03 Sep Hands On Review: Christopher Ward C65 GMT Worldtimer
It seems like there’s no end of variants when it comes to Christopher Ward’s popular Trident dive watches. The brand offers nearly countless versions of dive watch in both modern and vintage inspired designs. But there’s one Trident model which I think has flown under the radar, and that’s the C65 GMT Worldtimer. In my opinion, it’s actually one of Christopher Ward’s most underrated Tridents because, as we’ll get on to, it offers a few improvements over the other vintage models.
But for some reason it’s one of the few Trident models I don’t see much said about in the community. Perhaps it’s that the worldtimer bezel makes things a bit too busy for most people. Or perhaps it’s simply the cost. Because with prices starting from £995, the C65 GMT Worldtimer is one of the more expensive Trident models.
Either way, this unusual entry into Christopher Ward’s Trident range caught my eye, and I thought it was about time I got one in to review.
Like all Christopher Ward Tridents, the case follows what they call their “Light-Catcher” design. As you can probably guess, it’s designed to catch the light from any angle. And, with its mix of brushed and polished finishes, I think it does this rather well. The finishing itself is exceptional, and it’s some of the best I’ve seen at this price point.
At 41mm, or 42mm when you include the bezel, the Worldtimer isn’t exactly a small watch. But thanks to a 47mm lug length, most people should be able to pull it off. It’s also just under 12.5mm thick, and that’s including the domed crystal, which I think is pretty thin for a GMT dive watch.
Speaking of which, I’m pleased to say that the Worldtimer has a screw down crown, which is a first for a C65 Trident. Whilst not necessary to give the watch its 150m water resistance, it does give the wearer some peace of mind that the crown won’t accidentally get pulled out underwater.
Another key improvement Christopher Ward have added to the Worldtimer is that the bezel is bidirectional, which is a long overdue first for a Trident GMT. The action is fairly decent, but there is a little bit of play to it.
As you can see the black DLC bezel has the names of 24 international cities etched onto its surface. To get the current time in one of these, all you have to do is turn the bezel so that the city in your current timezone is over the current hour on the 24 hour chapter ring.
For example, if it’s 2pm here in the UK and I want to know the time in Tokyo, I position London over the 14 on the chapter ring. Depending on the time of year you’ll need to account for daylight savings time, which is what the lines after some of the city names are for. So once that’s done I can see that the time in Tokyo is 10pm. Simples.
One very nice touch that’s new with the Worldtimer is that the screw-in caseback has a black DLC coating. What this does is make the watch look even slimmer than it already is. This is because when you look at it side on, your eye is drawn to the bare steel, not the black bezel or caseback. It’s a neat trick that shows just how much thought Christopher Ward are putting in to their designs.
As you’d expect from Christopher Ward’s vintage-inspired C65 line, the glass is one of their gorgeous box sapphire crystals. As I’ve said many, many times before, I love these types of crystal for the retro vibes they bring to a watch. Christopher Ward are also pretty generous with the anti-reflective coating, because you get very little glare.
Despite the clutter of both the bidirectional bezel and inner 24 hour chapter ring, I still find that the dial is perfectly legible. I think it’s the contrast of the crisp white and bright yellow of the 24 hour scale against the matte black dial it surrounds.
It’s also a nice and straightforward dial layout thanks to the simple minute track and those rectangular applied indices, whose angled polished tips catch the light nicely.
As I’ve covered before, the Christopher Ward branding is something that’s pretty divisive. Not everyone loves the logo at 9 o’clock, or the simple font it uses. It’s a matter of personal taste and you either love it or hate it. Personally, I don’t mind it, and I think it balances out with the bevelled date window at three.
The handset are simple batons, but the edges are angled and polished, whereas the flat top is brushed. This is a nice bit of contrast that stops the handset from looking boring, whilst keeping them clean and legible.
In contrast to the reserved hour and minute hands, the bold yellow GMT hand sticks out clearly against the dial. Which is of course exactly what you want on a GMT hand. Lastly the seconds hand has a neat Trident counterbalance that’s a signature of the Trident range.
Overall it’s an exceedingly simple dial layout when you stop and think about it. But that play’s in the Worldtimer’s favour. Because of that simplicity not only is it easy to read the GMT timezone and use the bezel, but the clean look allows the bold yellow to really pop against the black and white of the rest of the watch.
Unlike the rest of the C65 line, the Worldtimer doesn’t have faux patina coloured lume. Instead it’s got crisp white Super-LumiNova. For me it’s a very welcome change, because the “old radium” coloured lume is pretty weak to say the least.
However the lume on the C65 GMT Worldtimer is decidedly adequate. It’s not the brightest I’ve seen, but it’s perfectly legible in the dark and you’ll have no trouble telling the time at night.
Powering the Worldtimer is a Sellita SW330. The 25 jewel movement beats at a rate of 4hz, and has a reasonable 42 hour power reserve. It’s essentially a modified clone of the ETA2893, and Christopher Ward state the movement should be accurate to within 20 seconds a day.
Now to set the GMT hand just pull out the crown to the first position and wind it upward to move the hand. Turning the crown downward sets the date.
It’s a standard choice for a Swiss GMT movement, and Sellita are a well-known and reputable alternative to ETA’s movements.
Moving on to the strap, I opted to get the Worldtimer on one of Christopher Ward’s black Hybrid straps. The strap is called that because it’s got a Cordura upper and rubber bottom.
The end result is a strap that’s waterproof, and also feels pretty high end. On the wrist it’s pretty comfortable, and the materials used are nice and flexible. They also feel like they could stand up to quite a bit of wear and tear, which is just what you want on a tool watch.
Like all Christopher Ward straps and bracelets, the Hybrid has quick release springbars, so you could swap between this and their steel bracelet in mere seconds. Though I’m sure the Worldtimer would look great most straps, and if you want to try out others then the watch has a 22mm lug width.
At the end of the day I don’t think the C65 GMT Worldtimer will be everyone’s cup of tea. Mainly because the bezel and chapter ring will make things a bit too busy for some people. But, if that’s the case, then a worldtimer complication probably isn’t for you anyway.
But as worldtimer’s go, I think this is an excellent example. Aesthetically I think the watch strikes a perfect balance between vintage and modern elements. Plus I really like that striking black and yellow colour combo.
The execution of the watch is great too. The finishing is probably the best I’ve seen at this price point, and the case is a real treat to see in person. It’s also nice to see Christopher Ward taking community feedback on board, and adding often requested features like a screw down crown and stronger lume.
In case you can’t tell, I’m really struggling to find some objective negatives to comment on. I guess the lume could always be better, but it’s miles better than the vintage lume usually found on C65’s.
Moving on to the subjective, I’d prefer it if the watch was a touch smaller, and if the lugs were 20mm rather than 22, but that’s purely my personal taste.
Overall, I think that the C65 GMT Worldtimer is a cracking Trident variant that offers something a bit different from your usual vintage-inspired diver. Christopher Ward have once again showed that you really can get a lot of watch for £1000, and they’ve reminded me of why I find a lot of the traditional Swiss brands to be overpriced.
You can purchase the Christopher Ward C65 GMT Worldtimer from Christopher Ward’s website here.
And whilst you’re here, why not check out my previous Christopher Ward reviews?