Christopher Ward C8 UTC Worldtimer review

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albionphoto
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Christopher Ward C8 UTC Worldtimer review

Post by albionphoto » Sat Feb 08, 2020 6:11 pm

According to the CW archive (https://cwarchive.knack.com/cwarchive#m ... c93b45104/) the C8 UTC was launched in August 2016. It was released in two variants a steel case version with white lume and a black PVD coated version with vintage lume. Previously CW had released a world timer but this was, I believe, their first UTC with just city names around dial. It is a large watch with a diameter of 44mm and two prominent crowns one of which operates the rotating bezel whilst the other controls the time/date related functions.

ImageChristopher Ward C8 UTC Worldtimer by Mark Wheeler, on Flickr

Why did I buy?
Without looking through a pile of boxes I can’t recall when I bought my C8 UTC but it was probably in November 2017. I wanted the steel version of this watch as soon as I saw it on the CW website but I was concerned about the size. I’m not afraid of big watches. I like big watches and don’t have much time for those who say any watch above 38 mm is too big. Yawn. However, at the time I owned a Nautsiche Instrument Muhle Glashutte ProMare which is also a 44mm sports watch in stainless steel. That wore very big with long lugs and no bezel to help reduce its apparent size and so I knew I had to tread carefully. With this in mind I paid my annual pilgrimage to CW Towers to have a chat with Declan and try on the C8 UTC. I was devasted. The C8 UTC in steel was huge. Huge I tell you! Easily 54mm in diameter, maybe 540mm in diameter (but not, quite, 5,400mm in diameter). I nearly cried (only a traditional stiff upper lip saved me). Damn and blast.

ImageYork, Yorkshire, pub, pubs, public houses by Mark Wheeler, on Flickr

What was I to do? I’m in the showroom with a credit card and my hopes and dreams had been crushed by an optical illusion. What could save me? Was there a Plan B? Yeah, baby! There’s a Plan B. The black PVD version. So. Much. More. Subtle. So Much Smaller. A C8 UTC I could wear, whoppee. Happy, happy, day.

What is it?
So, what is a C8 UTC. It features an ETA 2893-2 movement, a 44mm diameter, 22mm lug-to-lug, 53.2mm lug tip to lug tip and a case height of 11.5 mm (all measurements from CW Archive). The dial has the numbers 1 to 23 printed on a raised chapter ring with a small, applied, red triangle at the 12 o’clock position. The numbers from 6 to 18 are highlighted with a fauxtina arc to indicate daytime. The date window is small with the date in white. Since this is a GMT there is a fourth hand with a red tip to indicate the second time zone. The hands are delicate skeleton hands with fine tips. They are surprisingly easy to read during the day.

ImageYork, Yorkshire, pub, pubs, public houses by Mark Wheeler, on Flickr

There are two crowns. The crowns are large with deep knurling and a machine motif on the ends. The lower crown rotates the inner bezel and the upper crown controls the second time zone, time setting and date setting.

ImageYork, Yorkshire, pub, pubs, public houses by Mark Wheeler, on Flickr

The C8 flyer design was heavily influenced by the old wind tunnel at Farnborough (https://www.airsciences.org.uk/wind-tunnel-tours.html). The back shows a six bladed fan with surrounding holes. It’s a great image and is also the logo of the Farnborough Air Sciences Trust (well worth a visit). This is probably the best link to to aviation on any watch. I know there are a lot of B-Uhr flieger watches out there but the C8 UTC combines a second time zone, direct reference to places in different time zones and references to a ground breaking scientific achievement.

ImageYork, Yorkshire, pub, pubs, public houses by Mark Wheeler, on Flickr

In use
You could use this as a daily wear watch. In practice I use this when I travel. Its water resistance is limited to 50m so it’s not a watch to wear in a swimming pool and, anyway, it’s on a leather strap. I use it when I travel when the second time zone is very useful. The strap is very comfortable, the watch is easy to set and read. It’s never going to be a dress watch but with its comparatively limited height it does fit under a shirt cuff reasonably well. In my use the watch has been very accurate running at about +2 seconds per day. Because of its black PVD case this doesn’t seem to be a watch that shouts for attention but if anyone does notice it there’s a lot to talk about.
Quibbles
Vintage lume - I started this review by saying that I originally intended to purchase the steel version. It’s much flashier and has white lume. The C8 watches came along before CW’s lume revolution and so white lume is always going to be brighter than vintage lume. The vintage lume and hand design make this hard to read at night and the lume doesn’t last all night long either.

ImageC8 UTC lume by Mark Wheeler, on Flickr

Syringe hands – The hand design could be described in many ways. Are the skeleton hands, syringe hands or something else. The design doesn’t allow much lume to be on the hands and at night without glasses they can disappear entirely. This is a case of form over function, by day they take a bit of practice to find. This doesn’t limit the wearability of the watch in any way but it’s not as functional as it might be for the frequent traveler.
The crowns are large and onion shaped. The upper crown pulls away from the case with a nice click. The lower crown rotates easily. Too easily. In use, I find that I can rotate the inner bezel accidentally just by moving my wrist. This can mean that the reference city changes. It’s not a big problem since there is the GMT hand but it does annoy me a bit when it happens.
Conclusions
The stainless steel version disappeared from the line up fairly quickly (I wasn’t alone in having size envy, obviously) and it seems that now the C8 UTC has been withdrawn completely. This is a stylish and unusual watch
It is not a watch for the “twiglet wristed”. It is not a watch that would ever find favour with any of the YouTube channels, none of whom like a watch above the magic 38mm size (fools never differ). This is a large watch and proud of it. Choosing the right strap can enhance its looks. It’s comfortable to wear and surprisingly practical with a unique design and lots of details to admire and enjoy. It may not be a future classic but those who own one will surely enjoy them for a long time.

And, just to irritate the haters, here's a picture showing the new logo in glorious detail.

ImageYork, Yorkshire, pub, pubs, public houses by Mark Wheeler, on Flickr
Mark
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Re: Christopher Ward C8 UTC Worldtimer review

Post by albionphoto » Sat Feb 08, 2020 6:13 pm

C9 UTC 07.jpg
C8 UTC lume.jpg
Attachments
C8 UTC 06.jpg
C8 UTC 05.jpg
C8 UTC 04.jpg
C8 UTC 03.jpg
C8 UTC 02.jpg
C8 UTC 01.jpg
Mark
Bremont, Casio, Citizen, Christopher Ward, Omega, Orion, Oris and Seiko

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STodd
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Re: Christopher Ward C8 UTC Worldtimer review

Post by STodd » Mon Feb 10, 2020 4:07 pm

Nice review.

As the owner of a steel version, I’ll try not to take offence....I really like it :grin:
C60 GMT MkI¦C11 Elite,Pro¦C700 Grande Rapide¦C8 Pilot MkII¦C8 UTC¦C10 FLE#13¦C4 'Phoenix'¦Speedhawk¦Bluebird LE#319¦IRR LE#129¦C1000 FGR4
Omega PO 2201.51.00¦Damasko DA44¦Seiko KS 5621-7020, SRP639¦Luminox 1833¦Newmark 6BB¦Scurfa DiverOne NATO

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Re: Christopher Ward C8 UTC Worldtimer review

Post by albionphoto » Mon Feb 10, 2020 4:25 pm

STodd wrote:
Mon Feb 10, 2020 4:07 pm
Nice review.

As the owner of a steel version, I’ll try not to take offence....I really like it :grin:
I wish I could wear the steel one but I can't. My real target is those YouTubers who insist that anything less than 39mm is a crime with particular ire reserved for Rolex Fanboys who now insist that at 36mm Rolex is perfect. Perfect for the pre-pubescent, perhaps? :lol: :lol: :lol:
Glad you liked the review. I wanted to write this ages ago but never got round too it. Now it's gone for good it seems the right time to memorialise it. :clap:
Mark
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Re: Christopher Ward C8 UTC Worldtimer review

Post by 0uatiOW » Mon Feb 10, 2020 7:45 pm

Great review, top pictures. You write well, and the review tells a story, which adds depth, above and beyond the basics.

The C8 UTC has tempted me in the past, and when they appear in the sales, i have struggled to resist. I am particularly on the lookout for a black cased watch (though I have a preference for DLC over PVD) and the only thing that has stopped me from getting one of these is that I already have an adequate complement of GMTs / Worldtimers. Having said that, the GMT complication is the one I find most useful over a basic 3-hander, so maybe my mind will change. Reviews like this won’t help me maintain my withering willpower.
My name is 0uatiOW, but before you ask, no I don’t.

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Re: Christopher Ward C8 UTC Worldtimer review

Post by albionphoto » Mon Feb 10, 2020 10:24 pm

0uatiOW wrote:
Mon Feb 10, 2020 7:45 pm
Great review, top pictures. You write well, and the review tells a story, which adds depth, above and beyond the basics.

The C8 UTC has tempted me in the past, and when they appear in the sales, i have struggled to resist. I am particularly on the lookout for a black cased watch (though I have a preference for DLC over PVD) and the only thing that has stopped me from getting one of these is that I already have an adequate complement of GMTs / Worldtimers. Having said that, the GMT complication is the one I find most useful over a basic 3-hander, so maybe my mind will change. Reviews like this won’t help me maintain my withering willpower.
Thank you.
Mark
Bremont, Casio, Citizen, Christopher Ward, Omega, Orion, Oris and Seiko

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