It checks all the boxes, and yet…

Discuss Christopher Ward watches
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Amor Vincit Omnia
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Re: It checks all the boxes, and yet…

Post by Amor Vincit Omnia »

jkbarnes wrote: Sat Apr 23, 2022 7:00 pm
nbg wrote: Sat Apr 23, 2022 6:53 pm it may be as simple as for you it is missing the undefinable X factor?
That’s definitely a part of it. I suppose I assumed that a watch that ticked all the boxes would wow me. Then along comes the Aquitaine, that ticks all the boxes, and it doesn’t wow me. As you said, it’s that undefinable X factor.
Interesting, Andrew, that you mentioned the X Factor when commenting in the CWLOTD thread about my Sealander GMT. There was definitely a gut reaction when I opened the box and saw that one for real. It has never gone away. Sometimes you just know.
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Re: It checks all the boxes, and yet…

Post by jesierras »

It just isn’t doing it for me either. It should. I mean they did soooooo much right with this watch but it isn’t making the cash fly out of my wallet.
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Re: It checks all the boxes, and yet…

Post by Bahnstormer_vRS »

Thegreyman wrote:For me I don't really have any boxes to tick as such, I just go on my feelings for a particular watch as to whether I like it or not.
Admirably sums it up for me too, Patrick.

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Re: It checks all the boxes, and yet…

Post by jkbarnes »

It’s been a intersting weekend contemplating this watch. At one point the green/cream was starting to look more attractive. Then the blue/cream GMT was starting to look attractive. Then I shifted back to the all green before realizing I really don’t like a sun ray dial.

And if I were to get a GMT, the C63 GMT certainly has that X factor Neil talked about. And if we’re talking GMTs, I can’t forget the original C65 GMT knocked my socks off and is the one I always come back to.

So basically, as much as I want to love the Aquitaines, they are simply not the watch for me. They’re excellent watches by all accounts, don’t get me wrong. But just not for me.

I love my modded Seiko Sea Urchin. Perhaps a wiser course of action is to continue enhancing this. Maybe an upgraded movement that winds and hacks when the current one craps out. Can a screw down crown be added to a watch?

As for an eventual GMT, it’s the Mk 1 C65 and the C63 that wow me every time I look at them.
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Re: It checks all the boxes, and yet…

Post by missF »

I love reading folks’ thought processes on watches and what they like about them, so thanks for your thoughts this weekend! Best thing is you’ve been honest in your deliberations rather than forcing your thoughts to match the watch just because you want a watch :thumbup:
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Re: It checks all the boxes, and yet…

Post by jkbarnes »

missF wrote: Sun Apr 24, 2022 10:34 pm I love reading folks’ thought processes on watches and what they like about them, so thanks for your thoughts this weekend! Best thing is you’ve been honest in your deliberations rather than forcing your thoughts to match the watch just because you want a watch :thumbup:
You're welcome!

What's interesting is that I didn't consider this "deliberations" at all. I wasn't trying to reason my way into liking & therefor buying an Aquitaine. The post was more an exploration about how and why some watches click and some don't. In this case, it hit a lot of things but just didn't click. In contrast to this, your latest purchase didn't check any of your boxes, but it clearly clicked with you (if I was following your post correctly?). It's such a fascinating process we all go through. And like you, I enjoy hearing the thought processes behind the scene.

I never make an significant purchase without lots of research and deliberations. I'm too mindful of my money and spending it wisely. Even if the Aquitaine had hit me like a ton of bricks, I would not have made a purchase. I'd have thought on it for quite awhile, weighing all the relevant info first. The exception to this rule is my C65 Trident Vintage. No research or deliberations there! Sent the link to my wife and didn't give it any significant thought at all. No regrets there!
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Re: It checks all the boxes, and yet…

Post by Aerodriver »

The ambivalence expressed here was exactly my reaction as well. I had thought the press pics were the problem, but during my visit yesterday to the SF Wind Up Watch Fair, I got to see the watches in person. They were disappointing.

Like others, I can’t identify any one component that is to blame. Rather, given the significance of the model, with its move away from the Christopher Ward name and its embrace of the twin flag logo, I expected so much more. Something reflecting a new design direction. Instead, the Aquitaine lineup plays it safe, resulting in an unfortunately derivative aesthetic. The colors, the handset, the hour markers—they’re all to be found on other brands’ models.

My overall impression of Aquitaine – and I say this with some trepidation being relatively new to the site – is that this latest model cheapens the brand. There, I said it.
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Re: It checks all the boxes, and yet…

Post by albionphoto »

Aerodriver wrote: Mon Apr 25, 2022 1:13 am The ambivalence expressed here was exactly my reaction as well. I had thought the press pics were the problem, but during my visit yesterday to the SF Wind Up Watch Fair, I got to see the watches in person. They were disappointing.

Like others, I can’t identify any one component that is to blame. Rather, given the significance of the model, with its move away from the Christopher Ward name and its embrace of the twin flag logo, I expected so much more. Something reflecting a new design direction. Instead, the Aquitaine lineup plays it safe, resulting in an unfortunately derivative aesthetic. The colors, the handset, the hour markers—they’re all to be found on other brands’ models.

My overall impression of Aquitaine – and I say this with some trepidation being relatively new to the site – is that this latest model cheapens the brand. There, I said it.
I hope you enjoyed WindUp SF. I've only seen press images so your thoughts after seeing them in the metal are helpful. I'm not a great fan either. My credit card hasn't been jumping up and down and telling me to buy one. A lot of the smaller brands (and less well known ones) gather at WindUp and I'll bet there were a lot of retro-divers there. It's hard to stand out in that crowd and one 1950s or 1960s inspired dive watch looks pretty much like another.
I'd expect the C65 Aquitaine to be well made and it almost certainly has a great bracelet but if it looks like a lot of < $1,000 watches then I can see why you'd say it might cheapen the brand. Not sure I'd go that far but it certainly doesn't help the brand stand out or move things forward. I'm aware that I'm saying a retro inspired design should move design forward and that could be inconsistent but I do think this is a safe and dull collection. A sapphire bezel and screw links do not, an exciting launch make.
Did you see anything at WindUp SF that was particularly exciting? I'm going to have to wait for WindUp NYC...
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Re: It checks all the boxes, and yet…

Post by MichaelMD »

Great topic for this thread because the same thing has occurred to me. If I were to design a CW watch this is close to exactly how I would have done it. 41mm x <13mm x <48mm L2L is 100% perfect size for a diver. I would have changed the logo to the twin flags - done! I would unclutter the dial and remove any unnecessary wording - check! I would also unclutter the bezel by removing minute tick marks which would make the design more symmetrical - Yep! I would lume the bezel, hands, and indices - 10-4! And lastly I would put the date at 6 o'clock so the whole dial is balanced - Boom!

So the question is, why haven't I bought this yet??? I don't know! What is it missing? Nothing really. Good price too. I just can't understand why I'm not jumping at picking one of these up. I can't really think of anything else I would want in a CW watch yet I'm not purchasing one (so far). For the life of me I can't figure out why :shock:
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Re: It checks all the boxes, and yet…

Post by MichaelMD »

Bahnstormer_vRS wrote: Sat Apr 23, 2022 4:57 pm I'm finding it depends on which model and variant you're looking at.

I can't warm to the white sand/green on strap but the all green on bracelet, looks a much more viable option; pity I recently bought an all green Seiko Sumo. :-k :-k



Screenshot 2022-04-23 at 16-54-09 C65 Aquitaine Automatic Christopher Ward.png


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Same thing here. Love the green on bracelet but just pre-ordered a SWC green dial a couple months ago. I can't see two green watches in my collection. Love the blue on bracelet but I already have a blue Omega on bracelet.
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Re: It checks all the boxes, and yet…

Post by jkbarnes »

After seeing the blue Aquitaine on the bracelet in a video shared on another thread, I’m rethinking my impression of this line. The blue blew (pun intended) me away in that video! It certainly had that X-factor!

This illustrates for me how important it is the handle something in the metal to truly form a proper impression. The ability to order and return under 60/60 is nice but is a poor substitute. It’s like buying a guitar online - the specs may look great and the reviews good, but that’s no substitute for handling and playing a guitar. One can look at five samples of the exact same guitar, and one stands out & speaks to you while the others are duds.
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Re: It checks all the boxes, and yet…

Post by thomcat00 »

I’m warming to the bronze and the white sand dial of the GMT. It’s taken me some time, as, like you, it has a number of design elements that are right but it was not an immediate win for me. With the Sealander, the whole of the the C63 line grabbed me from first sight. The Aquitaine line is enough of a shift for me that, while I like it, I feel I need to see it and handle it to get with it.
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Re: It checks all the boxes, and yet…

Post by Caller »

jkbarnes wrote: Thu Apr 28, 2022 2:30 pmThis illustrates for me how important it is the handle something in the metal to truly form a proper impression.
I have bought a few watches online now, but I have to be 110% satisfied its for me. That includes both CW's I have and a Wise orange dialed LE. Years ago, that included an Armida and an Aerowatch, both stilll with me.

What I have learnt, is that 110% certainty is needed. Take no chances in other words, just on the expectation it will be okay.

Others from the likes of RZE, Seiko and a couple of private sales, have either been moved on, or are at the still undecided stage.

Yes, I know about CW's return policy, but all the way from a Country like Thailand, no thanks.
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Re: It checks all the boxes, and yet…

Post by Leon O »

jkbarnes wrote: Sat Apr 23, 2022 4:17 pm …I’m not sure if I like it.

☑️ Vintage styling

☑️ Blancpain vibes

☑️ Sapphire bezel

☑️ Box crystal

☑️ Blobs, not batons, and a good size at that

☑️ Bigger bezel with smaller dial - proper proportions!

☑️ Not too big

☑️ Color combo I’ve lusted after (admittedly, the reference for this is the Trident GMT with green bezel and white dial, not a pure diver)


I mean, it literally checks all my boxes. At yet, I’m iffy on it. I thought I knew what I wanted, but maybe I didn’t? Anyone else experience this - a wishlist that seems to fall flat when it comes to fruition?


04CAD258-76C6-4870-9184-1708F33F875C.jpeg
With either the green or blue bezel I'm digging the GMT. I like the subtle use of vintage lume. For me the 56 hr power reserve of the Sellita SW330-2 checks another box.
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Re: It checks all the boxes, and yet…

Post by watchaholic »

I had these exact feelings last fall with the release of the C63 Sealander range. Hunter green hombre dial on a camel vintage oak strap. What’s not to like?
As someone who uses a majority of my vacation days working a second job for a friend harvesting potatoes, I don’t have a problem using a portion of those wages to treat myself, so sounds like a done deal. But as time went on I began to realize I only LIKED it. It just wasn’t that special, and I didn’t want it to be just “one more watch” in the box waiting its turn. My next purchase will have a real WOW factor, be something really special with a movement to match.
Watches I currently own with the WOW FACTOR?
White dial stainless Datejust
Day/date Aqua terra
Zenith Defy 1/100th Chrono
Christopher Ward C8 PR
I need to do a STOC. :oops:
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