In hindsight...was the Christopher Ward rebrand of 2016 a historic mistake?

Discuss Christopher Ward watches

What should Christopher Ward do with their branding?

Keep it as it is - the rebrand is good
24
46%
Revert back to their old Chr.Ward brand and refresh it
20
38%
Create a 'heritage' and a 'modernist' line of watches
8
15%
 
Total votes: 52

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strapline
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Re: In hindsight...was the Christopher Ward rebrand of 2016 a historic mistake?

Post by strapline »

rarebritishartglass wrote: Wed Jun 22, 2022 9:41 pm I would buy an amazing watch with an awful looking logo but I wouldn’t buy an awful watch with an amazing looking logo!
Interesting, I personally don’t share your view. There are too many brands that manage branding and watchmaking equally well. No need to sacrifice one at the expense of the other. Watches can be costly, things need to be right.

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Re: In hindsight...was the Christopher Ward rebrand of 2016 a historic mistake?

Post by Amor Vincit Omnia »

strapline wrote: Thu Jun 23, 2022 6:05 am
rarebritishartglass wrote: Wed Jun 22, 2022 9:41 pm I would buy an amazing watch with an awful looking logo but I wouldn’t buy an awful watch with an amazing looking logo!
Interesting, I personally don’t share your view.
I’m not sure that I do either. As you say, there are plenty that get it right. If I didn’t like the look of the watch I couldn’t buy it just because it had a great movement, and even if I did like the look I wouldn’t buy it if it was unremarkable in other aspects. But then, I have enough watches now to be able to be choosy.
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Re: In hindsight...was the Christopher Ward rebrand of 2016 a historic mistake?

Post by Stuart1 »

JAFO wrote: Wed Jun 22, 2022 10:17 pm
Stuart1 wrote: Wed Jun 22, 2022 2:33 pm From the picture above if the whole piece was chromed they would then be place on a jig in batches (tray) of say 25. Then they would be sprayed for the ‘dead squares’. Following this either while the paint was damp or dry the ‘high area’ could be polished to remove the paint. The result would high polish with darker paint in the dead spaces. If that were the case it may be probable that you would only need on type for all dials.
The above process is used on some types of badges (pins if in US).
For the current painted dials there is a process where they use a rubber ball to transfer the print from a master plate. YouTube have got some videos showing the process.
I still don't understand how you intend to finish the blanks spaces.
A good example would be the Ford car badge. The high areas are chromed which form the letters and the oval. The low areas (blank spaces) are painted blue. Or think of a Lego brick spray it then wipe the paint from the top of the stud.
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Re: In hindsight...was the Christopher Ward rebrand of 2016 a historic mistake?

Post by JAFO »

Stuart1 wrote: Thu Jun 23, 2022 3:08 pm
JAFO wrote: Wed Jun 22, 2022 10:17 pm
Stuart1 wrote: Wed Jun 22, 2022 2:33 pm From the picture above if the whole piece was chromed they would then be place on a jig in batches (tray) of say 25. Then they would be sprayed for the ‘dead squares’. Following this either while the paint was damp or dry the ‘high area’ could be polished to remove the paint. The result would high polish with darker paint in the dead spaces. If that were the case it may be probable that you would only need on type for all dials.
The above process is used on some types of badges (pins if in US).
For the current painted dials there is a process where they use a rubber ball to transfer the print from a master plate. YouTube have got some videos showing the process.
I still don't understand how you intend to finish the blanks spaces.
A good example would be the Ford car badge. The high areas are chromed which form the letters and the oval. The low areas (blank spaces) are painted blue. Or think of a Lego brick spray it then wipe the paint from the top of the stud.
Yes, with your example, on a blue watch it melds seamlessly. On a white or green watch you would get an unmatched cross in the centre of the right flag, and maybe 4 floating squares on the left flag, (with a full rectangle) that I think would look very strange. I posted these pics on another thread, but where the logo has been done like this before, its been colour matched. Here's red and black examples.
c7 Rosso.JPG
C7 Chrono.JPG
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Re: In hindsight...was the Christopher Ward rebrand of 2016 a historic mistake?

Post by Mikkei4 »

Oohhh, I'm very confused by the 2 previous posts.

I think I need to go to buy a Sealander GMT before they change it to the TF because it's looking unlikely an applied TF will happen.
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Re: In hindsight...was the Christopher Ward rebrand of 2016 a historic mistake?

Post by NationOfLaws »

Am I crazy or applied logos not necessarily the norm? I’m looking at photos of a Submariner and that looks printed on to me. I’m not sure I can get wrapped around the axle on whether a logo is applied or printed.
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Re: In hindsight...was the Christopher Ward rebrand of 2016 a historic mistake?

Post by Amor Vincit Omnia »

NationOfLaws wrote: Thu Jun 23, 2022 6:12 pm I’m not sure I can get wrapped around the axle on whether a logo is applied or printed.
Probably because you have a sense of perspective.
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Re: In hindsight...was the Christopher Ward rebrand of 2016 a historic mistake?

Post by golfjunky »

How about 3D printing the dials with the flags
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Re: In hindsight...was the Christopher Ward rebrand of 2016 a historic mistake?

Post by NationOfLaws »

Amor Vincit Omnia wrote: Thu Jun 23, 2022 8:34 pm
NationOfLaws wrote: Thu Jun 23, 2022 6:12 pm I’m not sure I can get wrapped around the axle on whether a logo is applied or printed.
Probably because you have a sense of perspective.
Maybe about this but I can get wrapped around the axle better than anyone. A decade ago I started a campaign against my alma mater because they refused to print a period after my middle initial on my diploma.
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Re: In hindsight...was the Christopher Ward rebrand of 2016 a historic mistake?

Post by JAFO »

@NationOfLaws

What's normal in the states? Period or no period? Even worse, having N for "no middle name". Is that really a thing? :D
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Re: In hindsight...was the Christopher Ward rebrand of 2016 a historic mistake?

Post by JAFO »

NationOfLaws wrote: Thu Jun 23, 2022 6:12 pm Am I crazy or applied logos not necessarily the norm? I’m looking at photos of a Submariner and that looks printed on to me. I’m not sure I can get wrapped around the axle on whether a logo is applied or printed.
If the logo is the only thing, then it needs to be a recognisable logo, and it needs to be a well done classy logo. It can't be a hardly visible debossed logo any more.

For example, I am currently wearing a CW cordovan leather strap on a speedmaster, instead of the supplied alligator. The clasp is externally unbranded. I have seen newer versions that feature a largish engraved swish on the clasp, and that actually would deter me from these clasps even on CW watches. In this case, not as classy as a small Christopher Ward name brand, I think. A much small swish, maybe 6mm x 3mm might work.
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Re: In hindsight...was the Christopher Ward rebrand of 2016 a historic mistake?

Post by NationOfLaws »

JAFO wrote: Fri Jun 24, 2022 7:24 am @NationOfLaws

What's normal in the states? Period or no period? Even worse, having N for "no middle name". Is that really a thing? :D
Most publishing style guides use periods after an initial. It’s one of those things that bothered me deeply at the time and that I forgot about after a month of living with it.

Some might experience similar cycles of extreme angst followed by extreme apathy about things like applied logos on watch dials or football sponsorships.
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Re: In hindsight...was the Christopher Ward rebrand of 2016 a historic mistake?

Post by JAFO »

Nation O. Laws
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Probably the first, but I wouldn't get too exercised I think. I can see the second having a more modern vibe, especially with a sans serif font.
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Re: In hindsight...was the Christopher Ward rebrand of 2016 a historic mistake?

Post by rkovars »

NationOfLaws wrote: Thu Jun 23, 2022 6:12 pm Am I crazy or applied logos not necessarily the norm? I’m looking at photos of a Submariner and that looks printed on to me. I’m not sure I can get wrapped around the axle on whether a logo is applied or printed.
It is interesting how the human brain works and your example here struck a chord with me. I have had my 1675 GMT for more than 30 years (it was 10 years old when I acquired it). When I look at the modern Submariner it doesn't look right to me. I have tried to sort out why it doesn't look right and I think that it comes down to the surrounded lume plots. To me the applied markers look wrong. But when I look at a Dartmouth or the Aquitaine they are fine. I think it boils down to my own experience with the GMT Master for so long. My bias, if you will, is so strong that I think if I were to pick up a Submariner now it would be a 5513 from 1980. Because that is what my brain says a Sub should look like. If I would have come into a GMT Master II with white gold surrounds first I bet I would feel differently.

This happens with watch size too I think. Your brain has in engrained sweet spot based on whatever you have been wearing for years at a time. When you try something outside of that range then your brain says something doesn't look right.

My own personal feeling is that Rolex has it pretty much right. The tool watches are all printed. Dressier pieces get an applied logo. I think an applied logo would look out of place on the Super Compressor for example (I think the applied logo on Orient dive watches looks out of place).

An interesting anecdote to ponder is the current Speedmaster Moonwatch that actually goes both directions. The modern 'Sapphire Sandwhich' has an applied Omega logo. The more traditional 'Hesalite' version has a printed Omega logo. Both are marketed as the Moonwatch Professional.
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Re: In hindsight...was the Christopher Ward rebrand of 2016 a historic mistake?

Post by Kuratovsky »

NationOfLaws wrote: Mon Jun 20, 2022 6:45 pm I don’t mind the painted logo on the blue Aquitaine because it matches the indices and hands, but I think it sticks out pretty badly on the black Aquitaine where the lume is aged.
If you're referring solely to color here (white vs. off-white/cream), it should be noted that this type of mismatch is common for actual vintage dials, due to the different aging properties of lume and dial text paint. Of course my remark is only about the accuracy of vintage recreations, without implying whether one should or shouldn't like the aesthetics of such an implementation. Personally, I love this detail on my C65 Trident — some heterogeneity can add a pleasant visual interest, and knowing that it's historical makes it even cooler!

Here's a vintage Explorer II as an example.
(Photo stolen from the internet.)
vintage-exp-ii.jpg
Regarding the printed vs. applied logo discussion, I'm a big advocate of the design element equality principle™. This ideal, which I totally haven't just made up, states that no single design detail (or lack thereof) should make a watch feel cheaper. I believe what truly matter are a clear, well-positioned, coherent vision of what the watch aims to be; and a well-executed design (both in theory and practice) with whatever elements that work in symphony to implement said vision.

Following this narrative, I really don't think that a printed logo is inherently cheap — it just belongs to a slightly different design grammar. As Jameson noted, they are widely used even at the highest level of horology. Both printed and applied can look great if done correctly. If anything, I would really, very cautiously speculate that printed logos even blend a bit better into the recent flat/material trends of contemporary design.

In any case, I'm perfectly fine with CW's current, mostly printed choices.
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