C63 Sealander GMT COSC Special Edition

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C63 Sealander GMT COSC Special Edition

Post by drand »

It’s been a while

I hope you will be interested in some pictures and thoughts on a recent acquisition. I haven’t bought a watch since April 2022, when I made a Nodus Sector Pilot my holiday companion of choice. Well that’s not entirely true, I bought a Pluto MoonSwatch in September 2023, but everyone had had enough of those by then. I have had very little interest in acquiring watches since. I hadn’t felt moved by anything in particular, except a couple of pieces that were appreciating more rapidly than my squandering fund. I am also a person who spends a period of time quite engrossed in one hobby for a period, then moves on to another. This also explains why I have so many unfinished projects hanging around.

Nevertheless, I still allow Christopher Ward emails to land in my inbox from time to time. My first ‘proper’ watch was a C5 Malvern mkII, so I have something of a soft spot. The C63 Sealander line has been a range I have admired for a while - I think it’s a well executed ‘most of the people, most of the time’ watch. I particularly liked the idea of a 36mm variant. When the GMT was released I initially didn’t look twice as I’ve never regarded it as a complication worth having (I’ve not needed to know the hour elsewhere when the arithmetic wasn’t a trivial one or two either way), but gradually I realised that for me the fourth hand provided a balance to the handset that was slightly lacking on the three-hander. The white-dialled version was particularly appealing, but I didn’t like the orange GMT hand, it being too much like a homage to Another Brand.

When the CW July sale preview email arrived, I had a scan as usual, fully intending to spend a couple of minutes scrolling then thinking nothing more of it. However - and you see where this is going - I was fascinated by one particular model, a silver sunburst Sealander GMT. I had never seen anything like this before in the C63 range, indeed the listing said it was a Special Edition of fifty, and the more I looked the more I really liked it. Even with my attention held by a watch for the first time in a good while I didn’t feel the need to buy, because I’m much more of a research-based purchaser - I like to know everything about what I’m potentially spending my money on. My enthusiasm was somewhat dampened by the only picture on the listing being a (fairly flat) render and not being able to find out much at all about this particular edition. Regardless, an hour or so later I picked the phone up again, saw it was still available, and surprised myself by buying it on impulse(ish).

Arrivals

IMG20240709175827.jpg

Part of my rashness, I think, is because my first CW watch featured a beautiful sunburst dial and the nostalgia kicked in. I’m partial to a silver dial on a steel watch - I love the monochrome aesthetic that is just a little different from the ubiquitous black dial face. This dial is a fine sunburst, appearing a matte grey almost like raw aluminium, a pleasing foil (sorry) to the polish of the hour markers.

IMG20240709175923~2.jpg

I know some people find the reduction in contrast of silver-coloured hands on a similar dial off-putting, but I like the subtle interplay of the two differently finished metals, especially if the edges of the hands are polished so that they appear almost black against the lighter background. That is very much the case here on the hour and minute hands. The GMT hand is a subtle flat mid-blue, different I think from the more electric hue on its Sapphire cousin, complementing the diverse metallic finishes on the case and dial. The inner portion of the fourth hand is white to both amplify the outer coloured part, and also prevent the hour hand being overwhelmed when it catches its tardy sibling.

IMG20240709180104~2.jpg

The rest is Sealander as you know it. I’ve handled a few recent CWs that friends have acquired and been very impressed. This is no different, the feel on the wrist is weighty but not overbearing. The case is cleverly finished and has just enough shininess to highlight the more prevalent brushed areas. The bracelet is balanced and sharp, the quick-release and micro-adjust slick, the half-links and screws welcome for the inevitable adjustments needed to accommodate my flat, bony wrist.

What have I bought?

Not ‘What have I bought?’ but ‘What have I bought?’ (You’ll have to do the intonation in your head). As I mentioned earlier I couldn’t find allusion to this watch anywhere, even the CW Archive. Most likely to be my fault, of course. I found the sapphire COSC LE, and bespoke models, but not this Special Edition, as CW listed it on the website. So if anyone can fill me in on what I haven’t discovered that would be most welcome. I know it does contain a COSC movement because there’s a certificate in the box, which is dated February 2023 so I guess it’s the earlier SW330-1 calibre. I’d like to see pictures of other examples if you have them. If I can manage to take some better photos - the British summer is not blessing us with much natural light lately - I’ll add to the Reference Gallery if needed. Some watches attract nicknames here; if there is not one already for this model I might slightly clumsily suggest Comet, for the fifties jet liner… the lustrous metallic finish [of the Comet 1], the GMT connection, and the longevity and robustness [of the Comet 4].

I am glad I made an out-of-character decision on this. For the sale price, with the COSC movement and bracelet, it’s decent value. A small part of me wishes it was the same but in a 36mm case. It isn’t a big watch, even on my smallish wrist, yet the relative slenderness of the fixed bezel magnifies the size of the dial somewhat. But comparing it to my other watches I’m sure it’s an illusion that will quickly fade. I can imagine a subtle twin-flag pattern on the rehaut, which presents a sizeable area of plain steel when viewed off-axis, but maybe I shouldn’t consider such things given my reasons for dismissing an orange GMT hand.

IMG20240709180019_BURST019.jpg

I I don’t gel with it there’s always the 60|60 to fall back on but I don’t think I’ll be going there. Oh, and apologies to the person who had one in their basket then found it gone! There were three listed on the sale page (Bader, Consort, strap) but I suspect it was just the one watch head available.
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Re: C63 Sealander GMT COSC Special Edition

Post by ScottinVA »

Thanks for the great write up and pictures. I’m excited for you. I was able to order one too and mine arrives on Thursday. I’ll post some photos this weekend.
Thanks - Scott


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Re: C63 Sealander GMT COSC Special Edition

Post by Bahnstormer_vRS »

A great pick-up and thanks for the excellent write, @drand :clap: :clap: :thumbup: :thumbup:
drand wrote: Tue Jul 09, 2024 9:43 pm It’s been a while
. . . . . . . .

Arrivals

. . . . . . . .

What have I bought?

Not ‘What have I bought?’ but ‘What have I bought?’ (You’ll have to do the intonation in your head). As I mentioned earlier I couldn’t find allusion to this watch anywhere, even the CW Archive. Most likely to be my fault, of course. I found the sapphire COSC LE, and bespoke models, but not this Special Edition, as CW listed it on the website. So if anyone can fill me in on what I haven’t discovered that would be most welcome. I know it does contain a COSC movement because there’s a certificate in the box, which is dated February 2023 so I guess it’s the earlier SW330-1 calibre. I’d like to see pictures of other examples if you have them. If I can manage to take some better photos - the British summer is not blessing us with much natural light lately - I’ll add to the Reference Gallery if needed. Some watches attract nicknames here; if there is not one already for this model I might slightly clumsily suggest Comet, for the fifties jet liner… the lustrous metallic finish [of the Comet 1], the GMT connection, and the longevity and robustness [of the Comet 4].

. . . . . . . . .
Exactly as described; C63 GMT COSC Special Edition - to the best of The Admin Team's current knowledge.

That you couldn't find any information on it is simple; we (the Admin Team) will only add a model to the CWArchive once we have all the required information and it has been released.

In this case, it was released within the 'Sale' and we weren't in a position to create an entry before they'd been Sold Out. :oops: :oops:

As to the Movement used, if you look at the '330' movements in the CWArchive - Movements you'll see that the SW330-2, not the SW330-1, is being used in the C63 Sealander GMT. However, the other, earlier C63 Sealander GMT (the Sapphire) uses an SW330 COSC with 42hrs Power Reserve hinting at it being based on the SW330-1.

Succinctly though, the Admin Team is waiting for confirmation of some final details, including the movement, before entering it up within the CWArchive.

I trust this helps for now. :thumbup: :thumbup:

Guy
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Re: C63 Sealander GMT COSC Special Edition

Post by Tr3v0r86 »

Beautiful watch, enjoy.
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Re: C63 Sealander GMT COSC Special Edition

Post by drand »

Thanks for the info Guy.

It's right at the limit of my phone camera and eyesight in artificial light, but I can confirm the movement is an SW330-2.
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Re: C63 Sealander GMT COSC Special Edition

Post by ajax87 »

Really good looking watch, and great write up! Thanks for the pics too. Enjoy it in good health.
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Re: C63 Sealander GMT COSC Special Edition

Post by chrisedwards »

drand wrote: Tue Jul 09, 2024 11:33 pm Thanks for the info Guy.

It's right at the limit of my phone camera and eyesight in artificial light, but I can confirm the movement is an SW330-2.
I tried the same but couldn’t see anything.

The manual says it’s a SW330-1 COSC though
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Re: C63 Sealander GMT COSC Special Edition

Post by chrisedwards »

IMG_8947.jpeg
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Re: C63 Sealander GMT COSC Special Edition

Post by tikkathree »

What a lovely write-up.
I guess that everyone here who browsed the sale knows which watch this is. I'm personally pleased that at least one has found a home in the forum. I'm so enamoured with my green dial GMT that I couldn't bring myself to pop one in my basket. That was the right choice for me and though I fully expect to see a couple on EBay this month I shan't be forming queue orderly or otherwise.
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Re: C63 Sealander GMT COSC Special Edition

Post by Jacko75 »

Really pleased with mine
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Re: C63 Sealander GMT COSC Special Edition

Post by rkovars »

Just a movement note:

SW330-1 >> The power reserve was increased documented by Tech Notice #25 in Dec/2020. All movements from Jan/21 onward had the improved barrel (only 1 part change). So these movements are marked SW330-1 and have 56 hours of power reserve.

Sw330-2 >> The improvements to the GMT hand setting and stability are detailed in Tech bulletin #21 dated July/2020. This includes the changing of 6 different parts. These movements can be marked either SW330-2 or SW330-1 with an added + (see image below).

Both of these mods can be made at service time. I would highly doubt that these have the 42 hour PR model at this point. They would have had to have been produced prior to the pandemic and never offered for sale. Doesn't seem like that is something that CW would do.

SW330-1+ marking - movement contains both of the mods above. Note that the plus is kind of integrated into the logo and could be missed unless you were looking for it.
Screenshot 2024-07-10 104557.png
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Re: C63 Sealander GMT COSC Special Edition

Post by mrfield »

Thank you for the write up, and the photos. Definitely more than the one watch head as I got one on a Consort bracelet! Looks a really different kind of colour combination and that GMT hand is more subdued than the images were in the sale.
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Re: C63 Sealander GMT COSC Special Edition

Post by Jacko75 »

It's best suited to leather or sailcloth I think
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Re: C63 Sealander GMT COSC Special Edition

Post by Gawith4life »

mrfield wrote: Wed Jul 10, 2024 7:53 pm Thank you for the write up, and the photos. Definitely more than the one watch head as I got one on a Consort bracelet! Looks a really different kind of colour combination and that GMT hand is more subdued than the images were in the sale.
I agree, on the sale page the color of the gmt hand was more vibrant, and the dial also was more vibrant in the stock images. To me, in real pictures on wrist, this looks very sterile and lifeless. I was bummed I didn't buy one in the sale, but now I'm not so sad.
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Re: C63 Sealander GMT COSC Special Edition

Post by chrisedwards »

rkovars wrote: Wed Jul 10, 2024 3:50 pm Just a movement note:

SW330-1 >> The power reserve was increased documented by Tech Notice #25 in Dec/2020. All movements from Jan/21 onward had the improved barrel (only 1 part change). So these movements are marked SW330-1 and have 56 hours of power reserve.

Sw330-2 >> The improvements to the GMT hand setting and stability are detailed in Tech bulletin #21 dated July/2020. This includes the changing of 6 different parts. These movements can be marked either SW330-2 or SW330-1 with an added + (see image below).

Both of these mods can be made at service time. I would highly doubt that these have the 42 hour PR model at this point. They would have had to have been produced prior to the pandemic and never offered for sale. Doesn't seem like that is something that CW would do.

SW330-1+ marking - movement contains both of the mods above. Note that the plus is kind of integrated into the logo and could be missed unless you were looking for it.

Screenshot 2024-07-10 104557.png
Yep you're correct. The movement inside is actually a SW330-2 (it's very faintly engraved, I missed it). The manual is just incorrect.
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