One month with the Christopher Ward C65 Trident GMT (black)
As a self-confessed watch obsessive any new purchase is fraught with indecision and over-ambition in terms of what is expected from a new timepiece.
The smallest of faults can cause a watch to be flipped and it is amazing how such minor failings quickly manifest into big problems in my mind. It comes from always looking for a ‘better’ watch and always believing that perfection is out there somewhere. Neither ambition is achievable, however, and so you eventually learn to temper your desires and look at the bigger picture.
You learn to look at the watch as a whole and to accept a 90% positive form which is built well enough to live on your wrist as you live your life.
I write all of the above and it makes perfect sense, but it is all b*llocks if I am honest. Obsessive watch people can rarely tell you why they like a particular watch, they just do. Thousands of watches can look great in the marketing snaps and on YouTube, but if you had weeks free to put them all on your wrist you would likely only warm to twenty at most.
To understand if a watch fits you it has to be worn and you need to live with it every day. Alas, this is usually only done following a purchase and regret is one of the most common emotions in the watch world. I have been there many times and it tends to follow the same pattern; the honeymoon period for a few days, some doubts a week later and then the decision that it is not quite right, at which point it find its way to the watch graveyard that is eBay.
The Trident GMT did not follow this pattern. It was bought for my son and the wrong watch was sent by Christopher Ward. We ordered the black version, but the Pepsi arrived. After an email chat with Mike France, the CEO and Co-founder of Christopher Ward, the black version was dispatched the next day while I was still in possession of the Pepsi variant. This followed a discussion with the customer service team which wasn’t to my satisfaction, hence why Mike became involved. I should say that the service was positive throughout, but the delay would have been too lengthy to get the watch for when needed and flexibility appeared to be lacking.
Anyway, the black version arrived and my son decided that he did not like it after all. To him it just didn’t feel right and so I was looking at returning both watches. The Pepsi left me cold when I saw it and tried it on, but the black version intrigued me initially. I was surprised by how differently I felt about what is effectively the same watch with different colour schemes.
I wrote about the Trident GMT previously here and here and so I do not need to go into detail in this article, but it is safe to say that after one month I am even more positive about it today than when I first tried it.
A watch I never wanted and which did not shout at me from the marketing shots or the web has become the watch I have enjoyed more than any other after a month of wear. I sold my Oris Diver’s Sixty Five before this one arrived because after a year it just felt a bit too dull for me. I like understated watches, but they have to have something slightly different about them and that orange GMT hand was enough. It makes the watch a little bit different, it adds personality and, strangely, is one of the main reasons I like it so much. Alongside the superb bracelet (so easy to adjust on the fly), the excellent time keeping (mine is one second fast a day) and the fact it just looks so damn good it has proved to have no significant weaknesses. The date window is tiny, but this is a minor blip in a watch that stands out in every other way.
I would rate this watch as approximately £400 higher than the Oris when the finishing, the functionality and the movement are considered. Remarkably, however, the Oris is more than £600 more expensive retail. The Christopher Ward is crazy value for money in the sub £2,000 sector and I still marvel at what it offers for the price.
So, that’s it. The Trident GMT has proved to be a real surprise and it does feel as though I will be wearing it long term. It was a belated 50th birthday present and so my wife engraved it on the clasp with a simple ’50’. That felt right for this watch, understated, and especially because there really is no space on the case back for personalisation.
I have said it before a few times, but something tells me that this one could be the keeper of all keepers for me and I really do hope that it stays with me for many years to come. One thing I know is that I will never sell it, and if I find a watch that I like enough to wear more than the Trident it will need to be very special indeed.
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