C65 Trident Vintage MKII - Review

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C65 Trident Vintage MKII - Review

Post by Jcalder68 » Sun Jun 30, 2019 4:08 pm

Trident Vintage MKII Review

This will be my first review for the Forum. Saying that, I have no direct affiliation with either the forum, or Cristopher Ward themselves, and this review is not sponsored or endorsed by anyone. It is purely my own thoughts and opinions and how I am finding my latest watch purchase.

To summarise, it is a very, very good watch.

The original Trident Vintage was launched a few years ago and was one of the first to feature the new Christopher Ward branding printed at the 9 o’clock position. At the time, this caused significant protest amongst many watch owners which was a shame because it detracted attentions away from what was actually a good watch. I have had this MK1 version on my wish list for a while and, hearing that they were to be discontinued, did reach out to forum members who might want to sell one. As a happy chance I was able to borrow one for a few weeks (as well as the PVD version) from a family member, and this cemented my desire to add one to my own collection. Thankfully, my family were also listening to my horological desires and made their own arrangements to contribute towards the new, MK2 version.

My order was placed in the last week of June 2019, and did take advantage of the summer discount offer. At the time, the MK2 was only available on the leather strap options; the new, quick release bracelets were not going to be available for another month. This was a bit of a shame and caused me a real dilemma - my first choice of strap was to be the bracelet, but my birthday was upon me and I was keen to see the new watch design. So, one order placed for the watch head on the vintage oak camel/tan strap and next-day delivery (bracelet to be ordered separately next month!). My experience of the CW website, and their customer support team, was second to none at all times.
The watch arrived, as predicted, in the new “eco” watch box. I really like this (it is the same as the one that came with my Trident C60 MK3 last month) and really stands out from anything else that other manufacturers use. What’s more, the watch seems to be held more securely than the traditional “pillow” packing in the old CW Watch boxes and there was no sign that this new watch had become dislodged during transit. Inside was the usual paperwork (manual, warranty card) a cleaning cloth and, of course, the watch. Mine was wrapped in a simple plastic film that protected the crystal, case sides and case back.
Side by side with its predecessor (far right) and the black PVD version. Thanks to the kind souls who leant me these
Initial inspection showed the high quality case that the MK2 Vintage now has and this is probably the biggest difference between the MK2 and its predecessor. This new, “Light Catcher” design has been used on some of the other recently released models in the C65 range, and is one of my favourite case designs. On the MK2 it works very well and features a clever array of different finishes to both reflect light and to give the illusion of a slim, refined case profile. All finishes are immaculate on this sample - even and precise brushing, true mirror finishes and extremely sharp transitions between finishes. This case really is a winner!
The screw-in case back has the new design, heavily embossed Trident fork logo that is now in high polish finish on a bead-blasted background. The other change here is a move from round dimples for a case-back removing tool to rectangular slots. No idea why this has been done, but it might make opening the case easier?

The other big change on the case is the lack of crown guards on the MK2. In my eyes, this is a good thing - it suits the vintage look of the watch better, it gives a cleaner, more balanced and flowing look, and it allows better function of the non-screw down crown. The new crown is more hefty than the old design and, at a bit over 6mm diameter, gives a good balance of size and ease of gripping. I really appreciated the option to quickly top up the power reserve on my C65 GMT and Divers with their similar crown designs, and am glad that CW have carried this over to the new MK2 Vintage. Aside from that, overall case dimensions are pretty much exactly the same as the MK1 being 38mm diameter, 11.5mm thick, 20mm lug width and 45mm lug-tip to lug-tip. It is, of course still also 316L stainless steel.
On the wrist the new case really does sit low, easily slipping under even quite snug shirt cuffs.

The dial and hands have also seen some clever tweaks between MK1 and MK2 versions. The dial is still the matte black, still has baton hour markers and still has a non-framed date window at 3 o’clock and branding at 9 o’clock. However, it now has the embossed Twin Flag logo at 12 o’clock and two lines of text at 6 o’clock - Water Resistant / 150m 500ft. The new logo and the extra text really help to make the new dial look less barren, but at the same time not over-busy and I love it. The fact that there is something going on in all four areas of the dial also adds significantly to its overall balance and symmetry.
The hour markers and hands have had some subtle work done on them too. Hour and minute hands are fractionally slimmer (width has been reduced by slimming the sides rather than reducing the width of the lume in the middle of each hand) and the hands now feature highly polished and bevelled edges. The seconds hand is also more highly polished, has the addition of lume at its tip but still has the traditional Trident fork counter balance. The hour markers are also slimmer in width but have their lume applied right up to their edges to make maximum use of area. All lume has a gentle patina applied and this is perfect; not overly done as in some other models but giving it a softer and more retro feel.

The crystal is probably one of the only visible parts of the watch that has not been changed much. It is still sapphire, still has a decent internal AR coating that gives a beautiful flash of blue around the edges in certain lights and still has a gentle box-domed profile. Saying that though, the box sides are more slanted than on the MK1 so you are probably less lightly to catch the edges.

Inside is the Sellita SW200-1 movement. This is pretty standard for watches in this price range, and will be relatively cheap and easy for any decent watchmaker to repair or service. My understanding though is that CW have decorated the rotor, some of the bridges and added a few blued screws too. With no screw-in crown to bother with, this movement can be hand wound whenever needed, auto winds when worn, beats at 28,88 vibrations an hour and has a stated power reserve of 38hr. So far, mine is performing exceptionally well with a net gain of approx +5sec a day.

Overall, I really love this watch. I think the overall quality is exceptional, it is amazing value for money and all the subtle changes have worked so well together. Each one by itself is not exactly insignificant, but simply would not work if done alone. However, put all the changes together and they do generate a much more refined watch. It will be perfect for my day-to-day wear; robust enough, accurate enough, waterproof enough for my occasional dip in the pool and shower. It also has the look that can be so easily dressed up or down - NATO for water sports and relaxed casual wear, leather strap for the office and metal bracelet for smarter evenings.
On the wrist, with a replacement x-small sized CW vintage oak strap. Perfect for any slim wrist!

In fact I only have three negatives for this watch. First is the (temporary) absence of the bracelet option with only the standard length leather straps available. I can’t wear these; the new hole positions are fine, but the length of the tongue part is too long for my very skinny wrist and it wraps around so far that I see it poking up behind the watch every time I check the time. Thankfully I have been able to source some of the old CW “XS” length straps. Second is actually the dial. I do like it’s slightly smarter new look, don’t get me wrong, but I see many similarities with the new Light Catch case and the old Rolex Explorers (particularly the 1016 models) that I wish CW could have added an option to have the 3, 6 and 9 numerals on the dial too. Never mind, perhaps this might be considered for their future Field Watch design? The last negative is a lack of display case back. This new design is significantly more refined than the previous model and it seems a shame not to show off the decorated movement. With 150m water resistance I think this should certainly have been an option.

I hope this has been helpful to forum members, guests and potential buyers,

CW Watches (To Date): Trident M3 40mm, C60 Pro 300, C60 Pro 600 Vintage, C65 GMT, C65 Diver Auto, C65 Diver Manual
Others (To Date): Sinn 104, Seiko SNA411, G-Shock

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Re: C65 Trident Vintage MKII - Review

Post by H0rati0 » Sun Jun 30, 2019 4:24 pm

Great review. You nailed it!
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Re: C65 Trident Vintage MKII - Review

Post by Kip » Sun Jun 30, 2019 5:52 pm

Excellent review. Thanks for posting.

I am very glad that everything went as it is supposed to and that you have a great watch to enjoy. :thumbup:

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Re: C65 Trident Vintage MKII - Review

Post by Amor Vincit Omnia » Sun Jun 30, 2019 6:06 pm

Really enjoyed that review...and a lovely watch.

Thanks for sharing it.
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 Trident Vintage MKII - Review

Post by Misterchrono » Sun Jun 30, 2019 6:08 pm

Excellent review !

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Re: C65 Trident Vintage MKII - Review

Post by hsukirk » Sat Jul 13, 2019 5:46 pm

Great review and I'm also one waiting for quick release bracelet.

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Re: C65 Trident Vintage MKII - Review

Post by djohnson29 » Tue Jul 30, 2019 3:17 pm

Great review! Thanks for the time and effort.


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