Christopher Ward Trident C60 GMT 600 38mm Review

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Not too long ago, we announced that Christopher Ward had totally overhauled their Trident C60 line. A line that has been a staple of their collection; their go to diver. What they released was pretty exciting too, at least on paper. Multiple new versions, many colors, quartz, mechanical, etc… All but the quartz now boasting 600m water resistance and ceramic bezels, two features that make them contend with much higher priced options. And, just because they can, they capped the collection off with a limited edition 5-day automatic version, using their in-house SH21 movement.

Naturally, we had to review one, and this gave us the opportunity to look at a different version from the original 42mm we reviewed some time ago. So, we went with the Trident C60 GMT 600 – 38mm with burgundy bezel. With a smaller case size and dual time movement, this provides a very different experience from the last one we saw. Coming in at $1,100, the new C60 GMT is priced higher than the previous version, which reflects cost increases of movements and manufacturing, but also the additional features.

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$1100

Christopher Ward Trident C60 GMT 600 38mm Review

Case
Stainless Steel
Movement
ETA 2893-2
Dial
Black Wave
Lume
Yes
Lens
Sapphire
Strap
Leather
Water Resistance
600M
Dimensions
38 x 44.75mm
Thickness
13mm
Lug Width
20mm
Crown
6.5 x 4mm screw-down
Warranty
Yes
Price
$1100

Case

Though it has been redesigned and reengineered, the case of Trident C60 GMT 600 – 38mm looks about the same as it used to, save a detail or two. While the specifics of the internal changes are unknown by us, what is known is their effect, a whopping 600M of water resistance. Previously, the Tridents had 300m of WR, which is plenty for most people, but C Ward decided to up the ante, demonstrating their technical manufacturing capabilities, and hit the 600m mark. Needed? No, but impressive nevertheless.

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While the 38mm case size is not new, this is the first time we’ve had a chance to handle it, and off the bat, it’s pretty cool. When we last reviewed a Trident, it was the original 42mm size which I felt was actually pretty spot on. It was well proportioned and didn’t feel oversized. But, as a fan of smaller watches, I was eager to try the 38. Measuring 38 x 44.75 x 13mm, it is an actual small dive watch, but one with good proportions that make it feel nice and solid. It’s small in size, but not in feeling, maintaining it’s status as a sport watch at heart. 

The design itself is very clean, and as said, similar to the original. It has nice thick lugs, with well machined, scalloped sides and crisp lines that delineate polished from brushed finishing. The 6.5 x 4mm screw down crown mixes matte and polished surfaces for some nice detail, and is flanked by small, but purposeful guards. Flipping the watch over you can see one of the clearer updates to the design. It too has artwork featuring a trident over a wave pattern, but rather than an etching, it’s now a deep 3D stamping with nice detail. 

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The bezel is fairly tall and has a coin edging that is easy to grasp. The 120-click uni-directional mechanism is stiff and snappy, with good action and precision. It feels solid when not in use and has little to no back play unless you force it. Another upgrade to the new Tridents is the use of a ceramic bezel. Ceramic is rapidly becoming the standard on modern dive watches as it is highly scratch resistant, has a luxurious luster and is seemingly coming down in pricing. C Ward has never been shy when it comes to using colors on their Trident line, and they’ve continued that trend here. The model on hand has a beautiful deep red insert, but they also make a forest green, black and a bright blue, though the latter is only available on the 3-hand models. As of now, no pepsi arrangement, which I image would be a challenge in ceramic, but one that is well worth it.

Dial

The dial departs more from the original, but keeps some core design elements. Namely, the elegant wave texture is still present. Though they aren’t the only brand to do this, they’ve stuck with it, and it has become a distinct and attractive element to the design. It adds depth and plays with light in a cool way. It’s noticeable at all times, yet not distracting or overwhelming.

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The markers have been switched up though, moving away from sub/supermarine-esque lines and dots, and over to just applied rectangles. On one hand, the make the watch look less obviously like something else, and more modern, but they do lack personality a bit. Not enough to call the watch generic, but they don’t feel like a unique element. I can live with it though as the other elements…the waves, the bezel… bring in more character. 

One update I was very glad to see was that the date was moved from 4.5 to 3. This cleans up the dial a bit, and doesn’t make the date seem like an afterthought. That said, with these markers, a 6 o’clock position might have looked even cleaner, and/or a cyclops might have been appropriate. On the dial as well is the predictable dive watch text; a logo at 12, and a few lines at 6. The only thing worth mentioning here is that 600M | 2000ft line is in a pleasant yellow/gold that matches with the GMT hand.

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Taking a closer look at the bezel insert, the first thing that pops is that the index is, well, odd. It has dive-esque markings for the first 15 minutes in the form of dashes, and then switches over to a 24-hr scale, for use with the GMT hand. It’s a bit off putting when you think about it, though it doesn’t much effect the use of the watch. Considering the Tridents were originally inspired by GMT Masters, which weren’t dive watches, I’m surprised by the conflicted message here. I suppose it comes from the now 600m WR… like they wanted to communicate both features simultaneously. 

Regardless, the deep red/burgundy bezel contrasts with the white, non-lumed index well, making for an easy read. The only lume available is in the pip at 24/0/60, which is a bit of a disappointment, thought not uncommon for ceramic. In fact, the Pelagos might be the only ceramic bezeled watch with full lume markers. The color is what really matters here and as I said before, it’s quite attractive. It’s a deep masculine red that verges on brown, making it match well with clothing.  It’s not a “look at me” red, or a warning red, but rather something far more subtle and handsome.

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The hour and minute hands appear to have remained the same from the previous model. They are sort of baroque versions of dive hands, giving a sort of early 20th century feel. I don’t dislike them, but I don’t love them either, especially on the new dial. There was a bit more of a rhythm when the dial had circular markers as well. Now with the applied batons, the styles clash a bit, as thought the watch wants a more modern hand set. The second hand still has the trident counter-weight, a signature of the line, but they replace the red tip with a circular, lume filled pip. The GMT hand has been updated from a thin red arrow, to a broad yellow arrow. This was an improvement. Though it feels pulled from the Explorer II, the bolder hand works on the watch, and the yellow/gold is a nice change of pace.

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Movement

Beating away inside of the Trident C60 GMT 600 is an ETA 2893-2. This a movement we’ve come across before, and chances are, if you have an automatic GMT this is what’s inside, but the reason to discuss it again is that they are becoming more and more rare. As ETA/Swatch supplies dry up, fewer and fewer of these are on the market. While we’ve seen solid alternatives for 2824’s and 2892’s by Selitta, Soprod, Seiko and Miyota, there is yet to be a substitute for the 2893-2, which is to say no other affordable GMT’s out there (Orient has some, but they aren’t available to other brands, so it’s a different conversation). This matters for the obvious reason that if you want a GMT your options are limited, but also because prices are going up. Now coming at $1,100, the Trident C60 is quite a bit more than the previous version, but on the low side for a new GMT. That’s just a fact of the way things are right now.

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The movement itself is, of course, a reliable workhorse. It’s a 21-jewel automatic with hand winding, hacking, date, GMT (of course), 40-hr power reserve and a frequency of 28,800 BPH. The date and GMT/dual time are set with the crown in first position, and the time in second. No surprises here, just good performance.

Straps and Wearability

One has various strap options when order the Trident C60 GMT 600 – 38mm, including leather, rubber, nylon and a bracelet for an additional $85. For the review, we went with the faxu-crox leather, as it went so well with the red bezel. The 20mm strap is, as per usual with C Ward, very well made and matched. It’s padded by the lugs, tapers in width and thickness, becoming slender by the buckle. The croc pattern doesn’t look too fake or too plasticky, as they can, and adds some dressiness to the overall package. The color is spot on too, working with both the bezel and the GMT hand. It’s sort of a mahogany tone that has a lot of red in it as well.

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As expected, on the wrist, the C60 38mm wears very nicely. The overall case sits well, not being too large or too small in any dimension. Sometimes, smaller divers, because their dial diameters are limited by their bezel width, can actually seem too small. That isn’t the situation here. The watch simply looks right, and feels solid. As I said before, I found the 42mm fit well as well, so I think the size difference here comes down to preferences and wrist thickness… If you’re wrist is particularly thin or thick, you know which option is right for you, but if you’re in between like me, it comes down to taste. If you’re inclined towards something more discreet or vintage, the 38 is right for you. And, I love that despite it being small, they kept the 600m water resistance, making it not a sacrifice of function to go for the 38mm.

Aesthetically, it’s a smart looking watch. It’s naturally sporty, but like a Sub or GMT Master, has a masculine dress quality to it. It’s a watch you can wear to the beach or to the office depending on your strap choice. On the faux-croc, it is more formal and business casual ready. Since it’s a GMT, it makes particular sense as a traveling watch.  A single solution one could take on a business trip, but also use when taking in the sites, or going for a swim. Versatility like that adds to the overall value in my book.

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Conclusion

While I’m not sure if people were asking for an overhaul of the Trident C60 line, in upping the water resistance, adding ceramic and tweaking the dial, C Ward certainly added more life into it. Yes, the price went up, but at $1,110 for the GMT, it’s still, unfortunately, on the inexpensive side. Yes, there are cheaper options out there, but cheapest isn’t best, and C Ward went the extra mile to make these more rugged, making them better watches overall.

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Apart from that, the 38mm option is pretty unique at this point in the industry. Most divers are still quite large, and though things are starting to trend smaller, dive watches, due to their inherent proportions, don’t always work. The fact that this one does, is available in various colors, as a 3-hander or GMT, has 600m WR and a ceramic bezel, simply makes it an awesome option.

Images from this post:
Zach is the Co-Founder and Executive Editor of Worn & Wound. Before diving headfirst into the world of watches, he spent his days as a product and graphic designer. Zach views watches as the perfect synergy of 2D and 3D design: the place where form, function, fashion and mechanical wonderment come together.
wornandwound zsw
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19 responses to “Christopher Ward Trident C60 GMT 600 38mm Review”

  1. Matt says:

    You know, I want to like Christopher Ward, but they keep putting out watches like this one that have such horribly clashing design elements. It’s like the dial guy, the hands guy, and the bezel guy all went away and designed their separate parts without talking to anybody else, and then put everything together and stuck it in a box.

    Also, confidential to the Christopher Ward dial guy: Hey man, you ought to see if you can give the crown guy a call and borrow that cool “Cw” logo he’s using. It’s way nicer than that terrible “CHRWARD” nonsense you’ve been using.

    • Philip Beresford says:

      I agree, the design just doesn’t work. The hands don’t match the dial markers any more, and the GMT bezel is silly with the diver markings for the first 15 minutes. I understand why they wanted to get away from the round sub-style markers of the previous generation, but I think shorter & thicker batons would have worked better and they should have updated the hand set at the same time. Perhaps a simple sword hand style would have worked well here.

      Also 600m WR is great, but really unnecessary on a watch like this. I would have been happy if they kept to 300m WR and made it a little thinner.

  2. silkhead says:

    there are lots of dial and bezel options to choose from but I’ll wait till one Trident goes on sale…picked up a C11 for half price a few weeks ago

  3. StephenHendricks says:

    Worth noting that US residents who purchase the Trident GMT using the Christopher Ward EU site with a credit card that does not impose a surcharge for foreign transactions, the price of the watch is about $885 at the current USD/Euro exchange rate. I recently made such a purchase and consider the new Trident to be a great bargain.

  4. mr badger 2000 says:

    Less, I feel, than the sum of it’s parts. Dreadful hands and dull markers. There are so many reasonably priced divers on the market that a watch in this style has got to be spot on.

  5. Choppers says:

    I’ve been looking for a half decent 38mm sized diver for ages and Christopher Ward seem to be the only option going… problem is though these are hideous and far too expensive.

    In my opinion a diver should be toolish (ie. drilled lugs), below 40mm and be generally of a reserved design for the gentleman that likes adventure… the Trident in my opinion seems to be the dodgy love child of a Rolex Submariner and a Omega Sea Master, trying desperately to pull all of their nice design elements into one model, slapping on some horrific hands and ending up with a Frankenstein .

    I can sea James Bond rolling around on the floor laughing if ever offered one of these?!

    • Matt says:

      Have a look at the Mk II Nassau – 39mm and approximately the same price as this thing. Mine is fantastic and wears very well.

      • Choppers says:

        Thanks for the tip, unfortunately the custom taxes (about 20% i think) would make make it a little expensive to have sent to the UK.

        I also like the look of the Kemmner 007, word is Kemmner might be doing another production run sometime in the future, and being German/EU based, no custom charges to the UK.

        • andrew says:

          FYI – kemmner 007s are up for sale on ebay (kemmner’s seller name is ‘erkahund’). They just sold out of one batch of the white logo/dial markers but the ‘aged dial marker’ 007 is still available.

  6. jason says:

    Wow, harsh thoughts so far on a beautiful watch! I guess I’m in the minority in seeing this as a great step up from their previous efforts and an all-around beautiful watch … Hope you guys don’t enter the giveaway if/when W&W does it for this piece!

  7. blowfish says:

    I love this watch, the colors work well and GMT options are limited indeed. I personally would pick the 42mm version. However, I am still not sure if it is worth double the price of the previous generation C60, and I’ll keep my older one.

  8. DrKennethNoiseWater says:

    C.W just does nothing for me, meh. For their price range there are a number of other options I would go with.

  9. Jeremy P says:

    there are three things that raises my curiosity about this watch: first, the bezel looks like a marriage between 15-minutes countdown diver bezel and GMT bezel. that’s just too brave. functionality is a question here. second, the hour markers are too thin. Third, for Chr. Ward as a whole watch collection, I personally feel that they are crawling a bit too fast (or perhaps, too brave) for their pricing. $1,100 is a bit too much. It would be more attractive for me if they put the price for $950.

    on the other hand, Chr. Ward are trying to get away from the standard diver watch. the standard Rolex Sub look alike diver. They’re not using the round hour markers which is a very good sign. In comparison to what their watch department looks like in the past, this is way much better.

  10. Phoenikz says:

    The sizing – YES! The dial – OK. The hands/ceramic – Meh. The innovation – ? (where). The point/heritage/originality – None (beyond marketing). The colouring – Gross. The price – Fair do’s… Ultimately – Why?

  11. somethingnottaken says:

    I prefer the 3 hand model as I’m not a fan of the mixed dive & GMT bezel. Interchangable dive and GMT bezels would be better, though, I think a dive bezel combined with a 12h GMT hand using the main scale would be optimal.

    The dial makes this watch rather dressy. That gives it alot of flexibility for everyday desk diving; however, do the hour markers hold enough lume to make this a good watch for actual diving?

  12. Guideaux Hiers says:

    Interesting to read this review and comments…. I find the watch absolutely well thought out! I really prefer the straight thin (Aqua Terralike) hourmarkers over the pips. Looks as a much more professional finish. The wave dial is gorgeous and being a hater of Arabic numerals I love the way Ward has combined gmt with diving functions. This watch is Seamaster/Oris alike…for a very reasonable price. It all shows again how arbitrary the watch world is…I wouldnt want this watch to be any other way…it is just perfect! Only a pity they sacrifice the 3oclock marker for the 38mm version but that is understandable.

  13. Baxter says:

    The is the worst watch purchase I have ever made. The stem fell off the crown, it was not accurate, and there is no US service. They would not eve send me the part to have it fixed locally. Way over priced give the level of quality. No brand recognition. No customer service. Save your money until you can afford a real luxury level watch or buy a much cheaper watch if you just need a time piece. Either way you will be happier in the long run.

  14. Ronbow says:

    I could get into the design, despite the clashes. Most important question: Is the main hour hand independent of the minutes? It doesn’t sound like it in the review. That renders the function awkward as a travel GMT because you mess up your sync every time you change time zones. Major bummer.

  15. Steve A. says:

    Do not buy from this company!

    Christoper Ward’s 60 day ‘no quibble’ return policy is a complete sham. If you purchase a watch and attempt to return it, they will claim that it has been “scratched” and there is no other choice but to resend the item with no refund. This is a terrible way to do business, and I highly encourage you to shop elsewhere. I have never experienced worse customer service in my entire life.