In the Beginning was the Ward (Malvern C5 Mk1)

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Amor Vincit Omnia
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In the Beginning was the Ward (Malvern C5 Mk1)

Post by Amor Vincit Omnia » Sat Feb 16, 2019 9:40 am

Apologies for the biblical pun! A number of people in the survey said they would like to see the moderators posting more reviews. So here’s one for you.

I guess a lot of our newer members will be unfamiliar with some of the earlier Christopher Ward watches. So I thought I would do a little review of the Malvern C5 Mk1, which was the first watch ever sold by the company. In fact, the first ever CW to be sold was a steel cased version of this watch on 6th June 2005. I often wonder whether the owner joined the forum. It would be interesting to know if he still had the watch and knew exactly what he had there.

I first bought the gold PVD version in the Nearly New sale in January 2012. My thinking about where I was going with watches was pretty unclear at the time, and before too long I sold it. There are three possible reasons for this:

I was mad
I was crazy
I was completely bonkers.

Discuss quietly among yourselves.

It was only last autumn that I got the chance to reacquire the same model in UncleDicky’s bargain sale, and I jumped at the chance. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect but the watch was in very good nick. The rotor was slightly sticky so I took it into CW when we had our moderators’ meeting there in November. The service, at standard price, took around six weeks but I was unable to get the watch back until I returned from holiday in early January. Since when it has performed admirably and stays well within specs for the movement.

The Malvern C5 Mk1 is an automatic dress watch made in either gold PVD or steel. I’m not actually a fan of the term dress watch. Watches like this were simply watches when I was growing up. Still, let’s go with it. The watch was available on bracelet, but I have always felt a gold watch on a gold bracelet was a bit much, so mine have been on leather straps. The current one came on a nice black alligator and I was kindly presented with a brown alligator by a very generous fellow mod! Thank you, Guy. :D

The design is essentially very simple, as you can see. To my mind the champagne coloured dial adds a little something over a plain white one. Also I really like the stepped dial and to my mind the flat dial of the Mk2 was nowhere near as good. Obviously if you must have lume and ultra legibility this is probably not the watch for you. However, it is perfectly readable in any daylight or indoor lighting situation.

There are two things about the case that I thought could have been improved when I first had the watch. However, these have ceased to matter now. The first one is that for a watch with a case diameter of 38mm it seems a little tall at 10.8mm. I think it would also sit better if the strap size were 20mm instead of 18mm. This is compensated for by the fact that the lugs are fairly short (46.36mm lug to lug length). The lugs are also nicely stepped. The screw-down crown is perhaps a little on the chunky side but it doesn’t really dig into the wrist.

Turn the watch over and you find a display back with a beautifully decorated Sellita SW200-1...cut out rotor, perlage, Côtes de Genève...it really is lovely. The watch also used the ETA 2824-2, though both mine have had the Sellita. A bit difficult to spot the difference if you don’t know what you are looking for, but using a 10x Loupe you can see the movement name under the balance wheel.

When I re-acquired this model I thought I probably wouldn’t wear it very much. I was mistaken there and it has certainly taken its place among the other regularly worn watches.

CW’s finest watch? Probably not – they have come an awfully long way in 14 years.

The most beautiful? No, I think the newer cases are absolutely stunning and again they have produced a lot of beautiful watches over the years.

But... it’s the original CW. And personally, for a first attempt by a new company, I think it was pretty damn’ good!

Thanks for reading. 8)
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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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Re: In the Beginning was the Ward (Malvern C5 Mk1)

Post by MiniMpi » Sat Feb 16, 2019 11:05 am

A great review Steve ;)

The C5 especially the MK 1 is the quintessential CW and is just so classy.
The differences in the MK1 really set it off I believe.
I've had two C5's before, my first automatic in the shape of a black dial MK 1.5 and later a black dial MK 1.
Both stunning watches.
C60 Ombré #001/300, C7 Prototype, C11 Elite, C7 Bluebird, C70 Ascari, C7 COSC LE, C65 MK1 LE, C60 316L Yellow, C9-JH-MK3, C9-40-5DA, C600-IPB, C8-KVKT-MK2, C60-43-GMT-SWKS, C60-43-A-SKRS, C60-TI-V2, C8 UTC, C8 Flyer MK2, C65 Trident Diver, Rolex 912.

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Re: In the Beginning was the Ward (Malvern C5 Mk1)

Post by Thermexman » Sat Feb 16, 2019 1:18 pm

Thanks Steve. Enjoyable read. :thumbup:
Steve.

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Re: In the Beginning was the Ward (Malvern C5 Mk1)

Post by Amor Vincit Omnia » Sun Feb 17, 2019 7:49 pm

Thanks, chaps. I was hoping this might prompt some discussion about the earlier watches...but maybe not. :ka:
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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Re: In the Beginning was the Ward (Malvern C5 Mk1)

Post by Paul Drawmer » Sun Feb 17, 2019 9:12 pm

I also have an early C5 auto. I just love the complex dial.
c5 dial.jpg
I think it was a pity that the C5 got more and more plain as it went on. The movements lost their decoration, the faces became less complex and the last of the Mk2 C5 really was a very 'plain jane' compared with lovely early versions.

However, the current C5 is a real elegant beauty as well, so all is good now.
There's always time for one more.

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Re: In the Beginning was the Ward (Malvern C5 Mk1)

Post by atnits » Sun Feb 17, 2019 9:13 pm

The designs just seemed so right with these early watches.

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Re: In the Beginning was the Ward (Malvern C5 Mk1)

Post by scooter » Sun Feb 17, 2019 9:25 pm

A good read AVO.

I have to agree with Anthony.

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Re: In the Beginning was the Ward (Malvern C5 Mk1)

Post by 0uatiOW » Sun Feb 17, 2019 10:18 pm

Good to see an older model show up here and there, and an interesting read. Beautiful dial too. A dial needs some texture. Drawing a perhaps obvious analogy, if the case is the body, the movement the heart, then the dial is the face of the watch, the first thing you see, and that which reveals its character. Good balance too. Ahem.
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