What's in a name: Christopher Ward announces rebranding with two new watches
"What's in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would still smell as sweet".
Today Christopher Ward rolls out a company wide rebranding complete with new logo, two new watches and a brand new website. All new watches now read Christopher Ward in full (rather than Chr.Ward and without London underneath) with the new simplified typeface symbolic of the new design ethos coming out of the brand.
The change from Chr.Ward to Christopher Ward might seem inconsequential to some (How can adding eight letters onto a name can change a brand?) but this minor change has the potential to be a big milestone for the brand. In just 12 years Christopher Ward has gone from an idea thought up on a boat to producing one of the few in-house movements made by a British brand. Christopher Ward produces some quality watches that can compete with offerings from larger brands (but at a fraction of the cost) however their brand recognition is still small among the general public. The lack of celebrity endorsements and sponsorships is a double-edged sword, it keeps prices low for customers but keeps the brand out of the larger public sphere. This new line-up and design should allow new customers unfamiliar with Christopher Ward to instantly recognize their watches thanks to the rounded and playful sans serif typeface on the dial.
Christopher Ward's new logo takes pride of place on two new watches in the Trident collection, the C65 Trident Vintage and C65 Trident Classic. Both watches are representative of the pared-down design that will be the focus of all new watches coming from the brand. All of the new watches have the new logo at 9 o'clock rather than the industry standard of 12 o'clock and whilst this placements balances the date window well I wonder it if might overpower a more complicated dial layout.
When it comes to classic and simple design it really comes down to the details. The crispness of the hour markers, the feel of a bracelet and the proportion of the hands. It makes perfect sense to launch the new Christopher Ward logo, simple and refined, on a set of watches equally as simple. The titular trident second hand is a nice touch that adds visual flare to the simple design without overpowering it. The C65 Trident Vintage is a pleasing 38mm, an appropriate size for a 'vintage' watch, however the Classic is a surprisingly large 43mm and with such an empty canvas of a dial it will be interesting to see how it looks in the steel.
The C65 Trident Classic is available in either a matte black or white dial and is fitted on a black/brown leather strap ($690) or a steel bracelet with polished center links ($770). The simplicity of the design and larger size show that this watch was designed not for enthusiasts but for the general market and should serve nicely as a 'gateway watch' for those just getting into mechanical watches. Both the C65 Trident Vintage and Classic have either the automatic movements ETA 2824-2 or Sellita SW200-1 inside (Why there are two movements existing in the same model of watch I'm not sure).
The C65 Trident Vintage has a vintage inspired 'glass box' sapphire crystal that sits up from the case like the hesalite crystals of old. Combine this with the smaller size and delicate use of fauxtina and you have a very appealing vintage inspired watch aimed for the average consumer. Enthusiasts and traditionalist might find the use of the 'old radium' coloring on the hands and hour markers polarizing however I think it's use it subtle enough not to offend anyone. I personally prefer the watch on the artificially aged brown leather strap ($750) to the brushed steel bracelet ($820) but that's just my opinion. I'm definitely be keeping an eye on the new Christopher Ward pieces coming out over the coming months, hopefully they'll be as sweet as when they were Chr.Ward.