SPRING SUMMER 2013
A LEGEND IN TIME OUR FIRST BLUEBIRD LIMITED EDITION WATCH IS UNVEILED
GUARDIANS OF THE SKIES WE SALUTE THE UNKNOWN WAAF HEROINES OF OUR FINEST HOUR
C11 TITANIUM ELITE OUR NEW DIVER’S WATCH MAKES THE EXCELLENT EVEN BETTER
A GREAT BRITISH VICTORY THE C70 VW4 CHRONOMETER CELEBRATES THE MOTOR RACE THAT CREATED A LEGEND
Swiss movement, English heart
C60 TRIDENT PRO â€“ AUTOMATIC C60-TRI-SBS ÂŁ460
Made in Switzerland / Sellita SW200-1, self-winding movement / 38 hour power reserve / 42mm marine-grade 316L stainless-steel case and deployment bracelet / Water resistant to 300 metres / 4mm antireflective sapphire crystal / Deep-etched back-plate engraving E X C L U S I V E LY A V A I L A B L E AT
SPRING SUMMER 2013
ALL THE LATEST UPDATES AND NEW STYLES FOR SPRING SUMMER 2013 FROM CHRISTOPHER WARD
THE C70 VW4 CHRONOMETER CELEBRATES THE FAMOUS VANWALL, STERLING MOSS VICTORY AT THE 1957 BRITISH GRAND PRIX
8 A legend
A LIMITED EDITION CHRONOGRAPH IS THE FIRST FRUIT OF CW’S RELATIONSHIP WITH BLUEBIRD SPEED RECORDS. IT’S A BEAUTY
Catching the buzz IF YOU HAVE EVER FANCIED KEEPING BEES, THIS IS THE TIME TO GET BUSY. 30LBS OF HONEY COULD BE YOURS!
Titanium takes the pressure THE NEW C11 TITANIUM ELITE BOASTS CW’S FIRST-EVER TITANIUM CASE AND A HELIUM RELEASE VALVE
A great British success A vintage passion KERRY TAYLOR ATTRACTS THE WORLD’S LEADING COLLECTORS OF VINTAGE FASHION TO HER LONDON AUCTIONS
Hidden gems A QUARTET OF CHRISTOPHER WARD WATCHES THAT MERIT A SECOND LOOK
42 Guardians of
the skies NOW IT CAN BE TOLD: WE REVEAL THE SECRET WW2 WORK OF THE FORGOTTEN WOMEN OF THE WAAF
Wheel good fun 48 Time in mind
BICYCLES ARE STILL MANUFACTURED IN BRITAIN. CW GOES FOR A SPIN WITH THREE BRILLIANT SUCCESSES
A NEW SERIES ON HOW THE HUMAN MIND CONCEIVES OF, AND KEEPS TRACK OF TIME. BY PROFESSOR GERRY ALTMAN
Front Cover: C11 Titanium Elite, £750 Christopher Ward (London) Limited, 1 Park Street, Maidenhead, Berkshire SL6 1SL, United Kingdom email@example.com Customer Services: firstname.lastname@example.org Editor: Eric Musgrave, www.ericmusgrave.co.uk. Design and art direction: ToyasO’Mara. Colour reprographics: JP Repro.
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S P R I N G S U M M E R 2 013
“A VERY BEAUTIFUL AND CLASSY WATCH SHOWING BEAUTY IN ITS SIMPLEST YET MOST COMPLICATED FORM. MECHANICALLY, IT IS SOMETHING TO BEHOLD” COMMENT FROM THE CW FORUM
AND THE 2012 WINNER IS… THE EXCEPTIONAL C900 CW’S AMAZING C900 HARRISON SINGLE PUSHER HAS BEEN NAMED WATCH OF THE YEAR 2012 BY THE KNOWLEDGEABLE ENTHUSIASTS ON THE CHRISTOPHER WARD FORUM. The most sophisticated and most expensive watch ever produced by the company elicited rapturous praise from members of the independent forum. Only 250 watches of this limited edition, which sells for £2,450, have been made. Among the comments posted were: ‘A very beautiful and classy watch showing beauty in its simplest yet most complicated form; Mechanically, it is something to behold; The artistry of the single pusher chronograph that is visible through the exhibition case back will leave you awestruck.’ The C900 has taken CWL to a new level as a watchmaker. Announcing it as the most significant new model from the company in 2012, the forum’s senior moderator Kip McEwan wrote: “Since its introduction in August of 2012, the C900 Harrison Single Pusher has been critically acclaimed as a stunning work of art and the watch that moves Christopher Ward far outside its comfort zone.” For more on the CW Forum, turn to page 23.
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“THE C900 HAS TAKEN CWL TO A NEW LEVEL AS A WATCHMAKER” COMMENT FROM THE CW FORUM
CWORLD | CW
A NEW FORMUL A FOR CHRISTOPHER WARD IN 2014? RUMOUR HAS IT THAT THE PETROLHEADS AT CHRISTOPHER WARD’S DESIGN STUDIO ARE WORKING ON A TOP SECRET PROJECT CELEBRATING THE INCREDIBLE INNOVATION AND ENGINEERING EXPERTISE OF BRITAIN’S WORLD-LEADING FORMULA 1 RACING TEAMS. Your intrepid reporter wasn’t allowed even a gasoline whiff of the early designs but did manage to glean plans may include some very high-tech componentry including, wait for it, crushed carbon-fibre cases (!) and the brand’s first flyback chronograph movement. Whilst nobody at #1 Park Street is prepared to name the planned launch date just yet, I am prepared to speculate that the start of the 2014 F1 Grand Prix season will be the target. So, if for you, Milton Keynes is the new Maranello, you won’t have to wait too long before your wrist can also acclaim the new world order of motor racing!
THE DYNAMIC CERAMIC TYPHOON APPEARING FROM OVER THE HORIZON THIS AUTUMN, THE FIRST WATCH IN CW’S NEW TYPHOON SERIES WILL BECOME THE FLAGSHIP DESIGN OF THE COMPANY’S AVIATION RANGE.
A fine ceramic case – a first for CW – will be just one of an impressive line-up of hi-tech features. The watch will be poweredby a modified Eta Valjoux 7750 movement. The model will take its design cues from the RAF’s delta-wing multirole Typhoon fighter jet.
FIRING UP THE BLUEBIRD THE C7 BLUEBIRD, THE FIRST WATCH TO BE DEVELOPED SINCE CHRISTOPHER WARD BECAME THE OFFICIAL TIMING PARTNER TO THE BLUEBIRD SPEED RECORDS TEAM, WILL BE OFFICIALLY RELEASED IN APRIL WITH PRE-ORDERS BEING TAKEN FROM MARCH.
The new watch is a chronograph in a limited edition of 1,912 examples, celebrating the year Sir Malcolm Campbell famously started the Bluebird legend. It is the first of a number of watches that will be released as a result of the partnership, perfectly capturing the spirit and iconic looks of the record-breaking Bluebird vehicles. The precision detailing includes the Bluebird emblem in guilloche form on the dial and as a ceramic feature on the head of the crown. In a very unusual design approach, the case back has been engineered to represent the famous conical hub caps of Sir Malcolm Campbell’s cars, including the 350HP Sunbeam in which he gained his first land speed record at Pendine Sands, Wales in 1924 and the 1935 Bluebird in which he broke the 300mph barrier at Bonneville Salt Flats, Utah. The C7 from £499.
C7 BLUEBIRD LIMITED EDITION C7SBKB-390-BB £499
For more on the C7 Bluebird, turn to pages 8-9.
THE PERSONAL TOUCH, FACE-TO-FACE Renowned for its customer service from Day 1, Christopher Ward is adding yet another level to its famous “personal touch”. From March, clients will be able to meet the team face-to-face at the company’s elegant HQ in Maidenhead.The finishing touches are being put to a luxurious new showroom which will reflect all the values of the company. “The opening of our new showroom is a very exciting development for Christopher Ward not only by creating a new sales channel, but also for allowing us to develop even more personal relationships with some of our customers,” says co-founder Mike France. The showroom will be run on an appointmentonly basis to ensure the highest level of personal service. Keep an eye on the CW website for details. www.christopherward.co.uk
“OUR NEW WORLDTIMER WILL BE YET ANOTHER EXAMPLE OF THE MAN’S GENIUS.”
“WE ARE ALWAYS LOOKING TO PUSH THE WATCHMAKING BOUNDARIES AND IN JOHANNES WE HAVE A MASTER CRAFTSMAN WHO IS ABLE TO SEE BEYOND THE OBVIOUS TO CREATE SOMETHING DIFFERENT AND IMPORTANT.” JAHNKE HAS ALL THE TIME IN THE WORLD… ADMIRERS OF THE AMAZING WORK OF MASTER WATCHMAKER JOHANNES JAHNKE HAVE A TREAT IN STORE THIS AUTUMN – THE GERMAN MAGICIAN IS WORKING ON A WORLDTIMER WATCH THAT WILL LIFT CHRISTOPHER WARD TO A NEW TECHNICAL HIGH.
The design is a closely guarded secret but Jahnke’s bespoke movement is rumoured to be a unique development on the GMT theme and could even constitute a world first for the company. “We are always looking to push the watchmaking boundaries and in Johannes we have a master craftsman who is able to see beyond the obvious to create something different and important. Our new Worldtimer will be yet another example of the man’s genius,” says co-founder Chris Ward. The watch will carry the third bespoke calibre created exclusively for Christopher Ward by this exceptional talent. Jahnke’s previous triumphs were the C9 Harrison Jumping Hour and the C900 Harrison Single Pusher.
S P R I N G S U M M E R 2 0 13
The C9 Harrison Jumping Hour, released for Christmas 2011, was CW’s first watch to cost more than £1,000. The limited edition of 200 pieces sold out in weeks. From early March pre-ordering will be open for the Mark II, for delivery in April. The new interpretation uses the design aesthetic of the much admired C900 Single Pusher Chronograph. The Jumping Hour Mk II uses the Calibre JJ01 developed by the young master craftsman for the first version. All examples of the new Jumping Hour will be personally assembled by Jahnke and his team at our workshop in Biel, Switzerland. The limited edition this time numbers just 250 pieces and will cost £1,250.
A U T U M N W I N T E R 2 012
THE JUMPING HOUR MK II IS ALMOST WITH US!
C70 VW4 Chronometer C70VW4-COSC-VK £599
SALUTING A VERY BRITISH VICTORY
THE INCREDIBLE SHRINKING C60 TRIDENT PRO In another first for Christopher Ward, the C60 Trident Pro is to be slimmed down this spring into a 38mm model. The highly popular existing range has a 42mm case, but the company is aware that some customers require a more compact timepiece on their wrists. The new models will continue to feature the automatic Eta 2824-2 or Sellita SW200-1 movements. In keeping with the sleeker profile, women’s versions of the new W61 will have reduced-size straps. Prices start at £399.
THE FIRST TIME A BRITISH WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP GRAND PRIX WAS WON BY A BRITISH CAR WITH BRITISH DRIVERS IS CELEBRATED IN A BEAUTIFUL NEW LIMITED-EDITION CHRONOGRAPH THAT WILL BE RELEASED IN APRIL.
The C70 VW4 Chronometer has been inspired by the 1957 victory at Aintree of a Vanwall racing car that started with Tony Brooks behind the wheel and took the chequered flag with Stirling Moss in the driver’s seat. The pair swapped cars during the race. See pages 24-30 for the whole astonishing story of how Vanwall, in British Racing Green, saw off the all-powerful red Ferraris. Another signature motor racing watch from the CW design studio, the new addition is powered by the superreliable Eta 251.233 chronometer movement. The Number 20 of the winning car occupies the 12 position on the face, while the 18 of the second machine is highlighted in Vanwall’s trim colour of yellow on the bezel. Moss’s astonishing 90.61mph best lap speed is picked out in red on the tachymetrc scale. The C70 VW4 Chronometer, available in a limited edition of just 1,957 models, costs £599.
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Swiss movement, English heart
C70 VW4 CHRONOMETER LIMITED EDITION ÂŁ599
The victory of the Vanwall driven by Stirling Moss and Tony Brooks in the amazing 1957 British Grand Prix at Aintree is celebrated in our latest chronometer. Powered by the Eta 251.233, the 500-piece limited edition salutes a race that changed the course of British motor racing for ever. It is, of course, in British Racing Green. E X C L U S I V E LY A V A I L A B L E AT
“I AM OVERWHELMED THAT CHRISTOPHER WARD WOULD DO ALL THIS FOR ME AND I AM EXTREMELY PLEASED WITH THE WATCH”
CW ’S GIFT TO A HERO A WORLD WAR II PILOT WHO HAD A TREASURED WATCH STOLEN IN A BURGLARY ON NEW YEAR’S DAY HAS BEEN PRESENTED WITH AN APPROPRIATE REPLACEMENT BY CHRIS WARD.
Graham Furley, who is 91, flew with distinction in theatres as far apart as North Africa and Burma in the war. His daughter bought him a watch with a gold Spitfire on the face to honour his years of service in the Royal Air Force. While he slept, it was stolen by intruders at his home in Stroud. “I was disgusted when I read about the incident,” says Chris Ward, “and given our long-standing connections with the RAF, I felt we should step in and replace the watch. Through Erica Ferguson, project manager of the Bentley Priory Battle of Britain Trust, we were able to contact Graham. I went to Stroud to present him with one of our own C5 Battle of Britain (70) Automatics.” The veteran, said: “I am overwhelmed that Christopher Ward would do all this for me. I am extremely pleased with the watch, its colour and the markings remind me of my flying days during the war.” above; A delighted Graham Furley receives his C5 Battle of Britain (70) Automatic from Chris Ward, accompanied by Squadron Leader Tara McLuskie-Cunningham and Wing Commander Erica Ferguson, who form the RAF Heritage team
S P R I N G S U M M E R 2 0 13
WW2 PILOT, GRAHAM FURLEY
C5 BATTLE OF BRITAIN (70) 6B/159 AUTOMATIC C5-BB70-AWT £325
“IT'S ONE OF MOST BEAUTIFUL WATCHES YOU CAN BUY AT ANY PRICE” CHARLES HOOD, SCUBA MAGAZINE
CHRISTOPHER WARD’S CLASSY RANGE OF DIVING WATCHES HAS WON THE APPROVAL OF BOTH HARD-CORE SCUBA GUYS AND TIMEPIECE COLLECTORS WHO NEVER VENTURE NEAR THE WATER. BOTH WILL BE EXCITED BY THE LATEST ADDITION TO THE COLLECTION – THE C11 TITANIUM ELITE. It’s the first CW watch ever to have a case fashioned from titanium, the very light but very strong metal that is salt water-resistant, dent-resistant and antiallergenic. This automatic is powered by an Eta 2824-2 Chronometer and has all the luminous good looks of the C11 Makaira Pro 500 that was introduced to instant acclaim last autumn. A vital addition to the new model is a helium release valve, a feature on all professional divers’ watches, which prevents a damaging build-up of helium in the watch during resurfacing. The C11 Titanium Elite costs £750 and in the opinion of Scuba magazine: “It's one of most beautiful watches you can buy at any price.” For the full story, see pages 14-17.
A LEGEND IN
CHRISTOPHER WARD IS THE OFFICIAL TIMING PARTNER TO BLUEBIRD SPEED RECORDS. THE FIRST WATCH FROM THE PARTNERSHIP IS EVOCATIVE OF SIR MALCOLM CAMPBELL’S MOST MEMORABLE CARS FROM THE 1920’S AND 1930’S.
n Tuesday 3rd September 1935 Sir Malcolm Campbell became the first man to drive a car at more than 300mph. On the intense white Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah the bullet-like Bluebird reached 301.337 mph (484.955 kph) on two passes, marking yet another land speed record for the British adventurer. Breaching the 300mph threshold proved to be Sir Malcolm’s last record-breaking achievement and the drama of the victory has passed into legend. The image of the huge blue car standing in such an alien landscape remains striking and memorable. Scottish artist Jack Vettriano recalled it in one of his most famous works, Bluebird at Bonneville, which sold at auction for £468,000 in August 2007. The streamlined car looks like a projectile on wheels and the unmistakable conical design of the wheel hubs has been cleverly incorporated into Christopher Ward’s first Bluebird watch, which will be released this spring. The limited edition C7 Bluebird is based around Christopher Ward’s highly successful C7 Rapide case and uses the impressive Ronda 3540.D calibre movement. In a clever piece of design, five
concentric circles form the backplate and reflect the profile of the original aerodynamic wheel. An octagonal “wheel nut” is at the centre of the plate. Great care has been taken by CW’s designers to ensure that this good-looking and unusual back is comfortable to wear. The outer edge and the edge of the innermost circle are treated with a “fingerprint-free” IPK finish. An engraving on the outer edge reminds everyone that Bluebird has been “Breaking Records For Over 100 Years”.
water. The new watch will be a limited edition of just 1,912 pieces worldwide. The latest of CW’s motoring-inspired quartz chronographs is coloured, appropriately enough, Bluebird Blue, or Pantone 299 to give it its official designation. Even the stems of the two pushers are anodised to the same shade. The whole effect is to make the already impressive 42mm watch case even more striking. To echo the clean and spare paint job of the Bluebird, the vivid blue base is complemented by the use of white, Super-
���THIS NEW WATCH FROM CHRISTOPHER WARD IS SIMPLY MAGNIFICENT. THE DIAL IN BLUEBIRD BLUE IS BASED ON THE SPEEDOMETER FROM THE BLUEBIRD CAR THAT BROKE THE 300MPH BARRIER IN 1935.” DON WALES, GRANDSON OF SIR MALCOLM CAMPBELL
As was detailed in the Autumn 2012 issue of this magazine, Malcolm Campbell started setting records in 1912 and as part of his centenary celebrations last year Christopher Ward became official timing partner for Bluebird Speed Projects, the modern incarnation of the Campbell family’s pursuit of world records on land and
LumiNova™ Indices and hands. The Bezel has a pearlescent effect and the date frame and bezel edge are all chrome finish.Christopher Ward’s regular use of delicate and intricate guilloche work on the chrono dials is much appreciated by clients, but for the new watch a silhouette of a bluebird is deep etched into the lower
BLUEBIRD LIMITED EDITION
C7 BLUEBIRD LIMITED EDITION Malcolm Campbell started racing seriously in 1912, the year he re-named his car Blue Bird. Between 1924 and 1935, the adventurer set nine land speed records in various Bluebirds. In 1924 at Pendine Sands near Carmarthen Bay he took his 350HP V12 Sunbeam to 146.16mph (235.22 km/h). Eleven years later at the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah, Campbell became the first person to drive an automobile over 300 mph, averaging 301.337 mph (484.955 km/h) in two passes. The spirit of this national hero – he was knighted in 1931 – is captured in this C7 chronograph, which is in a limited edition of just 1,912 pieces worldwide. It is the first watch CW has released as the official Timing Partner to Bluebird Speed Records. FEATURES • Swiss made • Limited Edition to 1912 pieces • Quartz chronograph movement • 1/10ths second split timing • 316L stainless steel case • 42mm diameter • Tachymeter • Special back plate engraving • Unique engraved serial number • 10 atm water resistance • Screw-in crown and back plate • Anti-reflective sapphire crystal
• Bluebird blue dial and bezel • Enamelled Bluebird in crown • SuperLuminovaTM hands and indexes • Spanish "Toro Bravo" leather deployment strap
C7 SBKB-390-BB £499
TECHNICAL • Diameter: 42mm • Height: 10.7mm • Calibre: Ronda 3540.D • Case:316L stainless steel • Water Resistance: 100 metres • Strap: 22mm black leather (or bracelet or rubber strap) • Dial Colour: Bluebird Blue
C7 SBKS-390-BB £550
GUILLOCHE DETAIL The Bluebird logo is deep-etched into one of the inner chrono dials.
BACKPLATE DETAIL The greatest care has been taken in the manufacturing process to ensure that this unusual back is comfortable to wear. The outer edge and the edge of the innermost circle are treated with a “fingerprint-free” IPK finish to reflect the Bluebird’s tyres. An engraving states that Bluebird has been Breaking Records For Over 100 Years.
“I AM SURE THAT THIS LIMITED EDITION OF 1,912 PIECES WILL APPEAL NOT ONLY TO CAMPBELL FANS BUT ALSO TO COLLECTORS EVERYWHERE. IT IS A LOVELY WATCH. I AM LOOKING FORWARD TO RECEIVING MINE!” DON WALES, LAND SPEED RECORD BREAKER
chrono dial. The bluebird logo in blue also decorates the white enamel crown. Strap choices include a steel bracelet and a rubber strap version, but the sportiest option is a black calf leather strap with ecru stitching that is punched to reveal blue highlights beneath. The C7 Rapide has met with the approval of Don Wales, Sir Malcolm’s grandson, who now chases land speed records in electric-powered cars: “The centenary celebrations of my grandfather christening a car ‘Blue Bird’ in 1912 could not be marked without the release of a new wristwatch. The family still has some watches that he wore during his attempts.
This new watch from Christopher Ward is simply magnificent. “The dial in Bluebird Blue is based on the speedometer from the Bluebird car that broke the 300mph barrier in 1935 and having the Bluebird emblem subtly placed inside the guilloche is a nice touch. I have always loved the wheel hub design on my grandfather’s Bluebirds and I am so pleased that Christopher Ward has added that detail to the back plate. I am sure that this limited edition of 1,912 pieces will appeal not only to Campbell fans but also to collectors everywhere. It is a lovely watch. I am looking forward to receiving mine!” Orderline 0844 875 1515
KEEPING BEES SHOULD APPEAL TO WATCH COLLECTORS AS THE WINGED WORKFORCE FOLLOWS AN AMAZINGLY ACCURATE TIME SCHEDULE ACROSS THE SEASONS. THIS YEAR IS A VERY GOOD TIME TO GET INVOLVED IN APIARY.
s winter turns to spring, beekeepers begin to swarm. Apiary associations up and down the UK hold training sessions at which old hands reveal to newcomers the secrets of keeping apis mellifora, the highly productive European or Western honey bee. If you have ever thought about having a hive or two, now is the season to get involved. Taking its lead from the bees’ well-organised social order, The British Beekeepers Association has a network linking its 20,000-plus members. With a passion that rivals the watch aficionados of the CW Forum, the beekeeping community is keen to spread the word about the pleasures of nurturing one of nature’s most fascinating creatures. Beekeeping courses are held throughout the year, but February and March are particularly appropriate months for BBKA members to impart their knowledge because in April the yearly cycle of airborne activity starts all over again. The most tangible sign of a new season is the appearance of a swarm of bees. Buckinghamshire-based Mike
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Britnell, who has been keeping bees as a hobby for more than 25 years, is one of the 12,000 “swarm officers” coordinated by the BBKA who are alerted to deal with these homeless insects. “Bees follow a surprisingly precise timetable. In recent years, my first swarm has appeared between April 15th and April 24th. A swarm is formed by the survivors of last year’s colony that leave the hive to make room for the new season’s bees,” he says. “In the swarm the drones and worker bees surround the single queen bee to protect her while they locate a new home. We like to collect swarms to replace lost colonies and to get new beekeepers started.” ➸
“BEES FOLLOW A SURPRISINGLY PRECISE TIMETABLE. IN RECENT YEARS, MY FIRST SWARM HAS APPEARED BETWEEN APRIL 15TH AND APRIL 24TH.”
CWORLD | CW
To Be shot
Photo; Angus Muir
“IT IS ALMOST AS THOUGH THE BEES HAVE A GROUP BRAIN WHICH DISCERNS WHEN EVERYTHING IN NATURE IS READY FOR THEM.”
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Swiss movement, English heart
W11 AMELIA W11-SWW-Si £299 Although unmistakably a watch for free spirits with an equal sense of style and adventure, the purity of the Amelia’s design should not be underestimated technically. It is, after all, a Christopher Ward timepiece and, therefore, aC50 masterpiece of SwissCOSC engineering. From the precision of the rubber-touch MALVERN - LIMITED EDITION £699 one-piece optic white dial, to the museum-grade sapphire crystal, expect nothing but the best – and you won’t be disappointed. E X C L U S I V E LY A V A I L A B L E AT
BEE ALERT | CW
“IN A GOOD YEAR, IT IS POSSIBLE TO GET TWO BATCHES OF HONEY AND THEY ARE LIKELY TO HAVE DISTINCT FLAVOURS BECAUSE OF THE BEES’ DIFFERENT FOOD SOURCES.”
The enthusiastic and persuasive Mr Britnell is a neighbour of CW co-founder Mike France, who regularly hears about the delights of apiary. Perhaps Christopher Ward honey might appear on the website in the near future… In the summer season, a hive can contain as many as 35,000 bees, but during the winter this figure dwindles to about 5,000. In autumn and winter, the bees do not hibernate, but stay together in the hive in a winter cluster. Like the beating pulse of a reliable watch movement, these incredible insects generate warmth by gently vibrating their wing muscles. The outer, colder, bees rotate with those on the inside. The magic trigger point for spring activity is when the mercury reaches 55° F, or about 13° C. Now the bees get busy. “It is almost as though the bees have a group brain which discerns when everything in nature is ready for them,” says Britnell. “By the end of March and beginning of April, the single queen bee in the hive begins laying up to 1,600 eggs a day and the worker bees set off to collect nectar and pollen to feed the larvae from these.” Estimates suggest that a hive requires as much as 66lb of pollen and 260lb of nectar to be sustaining, so it is good thing that apis mellifora is an omnivore. Snowdrops and daffodils are among the early-season sources of the bees’ food, but almost any type of plant or tree will attract their attention. Bees are known to fly at least three miles from the hive on their foraging flights, but Mike Britnell reckons that four or five miles is not uncommon. The bees’ travels result in honey
that is very different to that from supermarkets. “In a good year, it is possible to get two batches of honey and they are likely to have distinctly different flavours because of different food sources. When I lived in a house with a laurel hedge the honey was dark brown and very rich. One year a local farmer planted a field with borage, the herb used to produce starflower oil. Although borage flowers are blue, the honey produced was a light lime green, with a Vitamin C sharpness. It’s all so different to the industriallyproduced stuff.” For the beekeeper, getting between 30lbs and 50lbs of honey a season from a hive is a very sweet dividend. It is important, however, that keepers leave enough honey to see the colony through the winter. Beekeeping is no longer a rural pastime. There are an estimated 3,200 colonies in Greater London alone, for example. Bees have been kept domestically at least since the times of ancient Egypt, so the principles are well proven. The big problem for British beekeepers, predictably, is the weather. The rain and cold of spring and summer 2012 caused just 8lbs of honey to be produced per hive, compared to the usual average of 30lbs-plus. The poor summer was feared to have had a longer term detrimental impact as new queens were unable to produce sufficient broods to see colonies through to this year. Bees are an essential link in our ecosystem, so it is important that their colonies thrive. So if you have ever thought of taking up beekeeping, 2013 is a very timely year to get involved. www.bbka.org.uk
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CW | INNOVATION
TITANIUM TAKES THE PRESSURE CHRISTOPHER WARD’S FIRST WATCH WITH A TITANIUM CASE WILL IMPRESS EVEN THE MOST EXPERIENCED PROFESSIONAL DIVER. A TECHNICAL MARVEL AND A PARTICULARLY HANDSOME TIMEPIECE, THE C11 TITANIUM ELITE CHRONOMETER IS IN A LIMITED EDITION OF 500.
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TECHNICALLY ELITE | CW
Photo; Ken Copsey
C11 TITANIUM ELITE CHRONOMETER LIMITED EDITION C11-COSC-MAK-TKY-Si £750
TITANIUM TAKES THE PRESSURE itanium was named after the Titans, a group of powerful and immortal gods in classical mythology. One of their number was Oceanus, who was believed by the Greeks and Romans to be the divine personification of an enormous river that encircled the world on the line of the equator. It is fitting, therefore, that the cases for the finest diver’s watches are made of this remarkable element, which in its metallic form is resistant to corrosion (especially in salt water) and boasts the highest strength-to-weight ratio of any metal. The striking C11 Titanium Elite Chronometer is the first Christopher Ward watch to have a titanium case. Modelled on the C11 Makaira Pro 500, which was
introduced to instant acclaim in autumn 2012, the Elite, as its name suggests, has been upgraded in several ways. Apart from the super-strong and lightweight titanium case, it has a COSC certified Eta 2824-2 automatic movement. Keeping all the good looks of the Pro 500, it also has an internal countdown bezel especially arranged for diving and, with safety in mind, a sophisticated helium release valve for professional use. Charles Hood, a reviewer for Scuba magazine, likes what he sees. After taking the watch on a dive (see opposite page) he wrote; “We think the design is simply gorgeous, with echoes of the classic Panerai models and the Bell and Ross aviator instruments. This watch oozes class, and while it is one of the more expensive pieces from the Christopher Ward range, the pricing is reasonable. This is a piece that most divers could consider for a long-term investment, and we think it's one of most beautiful watches you can buy at any price.” Good looks and technical innovation are what this watch is all about. The C11 Titanium Elite is the second diver’s watch
“THIS WATCH OOZES CLASS, AND WHILE IT IS ONE OF THE MORE EXPENSIVE PIECES FROM THE CHRISTOPHER WARD RANGE, THE PRICING IS REASONABLE.” CHARLES HOOD, SCUBA MAGAZINE
from Christopher Ward to use a helium release, or helium escape valve, which is a necessary component on every professional diver’s watch. When operating at great depths, commercial divers often spend many hours in diving bells under pressure breathing a gas mix that contains helium. As helium molecules are the second smallest in nature, the gas can penetrate the watch around the O-rings or other seals. As long as the diver stays under pressure, there is no problem, but if decompression
stops during resurfacing are not long enough, a pressure difference builds up between the helium in the watch and the environment. Too much pressure will damage the watch severely. With a helium release valve, when this differential reaches a critical level, the oneway valve is activated and the gas escapes from the case. The helium release valve on the Titanium Elite is manufactured by FIMM, the Swiss experts in this specialist field. The method for releasing the helium is fully automatic, allowing gas to escape as it expands during ascent but not allowing water to ingress. Even if you are not a saturation diver, the crown of the valve makes an already impressive watch look even more striking. One final word about titanium, which was discovered in Cornwall in 1791 by William Gregor, a clergyman and an amateur geologist: among its many other attributes, it is resistant to dents (useful when knocking against underwater rocks) and it is also inert, making it a very safe option for anyone with allergies or sensitive skin, in or out of the water.
C11 TITANIUM ELITE CHRONOMETER - LIMITED EDITION ONLY 500 C11’S IN THIS COLOUR COMBINATION WILL EVER BE PRODUCED WHICH WILL MAKE THIS LEGEND-INWAITING EVEN MORE DESIRABLE IF THATS POSSIBLE?
C11 TITANIUM ELITE CHRONOMETER LIMITED EDITION C11-COSC-MAK-TKY-Si £750
Orderline 0844 875 1515
FEATURES • Swiss-made • Limited Edition of 500 pcs worldwide • Self-winding automatic chronometer COSC-certified • 38-hour power reserve • Date calendar • Incabloc™ anti-shock system • Satin-brushed titanium case • Helium release valve • Museum-grade AR08 anti-reflective sapphire crystal • Internal countdown bezel • SuperLumiNova™ hands and indexes • Screw down deep-etched engraved back plate
• Engraved unique serial number • High-density rubber dive strap • Luxury presentation case and owner’s handbook TECHNICAL • Diameter: 42mm • Height: 13.2mm • Calibre: Eta 2824-2 (COSC) • Vibrations: 28,800 per hour • Case: Titanium • Water resistance: 50 ATM (500 metres) • Strap: 22mm
CWORLD | CW
Photo; Charles Hood
“THIS IS A PIECE THAT MOST DIVERS COULD CONSIDER FOR A LONG-TERM INVESTMENT, AND WE THINK IT'S ONE OF MOST BEAUTIFUL WATCHES YOU CAN BUY AT ANY PRICE.” CHARLES HOOD, SCUBA MAGAZINE, SEEN HERE ON HIS TEST DIVE WITH THE C11
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this page: Britons have been very proud of the bikes for more than 100 years. These images are some of the 200 in Bicycles by Tom Phillips (Bodleian Library Press).
GOOD FUN! PINK FLOYD’S CURIOUS LITTLE DITTY FROM 1967 IS EVOCATIVE OF THE BRITISH LOVE AFFAIR WITH BICYCLES. SINCE AT LEAST THE 1880S, WE HAVE BEEN BALANCING ATOP CHAIN-DRIVEN TWO WHEELERS FOR ALL MANNER OF ACTIVITIES. CYCLING REPRESENTS FREEDOM. HERE CW SALUTES THREE FIRMS THAT STILL MAKE BIKES IN BRITAIN.
I've got a bike, you can ride it if you like. It's got a basket, a bell that rings And things to make it look good. I'd give it to you if I could, but I borrowed it. BIKE, BY PINK FLOYD, FROM THE ALBUM THE PIPER AT THE GATES OF DAWN
ong before Sir Chris Hoy lifted British cycling to new heights, some sources believe, the first mechanically propelled two-wheeled contraption was built by a Scottish blacksmith called Kirkpatrick MacMillan in 1839. The penny-farthings of the midVictorian years were popular with daredevil riders despite their dangerous reputation, but it was not until the invention of the “safety bicycle” in the 1880s that cycling’s popularity boomed. Getting one’s feet in touching distance of the ground proved to be a great advantage. John Dunlop’s invention of the pneumatic bike tyre in 1888 helped remove the boneshaking tendency of the earlier machines. The British became skilled at manufacturing bicycles, especially in cities with light engineering traditions like Coventry, Nottingham, Birmingham, Manchester and Oxford. Bicycle makers were numerous and frame badges such as Armstrong, BSA, Carlton, Coventry Eagle, Claud Butler, Holdsworth, Mercian, Phillips, Rudge, Viking and, of course, Raleigh will still bring a smile of
recognition and many happy memories to millions of cyclists. The consumer value for bicycles and cycling goods in the UK market exceeded £2.9 billion in 2010/11, according to a report by the London School of Economics for British Cycling, the national promotional body. The number of cyclists increased by 11% for the same period and 13 million Britons now pedal around regularly. Each cyclist in the same period contributes around £230 a year to the UK’s GDP. There was a 28% leap in retail sales for the same period reviewed, meaning that in 2010/11 some 3.7m bikes were sold at an average price of £439. Consumers will find that most of the bikes on offer are now manufactured in the Far East, but there remains a small but lively core of UK-based makers, which reflect some of the best traditions of British cycling. PASHLEY PL AYS THE RETRO CARD
You won’t see people wearing Lycra-rich sportswear while riding their Pashleys. Harris Tweed jackets and cavalry twills for chaps and perhaps Laura Ashley floral-printed
BRITISH BY DESIGN
“PASHLEY HAS ALWAYS CONCENTRATED ON HANDBUILDING QUALITY BICYCLES WHICH HAVE A STYLE AND FUNCTION THAT SETS THEM APART FROM OTHERS.” MANAGING DIRECTOR ADRIAN WILLIAMS
dresses for the ladies are more the sort of costume Pashley people prefer. Retro styling is at the centre of the company’s appeal. Founded by William “Rath” Pashley in 1926 and based in Stratford-upon-Avon, Pashley Cycles is England’s longest-established bicycle manufacturer. The bicycles and tricycles carefully manufactured by the 50 staff in Warwickshire find their way to more than 40 countries worldwide. Traditional manufacturing methods allied to modern componentry and materials are used in the range of styles that stretches from the traditional sit-up-and-beg Princess and Roadster models to the sportier, but still retro, Tube Rider Double Scoop “beach cruiser” and the Guv’nor, which is based on the company’s Path Racer of the 1930s. Prices run from around £450 for a Poppy to £1,495 for a Clubman Country touring cycle. “Pashley has always concentrated on hand-building quality bicycles which have a style and function that sets them apart from others,” says managing director Adrian Williams. “We create products which we enjoy and which we hope our customers will like, rather than following any particular fashion trend. Our bicycles are not mass-produced. They are the product of a small enthusiastic team of designers and production engineers supported by over 95 UK suppliers - who work with our skilled craftsmen to create over 160 different models of bike. “Our framebuilders take the raw tubing, cut and bend it and then braze it into a complete bicycle frame. It is then painted with one of 35 different colours and assembled using a variety of components. The bicycle is then boxed for sending to customers both at home and abroad. Some 45% of our production is exported. “It is fortunate that Pashley has stayed with its craft and invested in its people and products, rather than becoming a soul-less importer like so many others. Customers today are searching for authentic, Britishmade products with an individuality and
style which Pashley brings.” By cleverly playing the nostalgia card, Pashley has achieved cult status. The comment on the company website with a picture of a Pashley Poppy, a woman’s bike painted vivid pink, is typical: “Poppy making herself at home after I picked her up from the showroom. I LOVE her!” MOULTON RE-INVENTED THE BIKE
If Pashley is imbued with a between-theworld-wars feel, then the classic Moulton immediately brings back memories of the Swinging Sixties. The death of Dr Alex Moulton at the age of 92 on December 9th last year prompted a huge number of tributes on the website of The Moulton Bicycle Company. A typical one reads: "From a boy, 12 years old in 1965, who saved up to buy a Moulton Standard that gave such pleasure and still does today, my
above; Pashley’s appeal lies in the unashamedly retro styling of its “sit-up-and-beg” bikes. It attracts fanatical devotion from its male and female fans
condolences…” Many messages are from the Far East. “Rest in peace and thank you for re-inventing the bicycle," writes one fan in Malaysia. “Rest in peace and thank you very much for the best bicycle for all," added another from Thailand. It is a bitter-sweet irony that after Asian factories resulted in the decimation of the UK cycle makers, the Far East is the major market for possibly the most instantly recognisable British bike – the smallwheeled, open-frame Moulton. Some 80% of these British-made curiosities go overseas. The Japanese have been key customers for decades and important new growing ➸ Orderline 0844 875 1515
“EVERYTHING IS MADE BY OUR SKILLED WORKERS, USING PRECISION CUSTOMMADE JIGS. ONE MAN HAS BEEN WITH US FOR 50 YEARS AND TWO OTHERS FOR MORE THAN 25.” CEO STEPHEN MOULTON
markets include China, Thailand, Singapore and Malaysia. Alexander Eric Moulton was an expert in rubber engineering who wanted to create a machine that was easier to ride – and more desirable to own – than conventional bikes. His concept was to create an open-framed bicycle, which was easier to get on and off. He used small wheels with high-pressure tyres for faster acceleration (because of less inertia). He wanted full suspension and a large amount of carrying capacity over the wheels on the centre line of the bicycle. His first design, the Series 1, was launched in 1962 and was greeted with acclaim and very large opening orders. Moulton built a factory in the grounds of his Jacobean house at Bradford-on-Avon in Wiltshire to satisfy demand. The Moulton bicycle, with its F-
shaped frame, was a memorable icon of the Swinging Sixties. A stylish bike for urban journeys, it was known as a comfortable long-distance touring machine, which, when stripped down, became a recordbeating fast track bike. Today the Moulton bike range runs from the entry-level TSR2, which costs around £950, to the technically advanced New Series Double Pylon, which is £16,500. The simpler models are made by
Alex Moulton’s bikes have shown British design ingenuity since the 1960s.
Moulton’s near-neighbour, Pashley, but the top-of-the-range bikes are still largely handcrafted in the original factory. “Everything on the bicycle is made here apart from the bought-in components from leading companies like Campagnolo, but even then they are making hubs and gear sprocket assemblies to our exclusive designs,” says Stephen Moulton, CEO of the business and Alex’s great nephew. “Everything is made by our skilled workers, using precision custom-made jigs. One man has been with us for 50 years and two others for more than 25. Young apprentices are being trained to learn the relatively rare skills involved, including brazing, the process by which we join together two pieces of metal. “Once we have cut the tubing for the frame to precise lengths we connect the pieces by brazing, rather than using lugs. Our Double Pylon, for example, has 200 braze points, each braze taking between two minutes and eight minutes to complete. Silver braze is used on our stainless steel models, and brass on our painted models.”
“CLIENTS IN ASIA ARE LOOKING TO BUY THE BEST ENGINEERING, WHETHER IT IS ON THE SCALE OF A WATCH OR A BICYCLE.” At the height of its popularity, Moulton was making between 200 and 300 bikes a week, but today it is making only several hundred a year. The factory employs 15 people. “Now the onus is on quality, bespoke, builds on a fuller range, so individual lead times can be anywhere between three and eight months from the time of order,” says Stephen Moulton. “The reason we do well in the Far East is that the consumers there are very discerning. They are looking to buy the best engineering, whether it is on the scale
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BRITISH BY DESIGN
of a watch or a bicycle.” ENIGMA: PERFECTLY FRAMED
A sports car or a motorbike used to top the list of “boys’ toys” for well-heeled, middleaged men. Now a high-performance cycle is just as likely to be the present that a man awards himself, according to Enigma Titanium, which is based in rural Sussex. Using high-grade titanium, the best lightweight steel and carbon fibre, the sevenman team at Enigma pours passion and skill into creating riding machines that look wonderful and perform superbly. Enigma’s specialty is in hand-building the central component of a great cycle, the frame, and its resident master frame builder is Mark Reilly, who has more than 25 years’ experience to draw upon. “We have all sorts of customers, including youngsters and women, but a high percentage are men aged 40 to 50 who are coming back to cycling after taking time to raise a family or build up a career,” he says. “Once cycling gets in your blood, it stays there. They come to Enigma because they like nice things that are well made. Just as they want a nice watch, or a nice suit, or a nice pair of shoes, so they want a bike that’s the best they can find.” Enigma’s top-of-the range frames are made of titanium, that strong, lustrous, corrosion-resistant element that has the highest strength-to-weight ratio of any metal, making it ideal for a bike frame. Christopher Ward has used titanium for the first time in its new C11 Titanium Elite Chronometer see pages 14-17 for the full story. As well as titanium, Enigma uses various steel alloys. With a precision that would impress even Christopher Ward’s Swiss
“IF YOU WANT BETTER, LIGHTER, STRONGER COMPONENTS, YOU HAVE TO PAY FOR THEM; IT’S AS SIMPLE AS THAT.” MARK RILEY, ENIGMA
watchmakers, Enigma has developed techniques to make its own range of tubes and profiles. By making the tubes oval and tapering them in crucial areas, the company reduces weight, increases the power transfer while making the bike more comfortable. In another refinement, Enigma specialises in double butted tubes, which have variable wall thicknesses to reduce weight. Enigma was set up in 2006 by Jim Walker with the help of Mark Reilly. Walker has racked up 35 years in the cycle business, many of them as a distributor, while Reilly brought with him two decades of experience in building frames. Says Reilly: “How the frame fits the rider is the most important part of getting a good
bike. It combines engineering skills, with knowledge of geometry and physics. There is definitely a shortage of good bike frame builders. “Our frames usually cost between £1,000 and £2,000. A finished bike can go from about £1,700 to £6,500, which is all determined by technology. In cycling, less costs more. If you want better, lighter, stronger components, you have to pay for them; it’s as simple as that.” To mark his quarter-century in the trade, Enigma is offering a limited-edition of just 25 custom-built Mark Reilly frames, which cost £2,499. The steel tubing is a specially commissioned batch of Reynolds 753 quality, once the highest specification from the specialist Reynolds Tube Company in Birmingham. In his early days Reilly was the youngest frame builder certified by Reynolds to use this exclusive heat-treated manganese-molybdenum alloy. Annual production of Enigma bikes is in the hundreds, with only 15% going abroad. Mainly this British manufacturer sells its lovingly crafted engineering gems to British enthusiasts. It remains to be seen if the efforts of Sir Bradley Wiggins, Victoria Pendleton, Mark Cavendish, Laura Trott, Sarah Storey, Jason Kenny and the rest of Britain’s elite twowheeled performers lift the sales of bikes, whether for high-performance or for pootling about. There is no doubt that Britain’s love affair with the two-wheeler is more passionate than ever. British Cycling, the body that promotes all aspects of the sport and pastime, now boasts a membership of 64,000, having added an amazing 14,000 new members since the Olympics. Now that is some legacy to celebrate. www.enigmabikes.com www.moultonbicycles.co.uk www.pashley.co.uk www.britishcycling.org.uk
Enigma Titanium builds a frame to fit precisely a cyclist’s shape and style of riding.
Swiss movement, English heart
C7 BLUEBIRD - LIMITED EDITION C7SBKB-390-BB £499 Sir Malcolm Campbell’s ambition – to be the first man to break the 300mph C7 RAPIDE VANWALL - SKSi £675 barrier – was achieved at Bonneville SaltLIMITED Flats in ADDITION 1935. Powered by the Ronda Swiss made / Sellita SW220-1 self winding automatic / Certified 3540.D calibre, our glorious limited-edition chronograph of just 1,912 pieces chronometer 38hr power reserve / 42mm diameter celebrates this /stupendous achievement. We have taken our/ Deep design etched cues from the fabulous itself; the model’s backplate stainless is modelled on the trident backBluebird plate engraving / 300munique water resistant steel case / iconic hubcaps of bezel the legendary vehicle. Uni-directional / Rubber dive strap EE XX C C LL UU SS II VV EE LLYY AA VV A A II LL A A BB LL EE A A TT
IF YOU WANT A TOTALLY UNBIASED VIEW ON CHRISTOPHER WARD WATCHES, HEAD FOR THE INDEPENDENT ONLINE FORUM THAT NOW NUMBERS MORE THAN 5,000 MEMBERS. THE CHRISTOPHER WARD FORUM REFLECTS THE ENTHUSIASM AND INDEPENDENTLY-MINDED VALUES OF THE BRAND. FORUM MODERATOR KIP MCEWAN, RIGHT, DISCUSSES ITS APPEAL.
t a Christopher Ward Forum get-together in Marlow, Buckinghamshire last October, Chris Ward delighted the assembled group of 20 CW enthusiasts by introducing a surprise guest – Johannes Jahnke, the German watch designer who is one of the new stars in the horological galaxy. He had flown in from Switzerland with the prototype of the C900 Single Pusher, which was about to be released. It is typical of CW’s openness with its community that the company was happy for some very knowledgeable and critical watch experts to see and handle the new model while having the opportunity to quiz the man largely responsible for its creation. Johannes presented us with the history, concept and development of the C900. It is our hope that this type of event shall become a regular occurrence. We refer to the forum get-togethers as GTGs and held the first one about three years ago. Since then, several members have put together mini-GTGs of their own, mostly in the UK, but we even had one in New England, my neck of the woods, that we called The Boston Tea Party. Wera, Chris’s wife, has posted FYI items on the forum on an occasional basis, but otherwise the Forum is totally independent. There are many excellent watch forums on the internet with a few dedicated to singular brands. However, you will find it difficult to locate one that is totally independent of the brand it favours. But the CWF is totally independent of Christopher Ward
London, accepts no paid advertising from CWL or any other manufacturer. The moderators are not employees of CWL, nor are employees of CWL allowed to post on the CWF. As a result of this independence, we are free to operate as we see fit. We get to post about the things we love about CWL and the watches we buy. We also get to critique CWL watches about all our dislikes. As Chris Ward himself says: “There is no better place to get an unbiased view, warts and all, about our brand”. The Christopher Ward Forum was launched in December 2005 by Hans van Hoogstraten, who is based in Holland. Hans was a fan of the C5 Malvern, CWL’s first watch, having purchased one after seeing a review on www.timezone.com, one of the leading watch websites. His independentlyminded enthusiasm for the C5 and CWL in general caused some controversy and he was banned from one forum, so he started the Christopher Ward Forum in response. This was just six months after the company itself had been launched, so CWL and CWF have developed in tandem over the past seven years. Now with more than 5,000 members, the forum, often affectionately referred to as The Asylum, is the prime source for information, specifications and photos of CWL watches. The forum always has something happening to keep members involved. I share moderating duties with Hans and the intriguingly-named Yoda. Limited-edition watches, which are designed for the Forum in part by the
members, are almost an annual event. There are member-sponsored contests some for fun, some with prizes. And eagerly anticipated is our annual ‘Chat with Chris’, where we are always surprised by the advance notice of new models. We also get to ask some tough questions about the whys and wherefores of CWL. And if things get a bit slow, we can always count on one of our number, known as The Laird, to start up a poll. One of the more popular sub-forums is the Sneak Previews. Here we can examine Christopher Ward models that may or may not make it to production. Chris is always sending the forum drawings of new ideas or models nearing production to see what feedback he can get. Members really jump in and perhaps give Chris more than he bargained for. The forum, although focused on the watches by Christopher Ward, does have plenty of talk about other watch brands and subjects. We tend to think we have someone who knows something about everything. We have a great family at the Christopher Ward Forum and we always welcome newcomers. One of our members, Dancematt, puts it so well: “…without question the nicest watch forum on the net. The moderators (and everyone involved) should be very proud of this place, even (current) nonCWL owners like myself can feel at home.” If you want to have a chat, lurk around and learn about CWL watches, we are the place to be. www.christopherwardforum.com
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VANWALL A GREAT
BRITISH SUCCESS AT A LOCATION NOW BETTER KNOWN FOR HORSE RACING, STIRLING MOSS AND TONY BROOKS MADE HISTORY AS THE FIRST BRITONS TO WIN A WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP RACE IN A BRITISH RACING CAR. THEIR AMAZING SHARED VICTORY AT AINTREE IN 1957 IN THE LEGENDARY VANWALL VW4 CAR IS NOW CELEBRATED IN A LIMITEDEDITION CHRONOMETER OF EXCEPTIONAL LOOKS AND QUALITY Consider this for an unlikely scenario from last year’s Formula 1 programme. At the British Grand Prix Lewis Hamilton is out in front when his McLaren develops a mechanical problem. Jenson Button, who is in ninth place, is called into the pits, where he graciously hops out of his McLaren and lets his team mate drive off to continue the race. Hamilton fights his way from ninth to take the chequered flag from the best international drivers of the day. Then it’s smiles all round and a great day for sportsmanship and for British racing.
Yes, we know this notion seems like a bad joke or the work of a freakish imagination. In these days of a massive Formula 1 rule book and cars that are built around an individual driver’s physique, the idea of drivers swapping vehicles mid-race is laughable enough. But then there’s also the intense rivalry that simmers consistently between even supposed team mates. It just would not happen now. A version of this fantasy, however, was played out more than half a century ago at the British Grand Prix of 1957. It was the tenthever British GP and was also designated as the
RETRO RACING | CW
Stirling Moss, wearing a crash helmet that was actually designed for polo players, chats to the pit crew before the 1957 British Grand Prix at Aintree. Note his lack of protective clothing and the neat shirts and ties of some of the mechanics. It was, truly, a different time.
“IT WAS SOMETHING I HAD DREAMED ABOUT FOR YEARS; WINNING A GRAND PRIX IN A BRITISH CAR. THEN, TO DO IT AT HOME INTO THE BARGAIN... A FANTASTIC EXPERIENCE.” STIRLING MOSS ON THE 1957 VICTORY
| RETRO RACING
“TONY BROOKS WAS A TREMENDOUS DRIVER, THE GREATEST – IF HE’LL FORGIVE ME SAYING THIS – ‘UNKNOWN’ RACING DRIVER THERE’S EVER BEEN. HE WAS FAR BETTER THAN SEVERAL PEOPLE WHO WON THE WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP.” STIRLING MOSS 17th European Grand Prix. Held on the now-forgotten motor racing track at Aintree (which can still be seen within the Grand National course to this day), the high-speed contest essentially was a battle between the formidable Ferrari team and a relatively new British racing car contender called Vanwall. On the overcast Saturday afternoon of July 20, a Vanwall, painted British Racing Green, took the chequered flag to achieve a triple-decker success – the first British Grand Prix (or World Championship) victory by a British car with a British driver. In fact it had two British drivers, for remarkably, the No 20 Vanwall that crossed the line in front started the 90-lap race being driven by Tony Brooks, but he was replaced by his betterknown team mate Stirling Moss, who had begun the race in the Vanwall No 18. On lap 27, Moss, who had been comfortably in the lead, pulled into the pits with a mechanical fault. Brooks, in ninth place, was instructed to come in too and the drivers swapped cars. With a fabulous display of his trademark controlled ferocity (and some lucky mishaps that befell his rivals)
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Moss went from ninth place to first, leaving the Ferraris to follow him home in second, third and fourth places. Brooks, who courageously had started the race despite suffering painful injuries in a recent crash at Le Mans, dropped out of the GP when the No 18 Vanwall failed again. (In another amazing incident, the third member of the Vanwall team, Stuart LewisEvans, crossed the line in seventh place in the No 22 Vanwall. Mid-race, he had fashioned a repair to a broken throttle cable with a bit of wire snapped from a bale of hay at trackside. He drove back to the pits for a more reliable repair, but left his car bonnet behind where he had stopped. For this infringement, he was disqualified. Imagine Sebastian Vettel patching up his Red Bull at the side of the track these days!)
opposite page, Tony Brooks and Stirling Moss share the laurels after switching their Vanwall cars on lap 27. below: Moss punches the air as he takes the chequered flag, ahead of three chasing Ferraris
In the No 20 Vanwall Moss completed the day’s fastest lap, covering the 3-mile Aintree circuit in 1:59.2 minutes, at an average speed of 90.61mph. The 1996 F1 world champion Damon Hill has said of Moss’ achievement: “He won the British Grand Prix in a British car as a British driver and that was the first time that had happened and that subsequently led, I think, to inspiring other designers to believe that they could win in British cars.” The previous British victories in a firstclass motor race were way back in in 1923 and 1924 when Sir Henry Segrave, later better known as a world speed record holder on land and water, won the French Grand Prix at Tours and the San Sebastian Grand Prix in northern Spain in a Sunbeam. More than 30 years later, the legendary 1957 battle of British technology versus European technology, of the young upstarts beating the aristocrats of Maranello, is regarded as a watershed in the story of British motor racing. Apart from being an incredible afternoon’s drama, it confirmed the possibility that UK manufacturers could compete with the powerhouses of Italy, such as Ferrari, Maserati and Alfa Romeo, and with other dominant European marques, such as Germany’s Mercedes-Benz. Vanwall was the vanguard that was followed by triumphant F1 British teams such as Cooper, BRM. Lotus, Brabham, Tyrrell, McLaren, Williams and Brawn. The remarkable 1957 triumph also included – and this is poignant to consider in these more cynical, commercial times – a great British sporting gesture. Tony Brooks was described by Stirling Moss as “...a tremendous driver, the greatest – if he’ll forgive me saying this – ‘unknown’ racing driver there’s ever been. He was far better than several people who won the world championship.” Of driving in the Vanwall team with Moss, Brooks commented: “I suppose it sounds terribly dated and naïve to say this, but I’d been to public school where one ➸
MPL picture library / Press Association
BRITISH SUCCESS | CW
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Swiss movement, English heart
C7 ITALIAN RACING RED – LIMITED EDITION C7 IRRT-390 – MK2 £399
Made in Switzerland / Worldwide limited edition of only 300 pieces/ Ronda 3540.D Quartz chronograph / 1/10ths second split- timing / 316L marine-grade stainless steel case / Anti-reflective sapphire crystal / Unique serial number / ”Toro Bravo” leather deployment strap E X C L U S I V E LY A V A I L A B L E AT
below: Vanwall was the creation of engineering entrepreneur Tony Vandervell. In 1957, the 2½litre 4-cylinder DOHC engine produced 285 BHP at 7,300 rpm. Moss described the steering as “ponderous”. Colin Chapman, later a legend with Lotus, helped designed the chassis.
learned that ‘the team was the thing’.” Given Christopher Ward’s track record (no pun intended!) with motoring-inspired models, it is not surprising that the 1957 British Grand Prix is being celebrated in a chronometer version of the C70. It will be a limited edition of just 1,957 models. The Number 20 of the winning car occupies the 12 position on the new watch’s face, while the 18 of the second machine is highlighted in Vanwall’s trim colour of yellow on the bezel. Moss’s astonishing 90.61mph best lap speed is picked out in red. “This episode particularly appealed to us because of the idea of a British engineering company like Vanwall taking on and bettering the European heavyweights in its field,” says Christopher Ward director Mike France. “That is exactly what we have tried to do with Christopher Ward London. For motor enthusiasts of a certain age, the Vanwall VW4 is a legendary, not to say, beautiful car. And there is a very nice connection with us because the Vanwall company was based in Maidenhead, as we are.” Vanwall was the brainchild of Tony Vandervell, a former racing driver and a wealthy industrialist whose main product was the “Thin Wall” bearing that was used extensively in the international car and aircraft industries from the 1930s onwards. Part of his name and his product’s name were combined to form Vanwall.
“THIS EPISODE PARTICULARLY APPEALED TO US BECAUSE OF THE IDEA OF A BRITISH ENGINEERING COMPANY LIKE VANWALL TAKING ON AND BETTERING THE EUROPEAN HEAVYWEIGHTS IN ITS FIELD,” SAYS CHRISTOPHER WARD DIRECTOR MIKE FRANCE.
Vandervell wanted to create a successful British racing car that, he said, would be able “to beat those bloody red cars”, a reference to the striking livery of Enzo Ferrari’s vehicles. In fact, his early efforts at developing a winning machine involved him buying a racing car from Ferrari in early 1949 and again in 1951 and modifying them. There followed several years in which the Vanwall team steadily improved their cars and caught the motor racing world’s attention with strong outings on international circuits. Between 1951 and 1953 an adapted 4½litre Ferrari Type 375 F1, which was known as the Thin Wall Special, was raced with some success. By 1954, the British entrepreneur’s team had produced a 2-litre engined car known as the Vanwall Special; changes to racing rules allowed it to be enlarged to 2½-litres during the season. By 1956 a young car designer called Colin Chapman, who was later to earn legendary status with Lotus cars, was brought in to improve the chassis design of the Vanwall.
Frank Costin, an expert in aerodynamics, dreamed up an impressive low-drag body that owed a lot to aircraft technology. Although the early Vanwalls were notorious for mechanical unreliability, the Vanwall VW4 was a beautiful-looking car, a near-replica of which is available today (see pge 30). It was viewed as a masterpiece of engine design in a sturdy yet light chassis. What made the achievement of Moss and Brooks all the more laudable was that, despite its speed and power on the straight, it was difficult to steer. “A very heavy, ponderous, car to drive” is Moss’s assessment. In the rest of the 1957 season after Aintree, a Vanwall helmed by Moss also triumphed at a Grand Prix in Pescara, Italy and then, for a hugely satisfying hat-trick, at the Italians’ sacred circuit at Monza. Alas, Vanwall, as it achieved great victories, was also to be touched by tragedy. In the 1958 season Moss won Grand Prix races for Vanwall in Holland, Portugal and Morocco, while Brooks matched him with ➸ www.christopherward.co.uk
| RETRO RACING VANWALL TODAY
victories in Belgium, Germany and Italy. Six wins from the series of nine races meant that Vanwall became the first team to win the Constructors’ Championship, which was inaugurated that year. Moss, however, lost out to his great rival Mike Hawthorn, a Ferrari driver, in the drivers’ competition by a single point. Even worse than this, however, was the death of Stuart LewisEvans, the third driver on the Vanwall team, from burns following a crash in the season’s final race, the Morocco GP. He was driving the Vanwall that had won at Aintree.
Vandervell’s failing health and his depression at Lewis-Evans’ demise led to a rather swift decline for Vanwall, which disappeared from the racetracks by the early 1960s. But three hours of frantic activity at Aintree on 20 July 1957 mean that the marque holds a unique place in the annals of British motor racing. Stirling Moss, the best driver never to have won the world championship, recalled: "It was something I had dreamed about for years; winning a Grand Prix in a British car. Then, to do it at home into the bargain,
A modern road-going interpretation of the GP-winning Vanwalls of 1957 and 1958 is available from the modern Vanwall company. The handcrafted aluminium bodywork is dimensionally the same and is painted in the exact colour of the original racing cars. It uses modern components and is powered by a reconditioned Lotus 2.2 litre 4-cylinder engine and transmission. Lights and wings can be fitted to the car to making it road legal. The price range is £135,000 to £150,000 (plus VAT). www.vanwallcars.com
you know, Tony and I being the first British drivers to win a Grand Prix since Segrave and Sunbeam back in 1923. And also to be the first all-British winners of the British Grand Prix. Fantastic experience." This unforgettable achievement is proudly celebrated in Christopher Ward’s limited-edition C70 VW4 Chronometer.
C70 VW4 CHRONOMETER - LIMITED EDITION THE NEW C70 VW4 CHRONOMETER - LIMITED EDITION IS THE LATEST IN CHRISTOPHER WARD’S IMPRESSIVE PARADE OF WATCHES INSPIRED BY CLASSIC MOTOR RACING. PREVIOUS EXAMPLES IN THE SERIES INCLUDE C70 DBR1, C70 BROOKLANDS AND C70 MONTE-CARLO, ALL OF WHICH ARE NOW SOLD OUT.
Inspired by the Vanwall VW4’s success in the1957 British Grand Prix at Aintree, this design blends retro elements with the finest modern specifications of accurate timekeeping. Encompassing the renowned Eta 251.233 COSC movement, the C70 VW4 Chronometer comes with certification from the Controle Officiel Suisse des Chronometres, the institute which measures the accuracy and precision of Chronometers made in Switzerland. The C70 VW4 VANWALL Chronometer is, therefore, one of the most accurate quality watches in the world. Limited to a worldwide production run of precisely 1,957 pieces, it will appeal to watch aficionados and racing enthusiasts alike.
FEATURES • Swiss made • Worldwide limited edition of 1957 pieces • Quartz chronometer movement • COSC certified • 42mm hand - polished stainless steel case with aluminium bezel • Screw-in crown and back-plate • Anti-reflective sapphire crystal • SuperLuminovaTM hands • Special back-plate engraving • Unique engraved serial number • Spanish "Toro Bravo" leather deployment strap C70 VW4-COSC-VK CHRONOMETER LIMITED EDITION £599
Orderline 0844 875 1515
TECHNICAL • Diameter: 42mm • Height: 10.7mm • Calibre: ETA 251.233 COSC • Case:316L stainless steel • Water Resistance: 100 metres • Strap: 22mm black leather (or bracelet or rubber strap) • Dial Colour: Vanwall BRG and Yellow
TIME CHANGERS | CW
A NEW SERIES WHICH MEASURES TIMES THAT CHANGED OUR WORLD
“I HEREBY DISCONTINUE MY ACTIVITIES AT THE POST OF PRESIDENT OF THE UNION OF SOVIET SOCIALIST REPUBLICS,”
declared the 60-year-old politician, the last leader of an empire of 15 republics with a total population of 290,000,000 people. On 25 December 1991 Mikhail Gorbachev made his resignation speech in a 10-minute address to the nation that had been founded by the Bolsheviks 69 years earlier. Moments after he had finished speaking, figures appeared on the illuminated dome of the Council of Ministers building and prepared to lower the Red Flag flying over the Kremlin. Billowing in a strong winter wind, it takes 33 seconds for this symbol of the might of the Soviet Union to come down for the last time, heralding a period of profound change, not just for those who lived under the hammer and sickle but for the entire world. The following morning Muscovites saw the white-blueand-red striped flag of the new Russian Federation flying over what had been the citadel of Communism. The Soviet Union had ceased to exist.
Orderline 0844 875 1515
IN THE WARDROBE
On the evening of 9th November 1985, Princess Diana had a short impromptu dance with John Travolta during a gala dinner at the White House. It was an unforgettable moment for royal watchers. Diana was looking fabulous in a sleek midnight-blue silk velvet evening dress by British designer Victor Edelstein. On March 19 that gown will be auctioned in the London saleroom of Kerry Taylor Auctions. The estimate for the dress is £200,000 to £300,000. One of the leading sellers of vintage fashions in the world, Kerry Taylor has an impressive track record with Diana’s dresses. In June 2010 she sold the black strapless evening dress that the then-Lady Diana Spencer wore on 9th March 1981 on her first official engagement after the announcement of her betrothal to Prince Charles. Designed by the Emanuels, who later created her wedding dress, it sold to a costume museum in Chile for £192,000. The Duchess of Cambridge is proving to be just as collectible as Diana. At a Kerry Taylor sale last year two hats that Kate Middleton had worn just once – she had hired them, not even owned them – sold for an incredible £3,120 and £3,600 respectively. “We would have got more, but we
clockwise from above: A taffeta bridal gown and bonnet, circa 1845, sold for £11,000; The Diana “Travolta” dress is expected to sell for more than £200,000 in March; A tartan dinner suit owned by the Duke of Windsor
SHE SERVES A GLOBAL NETWORK OF COLLECTORS WITH THE FINEST EXAMPLES OF VINTAGE FASHION. QUALITY, RARITY AND PROVENANCE ARE HER STAPLES – AND A LINK WITH CELEBRITY CAN ADD A ZERO TO THE FINAL PRICE. WELCOME TO THE FASCINATING WORLD OF KERRY TAYLOR.
clockwise from right: Kate Middleton’s see-through dress sold for £65,000 in March 2011; these brocaded silk women’s shoes, circa 1770, sold for £3,200; this rare 1925 dress by Madeleine Vionnet raised £50,000
couldn’t get the telephone line open to a keen buyer overseas,” says Taylor ruefully. In March 2011 she brought the hammer down on the skimpy see-through lace dress by little-known designer Charlotte Todd worn by Kate at a student fashion show at St Andrews University – allegedly the occasion when she first caught the eye of Prince William. The price was £78,000. The buyer was not an ardent royalist, but rather a smart property developer who saw his purchase - £65,000 plus 20% buyer’s premium – as a shrewd investment. Taylor recalls: “He said to me afterwards, ‘This woman is going to be Queen of England one day. How much will it be worth then?’ “Alongside celebrity items, haute couture is really affordable at auction and another shrewd investment. In 1993, while working at Sotheby’s, I sold an Yves Saint Laurent dress from his 1965
“I’M NOT A COLLECTOR OF VINTAGE FASHION MYSELF. IT’S ENOUGH FOR ME THAT I GET THE CHANCE TO HANDLE THESE BEAUTIFUL CLOTHES.”
Photo; Jo Patterson
AUCTIONEER KERRY TAYLOR
Orderline 0844 875 1515
Swiss movement, English heart
EMILY DIAMOND DOUBLE-TOUR DS21-DEC-SWT-XL £399 A beautifully crafted, saddle-stitched, Italian leather double-tour strap perfectly complementsthe classic looks of this mini-masterpiece. For full-on, 24 hour lifestyles, the Christopher Ward “easy-change” strap mechanism offers infinite flexibility. But to be honest, it’s not the technical wizardry you’ll fall in love with: it’s Emily’s stunning looks, featuring 38 full-cut white diamonds. E X C L U S I V E LY A V A I L A B L E AT
RICHES IN THE WARDROBE | CW
“BUYING HAUTE COUTURE AT AUCTION IS A SHREWD INVESTMENT. I SOLD AN YVES SAINT LAURENT DRESS FROM HIS 1965 ‘MONDRIAN’ COLLECTION FOR £2,000 IN 1993. IN 2011 I SOLD THE SAME GARMENT FOR £28,000.”
In fewer than 20 years, the value of this YSL ‘Mondrian’ dress increased 14-fold
‘Mondrian’ collection for £2,000. In 2011 I sold the same garment for £28,000.” Financial investors are just one of the groups that find the lots at the Kerry Taylor Auctions saleroom in Bermondsey, London, interesting. Fashion collectors are as varied as watch collectors. Her other major purchasers are: costume museums (“There are fewer than a dozen around the world that can afford the top prices, but there are lots that buy less expensive examples”); dealers (“There are a lot in LA, for example, selling vintage fashion to the Hollywood set”); important private collectors (“There are about half a dozen serious collectors willing to spend six-figure sums”); fashion houses (“They usually are trying to build up the archive of their own products”); fashion designers (“They buy for inspiration”); little collectors (“People specialise in all sorts of niches, like lace, buttons, quilts,..”); and people who just like vintage fashion and buy-to-wear (“If they look after them, they can re-sell them later”). Taylor’s global network of contacts has been built up over a 30-year career in auctioneering. Brought up in rural north Wales, she took a temporary job as a receptionist at Sotheby’s in Chester in 1979, aged 19. There she found her métier and so began a rapid rise to prominence. “I worked harder and longer hours than anyone else and I became one of the youngest auctioneers in Sotheby’s history at the age of 21,” she says. A move to Sotheby’s New Bond Street was inevitable and in her mid20s Taylor re-established the costume and textile sales there. By the age of 30 she was director in charge of all collectors’ areas –
such as sport, rock ‘n’ roll, fashion, special theme sales and celebrity sales. She left Sotheby’s in 2003 to set up her own auction business specialising in her first love, costume and textiles. “I am interested in fashion as applied art, in the art of dressmaking itself, if you like,” she explains. “I am not a collector of vintage fashion myself, partly because I just am not acquisitive and partly because I do not want any conflict of interest. It is enough for me that I get the chance to handle these beautiful clothes.” The highlights of her auction schedule are her twice-yearly Passion for Fashion sales, which typically offer around 300 lots of the finest examples of collectible textiles and fashion. These are augmented by at least two “general sales”, that offer items that are less expensive, but still of high standard. Then there are special sales, such as the March one this year with just 10 dresses worn by Princess Diana, or the sale in April of the clothes, accessories and watches of a single private owner. Setting the rarefied pieces to one side, Taylor stresses that it is easy for anyone interested in fashion to buy from her. “If you buy from an auction, vintage is affordable. It is fantastic quality compared to the rubbish that is sold in shops today. It’s unique. Lots of people buy clothes from me to wear them. For example, in the shops now a modern dress with the Pucci label will cost maybe upwards of £1,000, but someone might be able to buy one from me that was made in the 1960s, when Emilio Pucci himself still ran the business, for maybe £200. They can
“THERE IS A LOT OF RUBBISH SPOKEN ABOUT VINTAGE FASHION AND THERE IS A LOT OF TAT THAT IS CALLED VINTAGE. DO WE REALLY WANT TO SEE ANYTHING ELSE IN CRIMPLENE?”
wear it, enjoy it and probably resell it for more than they paid for it.” Although the great majority of what she sells is womenswear, menswear is “very strong in the saleroom” at present. “Anything eye-catching and strongly designed is in demand,” says Taylor. “Museums are looking for good 1960s menswear from Carnaby Street and boutiques of the era like Granny Takes A Trip, Blades, Mr Fish, Mr Freedom, Tommy Nutter.” Unlike the best womenswear, which is hand-made haute couture, fashion menswear tends to be ready-to-wear. “I recently sold a coat by John Stephen, the founder of Carnaby Street, for £1,500. I can only describe the fabric as curtain material.” Sober and respectable nineteenthcentury menswear is also in demand, simply because so little of it has been preserved. The oldest garment Taylor ever sold was a somewhat different example of menswear – a velvet doublet, or jacket, from 1573 with slashed sleeves that revealed the cloth beneath. A private collector bought it for £200,000, not in an auction, but with Taylor acting as a sales agent for a client. Such is her reputation, other auction houses like Sotheby’s and Bonhams now refer clients with textiles and costume to sell to Kerry Taylor Auctions. Its reputation has been built by being honest, honourable and by trading in only a certain level of quality. “Just because something is old, doesn’t make it interesting,” Taylor passionately insists. “There is a lot of rubbish spoken about vintage fashion and there is a lot of tat that is called vintage. Do we really want to see anything else in Crimplene? Rarity or uniqueness in itself is not an asset. If it is so rare and specialised that no one wants it, so what? What I need is something really rare that everyone wants, like a Madeleine Vionnet dress from the 1920s, early Chanel pieces, something from Yves Saint Laurent’s Pop-Art collection of 1966 or his African collection from 1967. People expect me to offer the crème-de-la-crème.” www.kerrytaylorauctions.com
| TIME TO LOOK AGAIN
C20 LIDO AUTOMATIC C20-SSS £450
C90 POWER RESERVE C90-SKK £850
“EACH YEAR CW INTRODUCES ONLY BETWEEN FIVE AND 10 NEW MODELS. AFTER EIGHT YEARS ITS TOTAL SELECTION OF AVAILABLE STYLES IS ONLY 32...”
TIME TO LOOK AGAIN | CW
“THESE HIDDEN GEMS DESERVE TO BE RECONSIDERED. THEY ARE VERY WELL-REGARDED BY THE CW TEAM AT MAIDENHEAD.”
C40 SPEEDHAWK CHRONOGRAPH AUTOMATIC C40-SKS £750
FLICKING THROUGH ITS BACK CATALOGUE, CW NOTICED A FEW MODELS THAT PERHAPS DID NOT GET THE EXPOSURE THEY DESERVED WHEN FIRST RELEASED. HERE IS A QUARTET THAT IS DEFINITELY WORTH A SECOND LOOK. IT WILL BE TIME WELL SPENT… C9 HARRISON GMT AUTOMATIC C9-GMT-SKT £550
Christopher Ward could never be accused of flooding the watch market. Each year the company introduces only between five and 10 new models. The total selection of available styles after eight years is just 32 in various colour options. CW is very pleased to have had some outstanding successes, such as the Malvern Mk2 collection, the C60 Trident collection and quite a few sell-out limited editions, like the C70 DBR1 chronometer and the C9 Jumping Hour. Recently, however, the team in Maidenhead got to thinking that a few of their personal favourites did not get the attention they deserved when first introduced. It is time, therrefore, to reconsider these “hidden gems”. ➸ Orderline 0844 875 1515
| TIME TO LOOK AGAIN
C20 LIDO AUTOMATIC
C90 POWER RESERVE
SLIP THIS ELEGANT BABY ON YOUR WRIST AND YOU CAN IMAGE YOU ARE AN ADVERTISING HOT-SHOT AMONG THE MAD MEN OF MADISON AVENUE OR ARE HANGING OUT IN LAS VEGAS WITH SINATRA AND THE REST OF THE RAT PACK.
TAKING A NEW LOOK AT THIS HANDSOME TIMEPIECE MAKES ONE WONDER WHY IT’S NOT BETTER KNOWN AMONG THE CHRISTOPHER WARD FAN CLUB. WHETHER WITH A WHITE DIAL OR A BLACK DIAL, IT’S A LOVELY EXAMPLE OF UNDERSTATED DESIGN.
There’s an unashamedly 1960s retro feel about this versatile watch, which is great for everyday wear, but also looks slick enough to be worn for special occasions. The original C2 Lido was introduced in 2008. Having been developed through the CW Forum (see page 23 of this issue for more on the CWF), the first Automatic Lido appeared as a limited edition of only 100 pieces. The C20 Lido under review here appeared in the main range in 2010. There is an economy of style about this timepiece that gives it an aura of restrained masculinity. The 40mm case itself is particularly impressive as it appears as though it is milled from a single piece of steel. The clean and functional dial is enhanced with a subtle guilloche design in the centre, which catches the light through the anti-reflective crystal. Through the exhibition panel on the back plate the excellent Eta 2836-2 calibre automatic movement (which controls Day/Date functions) can be viewed. The steel bracelet option is a strong contender for many customers, but a calf leather strap in tan or black gives the C20 Lido a more dressed-up attitude. It is a watch, however, whose cool good looks are especially enhanced by an upgrade to a Louisiana alligator strap. Ask yourself, which would Frank have preferred?
Having started life in 2009 as the C90 Becketts - named after the legendary corner at Silverstone - the watch was renamed in 2010 after CW discovered that use of the name was protected. In this elegantly retro incarnation, the C90 is currently Christopher Ward’s first power reserve watch, courtesy of the complex 24-jewel Valgranges Eta A07.161 automatic movement. The power reserve function of the movement was specifically customised for this watch by Eta. The 45-hour power reserve meter is a dominant feature of the multi-layered dial, which is very strong on legibility. It’s another big watch in all senses, with a 43mm diameter hand-polished surgical-grade stainless steel case that is water-resistant to 5 ATM (50m). It has all the usual CW attention to detail, such as raised and polished indices, SuperLuminova™ stripes on the minute and hour hands, a see-through back plate and a superbly profiled adjustable Italian leather strap with an easy-opening butterfly clasp. Christopher Ward has built up a reputation for fine motor-racing-inspired watches. The often-overlooked C90 Power Reserve deserves a place very near the front of the grid.
C20 LIDO - AUTOMATIC C20-SSS £450
Orderline 0844 875 1515
C90 POWER RESERVE C90-SKK £850
TIME TO LOOK AGAIN
C40 SPEEDHAWK CHRONOGRAPH IN A STOOPING DIVE THE PEREGRINE FALCON CAN REACH SPEEDS OF 200MPH (320KPH), MAKING IT ONE OF THE FASTEST CREATURES ON THE PLANET. A SILHOUETTE OF THIS REMARKABLE BIRD OF PREY IN A STOOP FORMS THE COUNTER BALANCE ON THE SECOND HAND OF THE C40 SPEEDHAWK, WHICH GIVES AN INDICATION OF THE PERFORMANCE FROM THIS AUTOMATIC CHRONOGRAPH.
A development from the highly successful C4 Peregrine model, the C40 Speedhawk Chronograph was introduced in 2009 and marked a significant leap forward for Christopher Ward. The all-important improvement was the introduction of the famous Eta 7750 Valjoux movement, the hypnotic operation of which can be seen through the exhibition plate. Physically, this watch is imposing, with a 42mm hand-polished surgical-grade stainless steel case requiring 16mm of height to accommodate the sophisticated functions within, including the Etachron regulator system. The black dial, highlighted with white and red, features the 3-counter multi-function chronograph (hours, minutes and stop second), a Day/Date calendar and a uni-directional rotating bezel and internal tachymeter. It’s a busy, but very legible face, thanks to the convex sapphire crystal with anti-reflective coating. Picking up the red theme of the dial, the stems of the pushers flanking the screw-in crown are anodised red. Water resistant to 5 ATM (50m), the C40 Speedhawk is available with a stainless steel bracelet or a black calf leather strap with red contrast stitching. The latter looks particularly sporty with a PVD matt black case. As is usual with raptors, the female peregrine is much bigger than the male, which leads us to conclude that although the C40 Speedhawk is ostensibly a man’s watch, it also would look good on some female wrists. C40 SPEEDHAWK CHRONOGRAPH AUTOMATIC C40-SKS £750
C9 HARRISON GMT LONG BEFORE GOOGLE EARTH AND SAT NAV, FINDING ONE’S PLACE ON THE PLANET WAS A MATHEMATICAL PUZZLE KNOWN AS THE “LONGITUDE PROBLEM”.
The globe was divided by imaginary vertical lines, starting at 0° at Greenwich and fanning out -180° westwards and +180° eastwards. Knowing where you were required a reliable timepiece that could calculate your journey time from Greenwich. In 1761 a watch devised by British horologist John Harrison arrived in Jamaica on a British navy ship and was running only 5 seconds slow, which corresponded to an error in longitude of 1.25 minutes, or about one nautical mile. Harrison was awarded a prize of £20,000 (equivalent to almost £3 million today) from the British government for his achievement. Harrison’s H4 Chronometer, also known as his Sea Watch No 1, was recognised as the marvel of the age and 250 years later it has inspired superb watches from Christopher Ward. The C900 Jumping Hour and the C900 Single Pusher are the most exotic of the bunch, but the C90 Harrison GMT is probably the model that most closely echoes the spirit of Harrison’s achievement. Thanks to its marvellous Eta 2893-2 automatic movement, this watch – the GMT stands for Greenwich Mean Time – shows the time in two time zones simultaneously, a feature that would have delighted and amazed Harrison himself. In the best spirit of Christopher Ward’s ethos, the dial is clean and unfussy, with the second zone’s time being indicated on a neat inner circle on the dial. The sophisticated movement is visible thanks to the see-through back plate on the 43mm hand-polished surgical-grade stainless steel case. If you want a timely reminder of the power of “less is more” as a design mantra, the astonishingly precise C90 Harrison GMT is the watch for you. C9 HARRISON GMT AUTOMATIC C9-GMT-SKT £550
Swiss movement, English heart
C9 HARRISON AUTOMATIC – LIMITED EDITION C9-AUTO-SBBR £599
Made in Switzerland / Worldwide limited edition of only 100 pieces / Sellita SW 200-1 self-winding élabore movement / 38 hour power reserve / 43mm 316L surgical-grade, hand-polished stainless steel case/ Anti-reflective sapphire crystal / Galvanic blue one-piece metal dial / Premium-grade alligator deployment strap E X C L U S I V E LY A V A I L A B L E AT
SPAN AP Photo
A NEW SERIES WHICH MEASURES TIMES THAT CHANGED OUR WORLD
4min: 59sec AT 02:51:16 UTC ON MONDAY JULY 21 1969, A FORMER TEST PILOT FROM WAPAKONETA, OHIO, OPENED THE HATCH OF THE APOLLO LUNAR MODULE, EAGLE AND LOOKED OUT AT THE LUNAR SURFACE.
His journey to this point had taken years of meticulous planning and all the confident ambition and wealth of 1960's America. His next journey - the nine-rung descent of the Lunar Module ladder - would take just four minutes, 59 seconds but would end in one of the most significant events in human history. Neil Armstrong would become the first person to have ever stepped on anything that has not existed on, or originated from, our home planet. Unable to see his feet below him, he carefully stepped down, reaching out to activate a TV camera. As he neared the bottom he said, “I’m going to step off the LEM now”. He then turned and took a small step onto the surface. The time was 02:56:15 UTC.
Orderline 0844 875 1515
WOMEN OF WW2
GUARDIANS OF THE
RAF FIGHTER COMMAND’S WARTIME HQ, BENTLEY PRIORY, WILL BE OPENED IN SEPTEMBER THIS YEAR AS A MUSEUM TO CELEBRATE ALL WHO CONTRIBUTED TO THE VICTORIES IN THE SKIES OVER BRITAIN IN 1939-45. HERE WE HIGHLIGHT THE ROLE OF UNSUNG HEROINES OF THE WAAF WHO WORKED IN TOP-SECRET FILTER CENTRES AT THE HEART OF THE UK’S UNIQUE AIR DEFENCE SYSTEM. uring the summer of 1940, Bentley Priory was probably the single most important building in the whole of the United Kingdom. A former country house in Stanmore, north London, it was the headquarters of the Royal Air Force’s Fighter Command, which was led by Air Chief Marshal Sir Hugh Dowding, who since 1936 had been refining a system to protect the country from aerial attack. The Battle of Britain from July to October 1940 proved that his secret air defence strategy, known as the Dowding System, worked. Improved and refined, it continued to thwart the enemy during the Blitz of 1940-41 and the V1 and V2 rocket attacks in 1944-45. The principles used in this radar-based early warning system are employed in our defence systems today but now computers do the analysis that in WW2 was handled mainly by a small group of young women in the Women’s Auxiliary Air Force, which had been formed in 1939. A stained glass window at Bentley Priory celebrates their previously overlooked role by showing a WAAF in the Filter Centre, which was the pivotal heart in the Dowding System. Among the WAAF veterans who served in the Filter Centre at Bentley Priory and elsewhere during the war are Patricia Clark (née Robins) and Eileen Younghusband (née Le Croissette), who put
D Wartime WAAF Eileen Le Croissette, now Eileen Younghusband, used her maths skills in the Filter Centres
“WHAT WE DID IN THE FILTER CENTRES HAS BEEN A BIGGER SECRET THAN WHAT WAS DONE AT BLETCHLEY PARK.” EILEEN YOUNGHUSBAND
on the WAAF uniform in 1940 and 1941 respectively, when both were just 19. Virtually every movie about the Battle of Britain or the Blitz includes images of young WAAF personnel pushing around markers in RAF Operation Rooms, but until very recently it was almost unknown to the public that the information used by the Ops staff had been received, analysed and collated at great speed in neighbouring rooms called Filter Centres. “If it wasn’t for the girls in the Filter Centres, the Ops Room wouldn’t have known where the German planes were and wouldn’t have been able to tell the pilots,” insists the sprightly and engaging Patricia Clark. “The main reason people don’t know about what we did is that we all had to sign the Official Secrets Act and that restriction was not lifted until 1975.” More than seven decades on, Eileen Younghusband, who has become an eloquent figurehead for her WAAF colleagues, is equally indignant. “What we did in the Filter Centres has been a bigger secret than what was done at Bletchley Park,” she maintains. Victory in the Battle of Britain and other air battles over the United Kingdom during World War Two immediately conjures images of the bravery and fortitude of The Few, but the reality is that victory was delivered by an extensive system that integrated new technology, processes ➸
Pictures coutesy of Bently Priory, Eileen Younghusband
In the Filter Centres, WAAF personnel soon proved themselves to be just as able as the RAF men they replaced. Connected to radar stations on the coast via telephone lines, they plotted the positions of enemy and friendly aircraft with great speed and accuracy
ENGLISH FIZZ | CW
“THE MAIN REASON PEOPLE DON’T KNOW ABOUT WHAT WE DID IS THAT WE ALL HAD TO SIGN THE OFFICIAL SECRETS ACT AND THAT RESTRICTION WAS NOT LIFTED UNTIL 1975.” PATRICIA CLARK
Orderline 0844 875 1515
WOMEN OF WW2
HUGH DOWDING‘S VIEW WAS THAT BRITAIN’S ONLY HOPE WAS TO KEEP ITS MEAGRE AIR FORCE CONCENTRATED ON THE HOME FRONT communications and a band of highly skilled RAF and WAAF personnel. In 1940 the system enabled The Few in the air and the Anti-Aircraft Artillery on the ground to overcome a numerically much stronger enemy. The success of the Dowding System during the Blitz meant that Hitler’s Operation Sealion, his planned invasion of Britain, came to nothing. In 1932 the British Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin infamously declared that “the bomber will always get through”. This widely held view of the indefensible threat of modern aerial attack was challenged by Sir Hugh Dowding, who in the three years before World War II conceived and organised the development of a unique integrated air defence system. Born in 1882, he was approaching retirement age, but he adopted a maverick stance against many of his superiors and political masters, certain in his view that Britain’s only hope was to keep its meagre air force concentrated on the home front to defeat the expected German onslaught from the skies. Observation, communication of information, analysis and speed of response were the vital elements of his plan. He was one of the first to recognise the potential of
above: the work of the WAAF plotters was supervised from a balcony. right: telephone links to radar stations were open 24 hours a day
Orderline 0844 875 1515
radar detection. His system relied on a ring of radar stations on the British coast that had been set up in the mid-1930s by Robert Watt-Watson, a radar pioneer working for the British Air Ministry. These stations were the starting points of what became known as CH or Chain Home. Radar detections from a single position were imprecise 70 years ago. By coordinating the overlapping readings from neighbouring stations, a much more accurate assessment of the position and altitude of incoming aircraft – and, importantly, of the number of aircraft – could be made. It was this sort of plotting analysis at which Patricia, Eileen and their WAAF colleagues in the Filter Centres became very skilled. Human observation, especially by the Observer Corps, was important to fill in the gaps between radar stations, especially in the early part of WW2 when radar coverage was directed mainly out to sea. (The Observer Corps was awarded the prefix “Royal” by King George VI in April 1941 in recognition of its contribution during the Battle of Britain.) As the war progressed, systems using different radio frequencies were better at tracking aircraft over land. Airborne RAF
planes also contributed information and, on the ground, bi-lingual personnel, including WAAFs, listened in to the wireless chatter of German aircrew. This mass of information needed to be sent, received, analysed and processed very
“IF WE TRACKED ONE LOSING HEIGHT, WE WERE ABLE TO ALERT THE MARITIME RESCUE SERVICES AND OFTEN PILOTS WERE SURPRISED TO FIND A BOAT WAITING FOR THEM WHEN THEY DITCHED.”
SECRET WOMEN OF WW2
left; The maverick Sir Hugh Dowding, who devised the UK’s integrated air defence system worked. right; WAAF personnel were called the “beauty chorus” during the war. In September 2012 these veterans gathered again at Bentley Priory, Fighter Command’s wartime HQ.
Picture coutesy of Bently Priory, Eileen Younghusband and AP Photo
quickly if it was to be useful. Dowding put hundreds of telephone lines underground (to be safe from bombing) to enable the information to flow between the radar chain and observer groups, RAF Bentley Priory and the other Fighter Command units. Under the Dowding System, the country was divided into geographical areas, each of which was covered by a Fighter Command Group. These areas in turn were subdivided into several Sectors with a Sector station controlling two or three airfields. During an enemy attack, details of incoming aircraft – and, importantly, of friendly aircraft – were sent by the Chain Home stations to the Filter Centre at Group HQs. Once collated, assessed and plotted on a large table-top map, this information was passed to the Group Operations Rooms and thence to Sector Ops Rooms, where the Controller made the decision when to scramble the fighters. He and his deputy controllers provided pilots with coded courses to vector, or guide, the fighters to the target. The order to “scramble”, together with the codename for the area to be patrolled, was relayed by telephone to dispersal huts at the fighter airfields. Under the integrated Dowding System, the information from the Filter Centre was disseminated to other key parties involved in
above: As the tide of war changed, Eileen Younghusband, second from left, was posted to Belgium to help identify German rocketlaunching sites
“I AM NOW 92 YEARS OF AGE AND MY FELLOW WAAFS HAVE WAITED A VERY LONG TIME FOR RECOGNITION OF THE VITAL PART WE FILTER CENTRE PLOTTERS, FILTERERS AND FILTER OFFICERS PLAYED.” the aerial combat, such as anti-aircraft batteries, air raid authorities, Balloon Command, and after it was formed later in the war, the Air Sea Rescue service. In the early days of WW2, it was not thought the WAAF personnel would be able to handle as efficiently as the men of the RAF the calculations and pressure of the Filter Centre operations. The pool of trained RAF staff was small and there were increasing demands for personnel to operate systems overseas. It was decided to give women a chance and this proved to be the correct decision because they acquitted themselves wonderfully. “With our smaller hands, we were able to place the small counters that represented hostile planes and friendly aircraft much more dextrously than men. We learnt very fast to be quick,” says Patricia. On the recommendation of a friend who was working in a Filter Centre, Eileen Younghusband told her recruiting officer that she was good at mathematics and wanted to be a Clerk Special Duties, the code used for the WAAF plotters. The recruiting officer was astonished that she had even heard of the term, as it was so hush-hush. Seventy years on, Eileen explains why the analysis done at speed in the Filter Centre was so important to achieve the effective use of the RAF’s very limited resources: “Quite simply, during the
Battle of Britain and the Blitz, we didn’t have enough planes, pilots or fuel. The Spitfires and Hurricanes had fuel to keep them in the air for just under an hour, so the very earliest they could intercept was about 30 minutes from their airfield. The trick was not to get the planes up too early, but to get them to the right area at the last minute. That’s why all our calculations, our intersections of the arcs of incoming planes’ paths, our predictions of where they were going to be and when, were so important.” The central work area of a Filter Centre was the table on which was a map covering the Group’s area. Most of the map, Eileen recalls, showed the area of the sea as it was over the water that the early radar located airborne activity. Each radar station in the area was assigned to a WAAF known as a plotter, who communicated with the station through a headset and large mouthpiece that curved upward from the chest. As the information – type of aircraft, number of aircraft, direction of aircraft, altitude, friend or foe – came over the telephone lines the plotters laid down markers on the table. The markers, of different shapes and colours, carried different letters and numbers that represented different information. This information was simultaneously assessed and collated into simple arrowed tracks on the map by a Filterer Officer, who was free to walk round the table and to ➸ www.christopherward.co.uk
WOMEN OF WW2
ALL THE ASCENDANCY OF THE HURRICANES AND SPITFIRES WOULD HAVE BEEN FRUITLESS BUT FOR THIS SYSTEM WHICH HAD BEEN DEVISED AND BUILT BEFORE THE WAR, WROTE WINSTON CHURCHILL “filter” the information being laid down by the plotters. The often-frantic activity on the table – Eileen recalls that it was normal that 15 or more plotters would be working shoulder-to-shoulder – was supervised from a balcony on which sat a Filter Officer (who from 1941 was usually WAAF), a Filter Room Controller (who was always RAF) and WAAF “tellers”, who passed on by phone the key elements of the plotting to the nearby Ops Room. During the Battle of Britain, the Filter Centre at Bentley Priory was the only one in the country – the success of the system during the summer of 1940 led to its expansion. A recreation of the Filter Centre will be a feature of the new museum. By coincidence, although at separate times, Patricia and Eileen were both first posted to 10 Group, which covered the south-west of England and south Wales. Their paths crossed later in the war. At RAF Rudloe, 10 Group’s HQ near Bath, Pat’s first Filter Centre in late 1940 was in a former cowshed – it was later relocated underground. This was symptomatic of the make-doand-mend reality of the early years of the Second World War. The Dowding System used the most advanced technology of the day – radar – yet even at Bentley Priory to
modern eyes the construction of the balconies in the Filter and Ops Centres and the technical infrastructure was somewhat Heath Robinson. As well as analysing and plotting enemy aircraft, Filter Centres had to identify all aircraft operating out to sea to prevent
fratricide and enemy forces creeping in under cover of returning friendly aircraft. This was achieved electronically by an aircraft sending a signal to the CH radar – although not all aircraft were fitted with this equipment early in the war – and by all friendly movements being notified to Filter Centres. Identification in itself was a complex task. Early in the war it was realised that an organisation to rescue downed aircrew at sea was necessary, so the Air Sea Rescue Service was formed in 1941 following the experiences of the Battle of Britain. The Filter Centres
RAF Air Sea Rescue gather in British pilots forced to bale out at sea. June 8, 1941. (AP Photo)
C5 BATTLE OF BRITAIN (70) 6B/159 AUTOMATIC The design of the automatic watch is based on the Air Ministry's military issue pilots watch of the time, (reference number 6B/159) and carries the King’s crown and laurel-wreathed RAF crest of the period. Other unique features include hour and minute hands formed in the shape of the propeller blades of the iconic Spitfire which was so central to securing victory. The Battle of Britain was, arguably, the most important military battle of the 20th century. Production of the watch is limited to 1,940 pieces worldwide.
C5 C5 BATTLE OF BRITAIN (70) 6B/159 AUTOMATIC C5-BB70-AWT £325.00
FEATURES • Swiss-made • RAF-commissioned 1,940-piece limited edition • Self-winding automatic movement • 38-hour power reserve • Marine-grade stainless steel case • Anti-reflective sapphire crystal • RAF King’s crest and laurel leaf dial design • Spitfire propeller-inspired hands • Air Ministry reference 6B/159 engraved back-plate • Italian leather deployment strap
TECHNICAL • Diameter: 38mm • Height: 10.8mm • Calibre: Sellita SW200-1 • Vibrations: 28,800 vph • Case: 316L Stainless steel • Water Resistance: 50 metres • Strap: 18mm brown leather • Dial Colour: Vintage White
SECRET WOMEN OF WW2
supplied much of its information. “This was very important because quite a few planes went down in the drink,” Patricia Clark recalls. “If we tracked one losing height, we were able to alert the maritime rescue services and often pilots were surprised to find a boat waiting for them when they ditched.” The seriousness of their work throughout the war was made painfully obvious to the WAAF personnel by the alarming fatality rates among aircrew. Eileen Younghusband joined up after a favourite cousin, who was in the RAF, was killed on a training mission. In 1943 the crew of a stricken Lancaster bomber who had been fished out of the Channel was brought to a Filter Centre to discover how their plane had been pinpointed so accurately. Patricia Clark became engaged to one of the visitors, an Australian navigator called Ken Lyons. He was killed on an air raid over Germany in 1944, aged 26. She had already lost two cousins who were pilots in the Battle of Britain. “I wouldn’t say you got used to it, but death was very commonplace,” she says today. Talking to impressive women like Patricia and Eileen today, it is difficult to imagine the sexist prejudices of the times that they and their fellow WAAF personnel overcame. Patricia recalls all her comrades were her age: “I can’t remember any of the plotters or Filterer Officers being older than their mid-20s at the most.” They were determined to show that they could handle the technical tasks that RAF men were doing. Although the WAAF had been established in June 1939 when war seemed likely, it was not until 1941 that women working in technical roles, such as in the Filter Rooms, were commissioned. Patricia Robins finished the war as a Flight Officer and Eileen Le Croissette as a Section Officer. The Filter Centres were “manned” by WAAF personnel 24 hours a day, with the telephone lines to the radar stations kept open permanently. Shifts were eight hours long. At times of heavy enemy activity, such as the Blitz or during the V1 and V2 raids, Filter Centres were places of intense activity. At other times, however, when bad weather prevented flying, the WAAFs caught up with their reading, knitting and sewing. Patricia began writing stories for women’s magazines during these quiet shifts. Winston Churchill’s comment that: “Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few” has passed into legend, but he also wrote in his six-volume history, The Second World War, that: “All the ascendancy of the Hurricanes and Spitfires would have been fruitless but
for this system which had been devised and built before the war. It had been shaped and refined in constant action, and all was now fused together into a most elaborate instrument of war the like of which existed nowhere in the world.”. This “most elaborate instrument of war” was the Dowding System. Says Patricia Clark: “I am now 92 years of age and my fellow WAAFs have waited a very long time for recognition of the vital part we Filter Centre Plotters, Filterers and Filter Officers played. We were totally dedicated to our work and proud to be considered more than capable and well able, as was doubted, to replace the men who were needed for active service overseas.” Eileen Younghusband adds: “It is my firm belief that the Filter Centre was the linchpin of the air defence of Britain and it is time this was celebrated. Many Filter Centre personnel have been puzzled and sometimes upset that their vital work under difficult conditions was never acknowledged. At last the part they played in the Dowding System is now being recognised.”
“IT IS MY FIRM BELIEF THAT THE FILTER CENTRE WAS THE LINCHPIN OF THE AIR DEFENCE OF BRITAIN AND IT IS TIME THIS WAS CELEBRATED. MANY FILTER CENTRE PERSONNEL HAVE BEEN PUZZLED AND SOMETIMES UPSET THAT THEIR VITAL WORK UNDER DIFFICULT CONDITIONS WAS NEVER ACKNOWLEDGED.” EILEEN YOUNGHUSBAND
For an official 1943 film on the Filter Centres, see www.youtube.com/watch?v=wFN4uE2b9hA Eileen Younghusband’s memoir, One Woman’s War, details her WAAF experiences. In civilian life she became a successful business woman. www.candy-jar.co.uk/books/onewomanswar After WW2 Patricia Clark became a successful novelist. Her autobiography, You Never Know, which includes her war years, was published under her pen name of Claire Lorrimer. www.clairelorrimer.co.uk
BENTLEY PRIORY APPEAL Known as “the spiritual home of The Few”, Bentley Priory in Stanmore, north London, will be reopened as a museum in September 2013 after a seven-year appeal that has raised £13 million. Just £800,000 is still required and lapel badges are being sold at £30 to help reach the target. To order a badge, call 020 7580 3343 or email email@example.com Many thanks to Bentley Priory project manager Wing Commander Erica Ferguson for her generous help in putting together this feature. www.bentleypriory.org
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A NEW SERIES ON HOW THE HUMAN MIND CONCEIVES OF, AND KEEPS TRACK OF, TIME.
by Professor Gerry Altman
AS A SPECIES, WE ARE FASCINATED BY TIME. WE’VE BEEN MEASURING IT FOR SOME 4,000 YEARS AND CELEBRATING ITS PASSAGE FOR FAR LONGER.
we actually have). The same amount of time in one context might seem like an eternity, but in another, a moment that was all too brief. Psychologists care about these things, and how they come about: How, why, and when our mental clocks tick at different rates, and what the consequences of changing that rate are for everyday behaviours. And neuroscientists care about which parts of the brain control the mental clock, and whether there may not in fact exist multiple clocks within a single brain all ticking at different rates. Even anthropologists care about time, with different cultures appearing to think about time in different ways (and describing time in their respective languages in quite different ways to how we might describe it in English).
THE BIGGEST IMPEDIMENT, HOWEVER, TO OUR UNDERSTANDING OF MENTAL TIME IS TIME ITSELF: THE HUMAN BRAIN CHANGES IN THOUSANDS OF SUBTLE WAYS, THOUSANDS OF TIMES A SECOND. The biggest impediment, however, to our understanding of mental time is time itself. The human brain changes in thousands of subtle ways, thousands of times a second. As scientists, we measure it, probe it, time it. If we could just slow down time long enough to watch the brain change, moment-by-moment, we might better understand how different parts of the brain work in synchrony to create our own personal experience of time. But we cannot open up a brain like we can a watch, and probe how each part enables all the others to function. The methods we use are not those of a watchmaker (readers familiar with Zachary Quinto’s character Sylar from the TV series Heroes will be disappointed).
were planning the same thing next month instead. And we’ll learn about how different parts of the brain serve different chronometric functions, from estimating time to travelling back in time. We might even learn a little about skydiving, decisionmaking, and culture. If nothing else, we’ll learn a little more about the most versatile clock you’ll ever experience but never be able to buy: the one inside your head. Gerry Altmann is Professor of Psychology at the University of York in the UK, Editor-inChief of the academic journal Cognition, and prize-winning author of The Ascent of Babel, an accessible introduction to how the brain does language. In his spare time, Gerry is a watch nerd.
Illustration: Clementine Mitchell
e synchronize our daily activities using any number of diverse devices – ranging from the mechanical to the subatomic – and yet we rarely stop to think how it is that without such devices we still do a pretty good job of keeping time, knowing how long it will take to get back from the shops, or overtaking the car in front before hitting the oncoming traffic. How do we do this? And why is it that time sometimes appears to slow down, or speed up? These are not the idle questions of scientists with too much of the stuff on their hands. When a skydiver takes that first jump, and has to count the seconds before pulling the ripcord, does he count at the same speed as he did when trained to count while on the ground? When pilots estimate the time to hit the ground as they land the planes in which you travel, are their estimates as accurate as when, during training, they were more safely sitting behind the controls of a simulator? And if not, why not? If you are that skydiver, or are sitting in that plane, you’d hope that someone, at least, knows the answer to these questions. Psychologists and neuroscientists attempt to answer exactly such questions. We live with the objective measures of time all around us – from watches and phones to TVs, ovens, and microwaves. Yet despite its objective and measurable manifestation, time is subjective – right now, time may be going by faster for you than it is for me. Hence the role for psychologists in understanding how the mind “does” time. Even economists and decision-makers care about subjective time: A decision that might take only moments to make is easily and accurately made when we don’t feel rushed, but is harder to make when we feel under time pressure (regardless of how much time
How we instead study the mind’s ability to keep time, and even conceive of time, is something that we shall consider across a series of occasional articles that will appear in future issues of this magazine and in the Christopher Ward blog. Scientists working on the psychology and neuroscience of time will contribute short articles describing their and others’ research on psychological time, and how it changes from moment to moment and person to person. We’ll find out how our mental conception of time is not that different from our mental conception of space – time and space are inextricably bound, both in Einstein’s theory of special relativity, and in our minds. We’ll discover that our ability to estimate elapsed time relies on a mental chronograph this is unlike any chronograph you can buy in a shop. We’ll find out why we think that something we’re planning on doing tomorrow will take longer than if we
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