In 2019, Christopher Ward released a collection in partnership with the UK Ministry of Defence. Each watch drew inspiration from various collectable timepieces that were actually commissioned by the British Armed Forces during the middle of the century. The collection was also recognized as one of the five brands around the world to be honored by the MoD, which for Christopher Ward, is pretty significant considering the brand calls the United Kingdom home. Today, Christopher Ward has announced the second series of their Military Collection, adding some of the brand’s current design language to the range of watches that still embody the reliability, durability, and preciseness of His Majesty’s Armed Forces.
The Military Collection comprises three watches – the C65 Sandhurst, the C65 Cranwell and the C65 Dartmouth, all of which in their second series form. Each watch in the collection sports some of the modern design touches from Christoper Ward including their signature spear-tip hour hand, a fully brushed hand set, and their double-flag logo. Each watch within the collection also houses a chronometer certified Sellita SW-200 paying homage to the military’s reliance on accurate time keeping in the field.
The collection also uses Christoper Ward’s distinct “Light-Catcher” case design. The case displays a combination of brushed and polished finishing in a sequenced fashion which as a result, reflects light in a dynamic way. Turning the case over, each watch bears a deep engraving of the respective military branch of service on the caseback – the crown and swords British Army insignia on the C65 Sandhurst, the crown and eagle Royal Air Force (RAF) logo on the C65 Cranwell and the crown and sails Royal Navy emblem on the C65 Dartmouth.
The C65 Sandhurst Series 2 is of the field watch variety and is modeled after the classic design of the Smiths W10. The Arabic numeral hour markers utilize a more modern font, which visually looks bolder and clearer when compared to the Series 1 model. The oversized crown as well as the faux-patina in the hands and in the markers within the minute track remains. In addition to the stainless steel variant, we get introduced to a new C65 Sandhurst encased in bronze. Both have a case that measures 38mm in width and 43.6mm lug to lug which translates to a modernly sized field watch that should still wear nicely on the wrist.
The C65 Cranwell Series 2 is the watch out of the Military Collection that gets updated the most. The stainless steel case gets downsized from 41mm to 38mm. Despite the smaller case, the dial still maintains the legibility you would expect from a pilot’s watch. The C65 Cranwell Series 2 forgoes the Arabic numerals every five minutes and instead, sports the traditional 1-12 Arabic numeral hour markers. Like the C65 Sandhurst, the font used here is bolder and adds to the legibility of the dial. Keeping within the pilot watch design, the C65 Cranwell Series 2 uses an upward facing triangle and two dots to indicate the 12 o’clock marker. This feature was designed to help pilots determine the upward orientation of the dial, as well as the position of 12 o’clock in relation to the other markers in low-light situations. Christopher Ward adds an inner ring with small square markers facing towards the center of the dial. The addition of these features separates itself from the design of the Jaeger-LeCoultre Mark XI 6B/346 from which it is modeled after.
The C65 Dartmouth Series 2, modeled after the iconic “Big Triangle” Omega Seamaster 300, gets dressed in a more vintage aesthetic than its older sibling. The hand set, as well as the hour markers on the dial and numeral markers on the bezel are now filled with faux-patina. The tone of blue used here is faded in a way that looks like the watch has already lived a full life out on the sea and under the sun. And speaking of the sun, the C65 Dartmouth comes with a fully lumed dial, balancing out the vintage vibe with a contemporary feature which we’ve been seeing more of from different brands in recent years. The C65 Dartmouth Series 2 case has the traditional diver silhouette, sporting a 41mm steel case equipped with an ample 200 meters of water resistance.
The C65 Sandhurst Series 2 in steel retails for $1,080 and its bronze counterpart retails for $1,205. The C65 Cranwell Series 2 retails for $1,080 and the C65 Dartmouth Series 2 comes in at $1,150. The entire collection is available now directly through Christopher Ward.