PUBLISHED BY Joshua Clare-Flagg ON 14 Nov, 2013.


For many, the 42mm case of the C60 Trident is too big. I agree – if you’re someone who prefers the smaller cases, classier watches, or who has a thinner wrist, then unfortunately you are missing out on a stunning watch.

Until now. Christopher Ward have now released a smaller brother of the C60, in form of the C61 Trident. What’s the difference? The C61 has a smaller case by 4mm, it being 38mm in diameter compared to the C60’s 42mm case. It’s actually quite surprising how much difference this makes.

So let’s take a closer look to see how the C61 Trident fares as a diving watch.

Christopher Ward C61 Trident Watch Review

The case

The fully stainless steel case on the C61 is 38mm in diameter, so a tad smaller than other divers in its category. It is brushed on the sides and polished on the top and bottom. This variation in finish gives it a good look when the light hits it right. All of the finishing is perfect and spotless on the case, as is the machining. The polished finish is like a mirror it’s that clean, and the brushed finish is uniform and great throughout.

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Sitting atop of the case is a 4mm thick sapphire crystal – which gives a very satisfying thud when you tap it with your fingernail. This thickness helps the 300m rating. It is flat and slightly raised from the bezel. It also has a very good layer of anti-reflective coating on the underside, reducing glare from direct light rather well – better than the C60’s crystal I’ve noticed.

The lugs are a lovely shape – they hug the wrist so well resulting in a very comfortable fit.

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The screw-in crown has the CW logo embossed on the end. The threads feel very solid and dependable when you unscrew the crown, it has been very well machined. The grip could be a little better I think – it could be slightly deeper to make screwing the crown easier. But this is a very minor point.

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The crown guards encircle the crown in a cosy fashion, and provide high level of protection. Looking at the watch face on, they protrude more than half the width of the crown itself, so you know that if you were to accidentally knock the top of the crown, it’s not going to break off or bend thanks to the support from the guards.

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The screw-in case back is also polished stainless steel. It is very flat and close to the case ensuring a comfortable low profile of the watch on your wrist. It features a fetching engraving of a Trident, which is fitting, with “Swiss Made” and the serial number at the bottom. Quite straight forward and simple really, but looks good and suits the watch well. The engraving is nice and deep, reassuring you of the quality of the watch – no light laser etching here!

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The uni-directional bezel can be a little stiff to rotate to begin with, but once it gets started it’s movement is lovely and smooth. It gives a very satisfying clicking sound, reassuring you that it is a decent mechanism behind the bezel. It has a triangle at 12, with a lume pip within. The bezel insert is a deep matt black, matching the dial colour well.

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The markings are all printed with great precision with no abnormalities anywhere to be seen. The font used for the minutes on the bezel suits the watches theme well, as do the batons with curved ends to mark every 10 minute increments ending in 5. The edging around the bezel provides perfectly sufficient grip to rotate it, and is very well machined, with no sharp edging or bad finishing anywhere.

All in all, a very refined and elegant case – which definitely adds to the overall very positive feel and look of the watch.

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The dial

For me, I think the dial on the Trident range is stunning. I love the mix of the hands, wave pattern and applied markers. They all work together do well to produce a face which is gorgeous at all angles, especially when the light hits it just right.

The wave pattern is immaculately done, imitating the Omega Speedmaster. It has good depth to it too, no costs have been cut. The colour is a luxurious looking deep black too, which result in a watch which looks much more expensive than it actually is.

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The next stand out feature to me are the applied hour markers. At 12 we have a double baton, and at 3, 6 and 9 there are single batons. All other hour markers are circles (apart from 4 which is replaced by the date window). They are all lumed with a polished stainless steel surround, and are immaculately made and perfectly applied. They really do look exquisite and set a very high tone to the watch.

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The date window frame is another high quality and great looking feature. When looking at it under the macro lens, the time and precision that had gone into the creation of it really impresses. It’s the little additions like these which makes the C61 a stunning watch to look at and to hold. For some, the position of the date window at slightly past 4 is a turn off. I must admit, it does look a little “awkward” but I personally don’t mind it – I actually prefer it as it’s position offers something a bit different to the usual position at 3 or 6. The date wheel is white, with precise black printing. Some thoughts are that it would look better the opposite way around: black date wheel with white printing on, but I think that the white suits the chromed frame. It would also mean that the date would be harder to find if you weren’t used to the 4 o’clock position – as it would merge into the face very easily.

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As you would expect, all printing on the dial is precise and clean. Below the 12 in the top half is the Christopher Ward logo, and in the bottom half we have some specifics of the watch laid out for quick and easy reference: “Trident Pro”, “300m | 1000ft”, and “automatic”. In its usual place right at the bottom of the dial, within the minute track are those ever important words “Swiss Made”.

The hands are also very aesthetically pleasing. They are all polished stainless steel to match the applied hour markers and date window. All of these different polished elements shine and sing out when the light catches them all just right, giving the watch a very expensive and high quality appearance.

The hour hand is an elegant dumpy onion style, and the minute hand is a sword style. The second hand is a thin stick with a very cool trident as the counter balance. A nice addition which not only looks great, but it brings the theme of the watch together. It also has a red tip, which lines up with the size of the baton hour markers (this has been increased from the C60). This is a very welcome splash of colour into the whole watch.

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The lume is the usual fairly average strength for Christopher Ward. It’s not particularly strong or quick to charge, unless it has been in very strong direct sunlight for a while. And even then it doesn’t last a great deal of time. This is a shame, as this is the same on every CW watch, I wish they would step up their game ever so slightly in this regard.

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All in all, the dial is beautiful to look at, no matter what angle you are viewing it at. Obviously there are design cues from other watches, but the Trident range is stunning in its own right.

 

The strap

The strap on the C61 is the usual story for Christopher Wards. Measuring at 20mm wide, it is made of soft, high quality leather which is very comfortable to wear.

The strap is thick, which results in a good weight to counterbalance the watch head, and a very comfortable wear – I have found I can wear the C61 all day without getting annoyed or irritated with it (quite a rare occurrence!). The underside is very soft to the touch, so it feels great on the wrist.

The buckle is the classic Christopher Ward butterfly clasp, offering an extremely secure fixing with minimal visibility. I have never had one if these buckles fail on me or accidentally pop open, I really rate them.

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It is opened up by pressing the tabs on either side, which are discreetly positioned in the underside. The top buckle is a completely polished baton of stainless steel with the CW logo deeply etched into it.

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The leather strap has a crocodile pattern to it, and it’s finish is a shiny black, almost patent. Personally I prefer a slightly more matt finish, but the shine to the strap does add to the classy appearance to the watch.

All in all, a great strap, which adds to the overall quality feel to the C61.

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The movement

The specs state that you’ll find either an ETA 2824-2 or a Sellita SW200-1. if I was to bet, I’d say that you’re more likely to have the Sellita than the ETA, due to the stranglehold the Swatch Group have over the distribution of ETA movements. But, don’t let this put you off. The ETA may be the better known and more respected movement of the two, but Sellita were in fact contracted to build many ETA movements in the past, so what you may think is an ETA could have actually been built by Sellita. The SW200-1 is almost identical to the ETA 2824-1, but with an extra jewel. So either way, you’re safe in knowing that you have a sturdy and reliable movement. They both run at 28.8k bph (8 ticks per second) and have approximately 40 hours power reserve.

 

Wearability

The main driving force behind the creation of the C61 was the fact that the C60 was too big for some. The release of the C61 now gives those people the chance to own a Trident in a more comfortable size. This it certainly is. It is the perfect size to wear all day, it fits perfectly and comfortably on the wrist, and looks so good whilst doing so. It is surprising how much 4mm can make!

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Final Comments

Is it worth £450 though? Granted, that is a lot of dosh, and it’s a shame to see Christopher Ward up their prices recently.

But, it still is a bargain. The quality of finish, stunning looks and great specs (not forgetting it’s a Swiss Made automatic) still make the C61 great value for money.

I’m still happy in saying that the Tridents are one of my favourite affordable watches. And I’m not the only one who thinks so either. Any owner would say the same – so go out and buy one!

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