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Valentine’s Day is rapidly approaching and the panic surrounding what to buy your loved one can often result in something a little cliché. So, here’s a suggestion. Why not buy her a Christopher Ward watch?

It’ll certainly win you more brownie points than a few roses or a candle-lit dinner – and she’ll have it on her wrist long after the memory of that evening has faded. What’s more, she might even let you borrow it occasionally. A definite win-win if ever there was one!

That just leaves the question of what watch will do the best job of winning her heart. Men’s watches have become increasingly popular with women as the trend for more masculine designs has gathered pace. We’re now at a point where there is no such thing as a watch that’s “exclusively for men” – style is becoming increasingly androgynous.

This means is that you could probably buy her something quite chunky and masculine and get away with it. But if you’d like to play things a little safer something more unisex is probably your best bet. Helen, our Head of Marketing, and her assistant Hannah, have put together a short list of their top picks for Valentine’s Day.

 

C5 Malvern 595

C5 Malvern 595 Rose Gold

The Malvern 595 is a thing of beauty, both aesthetically and technically. At just 5.95mm it’s one of the world’s slimmest mechanical watches, as well as incredibly light – perfect for a more delicate wrist. This is an amazing achievement when you consider that the elegant case conceals a Swiss-made ETA 7001 movement that ensures outstanding accuracy and durability.

The range offers two face options, five strap/bracelet options and two case options. The steel case C5 Malvern 595 with Opalin White face and Milanese mesh bracelet, or the version with a Rose Gold case and Oak Leather strap, are both popular with our female customers. Unisex and unfussy, but tough and business-like with it.

The other big (small) attraction is the price. Other wafer-thin mechanical watches are not suitable for those of slender means; Ours however has a price as pared down as the profile – £595 (or £680 with the bracelet).

 

C65 Trident Vintage

C65 Trident Vintage

It’s a classic, meaning that it’ll never go out of fashion. Everything about this Trident, from the brushed and polished stainless steel case to the ‘Old Radium’ luminescent paint on the dial, and the anti-reflective glassbox sapphire crystal to the stark simplicity of the face, is beautifully functional and yet elegantly minimalist. The look is vintage, evoking the clean lines and sharp design of the 1960s, whilst remaining strikingly modern.

Powered by an industry revered Sellita SW200-1 movement it’s dependable and accurate, with a self-winding mechanism and a 38-hour power reserve. Available with three strap options and as a bracelet, just 38mm in diameter and weighing 60gm, it’s the perfect everyday watch that’ll sit comfortably on a smaller wrist.

 

C3 Malvern Chronograph Mk III in Steel White

C3 Malvern Chronograph Mk3

A very attractive dress watch whose slim and graceful case discreetly combines brushed and polished steel surfaces, aided by contoured ‘light catcher lines’, to elegant effect.  On the other hand it sports some unmistakeable touches of motorsport DNA which betray the fact that our original Malvern watches were inspired by an Aston Martin dashboard.

Behind the C3’s twin-flag-engraved backplate sits a Ronda 3520.D Swiss movement that offers supreme accuracy. Clever innovations include the battery-saving mode with the crown stem pulled out (reduces battery consumption by 70 per cent), as well as the dual function chronograph eye at 12 o’clock which allows the watch to be measure from tenths- of-a-second all the way to 12 hours. These features set it apart from traditional women’s watches, which tend to be more decorative than practical – perfect for those who are both chic and capable. However, priced at a mere £395 you may feel you should be spending a little more on the love of your life!

 

C60 Trident Pro 600 in White and Black

38mm C60 Trident Pro 600

For many years women have been eschewing more delicate and feminine watches for bolder, chunkier and more masculine styles – with dive watches being spotted on many a celebrity wrist. This particular pick from the Christopher Ward collection, offering a dramatic contrast between the black bezel and white face, combined with a stainless steel case and bracelet, makes a very eye-catching but chic statement. The fact that, unlike most women’s watches, it has a mechanical movement is also part of the attraction and adds to the romance of the watch (think of it as a beating heart). Add in the fact it’s water resistant to 600 metres and you have a watch whose quality is beyond question – perfect for women who want style with substance.

You may have already bought some of our watches for “other halves” in the past, or maybe just for yourself (if you consider yourself the better half!) – either way, we’d love to the hear feedback from your gifts.

Why the late 1960s were the golden age of dive watches – and how they’ve influenced the new C65 Trident Automatic

Goldfinger, the 1964 James Bond film starring Sean Connery, is the ultimate watch-lovers movie. It’s got the lot: Connery at his brooding best; an Aston Martin DB5 that not only looks the business but also has an ejector seat; and of course, 007’s Rolex Submariner (Ref: 6358), attached to a textile NATO strap.

Not only does this watch look great with Bond’s white tuxedo, but it also signifies something else: the impact of technological advancements on watch design.

If the period between the 1930-1950s is the golden age of dress timepieces, so the late ’60s are the apex of ‘tool’ watches. These are watches designed, not only to tell the time, but to use it as an instrument of measurement, whether at the track or under the waves. Mike France, co-founder of Christopher Ward, explains.

“Many of the most iconic watches from major brands were at their best in the 1960s,” says Mike. “These include the Breitling Navitimer in 40mm. Enicar’s dual-crown Sherpa model, the Yachtingraf from Yema, and Tag’s stunning Autavia. This is the time when sport watches shined.”

Add this functionality to the boundary-breaking ethos in art, fashion and music of the period, and you’re looking at a range of watches that are not only highly technical, but laden with era-defining design touches (like multicoloured hands; wide or square cases). These take the wearer back to the days of Steve McQueen, Bob Dylan and Andy Warhol.

This trend hasn’t gone unnoticed at 1 Park Street, home of Christopher Ward. The first sign that designer Adrian Buchman was looking to the early ’60s for inspiration was the C65 Trident Diver, a hand-wound retro piece that’s been a hit since it was released.

Now a new model has launched: a diving watch with design touches and construction cues from from the late 1960s. It’s called the C65 Trident Automatic.

C65 Trident Automatic

“Dive watches of this era allowed the development of scuba diving for the masses,” says Mike France. “They weren’t as technically advanced as today’s watches, but set previously unheard-of standards of water-resistance. Another innovation was the Super Compressor case, manufactured by EPSA, which became more water-resistant the further down it went.”

While engineering innovations improved performance, the complications used on these watches were relatively simple. For divers, the most important tool was the countdown function of the external or internal bezel, alongside the improved legibility that came with improvements in dial design and luminosity.

C65 Trident Automatic macro shots

The designer of the Christopher Ward’s C65 Trident Automatic is Adrian Buchmann. Too young to remember the late 1960s, he nevertheless studied the icons of the era to come up with a watch that immediately recalls classics from Rolex, Omega and Blancpain.

“The Sub is, of course, an iconic design, and few dive watches – even famous ones like Omega’s Seamaster – escape its influence,” Adrian says. “But we also enjoyed taking this route because people like our vintage lume so much, and we wanted to give them more of it.”

One noticeable difference between the Automatic and Diver are the dots which take the place of the bars on the latter, something that softens and lightens the look, increasing its legibility. And while the dots reference classic divers, this is very much its own watch.

“Obvious design elements as Rolex’s triangle at 12 o’clock have been avoided,” says Adrian. “We’ve taken an iconic design and refined it in a very Christopher Ward way, one that makes it a little more dressy and less sporty. It’s at home in any situation.”

So whether you’re planning to spend the summer exploring the shipwrecks of the West Indies or just sipping a cold beer as you watch the waves lap against the sand, the C65 Trident Automatic will ensure you’re never shaken. Though perhaps occasionally stirred.