Christopher Ward just launched its new C7 Rapide motorsports collection, but this is no mere marketing exercise. Theyâ€™ve also launched the Need for Speed competition, an expansion of their amateur athlete Challenger Programme that now includes up-and-coming motorcycle and car racers. The winner of the Need for Speed competition will receive a place on the Challenger Programme alongside other extreme athletes, benefiting from financial backing, PR support, and a watch allowance. The Need for Speed competition is UK-onlyâ€”so park it if you drive on the right-hand side of the road.
The new C7 Rapide watches, however, are for all of us and there is a bit of something for everyone. There are six new models in all: the Quartz and Chronograph Quartz; Automatic and Chronograph Automatic; plus two limited editions, the Day Date COSC automatic and Chronograph COSC quartz. Prices range from $455USD to $1,780USD. The entry-level price point gets a Swiss-made Ronda 715.2 quartz movement and the top-of-the-range Chronograph Automatic runs an ETA Valjoux 7750.
Two features jump out on the new C7 Rapide Collection.
First, if you hate the new 9:00 Christopher Ward logo, youâ€™ll be glad to see it has been replaced by the companyâ€™s twin-flags logo. Iâ€™m a fan of the new text logo, but the twin-flags is a sporty touch that works well on these sporty watches. The faces also get double-height numerals and indices, extra matte finishes, and a slathering of SuperLuminova. Sapphire crystals top things off across the range.
Second, the C7 Rapide Collection uses a brand new four-part 42mm case. Cut-away lugs evoke skeletonized racing components and a band that sits around the case body can be spec’d with any texture or color Christopher Ward designers pick. No word yet on whether you and I can customize that ring, but why not? The lugs have a fast-looking shape. I wonder if the ring adds unnecessary bulk to the case, but at 42mm they seem to have kept things in the sport watch sweet spot.
Anyone in the market for a sporty watch should find something to like in the C7 Rapide Collection. Weâ€™ll try to go hands-on with at least one example from the collection. Any requests? christopherward.com