PUBLISHED BY Joshua Clare-Flagg ON 13 Aug, 2014.


The C60 Trident has been one of Christopher Ward’s most popular models. If you head over to my C60 Trident review, you’ll soon see why. But, it’s a definite divers watch, and for some, that’s just not smart enough. Thankfully, CW realised this and introduced the C65 Trident Classic – the smarter, classier and neater brother of the C60. It’s a bit like an non-identical twin. There’s aspects that are very similar, but a few key elements are different. For instance, although the case is the same, the C65 has a different bezel. And the dial itself is very similar, thanks to the pattern and hands, but the hour markers and date window location are two main differences.

Anyway, the C65 Trident Classic will cost you £499 on the leather strap, and £550 on the steel bracelet. This is a reasonable amount for a watch, so let’s see if the C65 Trident Classic is worth it.

The case

The case measures 42mm in diameter, 10.4mm high, with a lug to lug length of 51.5mm. This does mean that it is on the larger size for a smart watch. For some people, this is too large to consider, which is a shame for them. Personally, I think 42mm is a very standard size for modern watches and it fits my 7.5″ wrist perfectly.

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It weighs in at 104g on the leather strap, which is a comfortable weight, yet heavy enough for you to appreciate that this is a quality timepiece.

The case is made of marine grade 316L stainless steel, and is completely brushed. This is an interesting decision as with a classic / smart dress watch, where polished finishing would be the norm. So the decision to opt out of this makes the C65 Trident Classic slightly less smart, and more casual. It still passes off as a smart watch no doubt about that, you could still wear it with a suit and it would look great. But it just opens up another door – the more casual one – which allows it to look great in jeans too.

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Unlike it’s diver brother, the C60, the C65 doesn’t have a rotational bezel, but rather has a thin steel bezel acting as a border to the dial. This is only a few mm wide, allowing the dial to take up most of the 42mm diameter case size.

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The lugs have a width of 22mm, and are a lovely shape, with very shapely angles. They are designed to follow the wrist down, hugging it well and providing a comfortable wear.

The screw-in caseback is relatively simple, the main feature being the impressive Trident motif, surrounded at the top and bottom with the words Trident and Classic, which is machined with impressive accuracy and is very deep. It is sort of a shame that they didn’t fit an exhibition back, as it would suit the smart style of the watch, and in this instance a solid caseback isn’t really required for water resistant purposes, as the C65 is only rated to 150m. Saying that, what they have done with it is appealing and very high quality. The only other detailing is “Swiss Made” and the serial number engraved at the foot of the caseback.

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On the other side of the case is a 4mm thick sapphire crystal, which is flat, and slightly raised from the bezel with a tiny edge. So be careful you don’t knock the edging, as it is possible to shatter a sapphire crystal if you catch it hard and just right. The crystal offers excellent visibility at all angles, with no distortion whatsoever, and is very clear. It also has an effective anti-reflective coating on the underside which works really well to remove detailing in any reflections.

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The screw-in crown is accurately machined, with a very reassuring thread. It feels very sturdy in the hand when manipulating it, and the grip is deep to aid purchase. It has the CW logo embossed on the end, which is subtle but accurately executed.

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The crown guards are a very smooth shape, flowing out from the side of the case with some depth. I’m confident they will do the job of protecting the crown well.

As I mentioned before, the C65 is rated at 150m / 15ATM water resistance. This means it’s suitable to wear whilst swimming, snorkelling and scuba diving. Although it’s not that type of watch, it’s good to have that reassurance.

No surprises, the case is all machined and finished excellently, as you’d expect on a watch costing £500. There are no flaws visible anywhere, and all the corners are rounded off to create soft, non-sharp edges.

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The dial

The C65 is available in a white or black dial, with the same wave pattern found on the C60 (influenced by the Omega Seamaster).

The waves on the white are lot more subtle than on a black dial (I have a black C60), and from afar (a couple of feet) you can’t really see the detailing. This is probably due to the colour rather than any difference in construction, but does means the wave pattern is a nice surprise to see when you lift your wrist up to read the time and you catch the light right.

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One thing I love is applied hour markers, and the C65’s baton indexes are thin, elegant and beautifully made. They are made of nickel, highly polished, and filled with lume. Exceptionally refined, they provide sophistication to the C65 in a way that is enhanced a hundred fold when they reflect the light.

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The lume used is SuperLuminova lume, and can also be found in the hands, as well as a small blob along the outer edge of the dial in the minute track at every hour. This is a nice touch as although it’s not noticeable in the light, you can see them in the dark easily and it adds to the C65’s impressive visibility. The lume on the C65 is probably the best I’ve ever seen on a Christopher Ward, which is great news. Usually the lume on a CW is pretty weak and slow to charge. This is not the case on the C65 Trident Classic though. It is very quick to charge, even when you’ve just been outside for a few moments and then step inside you can see it glow. It’s colour is a strong green which lasts for an impressive amount of time and has been evenly applied on the hands and indexes.

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The hands are the same as the C60 – the minute hand is sword shaped, and the hour hand is a unique and pleasant onion shape. The second hand is a long thin point, with a nice touch of having a Trident as the counterweight. All the hands are made of polished steel, and immaculately made, with no marks or rough edges. The finishing on them is also spotless.

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There is one small thing to bear in mind with the white dialled C65, which is because it has white hands on a white dial it can be hard to read at times, but this usually only the case when the light is being caught on the hands and indexes, creating a bright reflection.

The printing on the dial is fairly minimal. In the top half we have the Chr. Ward logo, suitably sized. I think it matches the style of the watch quite well. In the bottom half, we have two lines, saying “Trident Classic” and “Automatic”. Again, very simple and not over complicating the dial, keeping it smart and fresh. Surrounding the dial is the minute track, with every marker being elegant, thin, and precisely printed. The two words “Swiss Made” are located right at the foot of the dial, in quite a small font size, but again printed excellently despite it being very fine.

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The date window location on the C60 was definitely a big talking point. Some people liked it or weren’t bothered, whereas some despised it saying it was in a ridiculous position. All those haters will be pleased to know that the C65 has a very sensible date window location at 3. Nothing strange or unusual there. As was the case on the C60, the polished steel frame / border surrounding the date window is wonderful. It’s very intricate, and made flawlessly. It’s a lovely feature and much better than a plain window cut out of the dial. And as I mentioned in my review if the C60, it’s great to see these little bits of detail going into a watch like this. The date wheel is white with black text, so it matches the dial and fits in perfectly.

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I love how all the elements on the dial are polished, they reflect the light and highlight them when the angle is right. The design for me is spot on, providing a classic, elegant, and interesting look.

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The strap

The C65 has the option of being on a alligator pattern Italian leather strap, or a bracelet. As the bracelet is the same as the C60, I thought it was more interesting to have a look at the leather version.

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The strap measures 22mm wide at the lugs, reducing to 20mm at the buckle. I feel that this is the correct strap size for the case and balances the watch head well.

This is the same strap that can be found on the slightly higher level CWs, such as the C9 Big Day Date, Jumping Hour, and World Timer, and it’s a step up from the already very good Christopher Ward leather straps. It is extremely soft and is made of very high quality Italian leather. The dark black offsets the white dial perfectly, creating a wonderful classy contrast.

A nice touch is that the pin ends of the strap are slightly rounded, matching the curvature of the case in between the lugs. This allows the strap to fit close to the case and it makes it look even more refined. There is one small thing though, it’s a shame CW didn’t fit their quick release pins on it (found on the C11 and C5 for example). They make life changing straps so much easier and also reduce the chances of scratching the lugs from a strap removal tool.

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Everything else about the strap is  clean, precise, and well put together – the edges are tidy, and the stitching is thick and well stitched.

It is great to see the inclusion of the excellent Bader buckle on the C65. I think it’s a brilliant deployant clasp. Why’s that? There’s a number of reasons.

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Firstly, the way it is connected to the strap is in such a way that it doesn’t damage or deteriorate it in any way. Usually you’d have to do a lot of folding here and there with any other buckle type, even a standard butterfly or deployant clasp require you to fold the strap under the loops, gradually wearing the strap down and creating creases. But with the Bader buckle the strap is positioned underneath the buckle and other side of the strap, and ends up against your wrist. This means there’s no folding, creases, or damage to your strap – and therefore it’ll last much longer.

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Because of the way it works with the strap on the underside, this also means that you have a minimal amount of steel on your wrist. It’s literally just the bar where the nipple resides which is exposed on the underside. The fact that it’s more leather on your wrist than most buckles makes it much more comfortable.

Thirdly, despite the way it works, it is still very thin. It only really adds a few mm to the depth of the strap. It just makes everything seem tidier and much easier to use – it is quick and painless to put the strap on, as the buckle is released or engaged by the two buttons either side of the buckle head.

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The Bader is very well made, and the entire thing has a brushed finish to match the C65’s case. The top visible section is relatively small, demonstrating how unobtrusive the buckle is. It still manages to have nice detailing though, with a thick outside border running down both sides, and the CW logo deeply etched in the centre.

It feels very secure on the wrist, with no play or wobble in the joints or when it’s closed.

The only minor point I can find about it is due to the fact that the only anchor the buckle has on the strap is the nipple, the strap can ever so slightly twist a tiny amount. It doesn’t really happen much, and it’s not particularly noticeable, but I thought it was worth mentioning.

All in all, you are getting a strap and buckle worthy of the C65’s price tag. It’s good that CW are starting to use this higher quality leather and the Bader buckles on the more expensive pieces, as they both merit the price you’re paying.

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The movement

The movement powering the C65 Trident Classic is a Sellita SW200-1. This movement is basically a duplicate of the more famous ETA 2824 movement, except it has one more jewel. Many people would prefer the ETA, but to be honest, there is nothing to say it is better bar the fact it has a longer history. Sellita were contracted to make a lot of 2924’s, so it could be that the ETA found in another watch was built by them anyway.

I asked Chris Ward which he would prefer in his watch, and he said the Sellita easily. The reason? Because the ETAs are still being made on their original machinery. Whereas the Sellitas are all made on much more accurate and modern machinery, so it’s a cleaner and finer movement in that regard. Obviously with the tight grip Swatch have on releasing only certain amounts of movements to outside manufacturers, it’s a good choice for CW to find alternatives.

The SW200-1 has all the specs you’d expect from a Swiss Made automatic: 28.8k bph beat rate (8 ticks per second), 38 hour power reserve, hacking second hand and a date function.

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I have noticed as well that the rotor is very quiet, usually you can hear them spinning around, but not do much on the C65. Perhaps the case and caseback helps reduce the volume. The seconds hand is smooth, with no jerkiness or stuttering. It also feels super sturdy in the hand when you’re adjusting the time or date, or hand winding it. You can tell that it is well made.

The movement has also proved to be extremely accurate, not even losing a minute in a week – which is good for a non-COSC certified mechanical movement.

Not only are you getting a sturdy, well made movement, but you can also relax knowing you have a 5 year guarantee on it thanks to Christopher Ward, which is extraordinary – especially when you consider their excellent customer service.

Final comments

It is a shame that Christopher Ward’s prices have crept up in recent years. Still, I firmly believe that all CWs are exceptional value for money. There is no holding back in regards to build quality and specs, which is the case for any CW, not just the C65 Trident Classic. The designs are always spot on, and the execution of it makes their watches look much more expensive than they are. Not only that, but you get their 5 year warrantee which is unheard of in the world of affordable watches.

So for £500, I can definitely recommend the C65 Trident Classic. It is very much a bridge between casual and smart and works perfectly for both. You can’t really go wrong with it.

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2 thoughts on “Christopher Ward C65 Trident Classic Watch Review”

  1. My favourite style of watch is the “Explorer” type and the C65 with the black dial fits the bill. The spec is great… quality steel case and bracelet, screw-down crown with 150M WR, crown guards, sapphire crystal, date, etc. But the size is all wrong. It looks a complete mutant. If it was 39-40mm it would be great. As for the white version… white hands on a white face. Good thinking.

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