Christopher Ward C60 Sapphire

Do we love Christopher Ward watches here at The Time Bum? Yes. Yes, we do. We have watched this British watchmaker grow from a scrappy upstart to a premier independent brand. In the past year or so, they have released a wave of new models and variants, representing some of their finest work. Today, I sample one of the newest, the C60 Sapphire.

Christopher Ward C60 Sapphire

Similar to the C65 SH21 and GMT we reviewed earlier, the Sapphire utilizes CW's "light catcher" case. Inspired by the Aton Martin DB9, this sleek assemblage of curves, angles, and finishes makes the already tidy 40mm wide, 47.5mm long, and 13mm thick stainless steel case appear even leaner. Its brightly polished undercuts and slim bevels accentuate the narrow, brushed sides and lugs. Even the bezel gets in on the act, marrying a steep, brushed, and engraved beveled top with a gleaming, polished coin edge. It is a masterpiece of industrial design, but in this iteration, perhaps not perfect. Being a diving watch, the Sapphire has a properly chunky crown (itself quite the light catcher given its matte surface and polished teeth and logo). It is sufficiently large that it towers over the modest crown guards, making me wonder who is guarding whom. 

Christopher Ward C60 Sapphire side

Cool as the case may be, it is not what makes the Sapphire the Sapphire. That honor goes to the dial, which is, not surprisingly, a sapphire crystal backed with a layer of blue polycarbonate. Being a fan of the 1970s Seiko Time Sonar collection, I have a soft spot for translucent dials. Not transparent, mind you. If you can see too much of the movement, you can lose sight of the hands, rendering your watch unreadable. A colored translucent dial, on the other hand, incorporates the movement into the design without overwhelming it. Such is the case here. That blue tint is just enough to make the polished and applied bar markers and faceted hands pop. 

Christopher Ward C60 Sapphire wrist

Speaking of pop, a generous dose of C3 SuperLuminova lights up the hands, markers, and bezel markers along with the first quarter, which appears blue in daylight. Granted, dark blue lume is not the lumiest lume, but that blue bar brightens up more than I had expected. The white on the dial, on the other hand, is perfectly bright. 

Christopher Ward C60 Sapphire lume

The lume is just one aspect of the Sapphire that lets you know you are wearing a proper dive tool. This watch carries an impressive 600m rating and features a 120-click unidirectional bezel, screw-down crown and case back, and an anti-reflective lens made from - you guessed it - sapphire crystal. Just in case you forget, the trident counterweight on the second hand should remind you.

Christopher Ward C60 Sapphire

Christopher Ward is an awfully long brand name to print on a dial, too much to squeeze comfortably in the conventional top center position. The CW twin-flag logo occupies that position, in a tasteful ghost form. Placing the brand at 9 o'clock makes far more sense, particularly when balanced by the white framed, black disk date window at 3 o'clock. This also allows for neatly matched quarter-sized markers in both positions. Hand length is perfect, and the oversized arrowhead hour hand is a sharp, modern take on the vintage plongeur style. The orange pips behind the markers add a dash of contrasting color echoed in the second hand's tip.

Christopher Ward C60 Sapphire

Turning the watch over, you are greeted with yet another blue sapphire crystal. Interestingly, you really don't get the clearest view of the movement for a watch with two windows. Like the dial, the display window is translucent. I don't have a problem with this as the vast majority of movements housed behind exhibition windows really don't have that much to exhibit. Such is the case here as the Sellita SW200-1 is a perfectly fine Swiss automatic movement (antishock, 26 jewels, 28.8k bph, 38-hour power reserve), and it's properly finished but not highly decorated. Really, a glimpse of the rotor is all you need. I'd rather have the matching blue than a clear view. 

Christopher Ward C60 Sapphire case back

You can buy the watch with a bracelet, and you probably should (always buy the bracelet, I say), but you will be missing out if you don't try the hybrid. Made from rubber and Cordura, this waterproof, 20mm strap is an absolute joy. Loving color the way I do, my choice was the blue fabric and orange rubber, which makes for a lively combination to play off the dial. Quick-release pins and a set of stays for the first keeper are thoughtful touches. 

Christopher Ward C60 Sapphire hybrid strap

Pricing for the Sapphire is right in line with CW's other divers, $1,030 on the bracelet, or $910 on the hybrid. You can pick up the hybrid strap on its own as a $70 accessory. Given the Sapphire's high specifications, brilliant execution, and eye-catching style, I'd say it is well worth it.

For more information or to buy one for yourself, see⬩

Christopher Ward C60 Sapphire

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