I wrote that in January 2016. Then the new logo hit with force and we had the 2016 chat with Chris and Mike.I have had several CWLs but flipped/returned them all (a C10 FLE, C65 and more recently a new C60). For the FLE I just didn't get on with it - the case size felt too big or the strap width too small. I really liked the C65 but the face, after wearing other watches, really was a bit big. I sold it to help fund the Pelagos. I'm mightily impressed with the new C60s but not enough to hang onto one.
Anyway, I'm not considering the new C60s, I don't need another diver! I'd really like a worldtimer/GMT and still on the look out for one that takes my fancy.
Let's get the new logo out of the way first - I've both suffered from brand angst but also got over it with positivity. We talked about it to death and then, as part of that 2016 chat, we also got a sneak peak of the C8 UTC Worldtimer which I thought looked down right superb.
I've not seen many photos in the wild of this model, so can only assume it's not particularly popular with the WIS crowd.
Fast forward to the latest sale, where I had the opportunity to pick up either version (steel or PVD finishes) and went for the former. Even though I mentally processed the purchase as "wanting to check out the new logo in person", I had still applied the logic of not wanting to whack a 44mm PVD watch on a door handle and live with the scarred consequences.
I'd like to say, in the stainless steel finish, this is probably the most handsome watch I think CW have created with the new logo. I know it's huge at 44mm (one of the reasons I sold a Hamilton and my C65 as being unwieldy) but with all the depth and detail to the dial it feels the same as my 42mm Pelagos on the wrist. And boy what a dial in person. Applied markers, lumed sandwich dial, a great balance of black and white details, then the red accents to add some drama. I've counted 5 different heights on the dial which gives it real depth. It's less dinner plate on your wrist, more huge open-pit mine.
With everything going on across the dial, the "Christopher Ward" also works really well. I think using the two flags motif would have been to the detriment of this watch. I also quite like the condom hands and, in the short space of time since it arrived, have found the time to be legible at a glance.
Being quite busy with work and losing hours at a time, with the UTC hand set to home time, it's also a really easy way to guesstimate the time by glancing at where the red triangle is pointing. Funny how you don't consider these things when looking on a web site, and only notice the little details when you actually use the watch (well, it's sat in its box on my desk ...)!
I popped outside with the DSLR to capture a couple of shots that show off the face legibility and depth:
The C8 UTC entry in the reference gallery is only the PVD model so hoping this helps anyone decide in the future.
Now. Do I keep it? Will I wear it? Do I think 44mm is still too big?
Besides the teasers shown to us as part of that 2016 chat, I really liked how CW weren't going the scrap metal route and actually took inspiration from aviation and, specifically, Farnborough. Having been born and raised in a town nearby, and attended numerous Farnborough airshows, I really like the nod to turbines/wind tunnel via the crowns and case back. The motif on the crowns just wouldn't have been the same.
In isolation this C8 is a great watch. I'm not sure I would have paid full price for it, however I am considering keeping a "new model CW" *gasp*. Up against a Pelagos it wears a very similar size, however alongside one in the watch box it does feel a league below - but as you'd expect with a four-figure price difference.
As a wrist ornament, it has enough for me to look at and toys to keep me happy - the UTC hand is easy to set, the timezone inner ring rotates well, and (clearly not being faulty like the first review models) all the hands line up as they should. I like the two crowns and think it again adds balance to a larger watch. I have some people in my team who work in India so the UTC function could serve a purpose, albeit being half an hour off Bangalore!
In terms of the order process, I still find fault with CW. I can only assume "nearly new" watches are picked differently to "sale" ones so the blurb about everything having an order in the confirmation email is just plain false. The attention to detail isn't there either, while the presentation box is new logo (and very nice I must add with the motif pattern) the strap the watch has been sent on is an older "Chr Ward" one. This seems a bit silly given it's a new logo watch! I'm going to email about that, as if I do keep it, I'd want it all to match.
My only criticism of the watch is the white of the hour/minute/seconds hands seems ever so slightly brighter than that used for the rest of the dial. You hardly notice it, but once you've seen it you can't unsee it ...
So, assuming I can get the strap issue sorted, I think this one will be staying in the box and I'll become a "new logo" guy. Who'd have thunk it!