Hands-On with Christopher Ward C65 Trident With in-house SH21 caliber by Tomas RosputinskyJanuary 02, 2020 MIN READHands-On with Christopher Ward C65 Trident
The dressiest diver you can get. Limited edition Christopher Ward C65 Trident with an in-house movement that runs for five days.
It looks as impressive on pictures as it does when reading the specs. Impressive enough to make me ask the Christopher Ward representatives to send us one of the 150 limited edition pieces for a hands-on review. They did send one and after 2 weeks on the wrist, I am just as impressed.
Christopher Ward C65 with a power reserve
Since I can remember I’ve been fascinated by the power reserve complication. Yes, some might consider the complication a bit fancy and/or superficial. Some question its relevance in an automatic movement. I too have phases where I forget about my affection towards the power reserve. But each time a newly released watch or vintage timepiece with it comes up, I am once again under its spell. It’s only been over these past two weeks wearing the Christopher Ward C65 Trident that I fully realized why I like power reserve watches so much.
Alarm, annual calendar, day or date, moonphases, chronograph, time zones, all of them have something in common. Something that you won’t find in a power reserve also called the réserve de marche. All previously mentioned will tell you information that you could easily check elsewhere. In other words, different means of technology, such as the easily accessible mobile phone, have replaced the necessity for these complications forever. What I find really charming about the power reserve is that nothing else can tell you how much energy there is left in your movement. From this perspective, the power reserve on the dial holds a unique position in comparison to other complications.
The sound of the orbiting rotor is for your ears only. Highly addictive. It makes me want to unscrew the full case back, sit on the rotor, close the lid behind me and rotate with it.
What exactly is the Christopher Ward C65 Trident?
Let’s face all the sceptics’ objections head-on. Why would somebody put a power reserve in a diver watch? Well, I get what you’re saying. But at the same time, I say, why wouldn’t you if you can? The designers at CW obviously felt free enough to do so. The result is, with a hand on my heart, at least very refreshing. There is something to this watch and I still am not sure that I’ve decoded fully what it is. What I can say for sure is that when I look at it right now, my eyes jump all over the watch with excitement just as they did the first time I saw a picture of them.
Bezel and crystal
I can’t get rid of the feeling of seeing a Ressence watch when I look at this C65 Trident. I know how crazy that sounds. I guess it’s because of the flat crystal that is separated from the narrow, but very solid bezel by another thin ring. It’s hardly visible for the first time, you don’t realize it’s there. The bezel, ring, and crystal seem so compact like you wouldn’t be able to push a single molecule through them.
The Ressence flashbacks come to mind as well due to the dial that feels shallow and really close to your eye. It is probably the beautiful and slightly pearly blue tones and the effects on the crystal edge that makes the dial sit up very high. If it weren’t for the date, I could not resist feeling like the space between the crystal is filled with some kind of a special liquid. With some watches, I have preferred angles from which I like to look at them. With this C65 Trident, it doesn’t really matter. Full frontal or from the sides, the view and effect always collect 10/10 points.
Busy or not?
In the past, Christopher Ward has taken some beatings on forums and discussions for being busy or placing their logo in the wrong spot and in the wrong size. I didn’t follow. I always make my opinion before I read the reviews and most of the time I liked their style. I admit there is still a lot going on the dial in 41mm case. But do I mind? No, I don’t. In the two weeks’ time, I didn’t feel bothered or disturbed one single time. Time reading is quick, the same about the reserve of the movement energy. My verdict: not busy.
Date and subregisters
Kudos for the date implementation. Aperture is almost invisible; the date looks like it’s printed on the dial. I also like that the window doesn’t have the standard linear shape. The design and shaping of the sub-second and power reserve are very detailed and pours some more fuel to the Ressence resemblance. Both subs are slightly sunk into their positions, with their respective tracks being separated from the inner lining structure. Again, from reading the description it might sound a bit over-done, but it is just right. In particular light conditions, the reflections create an effect that the inner lining is moving independently from the sub-register track. A nice touch.
Thoughts on the dial
The long and thin stick indexes are as simple as the minute track. I like the wider square above the twelve. The indexes match the hand luming. I like how the sub-register hands copy the central hand’s style. I also like that the power reserve didn’t get a more noble hand, but uses the same hand as the sub-second. They look functional, even featuring a thin lume. If there is one thing that I am not completely sure of its the central hands set, a giant clone of the sub-register hands. But at the end of the day, I don’t find them disturbing. They allow for perfect time reading. It is probably the contrast of the brushed center and polished sides.
Christopher Ward moved high up on my active follow list when they introduced their C1 Grand Malvern Power Reserve. It’s been two years and I still like it. Besides other design traces, this watch carries the same weaponry base under the dial as today’s limited edition C65 Trident.
SH21 movement technicals
How many smaller brands without history spanning decades offer in-house movements? Start naming. And now you can start counting the ways in which the SH21 comes interesting. Not only has it been developed in-house, but it also regulated to COSC accuracy with a tolerance of -4/+6 sec for a day. The power reserve counter doesn’t show hours, but days. Up to five days in total, thanks to the twin-barrel system. That’s pretty impressive, if we realize we’re talking about a 2.000 euros watch. Since its introduction to the watchmaking world in the summer of 2014, the SH21 hasn‘t got as much recognition as it deserves (but we discussed it here and mentioned here).
SH21 movement feeling
I am afraid it is only a matter of time until the SH21 lands in my collection. Spinning the rotor on the wrist feels like having your own personal carousel. It is so unusually pleasant to put one’s wrist on the table and feel it rotating happily. Like there was no gravity and friction. The rotor starts spinning at any random hand movement for long enough for you to realize that it’s there. At the same time, you feel the gravity center dragging down on your wrist very gently. The sound of the orbiting rotor is for your ears only. Highly addictive. It makes me want to unscrew the full case back, sit on the rotor, close the lid behind me and rotate with it.
The C65 Limited Edition Trident diver isn’t the thinnest watch but stepping on the case and case back works well. If you look at the case profile from the side of the lug, you will recognize a tiny space-ship shape, sloping sharply up and down from the center. This non-standard curving results in a bit of a naked and exposed crown setting, especially when looking from the bottom. The bezel, which is slightly wider than the case interestingly copies the shape of the crown and creates another unusual detail. The crown is wide enough and makes winding easy and satisfying.
I have to be careful when choosing a 41mm diameter watch to wear. If you prefer smaller sizes like me, I can assure you the C65 trident still counts as a ‘GO’. I opted out of the bracelet and black leather, asking CW to send both camel leather and hybrid blue. As I prefer soft leather, the camel strap was the one that got the most wrist time. But I have to tell you that the blue hybrid also has the looks to die for. It would be my preferred choice on hot summer days.
Christopher Ward managed to put together a dressy diver mutant with a power reserve that is hard to say no to. Over the two weeks, I never got bored with it and wore it more intensely than other watches that have come in for a test. It is versatile and fits my jumpers as much as my freshly ironed shirts. The standard CW price-tag, an in-house movement with a 5-day power reserve and a limited run of 150 pieces make me think about selling one of my vintage chronos to create some space for this matt blue novelty. If you are not a diver watch purist and like a bit of cuff to be involved, the CW Trident C65 might be the ideal choice.
Brand Christopher Ward ModelC65 Trident Diver SH21 Limited EditionReferenceLimited edition of 150 piecesDialMatte blue dial, Old Radium Super-LumiNova indexes, numerals and handsCase MaterialBrushed and polished marine-grade stainless steel caseCase DimensionsDiameter: 41mm, Height: 13.4mmCrystal"Glass box" sapphire crystalCase BackHigh Definition "Trident" motif screw-down backplateMovementIn-house 33 jewel Calibre SH21 automatic movement, 120 hour power reserve with power reserve indicator complicationWater Resistance15 ATM (150 metres)StrapCamel strap width: 22mm, vintage finish leather with hand-sewn whip stitch and quick-release pins for easy changingFunctionsHour, minute, small second, date, power reservePrice2245 EUR Watch of the Week
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About the author
During the day time, Tomas is an entrepreneur in the advertising, automotive and IT software industries. At night he turns into a watch enthusiast searching for quirky movements or vintage pieces with strong stories behind. Tomas was born and bred… read more
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