What would make CW Great?

Discuss Christopher Ward watches
User avatar
Kip
The Administrator
The Administrator
Posts: 33158
Joined: Tue Mar 13, 2007 8:45 pm
CW-watches: 147
LE-one: yes
LE-two: yes
LE-three: yes
LE-foura: yes
LE-fourb: yes
LE-five: yes
LE-six: yes
LESeven: yes
Location: New Hampshire, USA

What would make CW Great?

Post by Kip »

What would make CW Great?

Those of us that have been around for some have seen quite the evolution of, not only Christopher Ward the company, but the watches themselves.

I am putting forth this question about the company and the watches because I want us to give our opinions and let CW know what we think would make the watches and/or the company great.

This could be anything from some subtle addition to something major. As an example, A few years ago, CW started adding the model numbers to the watches. I thought this was an excellent move. Unfortunately, in my view, they discontinued doing this. I would like to see it come back and stay. As a company I would like to see a faster turnaround on service/warranty and other authorized service centers worldwide.

I have other thoughts but want to hear what you have to say. We know we have the experts here so let’s cover it all from product, staffing, marketing… get to it all.

One caveat… we must remember that this is still a relatively young company and can’t do everything at once. That doesn’t mean they can’t strive for greatness with the little things.

CW has come a long way showing a very steady and controlled growth. They seem socially and environmentally conscious. Let us see if we can contribute to them moving forward.

If you want to take it a step further, What can CW be best at?

I will try to chart the comments and summarize what we come with.
Kip

"Asylum Administrator"


Visit the CWArchives for everything CW. Historical, specs, manuals and resale. It is all there.
sea_urchin
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 11
Joined: Thu Apr 07, 2022 12:33 pm

Re: What would make CW Great?

Post by sea_urchin »

Consistency across all models.

With CW being a young(ish) company I understand that change is part of growth, but with each release of a new model the old models get left behind, case in point is with the release of Aquatine which has a mature, luxurious looking handset albeit in the same style as say the Sealander, now the Sealander, which is only a year old, looks like it has an 'older' less luxurious handset in comparison, and has me now wanting the Sealander to have the handset of the Aquatine in say Mk2 of Sealander.

Rolex do this very well, no matter what model you choose you know the handsets are the same quality, I mention Rolex because Mike France mentioned Rolex in relation to bracelets in his recent interview so just using the same company to compare with (and not a bad thing to strive to be as consistent as Rolex ;)
These users thanked the author sea_urchin for the post:
jkbarnes
User avatar
jkbarnes
Senior Forumgod
Senior Forumgod
Posts: 4914
Joined: Wed May 24, 2017 8:39 pm
CW-watches: 2
Location: Virginia, USA

Re: What would make CW Great?

Post by jkbarnes »

First thought, and I’m not sure it’s exactly what you’re looking for, is that I’d love to see C2W collect import duties on the shipments to the US, especially now that the prices have gone up. I anticipate that my next purchase will be over the tariff threshold, and based on the stories shared here, I’d hate to have to “run the gauntlet” of a DHL delivery with a tariff due.

And +1 to authorized service centers.
These users thanked the author jkbarnes for the post (total 3):
mvlowalbionphotogolfjunky
Andrew
“Everything’s better when you feel guilty.” ~ Anthony Bourdain

C65 Trident Vintage
C65 AMGT LE


Find me on Instagram @jkbarnes
User avatar
mvlow
Senior Guru
Senior Guru
Posts: 581
Joined: Sun Oct 29, 2017 7:29 pm
CW-watches: 2
Location: Oregon

Re: What would make CW Great?

Post by mvlow »

I've discussed this before in another post and it seems an appropriate request for this post as well. I think it is time that CW brought back some kind of presence in the USA. It could take many forms, from full service where your purchase is shipped from the USA so the shipping is quicker and customs duties are not a guessing game, along with an authorized service center for repairs and Service.

Or In its simplest form CW could contract with an authorized service center in the USA for just service and repairs. This is even more of a benefit since CW changed it's warranty policy that states you have to have the watch serviced by a certain age to have the full length of the 5 year warranty. This would probably be a benefit to Canadian purchasers as well. Other companies have similar setups, such as Sinn being sold through Watchbuys. If you need a service or repair on your Sinn you can send it to an authorized repair center in the USA for many issues instead of sending it back to Sinn in Germany.
These users thanked the author mvlow for the post (total 2):
jkbarnesscampbell61
Malcolm

Either he’s dead or my watch has stopped – Groucho Marx

CW C60 Vintage Hamilton Khaki Field Sinn 104 CW C65 Vintage GMT Monta Oceanking Elliot Brown Holton
User avatar
Thunder1
Senior Forumgod
Senior Forumgod
Posts: 2847
Joined: Wed Nov 21, 2018 4:39 pm
CW-watches: 12
Location: Dripping Springs, Tx.

Re: What would make CW Great?

Post by Thunder1 »

I have several of the previous generation C65s & a C8 Power Reserve..I'm very impressed with each of them..I would like CW to continue selling watches such as these instead of ending production of them after a short run..
Ebels are a lot like women that lack a lowcut dress that zips up the side..neither gets the love that they deserve..
C60 GMT 600/C63 Sealander GMT/2 C65 SH21 LE's/C65 Khaki,Black,Blue dials/C65 Bronze Ombre LE, Dartmouth & GMT/C8 Power Reserve.
Jkpa
Guru
Guru
Posts: 382
Joined: Thu Nov 19, 2020 7:08 pm

Re: What would make CW Great?

Post by Jkpa »

As far as import duties, dealing with DHL for that is a piece of cake. I’ve done it several times.

Put the name back on the dials. Seriously, right now, I can’t see past that and I was never a “logo focused person” with any brand. This “Swish only” move is a mistake in my opinion. I’ve been known to be wrong many times - that’s just how I feel right now. I understand it in many ways, but I still dislike it.
C1 Grand Malvern Small Seconds SH21
C60 MK2 Chronograph 7750 Beast, White Polar Beast SH21 COSC LE, Kermit
C60 MK3 Abyss SH21
C63 Sealander “Creamlander” Prototype 1 of 1
User avatar
Amor Vincit Omnia
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 28335
Joined: Sat Jun 11, 2011 7:34 pm
CW-watches: 3
Location: Norfolk, UK

Re: What would make CW Great?

Post by Amor Vincit Omnia »

Thunder1 wrote: Thu Apr 28, 2022 12:55 am I have several of the previous generation C65s & a C8 Power Reserve..I'm very impressed with each of them..I would like CW to continue selling watches such as these instead of ending production of them after a short run..
A very good point, Chuck. I’ve mentioned it before. I’m genuinely disappointed in the lack of model longevity. After what seems a very short time, products either disappear or undergo a major revamp. Some brands keep their core models pretty much unchanged for much longer.

Second point, and again it’s nothing new from me. Although I love my Sealander GMT I find the now almost exclusive focus on the dive/sport ranges disappointing. I see that the “Dress” collection is now no longer a stand-alone on the website, and that models like the Moonglow, Malvern Revival &c. have been shunted off into a somewhat amorphous section called “Specialities”. Shame.

When I first discovered CW I was attracted by the variety on offer. Not so sure that I would be now. I guess I’m not the target demographic, but I’m still hopeful for something good...even if it’s in the “Specialities” from now on.
Steve
Linguist; retired teacher; pilgrim; wannabe travel writer

Walk a while in others' shoes...

Take nothing but pictures, leave nothing but footprints, kill nothing but time
User avatar
missF
CW Forum Poet Laureate
CW Forum Poet Laureate
Posts: 7798
Joined: Thu Mar 06, 2014 2:59 pm
CW-watches: 5
Location: Edinburgh

Re: What would make CW Great?

Post by missF »

Feels a bit like this question is arising on the back of the acquitaine release that summoned a bit of a ‘meh’ response on the forum. As good a time as any to ask though!

My random thoughts for what they’re worth. Asking how to make CW ‘great’ may be unhelpful. It implies that unless the company is doing super-whiz-bang-great stuff all the time then it’s somehow failing. That it has to keep striving to find that one great project that will catapult it a few more rings up the ladder. Unfortunately much of media revolves around this sort of thinking nowadays. My feeling is that it’s this thinking that led to CW releasing a new logo, new watches and new Aquitaine name, all very hard on the back of the awesome Sealander range. I think the sealander range should have had more time before anything else came along. Both projects are well significant enough to deserve a bit of space. That gives time for tweaking the marginal gains; doing the housekeeping; taking care of the IT stuff or the communication stuff or painting the yellow front door.

The other important thing is to ask what it is that has made CW great so far, and not wobble from it. I always saw CW as a company with ambition- but not ambition to be great (which can take good marketing and the ‘right’ ambassadors and luck and wealthy relatives etc), but ambition to push their own boat in terms of their own sense of satisfaction in watchmaking terms).
I’d say CW should stick to conviction over ambition .
I always saw CW as a conviction company. It’s been interesting and difficult to watch it slightly disregarded because it refused to play on the usual playing fields. Much of the respect for CW in the early days seemed to be grudging because the prices were ‘too good’. But that’s changing as I see it now. You can’t keep a good idea suppressed for long. I’m not naive though - your business won’t flourish just because you have a conviction. But I’m guessing you can market conviction like you can market anything else.

What can CW be greatest at?? Are they trying to find a niche? They already have a niche, and no-one else has followed them in. CW can be greatest at being CW. They already are. Go back to first principles and celebrate being CW.

Edit : ooops, I seem to have written an essay... :oops:
These users thanked the author missF for the post (total 4):
KMWsapsjagolfjunkyMacdaz
User avatar
Clach77
Trusted Seller
Trusted Seller
Posts: 2272
Joined: Sat Dec 04, 2010 10:40 am
CW-watches: 24
LE-one: yes
LE-two: yes
LE-foura: yes
LE-fourb: yes
Location: Wasting time on here.

Re: What would make CW Great?

Post by Clach77 »

This is a great question. There is so much that is good about Christopher Ward and that should be kept. Not only the watches, but the company ethos and how it interacts with customers and groups like the forum.

I think what I’d like to see could be called ‘consistency’. By that I mean in all areas. I’d like to see:

1) Keep a logo and stop changing it.
2) Either longer model lifespans or one or two core models which don’t change every few years.
3) Long term supply of spare parts. I’d like to think that my watches are largely keepers. I’d like to know that there was support for them.

The company has grown a lot since I first bought a watch in 2008. It has had to change and grow. To be ‘great’, it needs to have found maturity and stop the changes. None of us are teenagers now. :D
These users thanked the author Clach77 for the post (total 2):
Macdazatnits
Trying not to buy any more watches...
User avatar
monkeymax
Senior Guru
Senior Guru
Posts: 467
Joined: Sat May 01, 2010 10:30 pm
CW-watches: 3
Location: South England

Re: What would make CW Great?

Post by monkeymax »

Some great points here already! I had thoughts, which seemed to get mentioned through the thread already, but Clach77 put my main thoughts down perfectly:
Clach77 wrote: Thu Apr 28, 2022 8:29 am1) Keep a logo and stop changing it.
2) Either longer model lifespans or one or two core models which don’t change every few years.
3) Long term supply of spare parts. I’d like to think that my watches are largely keepers. I’d like to know that there was support for them.
Though for me it would be in reverse order. The big difference now between CW and bigger companies for me - as a long term owner of CW watches - is that while I know I can still get parts for a 1969 Omega from Omega (recently tested - and I'm not just referring to mainsprings) I also know for a fact I can't get a crystal for a 2010 C6 from CW which really saddens me. I'd love to buy a watch tomorrow from CW and know that - obviously if CW is still around - I can still get spare parts for it in 20 years time (because, yes, I keep my watches and my C6 is still mostly a daily wearer after more than 10 years). This is even more the case with the SH21 getting more ubiquitous.

And I think the longer lifespan for a model leans into that a little bit as well - if a model is around for a while, chances are it will need (and should naturally have) a plentiful supply of spare parts. If you're only putting out a product for a couple of years then it's harder to support long term. (And to that end, I support longevity of the series as well - dress watches really would be nice to see even if they're a bit of a niche product)
User avatar
Alex r
Senior Forumgod
Senior Forumgod
Posts: 1183
Joined: Wed Jun 20, 2012 7:58 pm
CW-watches: 3
Location: York uk

Re: What would make CW Great?

Post by Alex r »

Christopher ward seem to be constantly pushing to move the brand into the next Tier and never seem happy with where they are. This relentless pushing has lost a few customers and fans along the way but has pushed the quality of there product forward massively.
I think now they have lost the microbrand Kickstarter type label it is the time to slow down and enjoy where the brand now sits, keep building on what they do well without trying to create a hype beast or generate interest by constantly releasing new lines every 5 mins for the Instagram generation. They are starting to have there Owen design style where you know it's a CW and this should be built on.
speciality pieces or collaboration's are always going to generate discussion and interest as well as pushing technical aspects but should be more limited in the frequency of release.


Sent from my TA-1012 using Tapatalk

User avatar
biggus_richus
Senior Guru
Senior Guru
Posts: 546
Joined: Wed Jun 20, 2018 6:31 pm
CW-watches: 8
Location: Berkshire, UK

Re: What would make CW Great?

Post by biggus_richus »

After complaints about the logo, the next biggest complaint on social media would seem to be about sales devaluing the brand.

Stop the sales, stop the vouchers. Find another way to deal with and resell returns, other online retailers seem to manage.
These users thanked the author biggus_richus for the post (total 2):
golfjunkyangusbon
Rich.

Breitling | CW | Garmin | Marloe | Omega | Oris | Pinion | Seiko | Studio Underd0g | Tag Heuer | Timex
User avatar
gaf1958
Trusted Seller
Trusted Seller
Posts: 12064
Joined: Sat Jun 16, 2012 6:24 am
CW-watches: 24
Location: ɐᴉlɐɹʇsn∀ 'ʇsɐoƆ ǝuᴉɥsunS

Re: What would make CW Great?

Post by gaf1958 »

Bluntly, for the greater watch buying public, another 50 or even better, 90 years of operation is probably number one on the list. A company steeped in history is seemingly everyone’s darling. Not of much use to the present management, I know, but even I find it easier to part with relatively large amounts of hard earned money for something with a bit of history and reputation behind it. All else being equal, if I’m looking at a $10,000 watch (oh god…) I’d want it to have some brand cachet at least. There, I’ve said it. Brand snob.
These users thanked the author gaf1958 for the post (total 2):
sproughtongolfjunky
CW C1+2xC3+6xC6/60K+C7+C11+3xC60T+2xC65+C90+2xC600
Omega Ω 11xSpeedy+13xSeamaster+4xConnie+DeVille
Cartier+2xPanerai+2xFarer+2xOris+Sinn+11xSeiko+ManyVntge
B&R+Halios+5xVisitor+TagH+6xTissot+2xZelos+4xCertina+more
Family12xCW+2xΩ+Cartier
sproughton
Senior Forumgod
Senior Forumgod
Posts: 1497
Joined: Fri Mar 22, 2013 1:59 pm
CW-watches: 4
Location: Hertfordshire

Re: What would make CW Great?

Post by sproughton »

The things I find most frustrating:

1. Regular tinkering with models, logos, etc. I have no real idea of what CW's style is and without the name / logo I'd struggle to pick one out by design cues alone.

2. The semi regular complaints about customer service and quality control getting things wrong and only being sorted once they get repeatadly escalated.

3. The buzzword heavy, over the top, pretentious marketing.

In reality, whilst I really dislike point 3, the fact that I dislike the marketing spiel doesn't mean that it's not doing its job so I can let that slide. So I'd say getting the customer service and quality control right, first time would be where I could see CW really stepping up their game. It shouldn't be difficult.
User avatar
stefs
Trusted Seller
Trusted Seller
Posts: 5288
Joined: Fri Jan 07, 2011 2:40 pm
CW-watches: 1
Location: Sunny Tiptree, Essex

Re: What would make CW Great?

Post by stefs »

A number of things for me and I don't want this to sound like a bashing as I am still basically a fan.
-Improved quality control. For me the amount of lazy quality mistakes that still get out the door is absolutely not good enough and it is often the same old things over and over again.

-Customer service in terms of timescales for repairs and warranty and also communication could be improved. The 60/60 thing is also a bit messy and don't say try it at home and then when a watch is sent back try to find a way to wriggle out of a full refund!

-For such a young company the amount of image / logo changes is crazy. Choose one, get it right and stick with it. Don't let the bearded hipsters advise on image and being cool disruptive or urban (whatever that is!) Some of the blub with the new release is just plain silly and bordering on embarrasing.

- Lets have some longevity to some of these models! We are told how successful some lines are and then in 3 years they are finished. With the huge number of models being turned over this will also mean that many of these have to be treated as disposable as parts will not be available in 30, 20,10 or even 5 years time. This is one of my biggest bugbears. It feels like they think 'Ok we have passed the initial sales peak of say the c65 diver so lets stop it and get another model out for the collectors to add'


I think CW do really well in many respects and are innovative and really push the envelope at the prices we are talking about and can stand their ground against the likes of longines, oris etc. A bit of work to do to get to great just yet.
These users thanked the author stefs for the post (total 3):
sproughtongolfjunkythomcat00
Cheers now, Paul