CW C65 Super Compressor Review

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Wiggles
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CW C65 Super Compressor Review

Post by Wiggles »

When it comes to looks, in my opinion this watch could win beauty contests, it’s simply stunning. That said, sometimes beauty is only skin deep. Ladies and gentleman, welcome to my unpaid and un-sponsored review of the Christopher Ward C65 Super Compressor.

Christopher Ward are a British based company, and have been trading for about 16 years. Their watches are manufactured in Switzerland, and generally have Swiss movements. It is claimed that this watch is the first super compressor produced for over 50 years. There is a spring that pushes against the back of the case when under pressure. This is visible through the sapphire glass case back. It’s a bit of a novelty, but who doesn’t love something a little different?

SPECIFICATIONS – case 41mm, lug width 22mm, lug to lug 47mm, depth 13mm, and weight on a leather strap 83 grams. For my wrist that is fractionally under 7” the watch fits beautifully.

PRICE – At present there are two colour options available on their site, a lighter and darker blue. On a strap you will pay £895, on a bracelet £995. So, whilst not the most expensive Swiss watch in the world, not the cheapest either. The watch I am reviewing today has the discontinued brown dial. From what I can understand the brown dialled option had a misalignment issue. If you look carefully at the words “Super Compressor” you may notice they don’t sit perfectly between the indices 5 and 7. As a result these were heavily discounted in the January sale.

PRESENTATION – This is the newer style box, and very impressive it is to. I am presently selling my C60 600 Trident Pro, and also own an older C6 Kingfisher, and whilst the presentation on these watches was OK, this takes CW to another level.

MOVEMENT & CROWN - Well, the crown action is just about perfection. It is buttery smooth, and performs impeccably. The main crown is signed with the CW logo, and the crown for the internal bezel has a red ring around it, presumably indicating its purpose. Whilst the main crown is screw down, surprisingly enough the bezel crown isn’t. The internal bezel is uni-directional, and is 120 click. It lines up perfectly and has a very pleasant action.

Powering the watch is a Sellita SW200, beating at 28800 bph, it hacks and hand winds. I believe this is the standard movement, and has tolerances of +/- 20spd. This one just about meets the criteria, has a beat error 0.1 and a good amplitude.

CASE, CRYSTAL & FINISH – The case is mainly brushed, with horizontal brushing on the sides, and circular on the top. There is polishing on the transitional edge between the two. The standard of finishing is exemplary, and wouldn’t look out of place on any high end luxury watch. The screw down back for it’s 150m water resistance has an exhibition window, and as mentioned is made of sapphire, as is the front crystal, which I believe has some sort of AR coating.

BRACELET/STRAP & CLASP – This came on a tan leather strap. The strap is of reasonable quality, but nothing special. It is not too soft, or is it too hard. I took it off knowing this colour and this type of leather would soon get grubby very quickly. It is nice to see the spring pins are of the quick release variety. I have replaced it with an Italian vegetable tanned leather strap, which I believe looks nicer.

BEZEL – See above

DIAL & LUME – The dial on this watch is what drew me to it, it’s simply outstanding. The dark to light brown exudes class, and is complimented by the silver applied indices. A plain white hour hand and a minute hand surrounded in orange gives the watch a nice splash of colour, as does the orange tip to the second hand. The white internal bezel with its black markings adds to the dials interesting features. If this was a head-to-head, the dial would get 11/10. By the way, did I mention I like the dial?

The watch has a C3 lume. I would describe it as adequate, rather than incredible. To be honest, I don’t expect anything more on a dress diver, which I consider this is.

WATER RESISTANCE – 150m. To my knowledge not ISO tested. To be honest, I really can’t imagine anyone diving with this.

VALUE FOR MONEY – At £900 for the version with a strap, and £1000 for the bracelet option, it probably isn’t bad, but at the same time I don’t consider it exceptional either. The reason for this I will get to shortly.

QC ISSUES – Only the misaligned text, but I knew about that prior to purchase, so not a complaint. To be honest, I don’t think I would have noticed it without being told.

Dislikes – So here is the elephant in the room. A watches sole purpose is to tell the time, and this one doesn’t do it very well. At first it was running at +18spd, but after putting it on watch winder for a few days, it now runs +20spd. Whilst just about hitting tolerance, I find that very disappointing. In actual fact, I even tested to see if it was magnetised because the time keeping is so poor. Unfortunately, CW have little interest in helping me out unless I give them more of my hard-earned cash. They have also told me that if I dare take the back off and do it myself, it invalidates the warranty. So, whilst the dial gets 11/10, CW customer service gets a lousy 1/10. I now have to decide what I should do, and consider I am stuck between a rock and a hard place!!

This brings me to a related subject. If other manufacturers, such as Steinhart, can sell their watches for a lot less with an Elabore rated movement, why can’t CW ?????

Likes – With exception to the fact the watch isn’t very good at telling the time, and the strap is a little average, this timepiece is a thing of absolute beauty. In fact, it is a design masterpiece, well, in my opinion anyway.

SUMMARY – Well, would I recommend this watch. Like everything, it’s down to personal taste and budget. On balance I am pleased with the purchase, but disappointed with the accuracy of the watch and level of customer service. I am fully aware that CW are acting within the parameters of retail law, but there is also a lot to be said for going the extra mile. Ultimately, you pay your money, and you take your choice.

Chris Ward SC 1.jpg
Chris Ward SC 2.jpg
Chris Ward SC 3.jpg
Chris Ward SC 4.jpg
Last edited by Bahnstormer_vRS on Fri Feb 12, 2021 6:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Attached photos 'Placed in Line' - https://www.christopherwardforum.com/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=55242
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Re: CW C65 Super Compressor Review

Post by JasperCat »

Nice "review" of this watch, shame that it's running so close to the edge of the timing tolerance and only you can decide whether that's work keeping (and possibly paying for regulation) or returning... it is a lovely looking watch though... looks very good on that strap :clap:

I have the same and love it, although it's not a daily wear and really bought for the summer holidays (if we can go of course). Mine runs at+8 secs per day, so a bit better and more than acceptable for the use I'll put it too :thumbup:

Let us know how you get on with it...
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C65 Blue Bronze Prototype, C65 Black Gold LE, C65 316L LE, C60 Trident Pro 600 MkII, C5 MMXV FLE

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Re: CW C65 Super Compressor Review

Post by It'sAliveJim »

Should have bought a Sharkey :lol:
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Re: CW C65 Super Compressor Review

Post by Wiggles »

It'sAliveJim wrote:
Fri Feb 12, 2021 5:14 pm
Should have bought a Sharkey :lol:
Heimdallr actually make great value for money watches, and all of them more accurate than this one
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Re: CW C65 Super Compressor Review

Post by undetterred »

More of a whinge than a review,imho
C65 Super comp
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Re: CW C65 Super Compressor Review

Post by albionphoto »

It's also a C65 SC Black Sand. I have one too. Mine is about +5s/day. If this was bought before the sale then the prices quoted are correct. This was not the most popular model and the remaining inventory went into the January sale. If you bought this before the sale then CW offered a rebate to buyers of this pre-sale. If this was a watch bought in the sale then this should be reflected somewhere in the review. A quick look at the CW website does not show this model anymore.
It's nice that you call this an unpaid and unsponsored review. Guess what, so was mine which is posted in the members review section. If you don't like the accuracy of the watch (I wouldn't either) and if you have kept it in the appropriate condition then send it back for a refund. If you wish to buy a Steinhart or whatever else you reference above then send the watch back, buy the Steinhart and be happy. You should, however, acknowledge that a big part of the value and cost of this watch is in the super compressor design.
What would I have done? Well if I liked the watch I would send it back and have them regulate it at my cost. That's my choice of course and sending it back from the US would have been a real pain. I would still have done it though. You will clearly do what you need to do but in reality, send it back, get the refund and go and buy a watch you will be happy with.
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Re: CW C65 Super Compressor Review

Post by nowttolose »

If you leave it a few more weeks/months and it goes well outside of its +/-20 sec tolerance, will CW then regulate it for free?
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Re: CW C65 Super Compressor Review

Post by Bahnstormer_vRS »

nowttolose wrote:
Fri Feb 12, 2021 6:49 pm
If you leave it a few more weeks/months and it goes well outside of its +/-20 sec tolerance, will CW then regulate it for free?
In principal under their 60/60 guarantee, yes; subject to their normal T & Cs.

CW would ask for the watch to be sent to them, they'd carry out an initial inspection and then whatever repair (not exclusively a Regulation of Timekeeping) as required.

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Re: CW C65 Super Compressor Review

Post by Macdaz »

Wiggles wrote:
Fri Feb 12, 2021 4:42 pm
Dislikes – So here is the elephant in the room. A watches sole purpose is to tell the time, and this one doesn’t do it very well. At first it was running at +18spd, but after putting it on watch winder for a few days, it now runs +20spd. Whilst just about hitting tolerance, I find that very disappointing. In actual fact, I even tested to see if it was magnetised because the time keeping is so poor. Unfortunately, CW have little interest in helping me out unless I give them more of my hard-earned cash. They have also told me that if I dare take the back off and do it myself, it invalidates the warranty. So, whilst the dial gets 11/10, CW customer service gets a lousy 1/10. I now have to decide what I should do, and consider I am stuck between a rock and a hard place!!

This brings me to a related subject. If other manufacturers, such as Steinhart, can sell their watches for a lot less with an Elabore rated movement, why can’t CW ?????
This clearly bothers you. A lot. I get itI have a CW that runs at the top end of tolerance and it annoys me too. But I think to give CW 1/10 for customer service because they refuse to regulate a watch, that is running within tolerance, for free, is not really fair. Do 9 of those 10 marks really come from them agreeing to fix a watch that isn't broken?

CW can and do sell watches that operate to a better accuracy. I have a C65 GMT that runs at +1spd and my SC runs at +3spd. Likewise I have a Steinhart that runs as +5spd and one that runs at +15spd. The reason is that for watches at this price range, both companies will not spend ages testing and regulating every movement. They could, but if they did, it would come at a cost, or a COSC. You win some you lose some. I have 10 CWs 3 run at the edge of tolerance, the others are well inside.

As you point out, you pay your money, you takes your choice. What would I do? If I were me, I would accept the watch is working as the movement manufacturer intended and enjoy it. But if I was you, I'd send it back. Accuracy is clearly high on your list, and that's ok, but if it annoys you now, it's not going to annoy you less in the future.
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Re: CW C65 Super Compressor Review

Post by JasperCat »

Wiggles wrote:
Fri Feb 12, 2021 4:42 pm
This brings me to a related subject. If other manufacturers, such as Steinhart, can sell their watches for a lot less with an Elabore rated movement, why can’t CW ?????
Missed this on first reading... actually CW do in fact sell a good number of watches at this same price point that are COSC certified (and so likely using Chronometer rated movements, which are higher grade than Elabore), these being:
  • C65 Cranwell (which I have and runs solidly at +2.5 secs per day... day in, day out in all conditions)
  • C65 Sandhurst
  • C65 Dartmouth
  • C60 Lympstone
  • C65 Trident Bronze Ombre Limited Edition
They could probably make a COSC variant of the C65 Super Compressor, but it would then have to be another few hundred £s on top and likely not important to most people... it's a fun watch.

If any of these end up running outside the -4 to +6 COSC spec, then CW would gladly regulate them as part of the movement warranty... that alone says an awful lot about their customer service... I certainly wouldn't classify it as 1 out of 10 !

Edit: Just checked and the tolerance for a Sellita Elabore movement is actually +/- 20 secs p/d, so seems that’s what CW are supplying and I’m not sure how Steinhart can be making any claim to greater accuracy anyway :problem:

I also happen to have had two customer support issues solved rapidly and with politeness and no fuss from them in the last month... one involving a free replacement part (which they didn't need to do, as technically it was "wear and tear") :clap:

I happen to feel that the value for money on the C65 Super Compressor is incredible (even discounting that this was likely purchased at a big discount on sale as was mine), given the design, uniqueness, style and fun factor this watch has in spades :thumbup:

If it's likely the daily rate will continue to bother you, then the suggestions given above by others do make sense.
C60 Elite GMT 1000, C65 SH21 LE, C65 Cranwell, C8 Power Reserve, C65 Super Compressor,
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Re: CW C65 Super Compressor Review

Post by Wiggles »

Macdaz wrote:
Fri Feb 12, 2021 7:57 pm
Wiggles wrote:
Fri Feb 12, 2021 4:42 pm
Dislikes – So here is the elephant in the room. A watches sole purpose is to tell the time, and this one doesn’t do it very well. At first it was running at +18spd, but after putting it on watch winder for a few days, it now runs +20spd. Whilst just about hitting tolerance, I find that very disappointing. In actual fact, I even tested to see if it was magnetised because the time keeping is so poor. Unfortunately, CW have little interest in helping me out unless I give them more of my hard-earned cash. They have also told me that if I dare take the back off and do it myself, it invalidates the warranty. So, whilst the dial gets 11/10, CW customer service gets a lousy 1/10. I now have to decide what I should do, and consider I am stuck between a rock and a hard place!!

This brings me to a related subject. If other manufacturers, such as Steinhart, can sell their watches for a lot less with an Elabore rated movement, why can’t CW ?????
This clearly bothers you. A lot. I get itI have a CW that runs at the top end of tolerance and it annoys me too. But I think to give CW 1/10 for customer service because they refuse to regulate a watch, that is running within tolerance, for free, is not really fair. Do 9 of those 10 marks really come from them agreeing to fix a watch that isn't broken?

CW can and do sell watches that operate to a better accuracy. I have a C65 GMT that runs at +1spd and my SC runs at +3spd. Likewise I have a Steinhart that runs as +5spd and one that runs at +15spd. The reason is that for watches at this price range, both companies will not spend ages testing and regulating every movement. They could, but if they did, it would come at a cost, or a COSC. You win some you lose some. I have 10 CWs 3 run at the edge of tolerance, the others are well inside.

As you point out, you pay your money, you takes your choice. What would I do? If I were me, I would accept the watch is working as the movement manufacturer intended and enjoy it. But if I was you, I'd send it back. Accuracy is clearly high on your list, and that's ok, but if it annoys you now, it's not going to annoy you less in the future.
To some extent I consider accuracy relevant, not essential. It is s matter of principle. I have several inexpensive watches with Japanese or Chinese movements that run like silk and are accurate. I also own other Sellita sw200 movements that are excellent. I just struggle knowing any watch manufacturer allows a watch to leave the factory running this poorly.
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Re: CW C65 Super Compressor Review

Post by Macdaz »

You're missing my point. It's not that your Chinese and Japanese movements were regulated to better accuracy than your SC. You got lucky that those are running at the top end of tolerance. Who's to say that had you got the one next to it on the shelf that that one would be running at the edge of tolerance? Had you got the next SC off the shelf it may have run at +3spd. But ALL of them are within tolerance. If CW were to go beyond that then it will increase costs.

The clue is right there in the name, a tolerance is just that, it is a range. The issue is not that CW let their watches leave running poorly. If they are within tolerance, they are not running poorly. The issue is that your tolerance is less than that of the manufacturer. They are open about it, they tell you what you are buying right there on the page. They couldn't be any clearer. If you want a manufacturer with a narrower tolerance, there are plenty out there ready to take your money. But it will be MORE money. You pays your money you takes your choice.
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Re: CW C65 Super Compressor Review

Post by JasperCat »

Macdaz wrote:
Fri Feb 12, 2021 11:15 pm
You're missing my point. It's not that your Chinese and Japanese movements were regulated to better accuracy than your SC. You got lucky that those are running at the top end of tolerance. Who's to say that had you got the one next to it on the shelf that that one would be running at the edge of tolerance? Had you got the next SC off the shelf it may have run at +3spd. But ALL of them are within tolerance. If CW were to go beyond that then it will increase costs.
Exactly...mine runs at +8 and I’m sure there is a wide variance in rates across all the SCs that have been sold. I don’t know how long a full regulation takes, but as has been mentioned I would imagine the cost per watch is too great at this level to do anything other than basic regulation to within spec :thumbup:
C60 Elite GMT 1000, C65 SH21 LE, C65 Cranwell, C8 Power Reserve, C65 Super Compressor,
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Re: CW C65 Super Compressor Review

Post by H0rati0 »

Continually harping on about running within tolerance is now boring. Accept or ship it back....

Time to move on.
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Re: CW C65 Super Compressor Review

Post by Dangermouse »

I have just bought one, arriving sometime today, after looking at the SC for a while now I thought it was time.
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