Some of the most handsome timepieces ever made are the sports and travel watches of the 1960s. The C65 Trident range riffs on the watches of the period, and the latest release, the C65 GMT Worldtimer, is perhaps the most ambitious yet.
“This is an ultra-cool watch,” says Christopher Ward CEO and co-founder Mike France. “GMTs and worldtimers are all about the explosion of global travel in the 1960s when it became useful for people to know the time in more than one time zone at once. Remember Leonardo DiCaprio in Catch Me If You Can? This watch is in the spirit of that era.”
Not that it’s a backwards-looking piece in any way. Indeed, not only is this the first of the C65 range to go down the GMT worldtimer route, it offers several other firsts too. It has a screw-down crown, which is new to the C65. It uses a dramatic black-and-yellow colour scheme – sort of like a bionic bee – which Christopher Ward has never played with before. And it has a bi-directional bezel, long-awaited and beautiful to operate.
Three essential points worth looking at in more detail. First, that crown. “We want to introduce more screw-down crowns to the C65 family,” says CW head of product design, Adrian Buchmann, “bringing that extra bit of security and quality to each watch. You don’t need one for a watch to be water-resistant – thanks to double gaskets and clever case construction, it can be safe to dive to 150m without it – but people like them anyway.”
Then, the colour scheme. “One of my favourite dive watches is the IWC Aquatimer, which came in a brilliant black-and-yellow version,” says Mike. “It’s a wonderful combination that we’ve never used before.”
The brand new bi-directional bezel. “This is a feature that a good GMT watch really should offer – it makes using the watch much easier – so we’ve listened to people and introduced one here for the first time,” says Mike. “It helps that the C65 bezel works differently to the one we have on the C60 range.”
It’s a wonderful combination that we’ve never used before.
The standard GMT indication here is inside the watch underneath the crystal, not outside on the bezel, which is now home to the Worldtimer tool.
How does this work? Well, a GMT watch offers a second hour hand on the watch face that rotates once every 24 hours (exactly half as fast as the other hour hand) and points to a second time scale that reads to 24 instead of 12, here located on the inner edge of the watch dial. This can tell you the time in a second time zone (home, say, as you travel away from it), and as it’s showing all 24 hours, there’s no way to get confused as to whether it’s day or night there. With the worldtimer function, you can track all 24 time zones across the world at once, each indicated by a city name.
Naturally, the watch has all the essential features that make the C65 range so appealing: the ’60s aesthetic that comes from a glass box sapphire, and a visual slimming-down created by a combination of the regular light-catcher case™.
Then there are the strap options – all quick change, of course – which include a black hybrid, vintage oak leather, a steel bracelet and canvas. “It’s the best canvas strap we’ve ever had, with better waxing and finer thread,” says Mike. Plus, of course, you could fit any of Christopher Ward’s 22mm straps to this watch, or even a mesh bracelet if you fancied it.
The watch has all the essential features that make the C65 range so appealing: the ’60s aesthetic that comes from a glass box sapphire, and a visual slimming-down created by a combination of the regular light-catcher case™.
Finally, the movement: Sellita SW330, which Adrian describes as “a renowned GMT calibre that’s very solid and notable for being particularly smooth-winding. Though as it’s an automatic, you’ll rarely have to wind it anyway.”
On the canvas, hybrid or vintage oak, the C65 GMT Worldtimer comes in at £995; on the bracelet, it’s £1,095. Mike says: “When you think that it offers so many firsts – our first GMT worldtimer with a bi-directional bezel and the first screw-down crown on a C65, it’s such an ambitious watch. And coming in under £1,000 it’s also a real steal.”