Making its debut on the Dune Collection, Christopher Ward’s new applied logo has been making an impression for all the right reasons

There’s no doubt that the Dune range has been one of Christopher Ward’s most successful launches. And much of that is down to the 3-D ‘applied’ logo that features on the dial of the premium field watch. Here, designer William Brackfield shares the secrets of one of CW’s most striking innovations yet.

Hi Will. Why the move to an applied logo?
Perceived quality. Look at the most respected watch brands, and they use applied logos. An applied logo costs more – and as we’re known for our level of finishing, it made sense to apply that level of care to the logo. We thought it’d be easy. It wasn’t!

“The most respected watch brands use applied logos”

What difficulties did you face?
When we initially designed the twin-flags logo, we only had printing in mind. Usually, an applied logo is made up of one or two pieces. Ours is five – and four are very small, just 0.7mm across. Applying tiny things is part of the watch trade, but getting the lines to run concentrically is difficult. If one is ‘off’, it shows, as the logo is made of straight lines. At first, we tried to make it from one piece and use different finishes to denote depth and texture. But it didn’t look refined enough.

The difficult part in achieving perfect alignment is the tolerances. Each of the five pieces we use have two ‘feet’ on the bottom which attach to the dial, where each foot has a tolerance of 0.01-0.02mm. The machining process for each of the five pieces has a tolerance of 0.05mm. With these tolerances combined, the dial maker is faced with the challenge of setting each piece in the correct position - where everything is perfectly aligned. The four tiny squares are set under a microscope, which is the only way to set each one precisely in the given incredibly tight tolerances.

Has it been tried before?
We used an applied logo on the C7 Rapide, but it was one single plate with a base colour matched to the dial. We also tried to do it with the Sealander, but the supplier said it was impossible. But they reckoned without Jörg Bader Jr, our Head of Product in Switzerland! He kept pushing them until they found a better way to mount the different pieces. This took a lot of iterations – we rejected several – but by the middle of last year, we knew it could be done.

Will it be all applied logos from now on?
Most of the time, yes, though there are some models, such as those with sapphire dials, which won’t be able to host them – for now. But we’ll keep working on it!

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