PUBLISHED BY Joshua Clare-Flagg ON 21 Nov, 2017.
Christopher Ward have done quite the refresh of their motorsport collection – the C7 Rapide range is redesigned, and completely rebuilt.
A new four-piece case and improved dial are the first things you notice. The question is, does it justify the price hike? Let’s find out.
- Dimensions: 42mm diameter x 10.35mm height x 48.2mm lug to lug
- Weight: 167g
- Water resistance rating: 10ATM / 100m
- Movement: Ronda 5021.D
- Lug width: 22mm
- Warranty: 5 years
- Price: £560
- Buy here: https://www.christopherward.co.uk/c7-rapide-chronograph-quartz-438075
As previously mentioned, the C7 Rapide boasts their new four-piece case: made up of a polished bezel with insert, the central collar that sits within the base including the lugs, and finally the caseback.
It has a wonderful array of alternating finishes that works together with the flowing, graceful lines; establishing this case as a piece of art. It’s truly an excellent example of impressive machining. Considering it’s made of multiple parts, the tolerances are perfect.
The black aluminium bezel insert has printed numerals in 5 minute increments. It’s simple, and doesn’t take too much away from the dial; just frame it neatly.
The very sporty crown works really well with the case. It has good thread, decent knurled grip and the twin flags emblem very neatly engraved on the end.
The pump grip style pushers are large and easy to use, and feel good when depressing them. They have a polished sides and brushed top which yields a pleasant reflection.
The flat sapphire crystal has a good anti-reflective coating; nice and clear.
The caseback is relatively straightforward, with the main focus being a large raised twin flag on top of a lower pattern of the same motif. Various specifics surround the outer edge, and directly around the centre is the only occurrence of Christopher Ward’s full name on the entire watch.
The dial is striking with a racing green base and what looks like two eyes staring back at you. The subdials are the main focus, and the fact that they’re not quite in the centre and slightly higher up than expected makes it even more interesting.
The green base has a gentle roughness to it to provide visual texture; the printed parts are all neat still despite this base.
The subdials are beautifully constructed, with an inner concentric circular pattern and a metallic bevelled border with markings printed on. The hands are points with red and white painted tips.
The applied elements are all delightfully fabricated. An oversized and bold 12 at the top generates a focus at the apex of the dial; the remaining hour markers flanking it with aplomb. They all have a lumed centre and polished edges; a slight triangular shape, with a top and bottom that angles inwards.
The date window is situated at 6, which I always like to see. The date wheel is black, and whilst a matching green would be preferred, it suits rather well. The cut out is neat.
The very outside edge mustn’t be overlooked either; it has a minute track at a lower level with a brushed finish surrounded by an angled green tachymeter acting as a mini rehaut.
The bracelet is completely brushed; even the sides which are usually polished. All the links are silky smooth. The pins are super tight and for the first time I’ve not been able to resize the bracelet – I’ve given up as my pin removal tool kept on getting stuck.
The bracelet is 22mm wide at the lugs, reducing 4mm rather than the usual 2mm – so buckle is 18mm wide. It’s quite a dramatic decline in width, more than expected.
The buckle is simple in design: a brushed top block with the CW twin flags logo deeply engraved, with polished buttons either side to release. The Christopher Ward logo is neatly engraved on the inner bar.
The movement powering the Christopher Ward C7 Rapide Quartz Chronograph is the Ronda 5021.D. It has the 30 minute chronograph sundial at 10, and the running seconds at 2. The big seconds hand is chronograph seconds, and has a date at 6.
Features include 10 jewels, gold plating, 54 month battery life and split chronograph function. It’s a Swiss Made quartz, so realistically nothing’s likely to go wrong with it. And if it does, you have a 5 year warranty with Christopher Ward.
Yes £560 is a lot, and there’s not denying Christopher Ward’s prices have gone up. But I can wholeheartedly say that the quality in this range has escalated to match and warrant it.
The four-piece case of the Christopher Ward C7 Rapide Chronograph is a delight; with impeccable machining and excellent finishing. The dial is also intricate and precisely crafted. Design-wise, it’s striking, too.
It’s genuinely a wonderful watch, and if you decide to go for one (firstly take it to a jewellers to resize the bracelet), you’ll be really pleased with your choice.