A love letter to diving - The Christopher Ward C65 Super Compressor
When I started this hobby, just like anyone else, I was obsessed with diving watches, probably the Rolex
Submariner had a lot to do with this but once you get into the groove of things (and by the groove I mean obsession) you start to realize that there is quite a bit of watches that are suited to the job.
I am not entirely sure which watch draw me into the Super Compressor style case but the thought of an internal rotating bezel was like magic to me, I remember thinking : '' there is a separate crown for the bezel?'', and the looks, I was in love right there. Of course when you start looking into the details on what a Super Compressor system is then it becomes apparent that all of the offers out there were as real as every beige lume (fauxtina) on a diver, it rubbed me the wrong way. So I started my quest to find a true Super Compressor, I remember loving the Longines Legend Diver, it was so good looking but hardly what I was looking for, and then I saw the Fortis Marinemaster, which is one of the first review I've done here on the site, I loved it but it was so vintage and delicate that I hardy use it. Imagine my surprise when Christopher Ward announced the C65 with a true compression case, I lost it. The watch ticks all the right boxes: vintage but not exaggerated, no date, fume dial, that internal rotating bezel and of course, that ring on the back where you can appreciate the technology of the piece. It was one of those moments and I really wanted to review one but the waiting list was quite large (no wonder),
I finally got my hands on with the Ocean Blue version and it does not disappoint, below are my impressions, I have to warn you that this is not the typical review that tells you the history of diving nor how a mechanical watch can be more nostalgic than a quartz one, this review is about the C65.
The C65 sits on the retro diving range for Christopher Ward, as mentioned is vintage inspired but also looks like a modern piece which is very hard to do, the case measures 41mm but the short lug distance makes it wear shorter, easy to fir and looks great on my 6.25 inch wrist, I was concerned that the thickness would play a big part on this but the watch was under 13mm which is perfect for a tool watch.
The dial is also where the party is at, a beautiful blue fume with orange accents really makes you smile day after day, the white internal bezel is glossy and completes the whole retro vibe, there are so many details like the trident counter balance on the seconds hand, the yellow dots up to 20 min, and those crosshatched crowns motif giving a nod to the original Ervin Piquerez SA (EPSA) cases, like I said, retro but so well made. The movement inside is a Sellita Sw200-1 with the compression ring technology, you can see all of this in the back, I am not usually a fan of non-decorated movement case backs but this time, and this time only I needed to see that orange ring, I am a fan and a big one for this technology.
On the wrist
The C65 really shines on the wrist, the case has some well-defined lines and given the shape of the lugs and the crystal that sits on top of the case, the whole package wears like a charm. The orange hand makes everything so visible and contrast very well with the blue, the watch came with an orange leather strap of very high quality, at the beginning I thought I was going to take it out and put a more tone
friendly one, but it won me over, that's the only way I wore it and really enjoyed it. The 47mm of the lug to lug length really help you when you are using this watch on a daily basis, its comfortable and easy to pull, of course with the coulour combination you have to pick your battles, might not a suit and tie watch but you can definitely take it on a casual dinner because of its retro spirit, it’s a great conversation piece and while I was wearing it I got some good stares and compliments for it.
Yes, I am in love with this piece, I was so happy when it came through the door and so sad when it left, I think I will have to add one to my collections and it will fit quite nicely, currently I don’t own any British watches nor a Super Compressor, and there aren't many options out there, specially at this price range and with this quality. Christopher Ward really took a step into the dark by creating this piece, this is a watch for the watch enthusiast, yes of course is a product and like every product it needs to sell, but it feels like a project that was made with the heart and not with an excel spreadsheet if you know what I mean. I think for my next watch this is really up there, now the question is to go deep blue or ocean blue?