There’s something undisputedly cool about retro chronographs. But what sets the C65 AM 1 VEV Special Edition apart is its combination of authentic motorsport styling – witness those intricately designed subdials – and near-perfect accuracy.
As elite motor vehicles – especially Aston Martin’s – have always inspired us, we decided to create two exceptional chronographs based on perhaps the most beautiful racing car of all time, Aston Martin’s DB4 GT Zagato. Launched in 1961, the Zagato was run by John Ogier’s Essex Racing Stable, and driven by the likes of Jim Clark and Roy Salvadori. While it wasn’t successful on the track, its beauty and rarity (only 19 were ever built) made it one of the most valuable cars in the world.
So what better inspiration for a watch that pushes the boundaries of form and function? Named after the registration plate of one of the first four Zagatos (‘1 VEV’), the dial is influenced by the look of the car’s dashboard: hence the use of speedo numerals rather than the conventional 12-hour display.
To maximise comfort and wearability, it boasts a Light-catcher™ case in marine-grade steel, with the caseback deep-stamped with an imprint of a Zagato wheel. You can change the character of the watch by swapping straps: a camel-coloured leather band delivers a dressy look, while a hybrid makes the watch feel sporty and contemporary.
Powered by the ultra-accurate ETA 251.272 quartz movement, there’s a wealth of timing options available. From the centre-stop seconds function to the 30-minute counter – plus the 1/10 seconds register – everything is covered, including both ‘split’ and ‘add’ functionality. There’s also a tachymeter bezel to calculate the speed of passing vehicles when you’re trackside.
With just 150 of the C65 AM 1 VEV SE in existence, this powerful chronograph ends Christopher Ward’s long and proud connection with quartz watchmaking. Yet at the same time cements our ongoing association with a unique era of British motorsport history.
ETA 251.272 quartz movement
ETA 251.272 quartz movement
When it comes to accuracy and power, few movements can compete with ETA’s 251.272. One of the most accurate quartz chronographs on the market, the 22-jewel, 30mm movement boasts a tolerance of just +15.2-9.1 seconds per month.
The movement boasts a range of timing options. The subdial at 2 o’clock counts 1/10ths of a second, while at 10 o’clock, there’s a 30-minute counter. The small-seconds subdial monitors ‘regular’ timekeeping, while further information comes courtesy of the integrated date wheel.
The ultimate sports dial
The matte-black dial plays host to a variety of subdials, which not only deliver stopwatch functionality, but provide satisfying visual balance.
Stamp of authority
The back of the marine-grade steel case is deep-stamped with an impression of the Zagato’s vintage racing wheels. It also carries the serial number of the individual watch.
The light and comfortable case
The Light-catcher™ case, inspired by the graceful arcs of vintage car design, has been designed to sit snug on the wrist. Ideal if you wear long-sleeve shirts.
Timing on your terms
The centre-seconds hand is painted red to increase legibility. Used in conjunction with the subdials, it provides precise readings of whatever you’re timing.
strap or bracelet
A new bracelet or strap is the easiest way to refresh the look of your watch. With quick-release systems included on our models, here’s how you can swap over to a new bracelet or strap.