I’ll cut straight to the chase since you already know about Christopher Ward. The brand has been featured on Watch Clicker multiple times. There is a trend forming: the British brand seems to always be able to hit the nail on the head, and each new release is better than the previous one. The popular C60 line—Christopher Ward’s core collection of divers—is regularly being updated with new models. One of the recent releases(which came out in 2021) is Bronze Ombré Green COSC LE. A Limited Edition chronometer-certified C60 with a bronze case and a green dial that shows some serious gradient at the edges.
On The Wrist
All C60 divers command a certain amount of presence on the wrist, which is a good thing for a diver. Let’s face it: feeling the heaviness of a watch on the wrist has a certain appeal, especially for tool watches. This extra presence does account for a key feature: 600 meters of water resistance. Not bad given the fact that the watch only measures 13.4mm in thickness. Since we are on the subject of dimensions: the case measures 42mm in diameter, 49.3mm lug-to-lug, and the lug width is 22mm. Overall the dimensions are good for such a capable watch.
The wrist experience is good for another reason: the case design. Christopher Ward has come up with a way to make the case sit flat on the wrist which is rather unusual. (I have come across many divers that have similar dimensions but that look and feel bigger on the wrist.) Looking at it from the side, we can see how the lugs are short and curve down to wrap around the wrist. The midsection of the case thins out as it extends towards the lugs. The bezel plays an important role in making the C60 look good on the wrist as it is neither too thin nor too wide.
I am generally hesitant to wear a diver larger than 40mm, but Christopher Ward’s 42mm cases wear more like 40mm. The only element that makes the watch perhaps too noticeable is its weight. I immediately noticed how the watch felt heavier on the wrist as bronze is 10% denser than steel. A few weeks ago I was able to borrow their C60 Lympstone which has similar dimensions but is made of steel and let me tell you the extra 10% of density matters. The Lympstone felt lighter on the wrist.
Christopher Ward C60 Bronze Ombré Green COSC LE Specs
Super-LumiNova X1 BL C1
Sellita SW200 COSC
The dial is one of the two stars of the show. A lot is going on—in a good way—that makes the dial look vibrant and captivating. The bronze-like accents on the hands and applied markers are akin to shining stars in the dark sky. They are finished with a high polish that looks like a mirror finish and that reflects even the dimmest of light. All of these elements contrast with the ombré green dial and its aggressive pattern of random cuts and slashes. Christopher Ward indicates on its website that no two dials are the same thanks to the method they use to create the dial’s texture.
The classic Christopher Ward dial layout is at play here in all its beauty: the broad arrow hour hand, baton-style minute hand, and a seconds hand that is equipped with a lollipop and a trident-shape counterbalance. The markers batons and the one at 12 o’clock has been doubled for enhanced legibility. There is a discreet but functional date window at 6 o’clock, and in Christopher Ward fashion (and to my greatest joy,) the date wheel is color-matched with the dial. (It’s black and therefore matches the outer, darker outer edges of the dial.)
Another appealing aspect of this dial is the limited text: the brand name at the 12 o’clock and the words Chronometer and 600m=2000ft below the pinion. The dial is legible and clean, despite having a dramatic texture and gilt accents all around. Christopher Ward does a great job making beautiful dials that are easy to read, and functional. Lastly, the lume is also well done, as it usually is the case with Christopher Ward. They use X1 SuperLuminova which glows green—and trust me it glows brightly.
Case, Bracelet, and Movement
The second star of the show is the case. Except for the caseback that is made of stainless steel, the case and bezel are made of bronze. Bronze patinas beautifully and in unpredictable ways—just like the unique pattern you get on the dial. The example we are looking at here must have been handled by many reviewers before making its way to us. The way bronze patinas varies based on the climate it is exposed to, whether it exposed to water, and how long is the watch being worn and exposed to the elements.
The patina on this particular model is dramatic and reminds me of an old bronze scuba helmet described in Jules Verne’s Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea. It’s dark and almost black in certain sections of the dial, especially on the underside of the case, while it is brighter and shinier on the top. More than the case, it is the bezel that makes me think of Jules Verne’s story, as there is something about the combination of the raised graduation and the sheen of the bronze that makes me feel I’m wearing an antique scuba helmet on my wrist.
I would be remiss if I wouldn’t be gushing over the COSC Sellita SW200. Christopher Ward is the only brand that I have experienced that offers COSC movements for under $1,500—however it is not the only brand that does that. Although having a chronometer movement is not a priority of mine on my “must-have-specs” list, I do find the experience of winding this type of movement to be particularly satisfying (it’s very smooth!) and I do appreciate having a precise timepiece.
The Bronze Ombré is only offered on a strap and one can choose from several options on Christopher Ward’s website: black hybrid rubber, white canvas, distressed brown leather, black canvas with white stitching, and the green canvas we have here. The strap is good but constitutes the only quibble I have with this model: it’s too thick and stiff for my tastes, two characteristics that make wearing the watch somewhat uncomfortable after a few hours. Putting the C60 on a Marine National, perlon, or NATO strap would make for a better wearing experience.
Bronze watches may not be for everyone, and neither are 42mm dive watches. I prefer smaller divers and those that come with a bracelet. What Christopher Ward offers here is unique: a wearable bronze COSC diver that is packed with personality. The British brand manufactures high-quality timepieces and this one is no exception. And all of their timepieces are very competitive from a price/specs/quality ratio compared to other independent brands. Christopher Ward has a lot to offer, and if you don’t fancy a bronze watch, the brand offers stainless steel divers with smaller cases.
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