Standing at Attention with Christopher Ward’s Military Collection

As the old army adage, 7P states: Prior Planning and Preparation Prevents a Piss Poor Performance

When it comes to vintage watches, I have reserved a very special place in my heart for the military watches of old. If all vintage watches come with stories, you can imagine that the vintage military watches more than up the ante with tales unlike any other. On top of that, isn’t it fantastic to imagine what kind of hard knocks these watches must have taken during their lifespan? And thus, understandable why there are not many of them left with all original parts. Combine this with the fact that most vintage military watches aren’t able to keep precise time (compared to the modern movements), often have issues with waterproofing and are next to impossible to service, and you can see why I have yet to pick one up.

For those who have the same itch and want to have it scratched, Christopher Ward has just launched their new Military Collection. It offers a vintage-inspired design but with all the conveniences of a modern watch. The case is crafted from Marine-grade stainless steel, is waterproof to 15ATM or 150m and the movement is a COSC-certified Chronometer Sellita SW200-1 which means it is accurate to at least -4/+6 seconds daily (although, I could also do without the official certification if it means a lower price tag).

Legend has it, the birth of the Christopher Ward brand started with three men on a boat gently sailing along the River Thames, in England. Appropriately, the three watches in the Military Watch collection was inspired by army watches commissioned for the UK Armed Forces in the 50s and 60s. And far from just being an aesthetic reproduction, these watches are also officially licensed by the UK’s Ministry of Defence and can officially bear the insignia of the Royal Navy, British Army and Royal Air Force. The only thing missing is the Broad Arrow insignia, but because that is used to mark British government property.

C65 Sandhurst Series 1

This is quite possibly my favourite piece of the collection and mainly because it is sized a bit smaller at 38mm in diameter and it doesn’t have a date indicator, true to many of the vintage military watches. The watch takes its name from the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst in Berkshire and takes some of its influence from the Smiths W10, a 35mm watch issued to the British Army in 1967.


C65 Cranwell Series 1

The C65 Cranwell shares elements with two famous ‘6B/346’ watches, initially created by Jaeger-LeCoultre and IWC for the RAF. And as it is a pilot’s watch, it is sized at 41mm and bears the Royal Air Force’s Heraldic badge on its caseback.


C65 Dartmouth Series 1

This watch takes its design cues from the Omega Seamaster 300 ‘Big Triangle’ commissioned during the 1960s by the MOD to comply with their 0552 diver’s watch specification. Following its naval theme, the watch comes in a brilliant dark blue colour scheme with contrasting white indices on both the dial and bezel making it extremely legible.

Case: Marine-grade stainless steel
Case size: 38mm or 41mm
Movement: COSC-certified Chronometer SW200-1
Water Resistance: 150m
Price: USD900 – USD1,025

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