Christopher Ward C65 GMT Worldtimer

I've been a fan of Christopher Ward watches for years now. I've followed the brand through several logos, featured many models on this site, and owned a few myself, having acquired my first in my earliest days of watch nerdery. Their current catalog contains a rather wide variety of watches, so for this review, I was pleased to try a watch in a style that does not often pass through Time Bum headquarters, a world timer - the C65 GMT Worldtimer to be precise. 

Christopher Ward C65 GMT Worldtimer

Worldtimers appeal to me in a romanticized, globe-hopping way. I imagine strapping one to my wrist on my way out of my London hotel room to catch a PanAm 747 to New York, and checking the bezel for the current time Hong Kong. I should mention that it is 1972 in this particular reverie and I also have a porn star mustache because ... um ... reasons. Of course, I do not now nor have I ever led the sort of life that requires frequent time zone jumping, yet from the comfort of my laptop, I do find myself communicating with people all over the world, so a world timer bezel does indeed come in handy. Just not in quite the way I once imagined.  

Christopher Ward C65 GMT Worldtimer wrist

My life may be mundane, but that does not mean my watch should be. The C65 has got enough jet-set glamour for both of us. The case measures 41mm wide, 47mm long, and just the barest touch over 12mm thick (about 13mm including the dome). These are tidy proportions, but the streamlining effort doesn't end there. Different watches can have identical measurements and similar case shapes yet still look markedly larger or smaller depending on how the designer uses angles, curvature, and finishing to bend the light. 

Christopher Ward C65 GMT Worldtimer

Christopher Ward calls the stainless steel case the "light catcher," and they are not joking. A clever combination of shapes and textures serves to make it appear lean and long. Working up from the bottom, you see a broad and polished concave undercut, a narrow brushed edge, the barest polished bevel, and a brushed top. Even the crown has multiple dimensions and finishes; matte sides and a bead-blasted head with an embossed and polished logo. 

Christopher Ward C65 GMT Worldtimer

What you likely won't notice at all, is the glossy black case back. I must confess, I didn't understand its purpose when I saw the C65 in pictures, but is quite apparent in person. The inky underside vanishes, and the black coin-edged bezel enhances the illusion. These clever elements concentrate your view to the bright faceted center section, making the case appear impossibly slim. Flip the watch over, and that shiny black finish accentuates the sharply embossed trident on the case back. It is a striking effect, so much so, I wonder why I haven't seen it employed more often. 

Christopher Ward C65 GMT Worldtimer case back

Of course, the defining feature of a world timer is the bezel. This one is 120 clicks, bidirectional, and remains securely set even though it operates with a light touch. Its function is simple, just turn it to align the city representing your current time zone with the hour hand to calculate the time in any of the other 23 city zones. Vintage world timers usually had printed aluminum inserts. CW takes it several steps higher. The angled bezel is engraved, presenting debossed city names in the black outer ring and embossed names in the silver inner ring. A triangle and yellow dot mark London Greenwich Mean Time. 

Christopher Ward C65 GMT Worldtimer

Moving to the dial, a yellow and white 24-hour chapter index descends to a matte black dial with a matching date wheel. The real standout is the yellow GMT arrow, but delve a little deeper, and you will find several engaging elements like the trident-tailed second hand's white tip; the way the polished edges of the hands taper towards the base, creating a paddle shape; and the combination of brushed and polished finishes on both the hands and the applied markers. Most subtle of all is the phantom logo debossed at the top. There is a wealth of detail here. None of it jumps out at you. Instead, it builds a smart, tailored face that elevates the C65 GMT beyond what you might expect from a tool watch.

Christopher Ward C65 GMT Worldtimer

Lovely as it may be, the C65 does not skimp on utility. It features a screw-down crown, C1 SuperLuminova, and is water-resistant to a healthy 150m. That fabulously retro box crystal is sapphire. All the black finishing is a hardened diamond-like coating (DLC). The movement is a high quality, 25-jewel, 28.8k bph Sellita SW330. with anti-shock protection and the all-important GMT hand. All of this should help to ensure the watch will continue to look fresh and function smoothly for years to come. Christopher Ward backs the watch with its 60/60 warranty (60-days free return and 60-month movement guarantee). 

Christopher Ward C65 GMT Worldtimer lume

CW offers several strap and bracelet options, including brushed steel (you can read about it here), canvas, and oak leather. I requested the sample on a 22mm black hybrid strap that has a fabric top with an intricately textured rubber backing, two floating rubber keepers, quick-release pins, and a signed buckle. I'm usually ambivalent about rubber straps, but this one is outstanding. The strap is just 3.5mm thick, the basketweave backing is comfortable, and the woven surface dresses it up just enough to wear with a jacket and tie, if not quite to the level of a suit. It is a versatile addition and well suited to the Worldtimer's dressy tool watch vibe. 

Christopher Ward C65 GMT Worldtimer hybrid rubber strap

Finally, I have say a word about the packaging. I almost never mention the box a watch comes in and my hatred of wasteful display cases is well documented. That said, if you are going to do a hard box, you might take some pointers from CW. The C65 and its owners' manuals arrived from across the Atlantic packed in bamboo case that fit snugly into a debossed vinyl-wrapped sleave. That container was tucked into the shipping box, protected by fitted cardboard with no extraneous plastic or foam padding. Is it more box than I would have preferred? Yes, but I had to admire the concept.

Christopher Ward C65 GMT Worldtimer box

As you might have gathered by now, I loved the C65 GMT Worldtimer. There is nothing I would change about it. I wouldn't even swap the strap, unless it was to try it on a bracelet (really, you should always buy the bracelet). The watch costs $1250 direct from ChristopherWard.com, or $1130 if you opt for the hybrid rubber strap like on the review sample. It is worth every penny. Now if you don't mind, I've got a plane to catch. ⬩

Christopher Ward C65 GMT Worldtimer


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