I knew how Dan Quayle felt years before he ever heard of Lloyd Bentsen.
I hated ‘em.
They hated me.
Bitches, every one.
Soooo… What does this have to do with watches, Mort…? Well…uh, nothing, really. I was just talking about my favorite color, green, you see. I love the color green. And I – uh…
Mort, we’ve already established that, so it’s time to talk watches here.
Okay, so I was going through my messages not too long ago and, as luck would have it, there’s an email from the good folks at Christopher Ward, telling me that my opportunity to pre-order a number of my favorite styles is running out.
Shit, I thought. I gotta get on that site and pre-order something! (Okay, it was a bit more complicated than that, but the end-result was the same…)
So I go over to the Christopher Ward USA website, have a nice look around, and – BAM! – there it is. A new color for the 2014 TRIDENT Diver Collection. And can you guess the color?
YES! Damned thing is greener than a copse of Italian cypresses! Greener that that silly mountain Julie Andrews was spinning around on during the opening credits of The Sound of Mucus! Greener than my nephew’s first booger! Greener than –
Well, you get the idea. It’s green.
Brand: Christopher Ward
Model Name: C-60 Trident Pro (Green)
Model Number: C60-TRI-SBRG-K
Case Width: 42mm
Case Height: 12.6mm
Case Material: Marine-grade 316L stainless steel
Bezel: Uni-directional aluminium, countdown
Crystal: 4mm anti-reflective sapphire
Dial: Oil-pressed wave design, date window at 4 o’clock position
Case Back: "Trident" design engraved solid steel
Water Resistance: 30 ATM (300 meters)
Movement: Sellita self-winding automatic high-beat
Vibrations: 28,800 per hour
Power Reserve: 38 hours
Lume: SuperLuminova indexes, hands and bezel pip
Strap: Italian leather
Strap Length: 200mm
Strap Width: 20mm
Clasp: Dual-deployant, dual push-button, signed
Misc: Individually engraved serial number; presentation case, maker-signed thank-you letter and owner's manual
The gang at Christopher Ward like to point out that there’s a bit of British Racing Green in the overall shading of this watch, but it must be a really small bit of BRG, because I just don’t see it, at least not in the oil-pressed ‘wave’ texturing of the dial. I do tend to see a good bit of BRG in the bezel, which is basically the same color as the dial, but without the texture, which makes it appear demonstrably different. Like anything else, it all depends on how the light hits the color(s). Take a look at this next shot:
The case is angled back quite a bit, so the waves are catching more of the light than the smooth surface of the bezel. I find it fascinating that the Chr. Ward signature beneath the 12 o’clock position nearly disappears in so large an amount of light.
Angle the case forward a few degrees, and the light content changes the color enough that the signature is quite a bit easier to read. The bezel and the dial are starting to look a bit more like the same color.
Bring it forward to the point where the case is as straight up-and-down as a human can make it, and you see the amazing color burst through the dial and onto the bezel. This is my favorite shot of all the many pictures I’ve taken of this beautiful watch because it captures the true beauty of this amazing color created by the CW design team.
Take away the direct light, and then you can easily see the British Racing Green. I can almost see those beautiful old British Racing Motors (BRM) cars from the 1950’s and 60’s. (And, yes, 1966’s Grand Prix was my all-time favorite childhood movie, a film I’d have never seen were it not for the fact that my mom had the hots for Jim Garner…)
Yes, I know I’ve gone on long enough about the CW Trident green color, BRM racers and Grand Prix, but that’s the danger of Olde Morte writing about his favorite color…trust me; I know.
In the end, this is simply a beautiful watch, irrespective of color – by way of information, Chr. Ward also makes the Trident in blue, red, black and black with orange bezel, for those who like the Omega look. The textured dial is remarkable, and the balance between the white dial lettering and the silver numbers on the bezel is spot-on perfect. What little you see of the case at first glance (and second, third and so on, ad infinitum) comes courtesy of the CW designers, who obviously wanted you to be impressed with the color first, and then the overall design. And kudos to the team for using a glare-free sapphire crystal; in the case of this watch – as it has in so many other watches – it significantly contributes to maintaining a superb bezel/dial color balance.
I’ve talked to a number of collectors who routinely express disappointment over non-exhibition case-backs. I have to admit to feeling the same way at times, but in the case of this Chris Ward Trident, the custom engraving/etching on the solid steel case-back more than makes up for not being able to see the rotor do its thing. Besides, the Latin phrase DEUS MARIS and the word ALTUM, both of which appear on the case-back, translate to “God of the Sea” and “Deep,” reminding us that this watch was built to go underwater, be it for pleasure or profession, and not win beauty contests amongst the landlubbers…or something along those lines. (Sorry…26 years in the USN will do that to you.)
But what about the lume? you ask. Impatient bastards, aren’t you? Okay, go ahead and have a look:
The above photo was taken after about a minute in direct sunlight, and it stayed strong for a good five minutes or so, after which it began to fade rather quickly. Still, it passed the Mortuus’ Quick Glance in a Closed Crypt at Forest Lawn Glendale’s Grand Mausoleum Test, though the lumed figures were only barely legible after 45 minutes. (Thank God it was a family crypt, and I knew most of them from way back…)
Christopher Ward uses either the ETA 2824-2 or the Sellita SW-200-1 movement for this particular model. I’ve never bothered to ask them exactly how they come to decide which watches have the ETA and which have the Sellita. In the end, I don’t think it matters, as both movements are equally superb and virtually the same. This particular watch turned out to have the Sellita, as did my first CW Malvern II. My second MII was equipped with the ETA, and so on.
My Trident Green keeps pretty doggoned good time, losing one to two seconds per day, which ain’t too bad at all. Interestingly – at least to this old flying squid – it keeps exceptionally good time while in a winder, which, for some reason, very few of my automatics are capable of doing. My lone Rolex, a vintage Air King, keeps virtually perfect time, whether in a winder, on my wrist, or on Daffodil’s tail (don’t ask), and while it’s nowhere near perfection, this Trident does a pretty commendable job.
The watch is solidly built of everyone’s favorite, 316L surgical grade steel, and the fit and finish are overall very good, though there are a couple of relatively minor problems with the bezel and crown operation I need to mention. The 120-click bezel operates smoothly and is easy to set, but there is a bit of wobble (or ‘play’) in each groove, though not enough to advance the ratchet through normal arm or wrist movement.
The crown is easy enough to unscrew and re-tighten, and getting into the first and second positions present no problem. Where I have trouble is when I first loosen the crown or tighten it to its final position, the gnurled sides of the crown grind against the inside of the crown protector. This has not been something I’ve ever encountered before, so it was a bit startling at first. My guess is that it’s a break-in issue that will eventually work its way out – or, put a little bit less delicately, it should resolve itself when enough metal has been ground away on the crown or the crown-guard, or perhaps both.
Again, I want to stress that these are both relatively minor problems, and neither, singly nor collectively, should be a show-stopper for those who want to make the investment in a CW Trident. However, I take my review writing seriously enough that I couldn’t leave them unmentioned. (Yep, that’s right; I’m a dead guy with scruples…!)
The dual-deployant* – AKA ‘butterfly’ – clasp is of high quality, works perfectly, and is easily capable of accepting a different strap, so long as it’s not wider than 20mm where it meets the lugs. It’s also nicely signed on the bottom of the clasp, making it easily readable when you turn your wrist upward to have a look. (Which we all do, so get that smug smirk off your face. Yeah, you! Danged pogue.)
*Note to CW: Please, please cease and desist from calling it a “deployment” clasp; it’s deployant.
The leather strap is of acceptable quality, though why manufacturers feel the need to do the ‘fake croco’ thing is beyond me. Why not just leave the leather smooth and unmarked? I guess I’m just one of those semi-snobs who doesn’t care for faux animal straps, no matter how well they might be done. Nonetheless, the Trident strap is both supple and comfortable, so it’ll do for the time being, until I can get an even more comfortable – and genuine – dead animal skin of some sort. Or perhaps a semi-comfortable mesh. Or maybe even one of Conjurer’s old Tweest-O-Flex ™ straplettes…or not.
It’s no secret among my watch collector buddies that I’m a fan of the Christopher Ward brand. Their offerings exude a class and robustness that remind me of a time when virtually all watches were made with quality and superior designs; if a watch company didn’t do this, it was pretty quickly out of business and largely unlamented. I don’t see that happening to CW, unless all of their models start showing multiple minor problems, like the bezel and crown issues noted above for this model; if so, and if left unaddressed, it could very well experience a slow death from a thousand minor cuts, much like what I believe we’re seeing with the Renato company.
Of course, I don’t see this in CW’s future, either. They’ve got an excellent team, starting at the top, and their dedication to superior watchmaking is evident from the moment you open that shipping box and find the thank-you note personally signed by Christopher Ward himself. This Trident absolutely bespeaks that dedication to fine watchmaking, from the beautiful hue of the bezel and dial to the fine technical details that make the brand as a whole vastly superior to just about every brand in its class and price range. Its appearance and comfort earn top marks, as do its operation and quality of build. I’d definitely buy another C-60 Trident or, for that matter, any other Chr. Ward model that strikes my fancy.
As always, fellow Lords, many thanks for taking the time to read and comment on the Dead Guy’s musings and photographic artistry…such as they are.