Ready, set … Jump – the Christopher Ward C63 Colchester
Military are watches are among the most popular pieces around, not only today but always, where a dress watch is ornamental, military watches are brute, ‘’toolish’’ and of course built for a purpose, I think there is nothing more sophisticated than having a 2 hand watch, in a precious metal to tell roughly the time in an important social event, it would be crude to know and someone might spot you and ask: ‘’ is there anywhere else you need to be?..’’ but there is beauty on also wearing something that it was made to perform, something that can give you that extra edge when needed, a tachymeter to calculate the distance where an enemy is, or a dive bezel to remind you that your time is up, perhaps you are like me and you are obsessed with second or third time zones, whatever floats your boat, the military watch is here to stay and Christopher Wards has brought some real gems which are currently under their catalogue. The C63 range is already one of the professional lines at Christopher Ward and they have decided to take it one step further, why? They got inspired by the British Army parachute’s regimen in Colchester Essex, place that I lived for a couple of years but that’s another story. The C63 now features an injected carbon body making it one of the lightest watches I’ve ever reviewed and also very focused on what is trying to achieve: comfort in any situation, we are not talking going for dinner comfortable but battle-ready comfort, I spend 2 weeks with this grey, black and maroon beauty so join me to give you the details, let’s begin.
The case, it has grown 1mm from the original 40mm of the C63 Sealander, that small extra measurement is well contained by the weight of the watch head which is a mind blowing 38 grams, if I am honest I couldn’t get my head around this and start looking for anything that weights around that number and I found out that 38 grams is equivalent to a CD or 2 medium cookies or a metal tea spoon, this research didn’t helped as I am still convinced that the metal tea spoon was heavier. The idea of lightness comes into this precise watch because in parachuting, weight is a major factor to avoid injuries, false deployments and well, those crash landings to avoid. You would think that this lightness is needed for jumping from the sky alone but the job for the Parachute Regiment does not end there, they are not deployed to land and that’s it, once they arrive to the ground the real mission begins which is extraordinary if you think about it, half of the training is just to jump of a moving object.
Coming back to the watch, the dial is a beauty, the injected carbon gives this camouflage look that really works into the environment, not sure if it was don on purpose but it does fit the bill. There is a crosshair making it look retro without being toyish, and then we have a maroon/crimson hand that mimics the colour of the regiment beret. We would say that the case is everything on this piece but there is a hidden easter egg (literally) which is the crown, it is a push down crown that retracts when is not needed and pops to wind or adjust the time and date. Thanks to this feature the watch and not the dial is symmetrical like nothing else I’ve reviewed so far, just a delight to wear. On the back we can see the Parachute Regiment crest leaving a small gap to appreciate that this is a mechanical movement, a COSC Selitta SW200, a workhorse that is not going to let you down.
On the wrist
Well, what a does a cookie feels on your wrist? Nothing, its so light that I really forget I have it on but in a good way, apart from that is very legible and with a lug to lug of 47.5mm and a thickness of 12.6mm well, it is perfect. The watch also comes with a #tide ocean material® strap matching the dial and the beautiful red second hand, what I like also is that is a 2-piece nato, avoiding adding any thickness to C63. The Legibility is great as the silver/white applied batons make a great contrast with carbon dial, the hands extend almost to the edge of the rehaut which has all the number markings to avoid any clutter, there is a date that disappears at 6 o clock, a great addition to the overall composition. I wore the C63 Colchester for a full week and although is a tool watch to its core I have to say that it blends nicely in any sport situation, a black strap would be a good addition to complete the look, when the night hits and the watch disappears completely then we have the bright green C1 lume adorning the full face of the watch, easy to read and long lasting.
I’ve really enjoyed my time with the C63 Colchester, for some reason it made me think more about what a tool watch needs to be and together with a sentiment that Colchester (Marks Tey) was my home for so long, it woke up an attachment I’ve haven’t had before, perhaps I am not the best person to write this review but please take my word that the piece has tons of merits on its own, I will try to see if I add one to the collection, I don’t have anything remotely as technical as this, and perhaps it is time for the C63 Colchester, maybe I have to break my Bel Canto piggy bank?
Case Material Injected carbon
Weight inc. Strap63g
Water Resistance15 ATM (150m)
Movement Sellita SW200 COSC
Power Reserve38 hours
More info at www.christopherward.com
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