The Magazine of Christopher Ward. Issue 13. Summer 2019
REIMAGINED FOR THE SEAS
ENGINEERED FOR THE DEEP
The number of time
The Magazine of Christopher Ward.
Quite often, the third time’s a charm. Goldfinger is the third 007 film and, you could argue, the one that really cemented the successful ongoing formula, complete with eccentric super villains, oddball henchmen, weaponised supercars and female leads whose parents really should have thought twice when picking names. Baby Bear’s porridge and bed are the third ones Goldilocks tries, and unlike the others – which are too hot, too cold, too hard or too soft – is “just right”. And Emma Peel, John Steed’s third partner on TV’s The Avengers, is the undisputed queen of super-spies, so far and away best of breed it’s embarrassing. This issue we celebrate Christopher Ward’s third generation Trident. Not that there was much wrong with its predecessors – the Tridents being the most successful watches in CW history, after all – but from my first look at the Mk 3 it seemed clear that the ‘third time lucky’ rule had struck again. See what you think on page 10.
Apparently, the Pythagoreans – who, let’s face it, knew a thing or two about numbers – reckoned that three was the first true number, so even if they’d spurned the first two evocations of the C60 Trident (surely not?), it seems likely they’d be queuing around the block for Trident 3. After all, they knew more than most that good things come in threes. Yes, it’s happening; two years after deciding that 2019 – a date divisible by three, by the way – was to be the year we introduced the third generation of Tridents, here we are, holding our breath, as the most important series of watches in Christopher Ward’s history is released into the wild. Trident 3 demonstrates, in the humble opinion of we three co-founders, the very best work we’ve done since founding the business 15 years ago, and we’re proud of the team’s work right across the board. Tridents 1 and 2 were huge hits too, of course, so rather than hoping it’s a case of third time lucky, let’s just say we’d love it to be third time luckiest!
Chris, Mike and Peter
Editor: Matt Bielby Art Director: Jamie Gallagher Designer: Sam Burn Photography: Peter Canning, Benjamin Simon Lohezic Cover: C60 Trident Elite 1000 1 Park St, Maidenhead, Berkshire SL6 1SL christopherward.co.uk
Contents Features 10 – 20
34 – 39
Men without a face An insider’s tour of Armin Strom, skeleton-watch specialists and essential contributors to the high end CW Apex line
The most important collection in Christopher Ward history gets a top-to-bottom revamp. Yes, it’s the long-awaited C60 Trident 3
22 – 27
Fields of dreams
40 – 43
The List Two’s company and three’s a crowd – but sometimes it’s in the very best of ways
Every summer – and, increasingly, for most of the rest of the year too – something cool is happening down on the farm…
32 – 33
Deep star 10 — 20
Packaging unwrapped Inside Christopher Ward’s highly innovative new eco-packaging, and a call to the industry to up its game
Dirty weekends 22 — 27
Regulars 06 – 09
45 – 50
Insight What we do, and how we do it. Inside the new series of on the road Get-Togethers, and the joys of a non-working Apple Watch
You’ve never seen a moonphase watch like the new C1 Moonglow
28 – 31
48 The new C60 Trident 3 gets a couple of field tests – one on the water and one under it
Inside story 34 — 39
News, reports & innovations. This issue: Amazing BRM clocks, and the new Trident gets an Apex version
Do the bright thing The moon has long lit up our midnight wanders home, but now – 50 years after the first famous moon landings – it has a rival for brightness, in the sleek, gorgeous form of the C1 Moonglow
Moonphase windows are one of the least day-to-day useful of the classic watch complications – at least for the non-werewolves amongst us – but few are as handsome, or as romantic. No wonder perfecting this surprisingly complex addition to mechanical timepieces has obsessed watchmakers for generations. Rather like the moon itself. “I remember, as a spellbound schoolboy, watching Neil Armstrong step onto the moon’s surface on 20 July, 1969,” says CW co-founder Mike France. “The C1 Grand Malvern Moonglow will launch exactly 50 years from that date, and – while even I wouldn’t claim this is quite the same achievement – it’s arguably one of the most distinctive moonphase watches ever created. The Moonglow is powered by our very own Calibre JJ04 module on an ETA 2836 movement – which, uniquely
and accurately, tracks the phases of the moon for 128 years without adjustment – and shines like you wouldn’t believe.” Indeed, just check out that lume: this is one of the brightest watches Christopher Ward has ever made, featuring a luminous dial ring indicating the date, and a large glow-in-the-dark 3D Lumicast printed moon revealed not in the normal moonphase window, but through a large aperture in an otherwise smoked, semi-transparent dial. Overall, it’s subtle and modern in a way that most moonphase watches aren’t. “Who knows?” Mike says. “Had the C1 Moonglow been around in 1969, maybe NASA would have gone for it over the Omega Speedmaster!” The C1 Moonglow is due for release on 20 July, price TBA
Drawing board The Trident 3s have just been revealed, but already there’s an exciting premium iteration of the style to look forward to, in the form of the upcoming C60 Apex. Head of product design Adrian Buchmann drops some hints… The C60 Apex follows the same basic design principles as the recent and successful C7 Apex, but with slightly more rugged C60 Trident flair. The very special Apex series of watches is designed to celebrate five years of Christopher Ward’s proprietary movement, Calibre SH21, so it naturally serves double duty here, both powering the watch and dominating the way it looks. Highly visible through both the face and the display back, there’s never been such a highly detailed version. Limited to 100 pieces, the C60 Apex runs the automatic version of SH21, housed in a 42mm stainless steel case. The ceramic bezel, dial ring and many other important
elements are in a shiny navy blue, which contrasts strongly with the orange anodised bridge and rotor, not to mention small patches of bright orange on everything from the hands to the lume on the bezel. At the rear, the movement’s blue coated, black PVD and brushed metal elements are revealed by a new rotor design, which exposes more of the workings than before. As with the other Apex models, skeleton watch specialists and CW production partners Armin Strom have contributed their expertise to the design and manufacture of specific parts. For more on this remarkable company, turn to page 34… 7
I write the songs Alex Hedley, Christopher Ward’s first musical Challenger, is currently in the studio, recording what will eventually become his debut album Right now, Alex Hedley is slaving over perhaps a couple of dozen of his songs, working eight days a month at a studio in Wood Green, North London, to record as many of them as he can. “The aim is to have around 10 totally finished,” he says, “so I can create the accompanying videos, then start releasing them as digital download singles – and perhaps as limited runs of physical copies too, maybe even on vinyl. Then they’ll come out every few months through Cyber Nomad Records, and in the long run will end up on my debut album.”
Alex has starting by perfecting the piano and guitar parts, with keyboards, bass, drums and percussion to be added in later. “I’m aiming to do it all myself, but if I feel my ability on a particular instrument is lacking, I’ll have to get someone else in,” he explains. “Right now, I’m loving having free reign over all the amazing equipment at the studio, and getting to turn my ideas into something real. I’m struggling a little with London life, however – I’m from Dorset, after all!” Alex first rocked up at Wood Green with roughly recorded ideas for over a hundred songs, so one of the difficult things has been picking which ones to concentrate on. “I’ll probably get quite far with about 20 of them,” he says, “then I’ll have to boil those down to ten of the very best. Most 8
aren’t really at a stage where I could say what they’re about, exactly, as I usually write the music first with a vocal melody over the top. It’s only when the instrumentals start becoming more defined that I really start to work out what the song sounds like, and that defines what the lyrics should be about. I’m probably still a month off writing any of those.” Sounds like you’ll have plenty of time to get them just-so, then! “Oh, I always need a long time to think about the emotion the sound holds before I can start to write any words down…” For more, www.alex-hedley.com, or facebook/alexhedleymusic; Instagram @alexhedleymusic
Introducing a series of unique and highly collectable Christopher Ward desk clocks, made with V16 engine parts from a classic BRM racing car and powered by SH21 The National Motor Museum at Beaulieu in Hampshire has specially commissioned a run of just 14 Christopher Ward desk clocks. Each is made from a piston rod salvaged by TMB ArtMetal from a 1950 BRM Formula One car, and is powered by CW’s manual-wound in-house Calibre SH21, with its five-day power reserve. Once driven by Juan Manuel Fangio and Reg Parnell, these post-war BRMs had extremely powerful and well-engineered – but intimidatingly complex – supercharged V16 engines, basically two tiny 750cc V8s placed back-to-back.
“The dial design faithfully replicates the BRM’s oil pressure gauge,” says Adrian Buchmann, CW’s head of product design, “while each piston is set on a brass and polished hardwood base and fitted to its connecting rod by a specially-made brass gudgeon pin. As each connecting rod is numbered from its original manufacture, it creates a unique keepsake.” The clocks are available from the National Motor Museum, and cost £6,000 each. Currently around half of them are reserved, so be quick! For more, www.beaulieu.co.uk/ attractions/national-motor-museum
C60 Trident 3
Highlights from the reinvention of an icon The first C60 Trident quickly became Christopher Ward’s bestselling watch; the second version improved case design and quality dramatically; and now, for the eagerly-awaited Trident 3, hawk-like attention has been paid to every detail. Trident has never been as gorgeous, or as beautifully made, before…
If there’s one model that defines the Christopher Ward proposition, it’s the C60 Trident, a classic diver’s watch with rugged good looks that seems at home anywhere, on holiday or at work, with jeans or a suit. Just lately, however, Christopher Ward has been changing, with range after range reinvented using the company’s new, sleeker, more sophisticated ‘light-catcher’ cases. It’s left Trident as, in many ways, the last bastion of the old Christopher Ward. Until now, that is. What you see here is the most important new model the company has ever created, the long-awaited C60 Trident Mk 3. It boasts a new case, new bracelets and straps, and refined design details beyond any Trident before it. And, as a statement of intent, it will only launch in automatic mechanical form – yes, there may be a quartz model in the future, but don’t hold your breath. “Creating a new Trident impacts on every area of the company and every supplier we use,” says CW co-founder Mike France, “so it’s been thrilling to see the collaboration that’s gone into Trident 3, and
we’ve been able to make improvements across the board.” To celebrate this co-operation, we’ve spoken to the creative brains at Christopher Ward for an oral history of Trident 3…
Creating the first Tridents
Mike France (co-founder): Our first diver’s watch wasn’t a Trident at all, but the Kingfisher. It still has its fans, but – in retrospect – lacked the design cues that are most potent in this market. Did it sell well? It did okay. Eventually, though, we began to notice the ubiquitousness of diver’s watches influenced by the Rolex Submariner. Well, okay, we thought – if everyone else is doing it, why swim against the tide? We needed a Submariner-influenced watch of our own. Chris Ward (co-founder): It was the right thing to do, but we took some stick when we launched Trident 1. The real problem, I think, was that we acknowledged the Submariner influence – not realising that
1. New case A new incarnation of CW’s ‘light-catcher’ case, but in rugged, sporty Trident form 2. New performance All versions are water resistant to 600M, and one can dive much deeper than that… 3. New sizes All Tridents 3s come in a new, sleek 42mm case, but the Pro 600 and GMT 600 also come in a 38mm version, and there’s a 40mm Pro 600 too 4. New attention to detail Top to bottom, front to back, everything is more beautifully made and designed 5. New hands Including a striking triangular hour hand 6. New faces and bezels There’s new thinking everywhere, from lume on the cermaic bezels to polished gloss faces and highly detailed indexes 7. New lume Better and brighter than ever before, and there’s more of it – even on the bezel 8. New backplate With a newly redesigned Trident logo 9. New straps and bracelets New quick-release bracelet design and Cordura/rubber hybrid straps 10. Same attitude From the Pro 600 to the incredible new Elite 1000, Trident is just as tough, rugged and do-anything as before
most companies keep deathly quiet about it! [laughs] But, being straightforward about these things, we came clean – and got hammered for it!
Chris: And sales stepped up again – by 2016 it accounted for 50% of our business.
Peter Ellis (co-founder): Not that we minded too much, as the first Trident immediately became our bestselling watch. Partly that was because of the way it looked, but it was also because it demonstrated a step up in quality, too. We had our new – at the time! – partnership with Synergies Horlogères to thank for that. For the first time we had a supply partner capable of creating a great dive watch.
The road to a Trident Mk 3
Chris: We launched with quartz, Pro Automatic and GMT versions, and soon added a chronometer. The original Trident quickly became synonymous with CW.
Adrian Buchmann (head of product design): Put the first and second generation Tridents side by side, and the thing you notice is the improvement in case quality. This time around, though, we wanted to really delve into the details – including things you won’t really see, but will feel.
Creating the Trident Mk 2
Peter: Soon after the launch of the first Trident, we started working with our current case supplier, which meant the Mk 2 version, launched in February 2015, could offer a real increase in quality. It looked very similar to the original Trident, but had a ceramic bezel on the Pro and GMT models for the first time. And we improved the lume too – although, in hindsight, perhaps not enough! Mike: Though the hands and dials remained the same as with the Mk 1 – remember, this was in the days before [head of product design] Adrian Buchmann joined us, so the design was done by me and Fraser Palfreyman, our graphic designer – the engineering was vastly improved. The Mk 2 was really just a far, far better version of the Mk 1.
Peter: By 2017, as we approached Trident’s 10th anniversary, the question became, ‘How should we celebrate this?’ Well, with a Trident Mk 3, of course – but only if we could improve on what we already had. We knew we’d have to go further than ever before, upgrading the engineering again, but this time putting just as much effort into the aesthetics and detailing too.
Mike: Think of the sensation when you close the door on a luxury car, the noise it makes as it thunks shut. It helps give the impression of quality. This is the way we’ve approached Trident 3. Pick it up and you’ll notice the additional tooling to the hands and face, and the polished dial offering more contrast against the hands. Helen McCall (head of marketing): Trident carries plenty of weight, and will inevitably be the focus of a lot of scrutiny, so we had to get it right. This is not some brand new design we’ve conjured out of nowhere, and it clearly references previous Tridents – but, at the same time, it moves the design on considerably. In fact, it might be more radical than people were expecting. There were moments where we found ourselves asking each other, ‘Shall we go for it, or hold back?’, and most of the time we’d just egg each other on.
Jorg Bader Jr. (senior product manager): Very early in the process I did market research, looking closely at what our competitors are doing – where they’re strong and where they’re less so. Watches are definitely a bit smaller these days, and a lot sleeker, so we knew we needed to deliver a slimmer look than before – while remembering that a diver’s watch is first and foremost a sports watch, so needs to have some masculine weight to it too. Helen: One of the main things we wanted was a Trident that was distinctively Christopher Ward. We’ve now moved beyond a place where it should be possible to criticise Trident as looking like a homage to something else – not matter how unfair that always was! The Mk 3 had to be be the loudest, proudest iteration of the new Christopher Ward look we’ve ever done.
Designing the new case
Jorg Jr.: In recent years we’ve made huge strides with our case designs, and a consistent aesthetic has developed. We’ve started calling them our ‘light-catcher’ cases, because of the way light bounces off them, and Trident 3 is the latest of our key lines to adopt this look. The challenge was to apply it in a more muscular form than before, taking inspiration from the way great car design makes even a bulky vehicle look as close to the ground as possible. With Trident 3 it was like applying this principle to an SUV – which is perfectly possible, as the Range Rover Velar shows. Adrian: The swage lines around the sides are crucial, and with Trident 3 we initially got it almost right – but not quite. We started to think that the ‘waist’ was maybe a millimetre too high – so we redid the entire design to bring that down by just a fraction, giving the perfect balance between polished and unpolished elements.
REENGINEERED FROM THE GROUND U P, T H E C 6 0 T R I D E N T 3 H A S N ’ T J U S T H A D A FA C E L I F T, I T ’ S B E E N C O M P L E T E LY R E I M A G I N E D
“ P I C K I T U P A N D YO U ’L L NOTICE THE ADDITIONAL TOOLING TO THE HANDS AND FA C E , A N D T H E P O L I S H E D D I A L OFFERING MORE CONTR AST AGAIN ST THE HANDS”
“TRIDENT 3 HAD TO BE THE P R O U D E S T I T E R AT I O N O F THE NEW CHRISTOPHER WA R D L O O K W E ’ V E D O N E ”
The new hands and face
Mike: One thing we started playing around with early on is how the name Trident evokes the idea of ‘three’ – so there are three points on a trident; this is the third iteration of the watch; dive watches tend to have little triangles at 12 o’clock on both the bezel and face… Threes and triangles seemed to be everywhere, so how could we make the most of them? Chris: As Adrian sketched endless hand combinations, we kept coming back to the idea that the hour hand should be a big triangle, balanced by a strong but simple minute hand. Everyone in the company voted on it, and we all agreed that this was the way to go. Jorg Jr.: Technically, the biggest problem was getting all the details right – especially the ones we hadn’t used much before, like the shiny lacquered finish on the dial.
Adrian: Actually, some of my favourite things about the new Trident are the shiny new dial, hands and indexes. The indexes are now more raised, with brushed top surfaces and little polished facets that catch the light; each one shines like a tiny individual bulb as you turn the watch in your hand. We spent ages getting the height of them right, and went through a ridiculous number of hand iterations too – often the difference between the versions was a fraction of a millimetre. I also really like the new backplate, with a fresh take on the Trident logo, and openings that make it look like a valve you’d see on an aqualung.
The new lume
Adrian: The most consistent complaints we heard about Trident Mk 2 concerned the lume, so we knew we had to knock that out of the park this time. Applying lume is actually quite easy – the more you use, the more your watch will shine at night – but at the
same time you don’t want gigantic, blobby potato indexes with no elegance to them. Jorg Jr.: On Trident 3 we’re using better quality lume than before, and we’re using it over bigger areas too. The funny thing is, all the lume in the industry is made by just one company – so even Rolex has more or less the same lume as we do. Adrian: The really big change is that, for the first time – except for on the Trident Mk 2 Titanium Variation #2 – we’ve added lume to a Trident bezel too, making Trident 3 one of the brightest diver’s watches on the market, at any price point. Tudor, with their Pelagos, was the first to crack using lume on the bezel, and even now you only find it on a few very high-end watches.
The click of the bezel
Mike: One detail we really sweated over was the way the uni-directional bezel clicks
around. Every dive watch sounds subtly different, and we became obsessed with making our click the very best it could be. Jorg Jr.: Mike, Adrian and I spent an entire day in London going to all the major watch shops, listening to all these clicks – and even sneakily recording the ones we really liked. We had to go to lots of shops, because if we’d tried to do it in just one they’d have sussed us – and thrown us out! Mike: By the end of that day it seemed clear that Rolex has the best bezel – not too stiff, not too soft, but solid and just right – so that became the benchmark.
Jorg Jr.: The truth is, we didn’t need to go to all this trouble at all – nobody ever criticised the bezel on Trident 2 – but if we were really going to produce the best Trident we could, every aspect had to be improved.
The quick-release bracelet
Mike: For Trident 3, we’ve introduced our first-ever quick release stainless steel bracelet, which is a really big deal – we’re one of the first brands in the world to do so. Of course, one of the great benefits we have is access to the experience and expertise of Jorg Bader Sr., who spent a large part of his
40 years in the watch industry specialising in bracelets. He and Adrian came up with a new quick-change design which is going be a quiet revolution, I think. Adrian: Swapping between straps or bracelets is a fiddly task that no-one likes, especially as you risk scratching your watch case in. At the same time, there’s no better way to refresh your watch, or tailor it to different circumstances. In coming up with an elegant design solution to make this happen, Jorg Sr. was our secret weapon. He’s a walking, talking watch industry dictionary who seems to know everyone.
TR ID ENTS UN COVER ED THE COMPLETE NEW R ANGE REVE ALED
C60 Trident Pro 600
C60 Trident GMT 600
C60 Trident Elite 1000 LE
Calibre: Sellita SW200 Case: Marine grade stainless steel Case sizes: 38mm, 40mm and 42mm Bezel: Ceramic (full lume) Water resistance: 600 metres Vibrations: 28,800 per hour Time tolerance: +/-20 secs per day Dial colour: Black or blue Lume: SuperLumiNova® Grade X1 GL C1 Strap: Rubber/Cordura hybrid or bracelet
Calibre: ETA 2893 Case: Marine grade stainless steel Case sizes: 38mm and 42mm Bezel: Ceramic (full lume) Water resistance: 600 metres Vibrations: 28,800 per hour Time tolerance: +/-20 secs per day Dial colour: Black or blue Lume: SuperLumiNova® Grade X1 GL C1 Strap: Rubber/Cordura hybrid or bracelet
Price: From £695
Price: From £895
Calibre: Sellita SW200 (COSC) Case: Titanium Grade 2 Case sizes: 42mm Bezel: Ceramic (full lume) Water resistance: 1,000 metres Special features: Helium release valve Vibrations: 28,800 per hour Time tolerance: -4/+6 secs per day Dial colour: Blue Lume: SuperLumiNova® Grade X1 GL C1 Strap: Rubber/Cordura hybrid or bracelet
Price: From £1,250 Limited Edition of 300 pieces
Jorg Bader Sr. (head of Christopher Ward’s Swiss atelier): We already offer quick-release on our leather straps, but bracelets demand a different yet compatible system, using two spring bars rather than one. It makes swapping between a strap and a bracelet easy, though – you can do it in 20 seconds. Adrian: Quick release bracelets are only available from a handful of really highend watchmakers, and they’ve each come up with slightly different designs. Our solution is comparable, but not so expensive that it eats too much into our value for money proposition.
The new hybrid strap
Helen: Our latest rubber strap is also unusual, in that it’s our first hybrid, combining a high-strength waterproof textile called Cordura on the upper
surface with rubber underneath. The reason? Added comfort, flexibility and a much better look. It comes in all the key colours like black and blue, and there’s a blue-and-orange version that supports our flagship Trident 3, the C60 Trident Elite 1000, a real professional’s watch in titanium. It’s limited to 300 pieces and can dive to 1,000 metres – it even has an inbuilt helium release value. Adrian: Cordura is the sort of material you find on backpacks and sports clothing, and these dual-material straps will last much longer than any single-material strap ever would.
The appeal of Trident 3
Mike: Trident 3 launches in three versions – the entry level Pro, the GMT, and the top-of-the-line Elite 1000, with the Trident Pro costing only £50 more than its equivalent Trident 2. You can still pick one up for under £700, which means the value proposition is better than ever.
Helen: Although it’s a very masculine design, Trident has always had a big female audience too. Yes, 42mm is pretty big, but it’s not unusual for women to wear larger watches these days, and as the Pro comes at 38mm and 40mm too, it’s the perfect size for smaller wrists. Adrian: That Trident 3 is a success is vital to Christopher Ward, and over the next few years there will be many further iterations of this design, using different materials, colours, specifications and so on. This being the case, it was vital we got the design right from the start, giving us the perfect flexible platform from which to go in all sorts of directions. Mike: We can’t afford for Trident 3 to date too quickly, so we’ve deliberately kept things restrained – and even a little conservative – so it can naturally evolve over the years. But, at the same time, we’ve been hugely fussy and exacting over the details. Right here, right now, I don’t think it would be possible to make a better Trident than this. The C60 Trident 3 is available now in Pro, GMT and Elite 1000 forms, starting at £695. For more, christopherward.co.uk
The C65 Trident Diver GMT elegantly reprises the look and feel of the classic watch created for Pan Am pilots at the dawning of the jet age. Updated with a fine contemporary Swiss-made Sellita SW330 movement it not only enables you to track time in three different zones simultaneously but to travel first class between eras. Do your research.
fields The need for communal experience is one of the key human traits, and few things bring the generations together like standing in a muddy field, watching the sun going down, and swaying gently to some of the greatest rock acts in the worldâ€Ś
Joan Baez and Bob Dylan, Newport 1959
These days it seems that every season is ‘festival season’, with over 1,000 held each year in the UK alone. It wasn’t always this way, however. Yes, there were harvest festivals and the like – the ancient Athenian springtime shindig ‘Festival of the Vine Flower’ sounds especially wild, starting with a drinking contest and ending with music to evoke ‘a mystic frenzy’ – but it wasn’t until the end of the 19th century that the first modern musical festivals started to come together. These showcased classical music, of course – and later jazz – with one of the best and biggest being Germany’s Bayreuth, bankrolled by King Ludwig II of Bavaria to showcase the work of Richard Wagner. It was
here, in early 1939, that Adolf Hitler would warn his British socialite pal Unity Mitford that war between Britain and Germany was inevitable. By the 1940s, with America’s folk music revival, festivals started to become less elitist, more political – and much crazier. The first Newport Jazz Festival in Rhode Island attracted 13,000 people in 1952, and when a sister event, Newport Folk Festival, spun out of it in 1959 things got really exciting. Not only was rock ’n’ roll introduced to festival audiences for the first time, but it saw a stand-out performance from a young singer who would bestride both styles: Bob Dylan.
Many American festivals had a social conscience – anti-war, pro-workers’ rights – and by 1967’s ‘Summer of Love’ in California these had mutated into the first modern rock festivals. More than 25,000 flocked to Monterey International Pop Festival to see The Who and The Jimi Hendrix Experience – both in their first ever US performances – plus Simon and Garfunkel, Otis Redding and Janis Joplin. The event was also a radical celebration of the burgeoning counterculture: protestors were everywhere, with fans of civil rights, free love and feminism – and opponents of the Vietnam War – vying for attention. Though only 7,000 were meant to attend, 25,000 actually did (and some claim the real number was actually many more).
Monterey was big, but Woodstock Music and Art Fair – in upstate New York’s Catskill Mountains – was perhaps double its size. This took place on a rainy weekend two years later, featured acts like The Band, The Who, Jefferson Airplane and The Grateful Dead – and nearly bankrupt its organisers, as what was planned to be a profit-making venture was forced to become a ‘free concert’ when hundreds of thousands of uninvited guests rocked up. Local laws were passed, effectively banning any future festivals – the farmer whose land they used wasn’t keen, anyway – but the world really sat up and took notice. And nowhere more so than England…
Inspired by Woodstock, Britain’s Isle of Wight Festival – which had started, at much more modest scale, in 1968 – exploded in size in 1970. Woodstock had hosted 400,000 people, but this Isle of Wight had The Doors and Joni Mitchell on stage, and over 600,000 hippies in attendance. Amongst their number: one Andrew Kerr – a gardener, minicab driver, sailor and farmer – who felt inspired to start his own festival, Glastonbury. Isle of Wight looked like becoming the Woodstock of Europe – and indeed, following 1970’s oversized event, it sort of did. Why? Because this one got banned too, Parliament worried it had grown far too big for the little island that held it. (In 2002 Isle of Wight relaunched, as an eclectic mid-size festival.)
“It’s seen performances by most of the world’s great acts on its green, often rather squelchy, pastures” Glastonbury actually began as two small, separate events. First came local farmer Michael Eavis’ Pilton Pop, Blues and Folk Festival in 1970, inspired by the same year’s nearby Bath Festival of Blues and Progressive Music. Headlined by T.Rex, and held just one day after Jimi Hendrix’s death, it attracted 1,500 people.
The following year, Andrew Kerr’s Glastonbury Fair also took place on Michael Eavis’s Worthy Farm, and featured David Bowie, Traffic and Hawkwind; it also saw the first incarnation of the Pyramid Stage. Things spluttered a little after that, but in 1981 Glastonbury became a permanent fixture under Eavis’s control, and swiftly grew into the world’s largest music festival – with Eavis remaining the epitome of ‘impressively grounded’ throughout. An eclectic gathering, it’s seen everything from lectures on karma realignment to performances by most of the world’s great acts, from Radiohead to Bruce Springsteen, on its green, often rather squelchy, pastures.
But neither Isle of Wight nor Glastonbury was Britain’s first festival. That honour goes to The National Jazz and Blues Festival at Reading. Launched in 1961, and considered by many to be the very first modern festival, it had by 1971 been renamed – now it would be simply known as the Reading Festival – and hosted Genesis, Ralph McTell and Wishbone Ash. Then, in 1999, it doubled in size by adding a sister event – Leeds Festival – to use the same rock and indie line-ups and take place at the same time. Together they’ve developed a unique, rather hard-core atmosphere, and it’s not unknown for Reading to bottle off acts considered too poppy – like Daphne and Celeste! – or off-genre, like 50 Cent.
Though Glastonbury is generally considered the world’s premier festival, it has some mighty rivals across the world: the 1999 Summerfest of Milwaukee was said to host a million people, for instance, and Brazil’s 1985 Rock in Rio festival was even bigger. Indeed, though Europe and America still dominate the festival scene, it’s hard to find a country, from Columbia to Zaire, where there’s nothing going on. Today there’s a festival somewhere in Britain every weekend, from the hippy, egalitarian Secret Garden Party to the eclectic All Tomorrow’s Parties, with a different curator and atmosphere each time. And though some inevitably fall by the wayside, there always seems to be something new – like more recent additions Latitude, Bestival and Download – to take its place.…
Two days with the brand new Trident 3
Ben introduced the Trident 3 to his friendly local seals
Seal diver Ben Burville tries out the new C60 Trident Pro 600 – in the North Sea! You and I might find the North Sea in March a somewhat challenging immersive experience, but Ben Burville likes nothing better than taking a dip off the Northumberland coast and allowing friendly, inquisitive seals to grab hold of his head or clasp his hand between their flippers. A hand that often sports a Christopher Ward diver’s watch as it goes, Ben owning an original CW Kingfisher – an old birthday present from his watch-mad dad – as well as a more recent Trident 300. So what would he make of the new Trident 3? “It looks lovely,” he says, “with a brilliantly bright face and bezel. A robust watch that also looks great is just about perfect for me.”
Ben’s actually a local GP in Amble during the day, but studied Oceanography and Biology at Southampton University and has become a respected underwater photographer over the last 16 years or so, filming for the likes of Springwatch and Coast. He also has a visiting research post at the School of Marine Science at Newcastle University, studying grey seals and white-beaked dolphins. “I’ve been a diver since I was four,” he says, “and find it acts as a great counter to the stress of the day job. It’s very peaceful down there, and you often get good visibility – though it depends on the time of year and what the weather’s been like the few days before. I still wear my Kingfisher now, often in some pretty harsh North Sea conditions, and figure that if something functions well there it’ll do pretty well anywhere. My diving kit certainly gets a hammering – including my watches.”
Ben took the new Trident 3 diving, but he used it for everyday stuff too, from his regular runs to working at his GP practice, only taking it off to perform minor surgery. “To me a watch is a practical tool,” he says, “and has to be able to survive whatever I throw at it, from the sea bed to the shower. I’m not reckless with them, but my general attitude is that, if a thing is working well and not broken, then don’t fix it. I’m not very materialistic and like reliability and dependability, so I keep my cars a long time too – my old VW Bora did 250,000 miles and my current Skoda Octavia is on 100,000 and still going strong. When you’re a diver, you’re constantly throwing wet and heavy pieces of kit in the boot, so it’s not worth having anything too nice.” The Trident 3 is quite nice, though! “Yes, it is. Because it’s a little bit smaller and more finely finished than the old Trident, it feels like something I’d wear when I’m dressed up as much as a regular dive companion. I often wear a dive computer on my wrist for diving, but like to take a
conventional wristwatch too, because they’re very useful for timing legs of the dive, and knowing when to head to the surface for the dive boat to pick me up. Trident 3 will be great for that, but what I really like about it is that it’s a great do-anything watch for day-to-day use.” C60 Trident Pro 600 42mm, £695
Blue water yacht racer Lizzy Foreman took the new Trident 3 along to an important training session in France
Offshore racer Lizzy Foreman has been a Christopher Ward Challenger for over a year now, but she’s been sailing a lot longer than that: since she was three, in fact. During her early teens she’d race Lasers and other dinghy classes, at 18 she was first mate on ocean-going racing yachts, and these days – as a professional offshore sailor – she’s working towards her ultimate goal, to compete in the 2020 Vendée Globe, a solo around the world yachting race. But what about Lizzy and watches? She first got to know Christopher Ward in 2015, while looking for support for a solo race across the Atlantic, called the Mini Transat. It started in Douarnenez in France and finished in Guadeloupe in the Caribbean, taking 27 days to complete; Lizzy
Photography: Benjamin Simon Lohezic
finished as first woman and first Brit in her class. This led to her selection in 2016 for the Vendée 2020 Vision programme, a fiveyear project aiming to support a British skipper in the 2020 Vendée Globe, and the following year she joined the Christopher Ward Challenger Programme. “I’ve loved being able to wear extremely well-made, reliable and waterproof watches during my offshore races,” she says. “Before I started working with CW I didn’t own a decent watch, just cheap plastic digital ones, which would always fog up when used on the boat. The straps would become weak due to sun damage too.” Naturally, her Trident has been Lizzy’s CW of choice on board, while she wears a fitness tracker when running or in the gym, and a Malvern Chronograph Mk 3 on days
Lizzy, the Trident 3, and some sunny skies in France
“It really is my perfect watch – great fit, stunning design, very functional and reliable, and excellent lume, which is a must with me”
away from the boat. “I love the Malvern’s clear design and stop watch,” she says, “plus that it looks extremely smart!” Before we sent her a C60 Trident Pro to try, Lizzy’s main dive watch experience had been with her robust C60 Trident 316L. “The large, easy to read luminous dial is particularly useful at night, and the size of the face means it doesn’t get lost amongst bulky sailing clothing,” she says. “It’s taken everything I can throw at it, including hard knocks and constant drenching in sea water. Although I haven’t yet dived to any great depth with it – as that would mean something terrible had happened on the boat! – it’s been a very reliable watch for extreme sailing.” She swapped this for the new Trident 3 during her most recent nautical adventure, though, a four-day training camp in Lorient, France aboard a 60ft racing yacht. “This included one night at sea where we sailed through the Raz de Sein, between the Isle of Sein and the Pointe du Rag in Finistère,” Lizzy says. “It’s an essential passage as it offers a short cut to the English Channel, but a very dangerous one, thanks to the strong currents caused by the tides. I used the Trident 3 to make sure we passed through the Raz at the correct time, and found the highly luminous dial very easy to read in the dark.” You liked it, then? ‘Oh, I’m in love with this watch! The most important change for me has been in the size of it – the old C60 Trident is really
a bit too big for me and digs into my hand, and the weight can make it difficult to wear for long periods of time. The Trident 3, however, is lightweight in comparison, and very comfortable. Yes, the face is a little smaller, but even wet and covered in water droplets it was very easy to read. It really is my perfect watch – great fit, stunning design, very functional and reliable, and excellent lume, which is a must with me – though I’d like it without the pattern on the back of the strap. It left a hard imprint on my wrist, and could become an issue when exposed to salt water for a long time.” Anything else that would make it better for you? “I like the same stopwatch function on my C3 Malvern Chronograph – it would make it easier counting down the time on start lines, as well as cooking food and mixing resins for boat repairs! – so I’d be intrigued to see if there’ll be a Trident 3 Chronograph somewhere down the line. And the addition of a vibration alarm would be really useful too, though I don’t think that’s possible with a traditional watch!” C60 Trident Pro 600 42mm, £695
Out of the box Few things are more exciting than unboxing your brand new watch, but the industry – like the rest of the luxury goods arena – has rarely put sustainable packaging front and centre. That, though, is about to change… By the end of the year, all Christopher Ward watches will be supplied in the luxury watch world’s first entirely EVA foam-free, eco-friendly and almost completely biodegradable packaging. It is, the company’s three co-founders feel, an important – and, frankly, overdue – step towards a more ecologically aware industry. Made largely of bamboo, the new boxes are just as impressive as the previous packaging, but leave a far smaller footprint. That really is thinking outside the box, you’d have to agree. “It’s reverse engineered,” says Scott Birtwhistle, Global Head of Packaging Design and Innovation at Ming Feng
Europe, CW’s supplier. “We flipped the process, putting the materials studies before the design in Christopher Ward’s pursuit of a solution that’s beautiful and ticks all the boxes ecologically.” Might other watch companies follow suit? To encourage an industry-wide sea-change on this, Mike, Chris and Peter have taken the unprecedented step to... Ah, but that would be spoiling it. Have a read of their open letter to the industry opposite, and see what you think...
Open letter to the watch industry
A call for environmental change Unboxing a new Christopher Ward watch is a special experience, but how much thought have you paid to the environmental impact of the materials used? We began to worry that the stacks of cardboard and foam left over at the end of a busy day packing watches was leaving a footprint, so last year our Product and Design team collaborated with our Swiss packing suppliers to craft a new box that’s as pleasant on the earth as it is the eye. The resulting design – constructed from 95% bio-degradable materials, including laminated eco-MDF, cotton and bamboo – not only looks the part, but is substantially smaller and sleeker than the old boxes, while reducing the environmental footprint of every single watch sold. It’s almost certainly the world’s most eco-friendly luxury watch packaging. Those efforts became all the more prudent in light of a December 2018 report by the WWF Foundation. It noted that “most large companies in the Swiss watch and jewellery industry do not seem to care about the environment and are not transparent”, meaning the unveiling of this packaging – initially due for release with Trident 3 models this month – couldn’t be more timely. Our packaging suppliers Ming Feng Europe were fine collaborators throughout the process of developing the new box. Right from the initial research and materials studies, we selected our materials first and only then went to design; that’s not the standard process, and shows a real paradigm shift in the way the luxury industry thinks about packaging. In the hope that more brands follow suit, CW has intentionally waived its exclusivity rights on the new designs, methodologies, processes and approach, so that others might join us on the road to a more sustainable future. We invite others in the industry to take advantage of everything we’ve learned about eco-friendly packaging design. We won’t charge you. In an industry known for its competing technological patents and brand rivalries, CW believes this is the kind of innovation that should be shared. Mike France, Chris Ward, Peter Ellis Co-founders of Christopher Ward
crew One of the most intriguing residents of the watchmaking city of Biel is Armin Strom, a boutique ‘manufacture’ with a unique style. And, as one of the industry’s great skeletonisation specialists, what handy neighbours for Christopher Ward to have when the Apex models rolled around…
Switzerland is awash with fascinating smaller watch companies, and one of the most interesting is Armin Strom, a close neighbour of the Christopher Ward atelier in Biel, and the maker of quirky, ultra high end watches – six-figure price points are by no means rare – aimed at the most discerning and adventurous of collectors. Intriguingly, they often combine cutting-edge horology – the Dual Time Resonance model, for instance, contains two independent but linked movements and twin dials – with bold, asymmetrical design and unusual materials, such as an entirely sapphire crystal (and so transparent) case. Most striking of all, every one of their watches is skeletonised, with the internal workings exposed through off-centre ‘dial rings’. It gives Armin Strom watches a distinctive look and feel, and almost unique expertise in the area – unusually, they manufacture an impressive 97% of their components in their own workshops, making them 35
a fully-fledged ‘manufacture’. It’s a skill set and commitment to detail that’s rare in the industry, and something Christopher Ward has been lucky enough to take advantage of for its own top-of-the-range Apex models. The modern incarnation of Armin Strom is run by Serge Michel and Claude Greisler, who took over from the eponymous founder in 2008. Strom himself had always been a master of skeletonisation, but over the past decade its new owners have taken this further, reinventing the company, moving into new premises, installing their own machines, and developing an in-house caliber, ARM 09, within their first year. 2009 was also the year that the new Armin Strom launched its first full collection, the One Week Skeleton, with a mighty eight-day power reserve. An in-house tourbillon model would follow, as well as the Skeleton Pure. Produced entirely in-house, this was the realisation of one of Strom himself’s longest-held dreams. “I’ve probably known Mr. Armin Strom for over 25 years,” says Jorg Bader Sr., who runs the Christopher Ward atelier, just down the road from Armin Strom. “We met through his son, Daniel, back in the days when he still had his one-man atelier in the old town of Burgdorf, about 40 min-
Armin Strom’s mighty Dual Time Resonance model
utes away. He’d built his reputation there as an important craftsman of hand-skeletonised watch movements. Once Serge and Claude had joined Armin Strong to energise the company, though, the contact sparked over to the younger folks and – with their factory only a few hundred metres from ours – it was kind of obvious to keep in touch and follow the wonderful evolution they’ve enjoyed.” Long before the current trend amongst mainstream watch brands to employ a very modern form of skeletonisation on their high-end models, Strom would skeletonise watches by hand, in 1990 appearing in the Guinness World Records as creator of the world’s smallest hand-skeletonised watch. Soon he’d be working behind the scenes to skeletonise small runs for the big names, and when he began looking for someone to
take over the company, family friend and watch collector Serge, and his watchmaker buddy Claude, were the natural fit. A move to Biel, with all its watchmaking expertise, seemed important if the new owners were to expand the business, and the philosophy became clear: the watches would be beautifully finished and unique-looking, yes, but their unusual yet no-nonsense proprietary mechanics would be just as important too. It’s a watchmaking philosophy that chimes rather well with that of Christopher Ward. “Absolutely,” Jorg Sr. says, “so when our plans for the Apex models started to come together, it seemed kind of obvious to ask Armin Strom for help. Despite being relatively small, their factory covers all the manufacturing aspects a watchmaker needs. In this respect, it is quite unique –
“Despite being relatively small, the Armin Strom factory covers all the manufacturing aspects a watchmaker needs”
normally we’d have to go to three or four different sub-contractors instead. Knowing all about their know-how, and the possibilities that working with them would bring to the table – and having that pleasant relationship with Serge and Claude anyway – we naturally asked them for assistance executing the really delicate parts that we’d need. The Apex models are very different to our standard SH21 offer, and it’s such a help that we can take advantage of their expertise.”
The see-through man
element. It’s the calm and the power of the natural world that gives me the energy to create new things.
To find out more about the modern Armin Strom, we caught up with Claude Greisler, the watchmaker behind it… Claude, what is it you like about skeleton watches so much? I like that the movement becomes part of the design; for me, there’s nothing more exciting than being able to see the movement within a watch. I actually got involved with Armin Strom for two reasons. Firstly, I’ve known Mr Armin Strom since I was a child, and to be able to take over his brand – with skeleton watches so much part of its DNA – is a big honour. Secondly, as a watchmaker I’ve always felt that the movement is the most important part of any watch, and following the Armin Strom tradition allows us to present it as the strongest element on the wrist.
Armin Strom HQ, Biel
For more visit, arminstrom.com
In the past, skeleton watches have often been thought of as quite an old-fashioned style, but modern skeleton watches are anything but. True, there is a big difference between old and new skeleton watches. The old skeleton watches where based on existing movements, and were open worked by a master watchmaker. Modern skeleton watches are developed specifically to be skeletonised. The open worked design is an intrinsic part of their development. How did you first start working with Christopher Ward? We only work with independent watch brands that exhibit a clear vision. CW is one, and on the Apex models we’ve produced movements and dial parts. We believe you’ve said you get inspiration from nature…? Yes, but the inspiration comes more from being surrounded by nature, rather than taking inspiration from any particular 39
Your own watches often use quite exotic materials, like sapphire crystal cases, but with the Apex models – though very high end by CW standards – the budget won’t stretch that far. Does this make working with CW actually harder than producing your own watches? It’s the same challenge, but in a different way. At AS we’re constantly pushing things in terms of technical innovation – we want everything to be as close to perfection as possible. But it’s a huge challenge to become a leader in the industry at any price point, and Christopher Ward watches are certainly of a very high standard for their price range. Both challenges are different and similar at the same time. You created your own movement before your first collection, didn’t you? Armin Strom itself has been producing skeleton watches since 1967, of course. But yes, when we took over the company the first thing we did was launch our in-house movement. It was a big step, but we wanted to show that we could become a manufacture. That’s why it seemed important to launch the movement before the watch. Your watches tend to be hand wound with big power reserves. Do you find SH21, which has similar attributes, sympathetic to work with because of that? Yes, and it‘s certainly true that we have a passion for hand-wound movements with a long power reserve. Do you miss working with an actual dial, not just a dial ring? No! In a nutshell, how would you describe what you do? We simply uphold the grand tradition of Swiss watchmaking, and pursue technical innovation. Everything we do is a fusion of art and invention.
How many steps are there to heaven? (Well, it’s not two or four, is it?) Seems everything’s much more striking, satisfying, funny and memorable when it comes in a three…
All good things come in threes. When writers, comedians and politicians bang on about ‘The Rule of Three’, they know what they’re talking about. They’ve learned that all good stories need a beginning, a middle and an end. They know the quickest way to create surprise is by having two elements establish a pattern, then a third subvert it. And they know that when you want people to absorb what you’ve just said, three is your very best friend. (Remember when Winston Churchill promised us “blood, toil, tears and sweat”? Of course
not, because the popular imagination soon reordered it into the more memorable “blood, sweat and tears.”) But the importance of three doesn’t end there. Genies grant three wishes, while you and I can even survive three minutes without air, three hours without shelter, three days without water and three weeks without food. Co-incidence? Don’t think so. And the rule of three works with people too. Here are some of our favourite trios, and why it matters that there were three of them…
The Englishman, Irishman and Scotsman Date back to: who knows? These three appear in thousands of jokes, the trio encountering a problem together, and faring well (or badly) depending entirely on national stereotypes. Typically the Englishman is the sensible everyman, the Scot tight-fisted and the Irishman the butt of the joke – unless, of course, it’s a Scot or an Irishman telling the story, in which case the snobbish Englishman usually comes a cropper. Far more important than who does what, however, is that there are three of them – so the first two can set up expectations which are then subverted by the third. Want one? Try this: An Englishman, Irishman and Scotsman find a magic slide. They read the sign: “Go down the slide, shout out your dreams, and whatever you desire will be waiting at the bottom.” Sure enough, there’s an inflatable paddling pool at the end of the slide. The Irishman goes first, shouting “Drink!” He lands in a pool of the finest whiskey. The Scotsman goes second, shouting “Money!” He lands in a pool of cash. The Englishman is up last, and is clearly excited at the prospect of going down the slide. “Weeeee!” he shouts, as he whooshes down…
The Three Witches Date back to: 1606 The Three Weird Sisters of Macbeth appear to be some twisted Hebridean variation of the Three Fates of classic mythology, predicting our hero’s success and then failure – as well as, it seems, effectively manipulating him to his eventual demise. (If there had never been the prophecy in the first place, would Macbeth ever have killed Duncan, and done what he did? Quite probably not.) This largely unexplained trio would seem to be both agents and witnesses to all the tale’s forces of darkness, chaos, conflict and impending doom – but one thing they may not be, it turns out, is witches. (Certainly, they’re never actually called ‘witches’ in the play.) So why’ve we tarred them as such? Simply because they go out of their way to act all witchy. They have beards, animal familiars, and – seeming to straddle the border between reality and the supernatural, where “fair is foul, and foul is fair” – sit well apart from the rules of our world. Seems pretty witch-like to us…
The Three Kings Date back to: about 80 AD The wealthy foreigners who bring flashy gifts to the baby Jesus only actually appear in one gospel – Matthew – and are shrouded in mystery: we’re never told where they come from, or even that there were three of them. The general assumption that they were a trio because they brought three gifts between them is just that – an assumption – and there are certainly churches where the kings (or magi, or wise men; we can’t even agree on what to call them) number as many as twelve. Over the years Western tradition has given them names, though – Melchior, Caspar and Balthazar, or variations thereon – and tell us the Eastern regions they came from (usually Persia, India and Arabia or Africa respectively), while which king gave which gift is also much debated. We never find out what baby Jesus did with any of them either – though some stories tell of Judas stealing the gold…
The Three Musketeers Dates back to: 1844 Eventually, of course, there were four musketeers in Alexandre Dumas’s enduring 1884 historical adventure: the formidable, experienced Athos, the roguish Aramis and hedonist dandy Porthos, plus their bright, brave and foolhardy young friend, d’Artagnan. But when the book begins, with our noble but destitute young hero travelling to the Paris of 1625 to join the Musketeers of the Guard, there are only three – and d’Artagnan would duel, or threaten to duel, all of them before finally throwing in his lot with the boys to confront more formidable threats to crown and country, like scheming cardinals, English dukes – and Athos’s unforgettable ex-wife, the beautiful spy known as Milady de Winter. Translated into English no fewer than three times – yes, another trio – the Three Musketeers has become one of the most enduring of all adventure tales.
Three Little Pigs Dates back to: about 1890
The Marx Brothers Date back to: about 1915
Groups of three crop up endlessly in folk tales, not least the Three Little Pigs. The story appears in assorted fairy tale books around the 1880s, the classic version coming from Joseph Jacobs’ 1890 collection English Fairy Tales, which contributed many of the most famous phrases (“I’ll huff, and I’ll puff, and I’ll blow your house in,” and all that). In most versions, the first pig builds a house of straw, which the wolf blows down; something similar happens to the second pig’s house of sticks; and only the third little pig’s brick-built home stands firm, this final porker thwarting all the hapless lupine’s attempts to trick him into coming out, and eventually catching the now-desperate home invader in a cauldron of boiling water when he attempts to climb down the chimney. It’s all down to how soft the storyteller is as to whether the first two pigs are devoured or leg it to the third pig’s house, and whether the wolf is killed – or simply runs away.
More critically acclaimed than the later Three Stooges – but with a similar enduring career, in this case running 1905-1949 – the Marx Brothers had numerous members, but it’s three who matter. The oldest brothers – who used the stage names Chico, Harpo and Groucho – were the key players, each with a unique stage persona: Chico (named because he chased ‘chicks’) was the sly, scruffy con man; Harpo was the frenetic, squeaking but otherwise silent clown; while Groucho (the undisputed star) was the stylish eccentric hiding behind a greasepaint moustache – and his famous lightning wit. Paramount movies like Horse Feathers (1932) took their fame beyond vaudeville, while later films – like A Night at the Opera – cemented it. Despite Harpo’s silent shtick, the Marx Brothers’ fast-paced act was largely word-based – they were the first comedians who could not have existed in the silent era.
The Grand Alliance Dates back to: 1941
The Three Stooges Date back to: about 1934 Few careers in showbiz are as enduring as that of the Three Stooges, another American vaudeville and slapstick comedy team active across five decades. Though there were six Stooges in total, only three were active at any one time: Moe and Larry were the main ones, but there were a pair of different Curlys, Shemp had two separate runs in the act, and there were a couple of Joes too. Moe Howard was the glue who held it together, beginning his showbiz career as the sidekick in an early ’20s act called Ted Healy and his Stooges; soon his brother, Shemp, and eventually his child-like younger brother, Jerome ‘Curly’ Howard, would join them, and it was when the three stooges abandoned Healy to become ‘The Three Stooges’ that their careers really took off.
Faith, Hope and Charity Date back to: 1940 The second century saints Faith, Hope and Charity were three martyred sisters, but almost two thousand years later another myth took the same names: it told how the besieged island of Malta was protected from Italian invasion by three hopelessly outdated Gloster Sea Gladiator biplanes, again dubbed Faith, Hope and Charity. When hostilities broke out, the island had no warplanes at all, but it was discovered that assorted crates – each containing a Gladiator in what was essentially kit form – had been left there, and they were quickly assembled. It was a great story – and even, sort of, true. (Although she was certainly woefully under equipped, Malta had more than just the three Gladiator kits, though no more than three planes were ever operational at the same time.) Only Faith survived the war, and can now be seen in Malta’s National War Museum.
There have been all sorts of ‘Grand Alliances’ in history – the group who took on France in the late 1600s, headed up by England, Austria and Holland, is famous – but they’ve always been a gang of three. The one we’re interested in, however, is that between the major Allies of World War II: the UK, the US and the Soviet Union. Also known as The Big Three and The Strange Alliance – in that the trio were so different, one the greatest colonial power, another the dominant capitalist state, and the last the supreme bastion of communism – it was a three-way marriage of convenience heaving with tensions. Indeed, the ideological differences between American President Franklin D Roosevelt and Russian boss Joseph Stalin could hardly have been more stark – leaving British PM Winston Churchill as the glue. As he later said, with his pithy wit, “The only thing worse than having allies… is not having them.”
Kirk, Spock and McCoy Date back to: 1966
The Supremes Date back to: 1959 The biggest Motown act of the ’60s, The Supremes started as a four-piece called The Primettes in the late ’50s Detroit projects, changing their name and signing to Motown in 1960; eventually reduced to a trio – founder Florence Ballard, Mary Wilson and Diana Ross, who soon became the group’s star – it seemed for ages like they couldn’t buy a hit. While rivals Martha and the Vandellas had ‘Dancing in the Street’ and the Marvelettes had ‘Please Mr Postman’, the ‘no-hit Supremes’ – as they came to be known – had nothing. But then, of course, they teamed up with another seminal trio – songwriting gods Holland-Dozier-Holland – for ‘Where Did Our Love Go’, ‘You Can’t Hurry Love’ and more, each with real heartbreak in the lyrics to sour the bubblegum winningly. Scoring a dozen US number ones, they became the bedrock upon which all future African American mainstream musical success would be built.
Star Trek’s big three are the archetypal Freudian trio, with the pragmatic, bold and passionate all-American Captain – James T. Kirk – taking the role of the Ego, forever forced to choose between the conflicting opinions of his two deputies: the cool, logical, somewhat distant half-alien Mr Spock (representing the Superego), and the emotional, compassionate, sardonic frontier-style medical man, Dr. McCoy, playing the Id. In story after story, the way they interacted was like three aspects of the same person arguing with himself. Kirk would be forced to make a tough decision, and while Spock advocated the obvious but sometimes callous path, ‘Bones’ would insist on doing whatever would cause the least harm. Kirk’s was, of course, the decisive vote. When the show first aired in 1966, it was seen as radical – it famously put a black woman and an Asian man in key command positions, more than unusual at the time – but from the perspective of 50 years on, it’s clear that the story is a much more conventional one about three white men, just very cleverly expressed.
Bananarama Dates back to: 1981 The Goodies Dates back to: 1970 The surreal British sketch show-cum-sitcom The Goodies – a sort of all-ages Monty Python, originally to have been named ‘Super Chaps Three’ – was a huge hit throughout the ’70s and early ’80s. A weird mix of satire, extended parody and timeless slapstick, it gleefully employed low budget special effects – some dating back to the silent movie classics – to striking, surreal effect. The basic set-up saw the forever cash-strapped trio working as freelance troubleshooters – “We do anything, anytime” – riding into the fray on a threeman ‘trandem’. In ‘Kung Fu Kapers’ Bill masters the ancient Lancastrian martial art of Ecky-Thump, and in ‘Kitten Kong’ a white fluff ball called Twinkle grows to gigantic size. Each Goodie would play an exaggerated version of themselves: real-life medical doctor Graeme Garden was the mad scientist; law-trained Tim Brooke-Taylor the effete, posh coward; and environmentalist Bill Oddie the scruffy, aggressive oik.
Charlie’s Angels Dates back to: 1976 Originally to have been called The Alley Cats – with its three glamorous stars wearing whips and chains and living on the street – this hit ’70s adventure show was reinvented as Harry’s Angels at the 11th hour, before a final last-minute name change, to avoid confusion with contemporary cop show Harry O. Charlie’s Angels stumbled into greatness rather: the key idea to keep the three titular private eyes’ millionaire benefactor off-camera was a stroke of minor genius, and it certainly lucked out with the casting of cultural phenomenon Farrah Fawcett as one of the three leads. At the time it was simultaneously praised as a great role model – featuring three likeable, independent women – and criticised as trashy ‘jiggle TV’, but it’s hard to deny the strength of the central idea, which survived endless recasting to last five seasons – and, of course, much longer in the popular imagination.
Britain’s biggest girl group was a very different proposition to The Supremes: there wasn’t a stand-out star amongst them, and their performances rarely rose above an unpretentious half-arsed amateurishness. What they did have, though, was bags of punk-era can-do energy and cocky, off-the-cuff cool, plus – most of all – they gave off the engaging sense that this was just three buddies hanging out and having fun. Sara Dallin and Keren Woodward had been pals since pre-school in Bristol, while Siobhan Fahey was Sara’s London College of Fashion mate, and in the early ’80s the three fell in with the dregs the punk scene. Soon the trio were doing impromptu backing vocals for the likes of The Jam, then enjoyed a Top Five collaboration with a new male three-piece, Fun Boy Three; over the decades they’d have 28 UK Top 50 singles, as well as a US No.1. Entertaingly, their first album, Deep Sea Skiving, contained a song called ‘What a Shambles’ – the ramshackle, thinvoiced Bananas were never without self-knowledge.
A-List celebrity not included
We don’t need a celebrity to vouch for our watches (we’ll leave that to our customers). Concentrating on craftsmanship rather than salesmanship, we’ve successfully created award-winning Swiss-made British watches that stand comparison with the biggest names in watchmaking in every respect - apart from price. Do your research.
Great watch wearers
Paint it black “Fashion without wit is disastrous,” Karl Lagerfeld once said, and it seems he was witty in his choice of watches too… When they’re not wearing Rolex or Patek Philippe, the rich and famous tend to favour Audemars Piguet’s diving helmet-inspired Royal Oak, a distinctive watch with its prominent exposed screw heads – and one with real significance too. It was, after all, the first luxury sports watch, and arguably the most significant of noted designer Gérald Genta’s highly influential designs, which also include Patek Philippe’s Nautilus (inspired by a ship’s porthole) and the 1976 IWC Ingenieur. The recently deceased fashion icon Karl Lagerfeld – no design slouch himself, spending over 30 years as boss at key fashion house Chanel – also bought into AP, but the Royal Oak he wore consistently from the ’70s onwards is unlike any you’ll ever see. Why? Because it was at some point blacked-out completely, until it looked like one of the ubiquitous SUVs driven by Euro-thugs in films like The Transporter. Okay, so all-black watches are no rarity these days, but – ever the style-leader – back when Lagerfeld started wearing his they most definitely were. Porsche Design had made the first entirely matte black watch in 1972, but it was only in the wake of Hublot’s All Black of 2006 that the style because ubiquitous. Lagerfeld’s AP is
one of the very first Royal Oaks – an A Series model, dating back to 1973 – and certainly never came from the factory looking like this, the case and bracelet having been modified to match the rare factory-original black dial. To show it off, Lagerfeld would often wear it right over his shirt cuff, in the style made famous by Fiat and Juventus owner Gianni Agnelli, ‘the Rake of the Riviera’. There’s much we don’t know about this piece – when the designer got it, or why he was so loyal to it – but it was certainly well-loved, the black PVD treatment to the case, bracelet and bezel having rubbed off along many edges. In recent years Lagerfeld could easily have replaced it with a factory AP model from the Royal Oak black ceramic line – but didn’t. However, though he was remarkably devoted to this watch – as he was to the same ponytailed, glove-wearing, black-and-white personal style for decades – Lagerfeld occasionally wore other pieces too, including an 18k solid yellow gold Apple Watch on a rare, never-sold gold bracelet which he appears to have treated purely as jewellery; certainly, most images show it unpaired and even uncharged, leading to the term ‘Lagerfelding’, meaning to sport a non-functioning Apple Watch.
Edinburgh hosted the first of a new series of Christopher Ward Get-Togethers, bringing company staffers and watch mavens together to chat new models and more
Christopher Ward has always tried to connect with its audience, but for 2019 things are stepping up a gear… Since the early days of Christopher Ward, the three co-founders have made sure to engage with watch enthusiasts online, and still invite groups to visit the Maidenhead offices quite regularly. This year, however, spreading the word has become more of a priority, as the company takes its message nationwide – part of a worldwide trend, in fact, which sees online watch groups and sites, from Redbar to Hodinkee, increasingly organising meet-ups and events. Since this is also the year that the C60 Trident 3 debuts, the initial series of CW Get-Togethers – informal but informative gatherings where key Christopher Ward founders and staffers mingle with enthusiasts, answering questions and showing off the latest models – are doubling-up as launch celebrations too… Things have certainly come a long way from the company’s earliest attempts to engage with fans. “When the Christopher Ward Forum first got going in 2005, about a year after we’d started, I’d regularly find myself up late at night with a cup of cocoa, answering everyone’s questions,” remembers co-founder Chris Ward. “In fact, some
of my individual relationships with our customers go right back till then.” As the company got bigger, and technology moved on, Chris would talk for an hour or two with the members while showing off watches, which was great – but, of course, nowhere near as good as allowing people to hold the watches in their hands. “That’s what led to our regular openhouse get togethers in the offices at Maidenhead,” says co-founder Peter Ellis. “They’re now a regular feature, but it’s hard for us to handle large numbers here – at best we can shuffle 10 or 15 people between the showroom and board room.” “And, of course,” says Olivia Blakstad, the company’s brand experience manager, who helps organise things, “we’re constantly losing people, as they’ll disappear to chat with this staff member or that.” So it’s like herding cats, right? Which is part of the reason why assorted senior staffers at CW started talking about what’s become this new series of out-ofhouse Get-Togethers. “One day we had a few people from the Facebook Enthusiasts group in the offices, and realised they’d come down from
places like Edinburgh and Newcastle,” Chris says. “That’s not a cheap trip, so we said that, perhaps instead of you coming to us, we could come to you? It would mean more people could get involved and see the latest watches.” “It was a great idea,” says co-founder Mike France, taking up the story, “but I don’t think any of us realised how involved it would get. One key thing that taking our Get-Togethers on the road allows us to do is reveal new watches ahead of time to a large number of friends and potential customers, especially Christopher Ward Forum and Facebook Enthusiasts group members. Ideally they’ll get to see them before most watch journalists do, even. That’s why the CWGTG events have so far been scheduled to take place a few weeks before a new issue of Loupe comes out, which is the place we normally do our big reveals.” The other thing the CWGTG initiative makes possible is that it allows anyone who’s interested to speak to all the key decision-makers at Christopher Ward. “It’s quite rare for any company to put its co-founders in a room with the people it’s hoped will buy the watches,” says Oliv-
ia, “and even rarer to throw the designers of those watches into the mix too.” The question became, of course, how, when and where should these events take place? In the end four points across the country were chosen – one in Scotland, one in the north, one in the south west and one in the south east, starting with Edinburgh in late January. “Why Edinburgh?” ask Helen McCall, the company’s head of marketing. “Mostly it was because the moderators of the Facebook group are based there. Then we’d do Manchester, London and Bristol, and eventually – I suspect – we’ll do New York too. There might even be one on the American West Coast, and maybe a Get-Together in Asia.” Where Christopher Ward differs from most luxury watch brands, of course, is that there are no physical stores for customers to visit and take a look at a watch, or get to talk to someone who actually works for the brand. The Get-Togethers more than fix that, enabling a level of contact that’s great for fans of the brand – but good for the company, too. “It gives us a chance to really get to know some of our key customers, people who do so much to support the brand,” Helen says. “The feedback we got in Edinburgh has already been immensely useful, and very honest – if people really like or
dislike something we’ve done, they’ll definitely tell us. It enables us to change things, or perhaps take what they’ve said on board for next time.” The first Get-Together event took place at Edinburgh’s SKYbar, at the top of the DoubleTree by Hilton hotel, with great views of the castle. “We all shook hands, had drinks, then Mike, Chris and I sat on three barstools in front of a screen and answered all sorts of questions,” Peter says. “We also showed off the 25 watches we’d taken along – the mainstays of the range, plus the new releases. Yes, we had a few Trident 3s there, but we didn’t want anyone photographing them, so kept them on our wrists!” Happily, everyone who saw Trident 3 liked it, and it got a good response from further afield when the guys attempted a live YouTube stream for fans who couldn’t get there on the day. Calibre SH21 was talked about at length, and – inevitably – the question of whether the company will ever do this or that specialist style of watch came up more than once. (“The answer,” Chris says, “tends to be, ‘Never say never.’”) “The guys were very interested in the social media side too,” Helen says, “and a few asked why we don’t have a big gallery of watch photography on the website. It’s something we could do, of course, but isn’t that what Instagram is for?”
“The view from outside can give enormous perspective”
About 30 or 40 people made it to Edinburgh, and although this will grow a little, the team generally thinks that having too many people in attendance would be wrong, if only to ensure a decent customers-to-staff ratio. After all, there’s not much point to these events if guests can’t get to talk to the people they want to – or get a good look at the watches. “Having about eight or ten for each of us seems right,” Helen says. “We’re not Bill Gates, taking over a massive theatre!” Which makes sense, but doesn’t address the fact that there’s a far wider audience out there it would be good to reach too. “We’re already talking about ways to open these things up,” Helen says. “The trick, of course, will be to do it without ruining the personal, intimate feel we currently have. As an online-only brand we work hard not to seem distant or disconnected, so it’s nice to be able to remind everyone we’re real people, in a real place, running a real business. We’re straightforward sorts – as a brand we’ve nothing to hide – and like to make everyone feel included, whether they’re in the room with us, or sat at home watching our rather shaky, hand-filmed YouTube live stream, embarrassingly replete with our events team giggling in the background. Maybe we need a bit of practice in our live streaming skills!” The Edinburgh day inevitably finished with a few drinks. “Mike, Peter and Helen had to shoot off, but I stayed and took a few of the guys down the pub,” Chris says. “That reputation I’ve got for liking a beer? I suppose it’s well earned…” Want to come along? The next CW Get-Togethers are in London (31 August) and Bristol (26 October). For more, go to christopherward.co.uk/cw-events
Some competitive breath-holders breathe pure oxygen beforehand, loading their bodies up before they go under. The ‘big fish’ in this world – though not the current record holder – is Danish free diver Stig Severinsen, nicknamed ‘The Man Who Doesn’t Breathe’, who uses what he calls a ‘State of Zen’ technique. Stig began by holding his breath at the bottom of his parent’s pool, and as an adult combined free diving skills with yoga techniques to trouble Guinness World Records on numerous occasions, not least by swimming over 70m under ice wearing only swimming trunks. Another time he held his breath for 20 minutes inside a shark tank, and in 2012 he set a world record for breath holding at 22 minutes at the bottom of a tank. Nothing lasts forever, however, and he’s since been beaten by Spanish free diver Aleix Segura Vendrell, who on 28 February 2016 held his breath for over 24 minutes. Segura relaxes, slows his heart, disconnects – and, he says, sometimes
even falls asleep while underwater. This is not, however, the most spectacular of achievements, for he simply floats facedown in a swimming pool. Eventually it’s not the desire for oxygen that brings his head up, but the inevitable need to get rid of the build up of carbon dioxide. And what are the limits? Some say we’ve got there, but Segura reckons half an hour should be possible. After all, the belief back in the ’40s was that human lungs would rupture 100 feet down, but today’s free divers routinely get to 300 feet. “We always think we’ve reached the limit,” he says. “But we’re always wrong.” All very impressive – except that many free-diving enthusiasts think oxygenloading is at best a stunt and at worst a cheat, as it allows you to more than double the amount in your lungs. (Oddly enough, Segura himself counts amongst their number.) Certainly, the International Association for the Development of Apnea – the global sanctioning body for competitive breath-holding – is very strict 50
on not allowing athletes to inhale pure oxygen, which means their records are rather less fantastical-sounding. Back in 1913 Harry Houdini first astounded the world by holding his breath for over three minutes, but today most free divers can manage four without oxygen loading, maybe six if they’re good. In 2001, eight minutes was beaten, and that record has since been destroyed nine times, mostly by Tom Sietas. The current holder, though, is French free diver Stéphane Mifsud (above), who in 2009 spent a lung-punishing 11 minutes, 35 seconds underwater on a single gulp of air. None of these guys are exerting themselves much, of course. So if you’re asking how far a person can actually swim underwater without breathing aids, we have to look to someone else entirely – Carlos Coste, a Venezuelan whose latest open water record saw him manage 177 metres (more than three Olympic pools) on a single breath.
Sixties design cues but with a contemporary automatic movement
The design of our new C65 Trident Automatic reprises the late 60s, an era of inspired innovation that put a man on the moon, welcomed Concorde and witnessed Dylan go electric. Add a superb modern Sellita SW200 automatic movement and you have the very best of then, and now. Do your research.
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The C60 Trident Elite 1000; read all about it on page 10
Loupe. Issue 13. Summer 2019