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The Christoper Ward C65 Trident GMT – a great candidate for the “one watch” in your collection

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For me, there is no questioning the appeal of the Christopher Ward Trident lineup.  It’s how I became exposed to the brand, and was one of the very first watchesI reviewed from their collection (you can see that here).  At the time I reviewed it, the C60 Trident was a perfect fit for my tastes, as I was a big fan of chunky divers, and the Bond-style strap just clicked for me.  At the end of that review, the C60 Trident was my favorite from the brand, and has remained in that position since then.  Today, I find myself drawn to thinner case profiles and GMT complications, so when the Christoper Ward C65 Trident GMT was announced, I quickly reached out to the brand.  It was time to see if something would dethrone the C60 as my favorite watch from the brand.

As you might imagine, the Christoper Ward C65 Trident GMT – given it’s in the Trident line – would have some underwater capabilities.  It may not be a “true” dive watch, but with a 150m WR rating, it’s certainly going to be fine if you go for a swim with it.  The lack of a screw-down crown may concern some, but since I’m not a diver, and generally wouldn’t wear a leather-strapped watch in the pool, I’m ok with it.  Who wouldn’t like the easy fidgeting ability to wind the watch while it’s on your wrist?  And anyways, the water capabilities of the watch aren’t what drew me to it – it’s just a nice bit of extra protection for the watch.

No, with the Christoper Ward C65 Trident GMT, it came down to two things for me – the GMT complication (courtesy of an ETA 2893-2 movement) and the styling.  Necessarily, those two have to meld together, and they do so quite nicely here.  On the dial, that takes the form of a generously-sized orange arrow to indicate the 24-hour time.  There is certainly no missing where in the 24-hour cycle you are, and that broad-arrow hand indicates right off the bat what it’s for.  This works in conjunction with the unidirectional 24-hour bezel you’ve got circling the boxed sapphire crystal (another indication it’s not a dive watch).  With a rotating bezel, that means you could, ostensibly, be tracking a third time zone, as the mental math for using the main dial to calculate one time zone is not that tricky (note, there no markings for 24-hour time on the dial).  For me, I tend to just keep it locked in a simpler dual-time arrangement, with the hand set to true GMT time (useful at work, when database records are recorded in UTC).

As you may have noticed, I mentioned that the sapphire crystal on the Christoper Ward C65 Trident GMT is of the “boxed” variety.  What this means is, rather than a simple flat or domed surface, you have the sides coming fairly straight up, and then flat across the top surface.  This calls to mind those vintage acrylic or plastic crystals, and that is what the watch is all about – vintage look and feel.  Of course, with sapphire, you’ve definitely got an upgrade from those of 50+ years ago.  The flat black dial, with the “Old Radium” SuperLuminova filling the stick indices and baton handset further that older feel to the watch.  The flat dial also hides the twin-flag logo of the brand up at 12 o’clock; you of course have the seemingly still-divisive brand name popping up over at the 9 o’clock position.  This color palette of course keeps things crisp and legible, and reading the time, day or night (note that these vintage lumes don’t glow are bright as you might expect, but do get the job done) is a cinch.

With supporting Lume from Rune Refinery and Anilo Carbon

The stainless steel bezel (no colorful aluminum here, and I’m a-ok with that) keeps that old-school look going, and gives you a nice slope up to the flat sides of the crystal.  For a rotating bezel, this is a fairly slim watch, coming in at just over 11mm thick.  AKA, right in my wheelhouse of preferred dimensions, especially with the 41mm diameter and 47mm lug-to-lug.  Interestingly enough, the brand has gone with a 22mm lug width, when I might more commonly expect a 20mm.  That said, the proportions still look good, and the brand has tapered the stock strap on the Christoper Ward C65 Trident GMT to slim things down a bit under your wrist.

I had hoped to get in the bracelet version of the Christoper Ward C65 Trident GMT for our review, and was a bit disappointed – at first – when I saw it came on the leather strap.  As I spent time with the watch, however, I really came to enjoy the leather strap.  For one, it is quite soft and supple, meaning it conforms to the wrist quickly.  Second, while it is padded up near the lugs, the padding tapers off so you just have the leather (no extra bulk) at the ends, which means more comfort under the wrist.  Finally, it just really solidified the look of the watch.  While a brown strap on a black dial may seem like an unlikely combo, here, it’s picking up the luminous paint color, and it makes for a nice look.  And frankly, it would be a simple matter to swap in a black strap – or, as I’d recommend, pick this up on the bracelet an then get the strap as an add-on.  Then you’ve got all your bases covered.

I wore the Christoper Ward C65 Trident GMT across a variety of situations – to the office, over the weekends, and even with a suit a few times.  It’s got a classic, timeless look, and it’s slim profile (and the slippery crystal) make for a watch that tucks under (and slides out from under) a cuff with ease.  Frankly this is a good travel watch in a variety of ways – not just for the GMT complication, but also due to how it has a “blend into most anything” sort of styling, and the solid WR rating, means this watch is up for anything.  I really enjoyed my time with it, as it clicks with so much of what I look for in a watch these days.  And yes, by the end of my review time with the $1,025 ($1,095 on the bracelet) Christoper Ward C65 Trident GMT, it has easily slipped into the #1 position on my list of watches from CW.  The C60 will still hold a special spot, but this C65 is now my favorite from them.  I’ll definitely be watching to see how this early win is capitalized on.  christopherward.com

Review Summary
  • Brand & Model: Christoper Ward C65 Trident GMT
  • Price: $1.095 (bracelet), $1,025 (strap)
  • Who’s it for? This is for someone who, regardless of how much they travel, want a “one watch” sort of piece that covers all the bases, while mixing in something more (the GMT complication)
  • Would I wear it? Without hesitation
  • What I’d change: I’d be curious about a deep sapphire blue color for the dial.  Oh, and an under-crystal magnification for the date display.
  • The best thing about it: In a word, style.  Nouveau vintage looks in a compact case make for a winner.
Tech Specs from Christopher Ward
  • Case: 316L stainless steel
    • Diameter: 41mm
    • Height: 12.05mm
  • Weight: 71g
    • Weight with 21cm bracelet: 170g
  • Calibre: ETA 2893-2
    • Vibrations: 28,800 per hour (4 Hz)
    • Timing tolerance: +20/-20 seconds per day
  • Water resistance: 15 ATM (150 metres)
  • Dial colour: Black
  • Lume: Old Radium SuperLumiNova®
  • Bracelet width: 22mm
  • Lug to lug: 47.1mm
Features from Christopher Ward
  • Swiss made
  • 21 jewel self-winding elabore-grade mechanical movement
  • 42 hour power reserve
  • Dual-time GMT function
  • Date calendar
  • Central hacking seconds
  • Anti-shock system
  • Brushed and polished marine-grade stainless steel case
  • High Definition “Trident” motif screw-down backplate
  • Push-in crown stamped with twin flag motif
  • Unidirectional stainless steel 24hr bezel
  • “Glass box” sapphire crystal
  • Matte finish dial
  • Twin flags debossed at 12 o’clock
  • Old Radium SuperLumiNova® indexes and hands
  • Signature Trident counter-balance on seconds hand
  • Unique engraved serial number
  • Marine-grade stainless steel bracelet with micro-adjustable ratchet clasp
  • Luxurious presentation case and owner’s handbook

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