blue/silver dial leaves no doubt that this a Worldtimer, as the full-globe map with longitude and latitude lines is hard to mistake. The map also features a textured 3-dimensional design with recessed blue oceans with a “dimple” pattern, raised continents and longitude/latitude lines. The blue/silver theme is extended to the midnight blue genuine CITES certified Louisiana alligator strap.
Around the perimeter of the watch is a 24-hour index, which is used for all time zones, that is split into day/night, creating an interesting horizon line across the dial. Subtle, bowing leaf shaped hands are used for the local minutes and hours, while a red arrow tip hand is used for the destination/home. The overall aesthetic is clean and professional, though I did miss the sort-of mid-century streamline design of the C900 Monopusher and C9 Jumping hour mk II, with their long thin roman numerals and needle hands.
The C900 Worldtimer is an exciting addition to C Ward’s ever developing line of unique, higher end mechanicals. At $2,165, this is a great price for a Worldtimer with and in-house complication, let alone one with a unique display. For the frequent traveler, especially one on regular business trips, the airport code indicator and clean, conservative design make this a very viable watch. We look forward to seeing what Christopher Ward and Johannes Jahnke come up with next, perhaps a complete calendar?
by Zach Weiss