22 Mar Hands On Review: Christopher Ward C60 Trident
The Christopher Ward Trident is probably one of my favourite watches. It’s also apparently Christopher Ward’s bestselling model and this isn’t surprising in the slightest. I’ve had mine just over a year, & in my opinion it has a great blend of aesthetics, build quality, and value for money which make it a solid choice for a “go anywhere, do anything” watch.
For those who don’t know much about Christopher Ward, it’s a relatively young company, founded in 2004 as the first purely online watch manufacturer. Their philosophy is based around offering luxury Swiss watches, with distinctly British design, and at prices that are a fraction of the heritage Swiss brands.
The Trident range is Christopher Ward’s offering into the admittedly saturated dive watch market, and there are many variants to choose from. They offer dozens of variants, with 38mm and 43mm sizes, quartz or automatic movements, and GMT, chronograph, chronometer versions. Cases are made from either steel, titanium, or most recently bronze. With my skinny 6.75 inch wrists I opted for the 38mm black automatic version, though the 43mm doesn’t look huge on me.
Like any quality divers watch, the Trident’s case is made from marine-grade 316L stainless steel. It has polished lug tops and ends, with brushed sides. The finishes are flawless and the edges are very crisp. However the polished surfaces will pick up scratches fairly easily, so be warned if you like your watches to keep looking factory fresh. The case shape itself is pretty streamlined, and everything is well proportioned and balanced.
Naturally the crown is a screw down and signed with the old CW logo (New models feature their twin flags logo). It’s easily gripped to with the fingers and moves smoothly, making setting the time and winding the watch easy.
On the reverse side the case features a quite frankly gorgeous deep stamped trident motif, which gives the watch an edge that sets it apart from the offerings of micro brands and puts it firmly into luxury Swiss territory.
Of course one thing I hadn’t realised about the Trident until recently, was just how good its depth rating actually is. All CW’s automatic Tridents are rated to a depth of 600m, and whilst I’ll be the first to admit that I won’t be taking my Trident to the bottom of the ocean, the technical achievement for such an affordable watch is not to be underestimated.
To put it into perspective below are some popular alternatives to the Trident from established brands. As you can see, whilst all of these are a lot more expensive, none match the Trident’s depth rating.
- Bremont Supermarine S300 – 300m – £3,395
- Longines HydroConquest – 300m – £840
- Omega Seamaster 300 – 300m – £5,520
- Oris Aquis – 300m – £1,520
- Oris Diver’s Sixty-Five – 150m – £1,270
- Raymond Weil Freelancer – 300m – £1,695
- Tudor Black Bay – 200m – £2,630
- Tudor Pelagos – 500m – £3,160
That’s not to say these aren’t great watches, but it shows just how much effort Christopher Ward put in when designing the Trident.
The unidirectional timing bezel is fairly standard, with very little play between it and the case – usually an excellent sign of a quality diver with good QC. It rotates with an extremely satisfying click (or 120 of them to be exact), and requires enough force to move that there is no danger of accidentally knocking it. The insert is zirconia (ZrO2) ceramic and as such is extremely scratch resistant, so it should keep on looking pristine unless you are very rough on your watches. Lastly the bezel’s “coin edge” is subtle enough to add to the dressy aesthetic of the Trident, whilst still providing good grip for turning the bezel itself.
The crystal is a flat sapphire glass, with AR coating, and there isn’t much to say about it really. Sapphire is a great choice due to its very high scratch resistance, and I have zero problems with reflections in the glass when trying to tell the time. The crystal’s edge is bevelled and sits slightly proud of the bezel, adding another layer of intricacy to the overall shape of the piece.
The dial features a subtle guilloche wave pattern that catches the light in just the right way the give the face the depth that matte colours often lack. The polished steel hour batons and framed date window are simple but effective. They glint in a striking way when viewed at an angle, and from a practical point of view this helps them be easy to read.
The polished “cathedral” hands balance out what I think is a very nicely designed dial. They’re a good length, with the hour hand just stopping short of the base of the markers, and the tip of the minute hand just touches the bottom of the minute track, whilst the seconds hand brushes its tip. The seconds hand also has a luminous pip, a nice feature for ensuring your watch is still ticking when you’re diving in the dark depths (or more likely in a dark room!). It also has a neat trident shaped counterbalance, which sets off the handset nicely.
The hands and hour markers are filled with SuperLuminova SLN T C1, which glows very brightly when charged. However, as the hour batons are relatively thin the dial is not as legible as that found on a more toolish diver like a Seiko.
The movement that powers the watch is either an ETA 2824-2 or a Sellita SW200-1. Sellita used to produce some of ETA’s 2824s, and with the IP rights for the movement expired, they jumped on the bandwagon and produced their own SW200-1. They are nearly identical, with the newer Sellita having a 26th jewel under the ratchet wheel. New Tridents will only have a Sellita movement, which is due to the supply of ETA movements being restricted by Swatch, and probably due to the cost difference as well. Either way the movement is a solid (some would say the standard) choice for an entry level luxury dive watch, being reliable, accurate, and easy to repair. It features a 38 hour power reserve, hacking seconds, and a date window.
The Trident is available on pretty much every strap option conceivable, but like a good watch nerd I opted for the steel bracelet version. The 20mm bracelet feels very solid and well-built, with solid end links that sit nice and flush with the case. As with the case the polished centre links attract scratches fairly easily, which is a pity, but to be expected. The clasp is well designed too, is stamped with their latest twin flags logo, and has a micro adjustment feature for that extra bit of control when it comes to how tight or loose you like to wear your watch.
The Trident is available new solely from Christopher Ward’s website, and is available for £725 – not a bad price for a Swiss diver with specs as impressive as this, and CW offer an equally impressive 5 year warranty which only serves to sweeten the deal. Personally I love this watch. It offers very impressive quality for the price, and if you compare it to similar offerings from Swiss brands it can stand toe-to-toe in terms of fit and finish.
And above all it looks simply amazing. The design is a great blend of refined dress elements and the practical features that are found in all true dive watches. For me the balance between the two is perfect, and the result is an instant classic. There’s a reason this is generally my everyday watch!