The Christopher Ward Women's Range

Discuss Christopher Ward watches
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The Christopher Ward Women's Range

Post by problem son »

I am too tired and in too much pain today to do anything much, so I have decided to just chill out and take a look at the women's section of Christopher's watches. No, I am not a woman - well, not exactly. I should just say that not only do I collect women's watches as avidly as men's, but also, I spent ten years living and working as a female, undergoing hormonal gender reassignment, before switching back to the male role. I actually have very little, if any, natural male testosterone, and I take female rather than male hrt.

Anyway, to get back to the watches, I am not sure if I am disappointed or not. I do feel that the women's watches are rather disappointing, especially as one is paying quite a large sum for some of the quartz models. The most disapointing range is the "Emily" which seems to me to be a rather outmoded watch variety that many cheaper watch brands do very well at a much lower price. In terms of quartz CW watches for women, there is no doubt that the Coral is the most beautiful of these, but I must admit it costs a pretty penny - well over £500. Personally, I think that my favourite CW women's watch, which fortunately is also the least expensive, is the lovely "Constance Deco" with its elegant round case and dial which combines traditional and modern elements perfectly, and has a nice seconds sub-dial and black leather strap. I reckon that this is a good buy for £87.

So far we have been talking about quartz watches, but Christopher has moved into the ladies' automatic field with the "Belisama", a squarish faced watch which I don't find very appealing, and a range of diver-style sports watches in Rolex style, my favourite being the blue-faced examples. The automatics have ETA movements and the sports diver-style examples come in a large version at 42 mm wide and a smaller 38 mm wide version.

Before finishing off my review, I must just mention the three watches in the "Amelia" range, which I do find a bit peculiar to look at, although that might be the photography. They seem to be rather anaemic or washed out, in pale colours, rather like the finish you get on limed oak furniture. For me, the watches are great, but this colouring is just too dull.

So that is my brief review of the current Christopher Ward watches for women. I myself would take the cheapest option here - the Constance Deco - Black leather R30-DEC-SWK , partly because I could never afford the other watch I really like, the Coral. The automatics don't really appeal to me - I have seen too many diver and diver-style mechanical watches and many of them have been more beautiful than the Christopher Ward examples, and the Belisama is just too clumsy and the more expensive versions are no more pretty than the cheaper versions.

I think that Christopher needs a good revamp of his women's collection to make it more exciting and to bring automatic movements into newer forms of watch that women will really appreciate, especially younger women and those who enjoy modern as well as traditional designs.
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Re: The Christopher Ward Women's Range

Post by akirk »

A very interesting perspective - thank you for posting it. Are you aware though that they are now dropping the women's collection totally as of 2015 - and concentrating on having smaller versions of the men's range?

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Re: The Christopher Ward Women's Range

Post by JRAD »

Sadly it comes down to $$$. If consumers buy it they will make it.
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Re: The Christopher Ward Women's Range

Post by gbbird »

I agree with you re the Constance deco. I purchased my wife one at a good price. It is a fine ladies watch
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Re: The Christopher Ward Women's Range

Post by tikkathree »

Dear OP Problem Son, that's an eye opener and bravo for not hiding your personality from us.

As to the Ladies watches I think between your post and the replies so far there's little more which needs adding. Clearly the market for ladies watches is much smaller than the market for mens'. CW have tried and have now given up. Can't say I blame them really.

Every sale, what gets discounted heavily? The ladies range.
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Re: The Christopher Ward Women's Range

Post by poppydoodlesdad »

I have to say in my experience (two different models bought, both returned) the ladies watches have always been rather disappointing at any price (and they mostly seem well over priced).
While the ladies market may be a lot smaller than for mens watches I don't think CW helped themselves with the product.
Nevertheless, an interesting read from the OP.
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Re: The Christopher Ward Women's Range

Post by problem son »

I have had an odd experience just now which has exhausted me and made me a bit annoyed. I wrote a lengthy reply to your various responses on this thread, which I started myself, and when I posted it, the text vanished and the Forum told me I had to be logged in in order to submit a post. This seems odd because without being logged on, I wouldn't even have been able to get as far as actually submitting a post. Or would I?

Anyway, it is now approaching 1 o'clock and I am really too tired to write another lengthy post so I will abbreviate it somewhat.

I do thank you for so many reads of my topic and the interesting answers some members have posted. In fact, at a later date, I might tackle this whole subject of women's watches head-on, although by then, Christopher may have entirely gone over to his men's range. I am sad that Christopher is basically abandoning his women's watches, though he is wisely keeping the practise alive of producing a choice of sizes in his watches, which should encourage a number of women wanting practical watches on the more masculine side of the scale. This does seem to be in line with the trend for women to now look for watches with larger, more easily readable dials, and watches with a masculine "edge" in style. In fact, the choice of sizes is great for me too because I have quite slim wrists and chunky wide watches are a no-no for me. A 38-40 mm watch is ideal for me. As a final note, I have noticed that there is a new trend (at least around where I live) for women and girls to wear watches with multi-dial fuctions. These would appear to be usually calendar functions, but there are now a number of chronographs and diver-style watches that are designed for women as well as for men. I think that the term "unisex" is a bit, well, "sexless" but it does cover a multitude of sins. For me, the problem with it is that it implies watches that may be rather bland and are not permitted to go to the extremes of watchmaking style that can sometimes be so exciting to all of us, whatever gender the watch producer was aiming at in terms of wearability.

As I have said, I collect women's and men's watches alike, and I do have some of the larger women's watches that I actually wear. So, when a company known for excellence stops making a women's range it is a cause for some regret. However, in the case of Christopher, I can understand it. If he was to really bring back the ladies, he would need not only to give a choice of size in his existing watches, but he would need to really revamp the existing women's range by bringing in some modern, interesting, and fashionable designs without compromising on quantity. In general, Christopher's women's watches are a bit staid, and we need some pizzazz and excitement.

Finally, something would have to be done about the pricing to bring it down to a more affordable level, even if only to pander to the cliche often said by men that women buy many more watches than men because they change them frequently when changing their look or keeping up with fashion. And then there is the old one that says that "women, unlike men, aren't prepared to wind a watch up every day" but I won't go into that one here.

Goodnight fellow CW Forum members. I trust you will read this post.
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Re: The Christopher Ward Women's Range

Post by asqwerth »

I didn't reply before because I've posted my position on women's watches so many times I probably sound like a broken, whiny, record.

:oops:

However, I never really like the women's range, because I thought CWL had a very stereotypical view of what women liked to wear (stuff you can find at department stores - meh) and their range wasn't even attractively priced.

The few I liked, I wished they came with mechanical movements.

So I welcome the move to more unisex sizes of the men's range, but wish for more sub-40mm sizes.

That said, I actually like the pastel-metallic dial W11s; they are one of the models I wish came in an auto version.
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Re: The Christopher Ward Women's Range

Post by Sminkypinky »

CW's thinking behind the 'unisex' size seems logical. I have a 7.3 inch wrist but sometimes a find my C11 Makaira a little overpowering for me, although I do love its uniqueness.
I'm moving down to smaller watches lately, my last purchase being a Zeno 36mm military. Reading some message boards there seems to be a movement towards smaller watches and I'm now thinking of a C61 as it's more of a classic size.
Anything from 36 - 38mm can be considered a unisex size IMO, so I say go with it!

There's also the option that if a man buys a watch in this size and decides he doesn't like it he can keep it in the box with the tags, wait for a female other halfs birthday?Christmas/whatever and say 'Darling, I got you a present......' :)
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Re: The Christopher Ward Women's Range

Post by Yvonne »

I must disagree with all the previous posts -- I have bought several CW ladies watches and love them all. I am unable to understand why CW are discontinuing the women only collection as everybody surely knows that women buy far more watches than men! We also buy watches for our husbands/partners so I would be less inclined to look at the website at all if there are no women's watches as well.

CW are also one of the few watchmakers to have an extensive ladies collection which makes them unique. As a general rule women are not as interested in the mechanics of watches as the sense of style and that made CW special. You could also rely on any watch being well made in the CW tradition. I do not want to wear a watch that my husband might wear even if it does have a slightly smaller face and a smaller strap, so you are effectively rejecting half of the population by this action.

The article in the latest magazine suggests that women are buying the same as men but they are not as the W61 is 4mm smaller than the men's version at 38mm compared with 42mm. Are CW really going to make every model in both men's and women's sizes? The fact remains that most women do not want to wear a man's watch, we prefer our own stylish and feminine range.
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Re: The Christopher Ward Women's Range

Post by robinbarke »

Yvonne wrote:I must disagree with all the previous posts -- I have bought several CW ladies watches and love them all. I am unable to understand why CW are discontinuing the women only collection as everybody surely knows that women buy far more watches than men! We also buy watches for our husbands/partners so I would be less inclined to look at the website at all if there are no women's watches as well.

CW are also one of the few watchmakers to have an extensive ladies collection which makes them unique. As a general rule women are not as interested in the mechanics of watches as the sense of style and that made CW special. You could also rely on any watch being well made in the CW tradition. I do not want to wear a watch that my husband might wear even if it does have a slightly smaller face and a smaller strap, so you are effectively rejecting half of the population by this action.

The article in the latest magazine suggests that women are buying the same as men but they are not as the W61 is 4mm smaller than the men's version at 38mm compared with 42mm. Are CW really going to make every model in both men's and women's sizes? The fact remains that most women do not want to wear a man's watch, we prefer our own stylish and feminine range.
I think the proof of the pudding is in the eating Yvonne. Of total claimed sales of 20,000 per annum less than 2000 were from the womens range and the majority of those were sold at a discount.

Perhaps women a more discerning in the watches they buy than men or maybe they prefer to buy from shops rather than the internet?

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Re: The Christopher Ward Women's Range

Post by Yvonne »

Hi Robin,

Did you mean to sound so patronising? I am an accountant so am well aware that selling women's watches at a discount does not generate so much profit, however, what it does is contribute to recovery of the fixed costs. If CW does not have that contribution then for the same level of profit it needs to sell more men's watches or sell at a higher price - is that what you want?

The real issue is that nowhere can you get a women's collection of watches that are so aesthetically pleasing with the traditional CW quality. Most other ranges are too blingy for my taste. When it stops I shall personally be very disappointed.

I can't seriously believe that CW intend to make a cut down version of their men's watches as other posts on this forum suggest. What about all the lovely coloured straps in the existing women's range. I suppose those will disappear as well as none of these will go with any of the men's watches.

Perhaps CW should do something about their marketing strategy as obviously not enough women are aware of the brand.
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Re: The Christopher Ward Women's Range

Post by Berkshire »

Yvonne wrote:When it stops I shall personally be very disappointed.
My wife feels the same, she wears two CWL watches and plans on a third before it's too late. Simply a smaller version of men's watches does not appeal to her.

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Re: The Christopher Ward Women's Range

Post by robinbarke »

Yvonne wrote:Hi Robin,

Did you mean to sound so patronising? I am an accountant so am well aware that selling women's watches at a discount does not generate so much profit, however, what it does is contribute to recovery of the fixed costs. If CW does not have that contribution then for the same level of profit it needs to sell more men's watches or sell at a higher price - is that what you want?

The real issue is that nowhere can you get a women's collection of watches that are so aesthetically pleasing with the traditional CW quality. Most other ranges are too blingy for my taste. When it stops I shall personally be very disappointed.

I can't seriously believe that CW intend to make a cut down version of their men's watches as other posts on this forum suggest. What about all the lovely coloured straps in the existing women's range. I suppose those will disappear as well as none of these will go with any of the men's watches.

Perhaps CW should do something about their marketing strategy as obviously not enough women are aware of the brand.
Hi Yvonne,

I didn't mean to sound patronising but as a retired bank director I seem to be constantly on the defensive these days. I agree with you. Clearly CW have found successfully marketing a range of womens' watches on the internet much more difficult than they had anticipated and they are not up to the challenge.
None of the women I have spoken to has been impressed with the prospect of scaled down mens' watches or the availability of shorter straps.

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Re: The Christopher Ward Women's Range

Post by Berkshire »

Perhaps CW should do something about their marketing strategy as obviously not enough women are aware of the brand.
Agree, I think they should. For example I regularly pick up inflight magazines advertising Christopher Ward watches all of which are aimed at the men's range. I'm thinking this is a mistake as women also read these magazines. Also, there must be an interest with men in buying a CWL for their partner, wife, girlfriend, daughter, mother and or even I dare say their mistress.

Richard
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