Extremely good looking and still very unique - The C65 Aquitaine
There is a lot of boxes to tick when it comes to a good diver: legibility, toughness and for some reason in the last
few years we can add elegance. Is the latter that really raises the bar on what becomes trendy or not, we can go modern and have a unique design or we can go retro and have a re interpretation of a nostalgic piece, whichever way you choose to go for, there is no denying that a diver is among the most popular categories of watches today. Not sure when this happened but I assume is because of popularity of the mighty Rolex Submariner, you can argue that apart from the Supercompressor style case divers, everything looks like the monochrome beauty from Rolex. The ISO regulation has something to do with this, it really doesn’t leave much to imagination but as computers replaced the old mechanical gadget, the design teams decided to have a different approach to diving watches, luxury. Long gone are the days that brands will fight to make a watch go deeper, now there is a mixture of craft and tool aesthetics that to me, is creating much more wearable and everyday product, yes there are the hardcore fans that want that 1500m text on their dial, but to the watch enthusiast like me, I prefer wearability over robust engineering. Here is where the new Aquitaine collection from Christopher Ward comes in, it's one of the most good looking pieces I've tried this year and still has the specs to match what it is great diver. The Aquitaine collection comes also on a GMT offering but we will focus on the purest and (to me) the most beautiful color scheme they offer, the C65 Aquitaine in White Sand/Green.
The C65 Aquitaine is a retro inspired piece but with modern capabilities, it has a 41mm case with a short lug to lug of 46.6mm. It wears great on my 6.25 inch wrist, it is also very thin at 12.4 mm, part of this height is the domed sapphire bezel which creates amazing distortions, looks more like a plexiglass but again it has that modern robustness. The part that impresses the most is the bezel, the sapphire bezel is completely lumed and has this beautiful green shine that really reminds you of those Bekalite inserts from Rolex or Blancpain, it really looks that good, clicks to perfections and it’s a real eye candy. Now, to me, the silent hero is the dial, that cream sandy color/texture really looks incredible, it's so different and
adding those beige colour markers with metal surroundings, really makes the Aquitaine a very refined product, it all has a Christopher Ward design language, is worth pointing out that having that logo at 12 in black and then date at 6, makes one of the most proportioned watches I've seen today. The watch is not only a showstopper but
a capable diver too, from the back you can see a SW200-1 decorated and resistant to 200m with a screw down crown, today this is considered the industry standard for diving watches and Christopher Ward manage to deliver, a workhorse with a great water resistance.
On the wrist:
With dimensions that are clearly manageable, the Aquitaine really works well in a variety of wrist, is legible, light and compact, but it has that light dial that really makes is elegant and also summery, a very hard combination to get right if you ask me. The watch is a torch when the night hits the wrist, the lovely blue hue from the Superluminova is well applied and lasts quite a bit, not a problem under the water, not a problem on the night stand. The watch comes with a 22mm vintage strap which is great for a more casual look, I have paired it with a nato strap and it looks so good that I cannot believe what a strap monster this watch is, I would love to try it on the Christopher Ward vintage green, I bet it would look just right.
As you can tell, this is a watch that I enjoyed quite a bit, I am not sure if a need another diver in my collection but when I look what it has being offered by Christopher Ward lately I wouldn’t mind to have this piece on rotation for a long time, I feel after handling many of their watches, the quality goes up every time and on contrary the price is always remaining very similar, how much can they push the bar? The case is magnificent, the sapphire bezel looks like perfection and then you have a dial that really stands out. I am sold, I just have to check the GMT first, yes I am in trouble.
More information at www.christopherward.co.uk
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