WHY CHRISTOPHER WARD?
Our reputation has been built largely by word of mouth or because someone has admired one of our watches on the wrist of a friend or colleague. So, if you haven’t yet had the pleasure of seeing, feeling, or better still owning, a Christopher Ward, here are a few reasons why you may want to change that.
We are a small English watchmaker with a simple aim ... we want to put premium quality watches within the reach of everyone.
To achieve this we have inverted the usual business model used by brands such as Breitling, Tag Heuer and Omega. The manufacturing costs of our watches may be similar to theirs but that’s where comparisons end.
Christopher Ward or Brad Pitt?
Our competitors spend millions in the creation of “brand halos” around their watches through multi-national advertising campaigns, high profile sponsorships and celebrity endorsements. Marketing is, of course, an important part of any business but when the cost of marketing runs to many times the cost of the product, as is often the case in the luxury watch industry, it seemed to us, to quote the bard, that “something is rotten in the state of Denmark.”
Our marketing spend as a percentage of the watch price is a fraction of our competitors and we may not, therefore, reach as many people as quickly as our competitors, but when we do we seem to delight more often than not - and if you do see Brad Pitt wearing a Christopher Ward watch at least you'll have the satisfaction of knowing he paid for it himself!
The traditional Swiss brands are sold through third party retailers. This means that their wholesale prices (already inflated by huge marketing costs) are then doubled by the retailer before the final price tag is attached. Again, the Christopher Ward way is different.
We sell directly to our customers through our own website and over the phone through our brilliant customer services team. This alone means the selling price of a Christopher Ward watch is halved. Therapeutic, isn’t it!
Finally, because we want as many people as possible to enjoy the pleasure associated with owning and wearing a truly luxurious watch we make sure that the cost benefits of our model, described above, are shared equally with our customers.
Our passionate belief in “honest pricing” means that the selling price of a Christopher Ward watch is between 2 and 3 times the base manufacturing price. The luxury watch industry average is nearer 10 times and we have an example of a well known watch that retails for 30 times the manufacturing cost.
We think these multiples are completely unwarranted and exist because there has been no benchmark premium watch brand with an alternative philosophy. Until now.
From the quiet sophistication of our dress watches to the subtle confidence of our sports collections there is a timeless, understated quality reflected in a Christopher Ward watch which owes much to its English roots.
Designed at our studio in Berkshire, England, with meticulous attention to every detail, it takes thousands of hours to complete the design of one of our watches but, as we are sure you’ll agree, nothing of real value is ever produced quickly
A watch is only as good as the movement at its heart. Among the most intricate and precise pieces of engineering in the modern world, great movements are works of art in their own right and, without question, the finest movement manufacturers are Swiss.
From the outset we were clear that we would only ever use Swiss made mechanical and quartz movements and we’re proud to have established close relationships with some of the finest movement manufacturers including ETA, who provide our mechanical movements and Ronda whom we turn to for many of quartz movements.
Assembled By Hand in The Jura
Watch making is in the DNA of the Swiss and, having designed a watch, we entrust its assembly to our two dedicated ateliers in the famous watch making region of the Jura.
These highly skilled watch makers do not understand the word “compromise” and their meticulous attention to every small detail is a key reason why Christopher Ward watches have been praised by watch connoisseurs around the world.
To carry the words “Swiss Made” a watch must have a Swiss made movement and be assembled in Switzerland- as are all Christopher Ward watches. Other parts of the world may be able to produce very good watches at far lower costs but we insist on the highest standards at CW and these standards are only achievable in Switzerland.
Whilst we have a different business model and philosophy to other Swiss Made brands which allows us to create such fine watches at such astonishing prices we are, nevertheless, very proud to be part of the finest watch making industry in the world. We just wish more people could afford to enjoy its output – but that’s why we’re here.
We have an unashamedly old-fashioned approach to customer service that is borne of an increasing frustration with the ever more impenetrable barriers most companies erect between themselves and their customers. How maddening is it when you can’t speak to a human being without first spending half the morning talking to a machine.And what about when you are made to feel like a criminal because you dared to return a shirt or blouse to a famous High Street chain even though they claim they have a “no quibble” returns policy. Aggghhhh!!!
At Christopher Ward we know that we will only succeed if you’re happy. So when we say we have a “no quibble” returns policy - we actually mean it. And if you have a problem and only want to talk to Chris about it, you will get to talk with him even if he has to call back when he’s free. And so on and so on.
No platitudes, just courtesy, respect and common sense.
In the 1970’s, Robert Townsend, who was then Chief Executive of Avis Car Hire at the time was famous for creating the motto “We try harder” as the company battle cry in their struggle against the hugely bigger Hertz. We would like to think that same sort of gritty realism is evident at CW as we take on the might of the Swiss luxury watch industry. Please tell us if it isn’t by emailing any one of the founders as follows: