Aviation watches category gone

Discuss Christopher Ward watches
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Robotaz
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Re: Aviation watches category gone

Post by Robotaz »

Amor Vincit Omnia wrote:
Mikkei4 wrote:
Sat Dec 26, 2020 5:30 pm
The C7 Motorsports have gone (Rosso and Hornet) but I can't remember if these were both LE ?
They were/are.

I must say, this thread about favourite time periods for CWL watches go me thinking...

When I joined the Forum and bought my first CWs nearly 10 years ago, there was a broader spectrum of watches available: dress, motorsport, aviation, dive, ladies' watches.

For this year's releases, to twist Henry Ford's aphorism a little, "you can have any colour you like as long as it's a C60 or C65". Some of them are very nice, too, but...

I'd like to see that breadth of choice again.
Steinhart used to have all kinds of unique watches and they gravitated towards (tired in my opinion) divers as their bread and butter. I’m not surprised really to see other micro brands going that way, too. It’s apparently where the sales are.
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Re: Aviation watches category gone

Post by H0rati0 »

Robotaz wrote:
Sat Dec 26, 2020 11:46 pm

Steinhart used to have all kinds of unique watches and they gravitated towards (tired in my opinion) divers as their bread and butter. I’m not surprised really to see other micro brands going that way, too. It’s apparently where the sales are.
The market has spoken - dive/tool is where it's at and pundits just argue about how big the watches should be :schlafen:

No matter, there are fresh pastures to seek out elsewhere....

At some point interest will snap back, but "today is not that day".
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Re: Aviation watches category gone

Post by JAFO »

You are probably right in terms of stocks appearing in these categories being candidates for the new year sale. Keep em peeled. :D
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Re: Aviation watches category gone

Post by Amor Vincit Omnia »

H0rati0 wrote:
Sun Dec 27, 2020 1:18 am

The market has spoken - dive/tool is where it's at and pundits just argue about how big the watches should be :schlafen:

No matter, there are fresh pastures to seek out elsewhere....

At some point interest will snap back, but "today is not that day".
When I mentioned the much greater diversity that there used to be, I wasn’t just wallowing in nostalgia for halcyon days. I’m talking about what was available until relatively recently.

Newer members of the forum and followers of the brand may not be fully aware of this, but this 2013 Magalogue illustrates exactly what we were used to seeing on a day-to-day basis just a few short years ago. The Archive itself gives a fantastic overview, but if you want a snapshot in time in a relatively small, easily navigable space, take a look at this. If you haven’t seen this before you may well be a little astonished. And even if you have, it’s well worth taking a look through this to refresh your fading memories.

I’m probably sounding a bit like “the voice of him that crieth in the wilderness”. I will not argue that quality and design have undergone something of a sea change. This is especially true in the development of cases. In terms of sophistication I’m not altogether sure, at least as far as aesthetic design is concerned. Anyway, as I said in an earlier post, the pleasure of looking through that lot is one of the things I miss.
Steve
The half minute which we daily devote to the winding-up of our watches is an exertion of labour almost insensible; yet, by the aid of a few wheels, its effect is spread over the whole twenty-four hours.
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Re: Aviation watches category gone

Post by Thegreyman »

Amor Vincit Omnia wrote:
Sun Dec 27, 2020 9:31 am

When I mentioned the much greater diversity that there used to be, I wasn’t just wallowing in nostalgia for halcyon days. I’m talking about what was available until relatively recently.

Newer members of the forum and followers of the brand may not be fully aware of this, but this 2013 Magalogue illustrates exactly what we were used to seeing on a day-to-day basis just a few short years ago. The Archive itself gives a fantastic overview, but if you want a snapshot in time in a relatively small, easily navigable space, take a look at this. If you haven’t seen this before you may well be a little astonished. And even if you have, it’s well worth taking a look through this to refresh your fading memories.

I’m probably sounding a bit like “the voice of him that crieth in the wilderness”. I will not argue that quality and design have undergone something of a sea change. This is especially true in the development of cases. In terms of sophistication I’m not altogether sure, at least as far as aesthetic design is concerned. Anyway, as I said in an earlier post, the pleasure of looking through that lot is one of the things I miss.
Steve, thanks for posting the Magalogue. Although I have been into the CW brand for about 5 years and so recall pretty much all of these watches, it did still surprise me now reading through it, the breadth and depth of the range of watches that CW produced, including ladies watches.

There are some gems amongst the back catalogue too, no doubt. My first two CW's were a C70 VW4, and a C11 Extreme and I was well chuffed when they arrived (via a 50% off 2016 summer sale).

It must primarily be down to economics that the range is much narrower today, by using a couple of main base case designs (C60/C65) this allows costs to be kept down. Moreover, the demand, or lack of, has determined that dress, aviator, motorsport watches are being shelved. This is a pity but it is a business and it could be seen from prior published accounts that CWL was losing money. We have to assume the new strategy is proving more profitable. The new investors that came into the business recently will be looking for a return.

Pure speculation on my part, but perhaps the change of direction and reduction in the range didn't sit well with Chris Ward himself, and contributed to him leaving to he set up his own business with his sons.

I don't think it is all doom and gloom as there are still some exciting designs coming out of Maidenhead if we think about the military range, the Sapphire, the Super Compressor, C65 SH21 etc. So reasons to be optimistic for the future. Perhaps there will be the occasional motorsport/aviator style watch as a special edition/LE using the existing model cases - how about a C65 Lewis Hamilton F1 LE to celebrate his 8th world title in 2021 :wink: (good job reggie747 is no longer on the forum :lol: )
Patrick

C60 FLE Scooter Blue, C65 Ombre COSC LE, C65 Dartmouth, W11 Amelia (wife)

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Re: Aviation watches category gone

Post by nbg »

Amor Vincit Omnia wrote:
Sun Dec 27, 2020 9:31 am
Newer members of the forum and followers of the brand may not be fully aware of this, but this 2013 Magalogue illustrates exactly what we were used to seeing on a day-to-day basis just a few short years ago. The Archive itself gives a fantastic overview, but if you want a snapshot in time in a relatively small, easily navigable space, take a look at this. If you haven’t seen this before you may well be a little astonished. And even if you have, it’s well worth taking a look through this to refresh your fading memories.
Thanks for posting that Steve. :thumbup:

A step back in time. It seems that I have more CWs that feature in the 2013 Magalogue than the subsequent stuff. The 2013 models are the very watches that I tried on at CW Towers back end of 2013, when I was new to the brand. A great opportunity to try on anything and mark it as a potential future purchase, or alternatively rule it out.

Mind you if I tried on the C9, C10 and C11 today I would pass on all of them (due to size, rather than design).

I will remember the copy about this one being a future classic, and ensure I highlight it if I ever sell mine. :)
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Re: Aviation watches category gone

Post by stefs »

Funnily enough Neil I too was a big fan of the c9 and had both big blue and the white three hander, a c10 (twice!) and just about every c11 option. All very nice but like you felt they were just too big and that is why they all departed. Even now would be keen on scaled down versions but as mentioned that kind of watch does seem to be being phased out for the more successful variants of c60/65

Edit...having just looked through that catalogue, there really is quite a choice. One watch I fancied was a women’s watch :oops: the almond faced w11. At 38mm a lovechild of the c11 and a 36 mm explorer!
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Re: Aviation watches category gone

Post by Thegreyman »

stefs wrote:
Sun Dec 27, 2020 10:32 am
Funnily enough Neil I too was a big fan of the c9 and had both big blue and the white three hander, a c10 (twice!) and just about every c11 option. All very nice but like you felt they were just too big and that is why they all departed. Even now would be keen on scaled down versions but as mentioned that kind of watch does seem to be being phased out for the more successful variants of c60/65
Same here, six C11's came and went, ultimately the L2L was just a bit too much for me. Fantastic looking watches though.

I agree a smaller version of the Elite, Extreme, 40mm and 47mm max L2L I think might sell well.
Patrick

C60 FLE Scooter Blue, C65 Ombre COSC LE, C65 Dartmouth, W11 Amelia (wife)

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Re: Aviation watches category gone

Post by Amor Vincit Omnia »

The "categories" (or "Collections" as CW call them and we refer to them in the Archive) do form an interesting basis for reflection.

This thread was originally about the Aviation Collection, and it was one I could never quite get excited about, once I realised it wasn't compulsory to wear one on a budget flight to Lanzarote! Interestingly, my first CW was a C8 Mk1...lovely watch but too big!

Motorsport: I like chronographs (you know what my most worn watch is!) and am happy to have my two favourite C70s in the box. Interesting but I wouldn't build a collection of them.

Dive: absolutely nothing against them, but I tend to see them as holiday watches, though my blue C65 does get a fair airing, especially in summer. I always said I would never pay big money for one, and I think that still holds true. There are a couple of things I could contemplate.

Sport: that gets listed with Dive these days. I had a hankering for an Explorer I at one point, but shelved that idea. In common with others, I wouldn't mind seeing something like that in the future.

Military/Field: not sure why, but they don't really interest me.

Dress, I suppose was always my thing really. At the time when that Magalogue came out, I had rejected most CW dress watches as being too large (v.s. - C9) and was heavily into vintage. It was a C3 chronograph that got me back in, followed by the C5 Slimline. During the C1 Grand Malvern era I was busy with my treasures from Cartier and Omega, so they sort of got bypassed.

I regret not buying the C9 Small Seconds when they reduced the C9 to 40mm. And there was one ladies' watch that I wished had been expanded into the men's dept. - the W90 Belisama.

Despite my apparent nostalgia I'm OK with where things are seemingly headed and I certainly don't discount the possibility of future purchases. And the people at CW certainly seem quite buoyant about where they are and where they're going.
Steve
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Re: Aviation watches category gone

Post by Mikkei4 »

Apologies for continuing the discussion around that magalogue, but have any of the present CW watch designers seen it?

The C9 Harrison range gave some great watches -
the Single Pusher - a bit too big and the crown was also too big but what a dial face! That is the ultimate in dial symmetry, such a balanced design and yet quite simple.
the Classic Automatic - in blue it's superb, again so simple with the arabic numerals.

The Malvern Chrono - The silver dial was my first CW purchase in July 2013 (Cost £215). Again such a neat dial, applied numerals look great.

The Lido - without the notched out case/strap this design is already the basis for the CW Aqua Terra that many on this forum have asked for, with date or day/date options.

Some of the ladies watches are excellent as well - the design similar to the Cartier or Baume&Mercier Hampton was spot on.

I'm sure some of the above in the present light-catcher case rather than the 2013 straight sided cases would sell well.

Take a look present CW designers and consider that less is often more unlike the overkill of markers on the C65 Chrono.
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Re: Aviation watches category gone

Post by Amor Vincit Omnia »

All this talk of CW nostalgia had me reaching for the C70 DBR1 for a walk today. :D

Image
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Re: Aviation watches category gone

Post by H0rati0 »

Amor Vincit Omnia wrote:
Sun Dec 27, 2020 9:31 am
H0rati0 wrote:
Sun Dec 27, 2020 1:18 am

The market has spoken - dive/tool is where it's at and pundits just argue about how big the watches should be :schlafen:

No matter, there are fresh pastures to seek out elsewhere....

At some point interest will snap back, but "today is not that day".
When I mentioned the much greater diversity that there used to be, I wasn’t just wallowing in nostalgia for halcyon days. I’m talking about what was available until relatively recently.

Newer members of the forum and followers of the brand may not be fully aware of this, but this 2013 Magalogue illustrates exactly what we were used to seeing on a day-to-day basis just a few short years ago. The Archive itself gives a fantastic overview, but if you want a snapshot in time in a relatively small, easily navigable space, take a look at this. If you haven’t seen this before you may well be a little astonished. And even if you have, it’s well worth taking a look through this to refresh your fading memories.

I’m probably sounding a bit like “the voice of him that crieth in the wilderness”. I will not argue that quality and design have undergone something of a sea change. This is especially true in the development of cases. In terms of sophistication I’m not altogether sure, at least as far as aesthetic design is concerned. Anyway, as I said in an earlier post, the pleasure of looking through that lot is one of the things I miss.
Steve

I too very much lament the ongoing consolidation (particularly the lack in dress/classic ) and I agree with Patrick that probably a bit more commercial pressure is making itself felt at CW Towers. I have made the point before that IMHO dress watches are slow sellers for most, maybe all brands and I base that observation on broad monitoring of the used market.

Being of a philosophy that wants to own only a limited number of watches that will get worn, I do feel a level of guilt if you will, but realistically I am only going to buy selectively and CW cannot wait on fastidious butterflies such as myself.

nik
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Re: Aviation watches category gone

Post by Kansas City Milkman »

Thanks for posting catalogue @AVO, that was quite a breadth and range. Looking back, CW really did cover many watch types and variants.
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Re: Aviation watches category gone

Post by Htownsend »

OMG, wish I had found CW earlier. I love my C60 Trident Ombre but the C70 brg definitely got me looking, the C8 as well. I am very much of liking something different, understated but the green of the C70 would of had me parting with my money. Like what has been said though, what a variation of designs to suit a lot of people.
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Re: Aviation watches category gone

Post by Kansas City Milkman »

Just took another look at the catamag and realised I’ve had 8 from that catalog alone (1 was moved on, 1 - the rather excellent Coral - is my wife’s). On second look, the variety in the C8 range is impressive.

I do largely like the current range, but 2013 was a real golden period for me and marked my interest in ‘proper’ watches
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