C65 sandstorm chronometer - Review

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missF
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C65 sandstorm chronometer - Review

Post by missF »

This review will take a look at the C65 sandstorm chronometer - a collaboration between Christopher Ward and Worn and Wound. The watch is currently available - sold by Worn and Wound via their Windup Watch Shop, and shipped by Christopher Ward in the UK. The review is of the sandstorm watch on canvas strap, and will not look at the bracelet version, nor the brother blackout version of the watch.


The sandstorm, according to the W+W marketing, is 'an adventurous tool watch inspired by the rugged aesthetics and terrain of desert rally racing and overlanding'. This review will explore to what extent the watch succeeds in this, and whether this watch has a place on wrists far from the great deserts. I will explore whether this watch is a little bit bold, and/or a little bit different, and along the way I will express why I think this is an all-terrain timepiece. i will struggle to take photos of the watch that demonstrate its true faces but try my best...



Technical Information.

The watch is built around the C65 38mm 'light-catcher' case
Dimensions: 38x45.3x11.6 with 20mm lugs
The crystal is box sapphire, and with the screw-down crown, Water Resistance is 150m more than required if you’re in the desert...!

I last bought a CW watch (the C11) 6 years ago, when slab sides were common. So the light-catcher case shape impresses me greatly with its brushed and polished curves and lines that make the case look much thinner on the wrist. It's a sophisticated look, and marks for me an aspect of the quality of the watch. Combine this with that Lug-to-lug of 45.3mm and you have a sporting case in a comfortable size for everyday wear. It fits perfectly my 17cm wrist, but given the gradual shift towards smaller watches in recent years, this watch will also find a comfortable home on much larger wrists.

The movement inside is the Chronometer-rated Sellita SW200s, regulated in 6 positions and a variety of temperatures to -4/+6s/day
This is a 25 jewel movement with hacking and hand winding, a customised date (more later), a frequency of 28,800bph, and 38hr Power Reserve




Aesthetics

The dial of the sandstorm was a collaborative effort between Worn and Wound and Christopher Ward. With collaboration comes the possibility of a result that doesn't hang together visually well. So let's first look at the basic dial design.

The dial is a basic sector design, but the strongest design feature is the series of concentric circles that make up the face. At the centre is a dark grey circle that houses the handset, and displays the Christopher Ward name at 12, and 'chronometer' at 6, intersecting cross-hair markings. More on the handset later, but this central portion is remarkably subdued. The eye is led outwards across the pointer-date circle to the brushed steel circle
with the punched out numerals at 12,3,6 and 9 and outward to a further groove filled with dark grey. All of the circles are of different heights, giving the dial great visual interest. I'm impressed enough by the dial to have ordered a loupe to be able to explore it more thoroughly.

I like watches that are a little bit bold, and I find the cross-hairs and concentric circles visually strong, tough even, and pleasing. It gives a bold tool-like impression when combined with the light-catcher case and the canvas strap. Rugged, as some reviewers might say.

The pointer date circle needs mention at this point. The numbers are too small. I can read them if I peer, but definitely not at a glance. Perhaps here the overall success of the dial starts to creak? Perhaps they should have missed the date circle out altogether? I tend to be conciliatory about such things, and try to see what was aimed at as well as what was achieved. The pointer date circle serves to preserve strong symmetry on a dial that would otherwise be compromised by a date window at 3 o'clock. It also allows for greater visibility when the hands don't have to cross a large date window. The choice of a pointer date circle matches with the desert rally tool-watch aesthetic, even if the execution is a touch too small.


What's Different About the Sandstorm

I like watches that are a little bit different. The watch as I've described it so far is different enough to keep me very interested. What else is going on with this watch?
The hand-set is the regular C65 hand-set. One of my favourites for being no-nonsense, bold, legible. The second hand has a red tip. The lume is adequate, not blinding, but it is blue, and sets off a brilliant play of light even in daylight conditions. There's something of the ephemeral twinkle in this dial in spite of its rugged heart. Where a dressier watch sets off twinkles of light from polished hands or indices, this watch does it with lume. You might catch blue highlights on opposite sides of the dial while the red second hand tip marks out a different arc. This leads into what I want to conclude with - this is two (or indeed many) watches in one.

For me this watch looks its best in 'normal', non-direct lighting. I.e. diffuse indoor lighting or non-direct sunshine. Here it is all brushed surfaces and soft dark grey tones. The circles on the dial are maximally contrasted. Under more direct or stronger light, however, or when you take a flash picture, a quite marked change takes place. Contrast between circles is lost, and the dial becomes dark and metallic, punctuated strongly by the lume markers. Circles remain a feature, only far more hidden. This makes photographing the watch a challenge that is beyond me, but makes the watch a delight to wear.


Final Thoughts

As good collaborations should, this watch moves away slightly from CW DNA. The watch that has been produced is indeed, in my mind, a little bit bold and a little bit different. It is a rugged, all-condition tool watch with bags of interest, a wrist full of rugged good looks, and a touch of charm.





Thanks for reading. Pics will follow - I had trouble loading them into the body of the text
'The only reason for time is so that everything doesn't happen at once'........Albert Einstein
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Re: C65 sandstorm chronometer - Review

Post by missF »

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Re: C65 sandstorm chronometer - Review

Post by Tortoise »

Great review - thanks for sharing..
Strikes me that the design balances the period cues (art deco maybe?) with contemporary aesthetics quite well.
Are the straps the quick release style?
cheers
Ian
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Re: C65 sandstorm chronometer - Review

Post by missF »

Thanks Tortoise!
I agree - definitely a good balance between retro features and a modern dynamic.
The strap is quick release - something I obviously should have mentioned in the review! :thumbup:
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Re: C65 sandstorm chronometer - Review

Post by Kip »

Well done Lindsey! Thanks for doing this.

We could use a couple of those photos in the Reference Gallery.
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Re: C65 sandstorm chronometer - Review

Post by jkbarnes »

...It is a rugged, all-condition tool watch with bags of interest, a wrist full of rugged good looks, and a touch of charm
Excellent summation and a wonderful review!

Concerning the pointer date wheel, I wonder if one might learn to “read” the date with a bit of visual muscle memory, so to speak, by simply noticing the position of the red indicator the same way one can read the time with a quick glance at a watch?
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Re: C65 sandstorm chronometer - Review

Post by missF »

Thanks Andrew :thumbup:
That’s how I’m approaching the date wheel. Unfortunately, though, unless you’re in good lighting , you also have to peer to see the red marker! :?
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Re: C65 sandstorm chronometer - Review

Post by missF »

BTW, any and all constructive feedback is welcome. If I’m going to become an internet watch influencer one day and have people send me nice watches to review then I have to start learning now! :lol:
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Re: C65 sandstorm chronometer - Review

Post by Thegreyman »

What an excellent review Lindsey, well done :thumbup:

I would take it from the review that you are sufficiently impressed that you aren't going to invoke 60:60 and return the watch?

I do like the design of this watch, the concentric circles, I agree the date characters are just a little too small. It feels as though the design could have been tweaked slightly to give a marginally broader date wheel which could have lessened that issue.

It is interesting and I can see from your photos how the watch takes on a different character when photographed in bright natural light as compared to softer lighting, I think I prefer the latter look.
Patrick

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Re: C65 sandstorm chronometer - Review

Post by downer »

I enjoyed the review and I now appreciate the watch design far more than when I first saw it.

Top marks to the influencer!
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Re: C65 sandstorm chronometer - Review

Post by gannet »

Thanks for taking the time for this review an enjoyable read :D
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Re: C65 sandstorm chronometer - Review

Post by Amor Vincit Omnia »

missF wrote:
Sat Feb 20, 2021 5:48 am
If I’m going to become an internet watch influencer one day and have people send me nice watches to review then I have to start learning now! :lol:
You have the tools to do that in spades. In particular, you have used some truly eloquent and apt phrases...
It's a sophisticated look, and marks for me an aspect of the quality of the watch.
There's something of the ephemeral twinkle in this dial in spite of its rugged heart.
:clap:

A thorough and, more importantly, honest review. There is one photo in particular that really does show off the levels on the dial to great effect.

You asked for constructive feedback. Last time I did a long review I interspersed photos and text, in an attempt to focus the reader's visual perception of what I had just described in words. It might be worth trying.

That said, one of the best reviews we've had on the forum for ages, and a superb morning-coffee read. Thank you, Lindsey! :D
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: C65 sandstorm chronometer - Review

Post by missF »

Thegreyman wrote:
Sat Feb 20, 2021 9:43 am
What an excellent review Lindsey, well done :thumbup:

I would take it from the review that you are sufficiently impressed that you aren't going to invoke 60:60 and return the watch?
Thanks Patrick, yes I’m definitely keeping the watch. I think it’s going to get a lot of daily wear. I wanted to present a balanced review without squealing about how much I love it!
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Re: C65 sandstorm chronometer - Review

Post by missF »

Amor Vincit Omnia wrote:
Sat Feb 20, 2021 10:37 am
That said, one of the best reviews we've had on the forum for ages, and a superb morning-coffee read. Thank you, Lindsey! :D
Thanks Steve :thumbup:
WRT photos within the text, I wish my photos were good enough quality and i’d be happier to mix them with the text. But the other reason for doing it this way is simply because I was having tech problems with doing that. For some reason the only way I could add add pics was as a new post with no other text! :? :lol:
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Re: C65 sandstorm chronometer - Review

Post by Amor Vincit Omnia »

missF wrote:
Sat Feb 20, 2021 10:51 am
WRT photos within the text, I wish my photos were good enough quality and i’d be happier to mix them with the text. But the other reason for doing it this way is simply because I was having tech problems with doing that. For some reason the only way I could add add pics was as a new post with no other text! :? :lol:
I won't volunteer to help after messing up your sales post the other day! :lol:

Something isn't working for you, but I really don't know what it is.

Sounds like a job for BahnstormerMan! :D
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.
Charles Babbage


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