GT speaks to London born Swiss Made watch house Christopher Ward for the ultimate guide to gifting the perfect Swiss Made watch at every level.
Tell us about Christopher Ward… Christopher Ward specialises in mechanical and quartz watches, with its pieces designed in Britain and manufactured in Biel, Switzerland, the home of fine timepieces. After leaving successful retail careers, our three founders came up with the idea for a watch brand while sitting on Chris Ward’s boat on the River Thames in 2004. The aim was simple: to put premium watches within the reach of everyone.
What sets Christopher Ward apart from other watch brands? In 2014 we introduced our own in-house movement, Calibre SH21, deemed the “most important development for a British watch brand for 50 years”. No other British watch company produces its own commercially viable movement. The brand has gone from strength to strength over the past 11 years, and most recently announced a unique partnership with iconic British motor car manufacturer, Morgan Motor Company. This exciting new partnership will see us take inspiration from the legendary British car maker’s craftsmanship and engineering, creating a timepiece collection which will be available exclusively to Morgan car owners.
Can you explain the basic things we should look for in a well-made watch? With so many watch brands widely available it can be a daunting task to try and choose the right watch for you. Make sure you do your research before you buy; consider the materials that have been used to make it, understand the movement and mechanisms and decide whether you want quartz or mechanical. If you are looking for watch primarily for telling the time in the most accurate way possible, a quartz watch may be for you. If you want an incredibly well-made, hand constructed piece of fine horological craftsmanship, then aim for a mechanical piece.
What would be your top Christopher Ward picks for gifting this season for every level of watch collector? First watch, entry level watch maybe on a smaller budget? The C5 Malvern Automatic MK II is perfect for anyone looking to leap into the world of ‘proper’ watches. ‘Quintessentially English’ this watch suits anyone. This design is affordable for those with a smaller budget (prices vary from £399 – £580) but that doesn’t mean we skimp on quality! The 38 hour power reserve, the self-winding
mechanical movement and anti-shock system means it’s an incredible quality watch, for great value.
Mid-range level someone who might be more familiar with watches but still has room for the collection to grow? The C8 UTC Worldtimer is the perfect watch for someone who is familiar with watches, but who is looking to grow their collection. This watch puts the wearer in closer touch with cities across the globe, as well as the city that they reside in! The two-piece dial is the most striking feature of the timepiece: featuring a rotating worldtimer bezel displaying prominent international cities. This unique design allows the wearer to immediately identify the time anywhere and prices range from £899 – £950.
Watch master, has it all, and is always looking for the best of the best? The C1 Grand Malvern Power Reserve is inspired by classic English design, and channels tactile and dynamic lines, offering a superior premium dress watch aesthetic. With an elegant case created by Senior Designer Adrian Buchmann, the C1 Grand Malvern Power Reserve is available from £1,550 – £1,576.
Any exciting new watches we should keep an eye out for in the new year? We have several new product launches due out in January, including the C5 Malvern Automatic MkIII, a modern and refined timepiece, and the C3 Malvern Chronograph MkIII, a sleek and sporty design – stay tuned for more details!