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Collaborations
Overview
 


Morgan + Christopher Ward

“It’s not just a badging exercise, it’s so much more in-depth than that”




One of the most exciting and individual names in British motor sport is Morgan, the proudly independent, family-owned maker of unique, distinctive vehicles that are both fast and ecologically-friendly, cutting edge in the way they’re designed and classically crafted in the way they’re made.

Christopher Ward – as a similarly individual and proudly British outfit – has various synergies with Morgan anyway, but in November 2016 it became official, as the two companies announced an ongoing agreement to produce Morgan-based watches. That Morgans are all built at the historic spa town of Malvern in Worcestershire, and the very first Christopher Ward watch was the C5 Malvern, is another rather pleasing piece of coincidence.

The collaboration initially began with a range of three watches, all powered by Christopher Ward’s in-house movement, Calibre SH21. Each one references one of the three major strands of the Morgan range. There’s the iconic three-wheeler, the first car Morgan ever made back in 1909, and relaunched in a powerful modern form in 2011; there’s the core, familiar Morgan line of open sports cars, the Plus 4s and Plus 8s, that people think of when they think of Morgan; and then there’s the more recent Aero range, a high-end, retro-futuristic interpretation of the Morgan brand values that launched in 2000 and currently comprises three cars, both open-top and fixed-head.

“Morgan is one of the great icons of the British car industry, and the three watches all reflect different aspects of their cars,” says Christopher Ward co-founder Mike France. “We’ve modified many key elements, including the bridges that hold the movements, to suit each model, while the case is a redesigned version of the new C1 Grand Malvern case. They’re almost like an extension of the vehicle.”



Jonathan Wells, Head of Design at Morgan, is equally excited. “There’s a sense of purpose to a Morgan,” he says. “The cars don’t try to satisfy every possible automotive application, but simply offer a fantastic yet reliable driving experience, with the added value of knowing your car is personal to you, thanks to the care of a dedicated team of craftsmen. A watch is a personal item too, acting as an avatar to describe one’s taste and personality.”



 
Morgan is one of the great icons of the British car industry, and the three watches all reflect different aspects of their cars. We’ve modified many key elements, including the bridges that hold the movements, to suit each model, while the case is a redesigned version of the new C1 Grand Malvern case. They’re almost like an extension of the vehicle

Mike France


To this end, Jonathan considers the new relationship between Christopher Ward and Morgan to be more than just financial, but emotional too. “The watches must have integrity,” he says. “A Morgan watch could never be just a badging exercise or a marketing stunt, but has to be designed in the same way as the vehicles. Indeed, it must offer the customer the ability to tailor details to suit their personal taste – and echo the key features of the car that they love.”