One of the first dive watches I remember wanting was the original Christopher Ward Trident Pro 600. The wave dial and elegant handset made the watch stand out to me. It captured some of what I love about the Bond Omega Seamasters in an affordable package. Over the years Christopher Ward has made changes to the Trident line, culminating in 2019 with the Trident Mk 3.
The Trident Mk 3 aims to please all watch enthusiasts. Coming in multiple colors and 3 case sizes (38, 40, and 42mm) there is something for everyone to like about the Mk 3. Christopher Ward has redesigned the Trident Pro with the Mk 3, the new handset being the most obvious change. Does the Mk 3 still stand out among the crowded dive watch scene? Let’s find out.
Smaller without Sacrifice
The world needs more 38mm dive watches. Traditional dive watches are meant to be chunky, used as tools underwater, and easy to read in dark environments. The modern dive watch buyer most likely does not see anything deeper than a swimming pool. The terms desk diver (a dive watch worn in an office environment) and dress diver are common today.
The Christopher Ward Trident Pro 600 Mk 3 fills that space. The Trident Pro has always been offered in both 38mm and 42mm case sizes. Christopher Ward added a 40mm case size for the Mk 3 that is currently only available in black. The 38mm Mk 3 is a perfect fit on my 6.75” wrist. It is compact in an efficient way and does not sacrifice any features present in the larger case sizes.
The case itself on the Mk 3 has been redesigned from previous Trident Pro offerings. Christopher Ward added what they call light-catcher lines. Various brushed and polished surfaces, especially on the sides of the case, play with the light and live up to their name. The contrast between the brushed and polished surfaces gives the Mk 3 a dressier feeling while still feeling utilitarian.
The screwdown crown of the Mk 3 is stamped with Christopher Ward’s twin flag logo and is knurled to provide an easy grip for unwinding/winding.
At 12.7mm thick and 45mm lug-to-lug, the 38mm Mk 3’s proportions are spot-on. It will slide easily under the cuff of a long-sleeve shirt and still provide enough wrist presence, especially on the bracelet, when wearing a short-sleeve shirt. The lugs slope down gently, allowing the Mk 3 to hug your wrist perfectly. I have not tried the larger sizes, but the design between all 3 case sizes is the same so I would imagine the feeling is just as good at 40mm and 42mm.
Dial & Bezel
The largest change on the dial itself is the handset. In previous Trident Pros, the handset resembled a teardrop and matched well with the wave dial. Christopher Ward has moved to lacquered dials and designed a handset that better suits the non-textured dial. A long baton minute hand is easy to use with the dive bezel. The hour hand is a shorter triangle shape and contrasts with the minute hand so there is no question as to what hand you are reading. This is especially useful in low-light situations. A lollipop seconds hand with Christopher Ward’s calling card Trident counterbalance finishes the handset.
The applied markers are brushed and polished, adding a little flair to the dial. They reflect the light beautifully, especially in direct sunlight. Each marker is filled with Grade X1 GL C1 Super-LumiNova® as are the hands. A date window at 3 o’clock with a black date wheel goes well with the dark blue dial color.
At 12 o’clock, Christopher Ward’s twin flag logo is stamped into the dial. Christopher Ward is printed at the 9 o’clock position as is the case with all their new releases. I stated in my review of the C65 GMT that I feel this logo fits the style of their new releases very well and I echo that sentiment here. The sans serif font fits the clean lines and overall design of the Mk 3. Automatic and the 600m depth rating are printed at the 6 o’clock position.
The dial itself is a beautiful dark blue. The color reminds me of the ocean, which I’m sure was intentional. The bezel color matches the dial and brings another improvement in the Mk 3: all the numerals and markers on the bezel are fully lumed. The Mk 3 lights up beautifully in the dark to provide excellent readability. All of this sits under a slightly domed sapphire crystal with AR coating applied to the underside.
Turning the bezel on the Mk 3 is pure pleasure, causing it to become one of my favorite bezels on any watch. It turns easily with just enough tension to not feel too tight or loosey-goosey. Each click of the 120 click bezel feels satisfying and has no back play. The edge of the bezel is easy to grip, and I found myself timing random things just to have an excuse to use the bezel.
Not 1, but 2 Bracelet Innovations
When I reviewed the Christopher Ward C65 GMT I remarked that the bracelet was innovative and comfortable. The bracelet on the Mk 3 shares the same comfort and features. Christopher Ward’s quick-adjust mechanism is the best I have experienced. My wrist tends to shrink as the day progresses and this is when the bracelet’s quick-adjust mechanism shines for me.
At the beginning of the day when I put the watch on, I set the quick-adjust to its largest setting and then push the bracelet in towards the clasp until it fits properly. As my wrist shrinks, I simply push the bracelet in another notch. I can do all of this without ever taking the watch off. Christopher Ward most likely designed the bracelet to be taken off to be adjusted either way, but I did not need to in order to tighten it. They accomplished this without making the clasp bulky. At first glance, one would have no idea that the feature is present.
Christopher Ward didn’t stop at ease-of-use with the quick-adjust clasp. They added a quick-change mechanism to the bracelet as well. Similar to how a quick-change strap works, the bracelet has two small pins that can be squeezed together to remove the bracelet without any tools. The pins do not protrude far enough to touch your wrist while being worn but are still easy to grip with your fingernails. My only question with this new mechanism is what would happen if the spring bar fails or wears out. I assume the entire end link would need to be replaced, which should be a minimal cost but still more expensive than new spring bars.
The bracelet itself is comfortable and tapers from 20mm to 18mm at the clasp. I would like to see two changes made to the bracelet that would bring the entire watch up a level. The bracelet’s link adjustment system uses pins and collars. More manufacturers are using screw bars in their bracelets and this feature is present on more affordable watches. I’d like to see Christopher Ward bring this to their bracelets to match the rest of the innovation featured. I would also like the see the level of finishing of the light-catcher case brought to the bracelet. This continuity would go elevate the overall aesthetic of the Mk 3.
Beating at the heart of the Trident Mk 3 is a Sellita SW-200 automatic movement. I’ve owned multiple watches with the SW-200, including my Oris Aquis and have no problems with Christopher Ward’s movement selection. Modern Sellita movements are reliable, accurate, and wind nicely. My only complaint about the SW-200 is the 38 hour power reserve but that is no fault of Christopher Ward.
Christopher Ward also states that the rotor is decorated and engraved with the twin flag logo. While there is no exhibition case back to view this decoration, it is indicative of the level of detail they put into the Mk 3. The movement will sit under a decorated screw-in caseback featuring a large trident.
The Mk 3 wears extremely well and is comfortable to wear all day. It makes the Mk 3 a great companion at the beach, pool, while mowing the lawn, and working at the office. If you like the looks of the Mk 3 and are a frequent traveler, you can opt for one of the GMT variations which are slightly more expensive.
Christopher Ward brought a multitude of improvements and innovations to the Trident Pro line with the Mk 3. In addition to the new 40mm size, new features like the quick-release bracelet, quick-adjust clasp, and new case make the Mk 3 a winner.
Perhaps what is even more impressive is that Christopher Ward did not raise the price of the Trident Pro Mk 3. One of these can be had on the bracelet for under $1,000. Given the feature set, specs, finishing, and execution of the Mk 3, I would say this is one of the best buys in dive watches today.
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Christopher Ward Trident Mk 3 Specs