Christopher Ward is a British watch company that specialises in online sales. More than a microbrand, the company is increasingly mentioned in the same breath as the big Swiss brands.
About the Brand – Christopher Ward
Back in 2004, three Brits – Christopher Ward, Mike France and Peter Ellis – had a great idea: to bring Swiss watch quality to consumers at a lower cost by cutting out the middlemen and selling direct to customers over the internet. That sentence has become a stock-in-trade for every internet watch brand since, but this where the idea originated, and they continue to sell only through online channels to this day.
British Designed, Swiss Built
Although Christopher Ward is a British company, their watches are made in Switzerland. They predominantly use ETA movements (or their Sellita equivalents) but since merging with Synergies Horlogères SA in 2014 they have gradually introduced a number of watches with their own in-house calibre SH21.
Are Christopher Ward Watches Any Good?
The most common criticisms of Christopher Ward’s watches are that the company’s designs can be divisive: they started out making some slightly gaudy quartz dive watches; many are put off by the fact the brand’s logo has changed almost annually; and the logo’s new position at “9 O’clock” is not universally popular.
What few of the brand’s detractors can take issue with is the quality of the products. Their watches use tried and tested Swiss movements, their cases are made in the same place as Oris and TAG Heuer and their watches genuinely feel like products that cost three or four times their asking price. Here at WRUK we are big fans of the brand’s latest designs – especially the new Trident range.
Christopher Ward’s Loupe magazine is sent out to its customers every few months and, despite being essentially a marketing pamphlet, is a really good read. We highly recommend signing up to the company’s mailing list to get a copy – which usually arrives along with a second envelope containing discount vouchers for up to £150.
Buy a Christopher Ward Watch
As well as Christopher Ward’s own website, there is a thriving second-hand trade on eBay. Our buying advice for a used Christopher Ward is to pay no more than half retail value for anything but the latest models, as the company has regular voucher events and an annual half-price stock clearance sale in January.