PUBLISHED BY Joshua Clare-Flagg ON 25 Feb, 2015.
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I’m sure you’re fairly well aware that I’m quite the fan of Christopher Ward watches. Not only are they a British company, which will ultimately get my support anyway, but they’re consistently releasing outstanding Swiss Made watches for the price. This is due to them being one of the first proper “online only” manufacturers – so they keep a low overhead.
Here latest release is a complete remake of their best selling watch, the excellent C60 Trident. This is now available in 4 variants; the Quartz, the standard auto, the GMT, and the COSC auto with their new in-house SH21 movement.
The watch we’re looking at now is the auto, or should I say, the “Christopher Ward C60 Trident Pro 600“. It’ll cost you at least £600, which is a big step up in price from the last Trident auto. But, you do get a far superior watch. Let’s look a little closer to see why this is the case.
The case is described as being completely and comprehensively re-engineered, and is finished by hand. It also boasts a water resistance rating double of what it used to be, which is now 600m / 60ATM / 2000ft. Christopher Ward have changed their case manufacturer for the new Trident to be able to offer this. As always, the case is flawless in its execution, but the only significant differences easily discernible are the crown and caseback. The rest of the case is indeed remarkably manufactured, with the edges strong and the finishing sublime – but so was the existing Trident too.
The size of the Trident Pro 600 hasn’t changed a great deal from the original, with a very common and suitable diameter of 42mm. This provides an excellent amount of wrist presence that a watch like this rightly so demands. The height is about a third of a millimetre more, at 13.30mm (compared to the original being 13mm). This is most probably due to the increased depth rating – the case would most probably have to be thicker to withstand the extra pressure. This is still a perfectly reasonable height though, and because of the shape of the lugs, the whole watch fits snugly around the wrist and doesn’t sit too high and proud.
Lug to lug, the case is 51.5mm, which is fairly reasonable for a watch of this size. I believe this is due to the curved lugs “wrapping” themselves around the wrist. So if you have a 7″ wrist up, you’ll have no problem wearing it.
The new water resistance rating of 60ATM / 600m puts the Trident Pro in the same ball park as the Omega Seamster Planet Ocean and PloProf, and the Seiko Marinemaster Professional to name a few. So Christopher Ward are definitely making quite the statement of providing a watch with this rating costing only £600, compared to at least £2k plus. This rating means that you can take this watch scuba diving, and also compression diving. Not entirely sure how many of you will actually be doing this, but it’s pretty impressive nonetheless.
One of the main upgrades is the deep-stamped 3D back plate, which in all honesty really is a million times better than the previous offering, which was extremely lightly etched and seemed an afterthought. Now, though, the caseback reflects the price you’re paying – it’s an impressive, attractive facet of this watch. The 3D Trident motif is surrounded by waves, all with a great deal of detail and accuracy. Plus the watch details surrounding this are polished and high to raised against a mottled base. It’s much more like the kind of watches Christopher Ward are trying to compete against – much like an Omega caseback. It’s really good to see and adds to the quality feel of the watch.
The sapphire crystal is 3.4mm thick (interestingly that’s down from 4mm on the original Trident), and has a super layer of anti-reflective coating applied to the underside. It works extremely well at reducing glare and reflections, which is again a welcome improvement, and again is the kind of impressive quality this watch is sure to provide. I imagine that the crystal looks even better on the white dial, as they usually naturally appear to reflect less anyway.
The bezel is another big feature. Made of Zirconia dioxide ceramic, it has a glossy finish that regular stainless steel inserts can’t provide. The fact that this is better than usual is instantly distinctive. The numerals and markings are all delicately engraved out of the top, which again looks very skilful and in turn, expensive. I opted to review the maroon colour, which in my eyes is a real stunner – it’s brings a lovely splash of colour to the watch and also a sense of luxury too. The bezel action is smooth, easy to use, and makes a satisfying loud clicking noise as you rotate it. The grip is fairly shallow, but is sufficient to manipulate the bezel.
The crown is one more serious update. It’s plain to see that it’s been completely remade and remodelled. It’s a much more brawny affair, with big, thick teeth for grip and a concoction of brushed, polished and bead basted finishing. It’s worth noting that using this crown is lovely too – you get the feeling of refinement, quality and sturdiness when adjusting the time. The end is pleasantly engaging too, with the contrast and precision between the polished CW logo and the blasted rest creating quite an unusual but attractive appearance.
The case in general is completed to a very high level with immaculate fit and finish. You can’t really say anything negative about it – it looks great, feels great, and is made flawlessly.
As has always been, the guilloche wave pattern on the dial is subtle yet visually stunning. It provides a charming and interesting level of depth to the dial which is very pleasing to the eye. The level of accuracy demonstrated on these waves are very impressive.
The hour and minute hands are exactly the same as on the original Trident. The minute hand is a long sword shape, and the hour hand is a distinctive onion shape. Both are pitched, which provides a variety of reflections depending on the angle of wear, and have skeletonised bases, making sure they don’t take up too much dial real estate. The second hand is different, and in my mind is a much needed improvement. Instead of being a plain thin point with a red tip, it now has a lumed disc located where the base of the hour markers are. This means the seconds hand is now visible in the dark, but I also think it looks more interesting. The second hand still dons the wonderful trident counterweight, an excellent little design cue tying the watch together. Of course, the hands are all made with high precision and are all completely flawless.
The hour markers are also different. They’ve decided to combine the C65, the much dressier Trident, in with the C60 by including its baton hour markers, over the original disc shaped ones. This does indeed increase the elegance of the design, especially thanks to how thin and tall they are.
The date window is still as precise as ever, delivering a splendid and intricate border to the date wheel, but it now welcomes a new, more charming position – at none other than 3. For me, I was never bothered by the existing 4 o’clock date window position. But for some, they simply did not like it. So now, there’s less to be repelled with, so it should appeal to many more. It’s also good that one the White dial Trident, Christopher Ward have also used a white date wheel to match.
The printing on the dial is all done with pin-point accuracy, with no sign of smudging or blurry edging. There’s not a great deal, just the logo in the top half, the name and specs in the bottom half, and then the outer minute track and the words “Swiss Made” at the foot of the dial.
The lume has also had an overhaul. Now, the Trident Pro sports SuperLuminova SLN-T-C1 – and you can definitely tell the difference. What has always been a bit of a bugbear for me and many others, is now a major strength. The Lume is so much stronger than I’m used to seeing on a Christopher Ward. It’s such a great surprise, and also adds to the higher quality timepiece they’re aiming for.
On the whole, I believe the alterations to the dial have made the design stronger. It’s all made to a high level of standard that is equivalent to a high end timepiece too.
Christopher award are still jiggling between the two calibres of the ETA 2824-2 and the Sellita SW200-1. For many people, this is a massive turn off as you never really know which movement you end up with, unless you PPP the back open. To be completely frank, it doesn’t matter at all – they’re basically the same movement. In fact, I’d even sway towards the Sellita thanks to its extra jewel in the winding mechanism and also the fact that it’s made on newer equipment. The ETAs are all made on a lot of original machines, so some think they won’t be quite as neat and tidy as the Sellitas, which are made on much newer ones. For some, though, just the name ETA is worth much more. Obviously it has the history, and a long-standing amount of time behind it as being a solid, reliable movement. There’s no denying that. But, a lot of ETAs in the past have actually been contracted out to Sellita – so what’s labelled as an ETA in another watch could have been made by Sellita. Intriguing, but in real life, they both perform just as well as each other.
They both sport the usual specs: 42 hour power reserve, high beat of 28.8k bph (a smooth 8 ticks per second), hacking seconds, hand and automatic winding. They both can be insanely accurate if regulated correctly too.
Accuracy-wise, it’s proved to be great. In fact, just within COSC specs – it’s been +4 seconds in 24 hours, which is definitely accurate enough for a watch that isn’t COSC certified.
So there we have it – the Trident Pro 600 will contain a great, dependable movement no matter which one is within it. And even if it does go awry, Christopher Ward have their ludicrous and unheard of 5 year warrantee to back you up.
The bracelet is more or less exactly the same as the previous one. It measures in at 22mm wide at the lugs, reducing down to 18mm at the buckle.
It maintains the design, with a polished centre link which is flanked by brushed outer links with polished edges. This provides a pleasant array of finishing, although you do need to be careful with the polished links – they do tend to gather hairline scratches quite easily.
The buckle itself is a classic affair, a plain and folded brushed stainless steel top with the CW logo deeply engraved towards the top. Running down the sides are the two polished release buttons, pleasantly made, sitting proud, and very easy to use.
A vital improvement is that the micro adjustment actually works on the latest version of the buckle. The original one was stupid in that whilst the holes were there, you couldn’t actually move the bracelet as one way would show the ugly underside of the divers extension, and the other way would impede the buckle actually closing.
The buckle also features a divers extension, so you can flap it open and have extra length applied to the bracelet immediately to get it around your wet suit. This is a definite must considering the depth the Trident Pro 600 is rated at. But, thankfully this has all been rectified.
The one thing is really dislike about this bracelet is the new pin and collar system used to secure the links together. I’m serious, it was literally the longest I’ve ever spent resizing a bracelet – ever. Why they decided against standard pins I have no idea. The collar sites within the centre link, and you then push the link through the whole width to secure it. But, the fit is so tight it was a real nightmare to remove and put the pins back in place.
Even with that one negative, it’s still an improvement on the original bracelet. As you’d expect, the entire bracelet is impeccably made, and I believe the 4mm difference from the lug to the bracelet works in its favour too, creating a classier appearance due to it being not overly chunky or too over the top, plus increasing comfort.
The main rival I feel is the Steinhart Ocean 1 Premium. With a matching ceramic bezel, it’s of a similar stock to the Trident Pro 600. However, if it’s made of the same case as the standard Ocean 1, I can’t help but feel that it would feel of lesser quality. Of course, it is much cheaper – it’s priced at €550 / £410. But with that you get half the depth rating (300m), and what is essentially a straight up homage to the Rolex Submariner.
The on other end of the spectrum, there’s the Tudor Black Bay, which Christopher award like to see as a more direct comparison. Costing upwards from £2500, it is a beautiful watch there’s no doubt about it. It is excellently made, and has received a lot of positive comments. But is a watch with similar spec and build quality worth 4 times the price? Only you can answer that.
The Christopher Ward Trident has always been a winner and a stand-out watch in its price range. Now, although it has stepped up in price, it’s still great value. This is because it’s such a higher calibre watch. When you hold the new and old side by side, you can genuinely tell the difference. Not only is the spec and feel much improved (such as the depth rating, ceramic bezel, and new crown and caseback), but for many, the design is much more appealing too, with the more conventional date at 3 and smarter baton hour markers.
There’s no doubt about it that the Trident Pro 600 is a class watch. Were you to buy one, you’d not be disappointed in the slightest. It certainly pinches well above its weight.