Loupe. The Magazine of Christopher Ward. Issue 02. Autumn 2016
Flying High Christopher Ward takes pilot watches to the next level
Discover the new breed of watchmaker...
The C60 Trident Pro 600 isn’t a bestseller for nothing. Water-resistant to a depth of 600m, it’s the perfect diving watch. But with its scratch-resistant ceramic bezel and elegant stainless steel case, it’ll look great just about anywhere. The 38mm and 43mm case sizes also ensure there’s a C60 for every wrist size.
Swiss movement English heart
Contents Features 18 – 25
34 – 37
The C8 UTC Worldtimer and C8 Power Reserve Chronometer take Christopher Ward’s aviation offering to new heights
26 – 29
Pedal power As with a bespoke suit, there’s real joy to a one-off bicycle, tailored to your style, size and needs
30 – 33
Do I feel lucky? The movies of Clint Eastwood play with notions of masculine violence in winning, thought provoking ways. Here are the best of them
38 – 41
The Conversation: Anne-Claire Schott & Kate Nowell-Smith
Time to fly 18 — 25
Two women on opposite sides of the planet with three things in common: a love of fine wine, a determination to make their mark in a traditional industry – and a C9 Moonphase
Need for speed New TMB Art Metal collaborations, based on the icons of 1950s motorsport: Aston Martin’s DB4 GT Zagato and Jaguar’s D-Type
Racing icons 30 — 33
Regulars 07 – 12
43 – 50
Friends of Christopher Ward doing amazing things: climbing unclimbed mountains, and flying the flag in Rio
14 – 17
Insight Inside the company, and the watch industry, with Adrian Buchmann, Johannes Jahnke and others
Forty Eight Three watches worn for a weekend. How did they get on?
Cover image: C8 UTC Worldtimer, see page 18.
Women and wine 38 — 41
A Road Less Travelled
The Magazine of Christopher Ward.
This autumn will see Christopher Ward launch two versions of a new complication of our very own Calibre SH21 movement. The first of these, the hand-wound version, powers the new C8 Power Reserve Chronometer, which is discussed extensively in the pages of this issue – and similar coverage will be given next time around to the automatic version, which will be officially launched at this year’s SalonQP. Let’s just look at that again. “Two versions of… our very own Calibre SH21 movement.” Sounds straightforward, doesn’t it? But behind these simple words lies a world of expertise and effort – not to mention a little luck. Of course, it’s setting such ambitious challenges, and then somehow managing to pull them off, which makes being involved with this brand so special. After all, bringing into the world the first commercially viable mechanical movement created by a British brand in more than half a century, as we did in 2014 with SH21, was no mean achievement – and one of which we are immensely proud. But with this new complication, created again by our master watchmaker Johannes Jahnke, the roots of our watchmaking expertise go deeper yet. By always being prepared to push the envelope of technical development, we believe what we learn in the process filters down and has a positive impact on everything we do. It may, therefore, not always be the path of least resistance we take, but we hope it makes the journey more interesting and rewarding for everyone involved with our brand – especially our customers. Enjoy the magazine. Chris, Mike and Peter
This issue of Loupe is an exciting one, I think. We’ve widened our remit – so now we’re talking to men and women doing bold and interesting things across the world, not just in Britain – and we’ve reintroduced a couple of popular features (Timespan and The Great Watch Wearers) familiar to readers of a previous incarnation of the Christopher Ward Magazine. And we’re not leaving it there, as next issue we’ll have more fresh elements, including the first of a new series on the great independent contemporary watchmakers. Perhaps the most exciting thing this issue, though, is our cover watch: the C8 UTC Worldtimer. Together with its sister, the C8 Power Reserve Chronometer, it is, for my money, one of the most attractive watches Christopher Ward has ever made, and shows off the new branding to great effect. The new design aesthetic is really gathering speed. Matt Bielby
Editor: Matt Bielby Art Director: Jamie Gallagher Designer: Sam Burn Photography: Damon Charles, Peter Canning Contributor: Anthony Teasdale 1 Park St, Maidenhead, Berkshire SL6 1SL
A watch with a truly global perspective, the C8 UTC Worldtimer is able to tell the time in three timezones at once. Designed in England, and built at our atelier in Switzerland, its self-winding ETA 2893-2 movement also boasts a power reserve of 42 hours.
Swiss movement English heart
Discover the new breed of watchmaker...
News, reports & innovations. This issue: extreme adventures and Olympic challengers
Escape to which
Struan Chisholm, Calum Nicoll and a bunch of their pals undertake ambitious adventures each summer, often sponsored by Christopher Ward – who they tend to name mountains for. This time around, they’re off to Kyrgyzstan. (Er, where?)
Snoozing in the snow during the 2013 expedition Don’t worry, the guys didn’t leave that sweet treat wrapper littering up the mountain
As a company, Christopher Ward likes to support people doing bold, innovative things – and few are more bold than Struan Chisholm, Calum Nicoll and their friends, most of them old school buddies from Inverness, who like to go on adventures. Many of these guys were brought up in the Highlands, catching fish, hiking the hills, foraging for mushrooms and cooking on fires beside Loch Ness, and over the years their trips have become more and more ambitious, each summer devoted to a yet bigger adventure. 7
The guys crossed Iceland on foot in 2012, making do with a meagre and distasteful diet for close to a month – “the trip consisted largely of smashed oatcakes, noodles and pain,” Struan says – while their Tajik2013 expedition, supported by Christopher Ward, remains the allround biggest adventure they’ve done. Now they’re on another CW-sponsored expedition, this one to remote southeastern Kyrgyzstan.
Looking for mountains to name, with Struan far left
Don’t know it? You’re not alone. “It’s in the middle of Central Asia,” Struan explains. “It’s a country of vast grass plains, mountains and forests of walnut trees, hemmed in by China, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. It used to be a republic of the Soviet Union, is a bit smaller in square kilometres than mainland Britain, and has a population not much bigger than Scotland. “The country’s mountain ranges cover a vast area, and there’s huge scope for exploring where few have been before. The range we are going to, in the south-east of the country, is called the Djenghi-Djer, which means ‘New Land’ in Kyrgyz. That’s exactly what it is from a mountaineering perspective – we have only been able to find one photo of it anywhere. This is very exciting – we believe there are about 50 unclimbed peaks there, mostly around 4000-4700m high, so we will try to get up some of them.” Blimey! Seems ambitious, and – indeed – just getting there sounds hard. First they need to meet in Bishkek, the capital, all of them flying in from different places now they’ve left university, including Inverness, Aberdeen, London, Massachusetts and, for Struan, Australia via China.
“We will be dressing for all weathers – below freezing at altitude, and hot lower down in the valleys – but our limited luggage allowances mean we will also have to dress heavily when flying,” Struan says. “I will be wearing all of my mountain gear on the plane: hat, gloves, and several kilos of dried meals in the gaps between layers. Once we get to Bishkek, we will go by road to Kara-Say, then round up twelve horses and ride out to the mountains.” Basically, it’s a home-brewed adventure, so they’re doing everything themselves, from drying vegetables and baking flapjacks for their long stints in the wilderness, to finding untried new routes up the mountains. For the 2013 expedition, Struan and Calum, plus two other friends not coming on this year’s trip, drove from Inverness to Tajikistan – another landlocked central Asian country – and back, putting some 15,000 miles on the clock of their ancient Mitsubishi Shogun. “When we reached Tajikistan,” Struan says, “we climbed several mountains, including a first ascent of Mount Christopher Ward (4,922m) – only around c.1,100km, as the crow flies, from the mountain range we’re going to this time. 8
The expedition lasted three months, took us through about 25 countries, and was supported by Christopher Ward – hence the name we gave to that mountain.” And it was not without its incidents, either: Struan’s rucksack, containing all his possessions – including passport and climbing kit – rolled off a cliff into a river, never to be seen again, and they had to hide their Christopher Ward watches in their underwear during threatening interrogations by corrupt Uzbek police. “We bribed our way through several ‘stan’ countries using 2-pence pieces, which we said were the most valuable,” Struan says. That said, the regular folk they met were incredibly friendly and helpful – men sitting at the side of the road would wave as they drove past, or invite them home for tea and food. With luck, they’ll get a similar reception on the new expedition. This time around, there are six of them going – Struan, Calum, and four new adventurers: Sandy, Neil, Sam and Mark. “I’ve known two of the boys for nearly twenty years, as we were at nursery together,” Struan says. “The team includes a bagpiper, a pizza delivery driver, a ship charterer, a Welsh male voice choir singer, a nationalist and a pessimist.”
“The Christopher Ward team took a liking to our plan, particularly the fact that we’d organised everything ourselves”
It all sounds amazing fun, but how much preparation have they put in – and how dangerous do they expect it to be? As very few people have been to the huge mountain range they’re aiming for this time, much is unknown – but at least they’ve learned how to pack efficiently, and how to sort out a diet that’s both lightweight and interesting. New skills include learning Kyrgyz phrases, and getting used to flying the camera drone they’re taking. “We will have to acclimatise to the altitude too,” he says, “and might also encounter large rivers which have to be forded on horseback. Getting enough practice horse riding isn’t a possibility, unfortunately, and as we’ll be in the saddle for days, it’s going to be uncomfortable.” Horses, in fact, are a huge part of this trip: one each to ride, and several pack horses for gear. “The appeal is the added flexibility of being able to move quickly between the valleys. On a previous expedition in the Indian Himalayas, an exhausting hike to base camp took so long that barely any time was left for climbing, let alone exploring. This time we’re keen to spend as much time climbing as we can.” Such as the vagaries of magazine publishing that by the time you read this the trip will, in fact, be over – the boys have put
aside a month for it, July into August. “As I speak to you,” Struan says, “I’m in the middle of baking a batch of oatcakes we’ll be taking along. They’ll go wonderfully with the beef jerky we’re bringing from Wild West Beef Jerky, which – you’d never guess – actually comes from the Scottish Hebrides.” And what about the Christopher Ward relationship? Well, it began when the guys approached the company as a potential sponsor for the Tajikistan expedition. “The team at Christopher Ward took a liking to our plan – particularly the fact that we had organised everything ourselves, as a group of youngsters trying to do the biggest expedition we could conceive of, in spite of limited resources,” Struan says. “And, since Mount Christopher Ward was climbed, the company has generously supported other young people who are pursuing adventurous goals in sport and the outdoors.” 9
Last time out the guys wore the C11 Makaira Pro 500 – “it’s elegant but hard as nails, and its luminous hands helped us wake up at 2am for Alpine starts” – and this time around they’ll be wearing the C60 Trident 300. “We firmly expect it to go down just as well as the indestructible C11 – which remained so handsome after everything that, in Uzbekistan, one of the boys was offered a cow in exchange for his,” Struan says. “I wear my C11 Makaira Pro 500 every day. I like it because it’s an elegant reminder of the ruggedness and excitement of adventures past, and it counts down to those still to come.” Read more about the boys and their adventures at their blog, horsepower2016.com
Case files A fresh look for the top-of-the-line C1 Collection is revealed What’s this, you might be asking? Only your first look at the new case for the C1 models, Christopher Ward’s top-of-therange dress watch line, designed to replace the C9 collection. In his first ever product development meeting at Christopher Ward, back in early 2015, Adrian Buchmann – the company’s Senior Designer – was a little taken aback when co-founder Mike France took out a scale plastic model of an Aston Martin DB9 and plonked it on the table. The brief was clear: develop a new case as elegant and distinctive as the DB9. The new case is now ready, and will make its first appearance in November, when the C1 Power Reserve is launched at SalonQP. Meanwhile, we thought you
might appreciate this first glimpse of the new case in the metal. We’ll have more on this watch next issue.
Watching the Watchmen New facilities at the British Horological Institute, aimed at promoting British watch-making The British Horological Institute – over 150 years old, and the professional body for Britain’s watch and clockmakers – is currently working on a £4.9m project called Saving Time, which will see the creation of a new Centre for Horology at Upton Hall, their Nottinghamshire headquarters. This cutting edge facility will provide dedicated watch and clock workshops; a full programme of long and short courses in clock and watchmaking; and the very best tutors. Though many courses will be aimed at aspiring watchmakers wishing to enter the field, others will be geared towards more
experienced horologists looking to develop their skills – and enthusiasts simply wanting to know more. There will also be exhibition spaces and events – not least the annual Making Time festival – and a general thrust towards reversing the decline in UK watchmaking skills. The project is currently in the middle of its development phase, with the real work – if Heritage Lottery Fund support is achieved – beginning next year; the first courses using the new facilities are planned for September 2019. For more, bhi.co.uk
Fast track Christopher Ward sponsors three exciting British athletes competing at this year’s Rio Olympics and Paralympics, including the wheelchair racer Samantha Kinghorn Christopher Ward has long been keen to sponsor and encourage up-andcoming British athletes, and three performing at the Rio 2016 Olympics and Paralympics this summer seem to fit the philosophy of the watch company particularly well. After all, they all use clever pieces of technology in pursuit of perfection: Amber Hill, the World Cup Gold Medal-winning skeet shooter, a shotgun; the men’s eight rower, Will Satch, a narrow composite ‘shell’ rowing boat; and the Scottish Paralympian, Samantha ‘Sammi’ Kinghorn, a particularly slick and lightweight racing wheelchair. The Rio Paralympics runs 7-18 September, right after the Olympic Games, and it’s Sammi we caught up with to find out about her preparations, ambitions and – yes – love of watches, taking time out from her hectic training schedule.
Sammi Kinghorn, training outside on a rare sunny day
When Sammi’s back was broken in a one-off accident she suffered as a teenager, she became paralysed from the waist down. She started in disability sports when her physiotherapist took her to Stoke Mandeville, the Buckinghamshire village where the World Wheelchair and Amputee Games – inspiration for the Paralympics – was born, and Britain’s spiritual home of disability sports. She’s since represented Scotland and Team GB in numerous events, competing in 100m, 200m, 400m and 800m competitions, and was named Glasgow’s Disabled Athlete of the Year. So, Sammi, what got you into wheelchair racing in the first place? Were you this competitive before your injury? It was in the later stage of my hospital period. Down in Stoke Mandeville, I saw a GB athlete training around the track. Later that day I gave it a go, and it was the best feeling! I fell in love with the sport then. Before my injury I was involved with hockey and gymnastics, but not at a seriously competitive level. What do you wish more people knew about the sport? I wish they knew how difficult it really is, and that it isn’t something you can just
pick up overnight. It takes hard work, determination and a lot of trial and error to develop as a wheelchair athlete. If you were coaching us on wheelchair racing this afternoon, what would you say? I think the most important thing to keep in mind is that it takes time and effort to improve. You aren’t going to be the best right away. Getting your pushing technique is fundamental, though, and once you get a hang of that you will start to see improvements. What makes you so good at wheelchair racing, do you think? Being involved in gymnastics – and other sports – before my accident helped me, because I was flexible and had fitness. I believe I am very motivated to achieve the goals I set myself, too. Unlike a lot of other athletes I wasn’t born with a disability, and had to adapt to the conditions. How have you been approaching the Rio Paralympics? Firstly, of course, I’m thrilled to have been selected. More than that, though, I’d be delighted if I could make the finals for all three of my events: 100m, 400m
and 800m. I feel that I have really good training facilities, and good support around me – so the only thing conspiring against me is the unpredictable weather in Scotland! I get more benefit from training outside, but sometimes the rain or wind means I’m forced to train indoors. Tell us about the equipment you use, and your wheelchair in particular. My racing chair is made by a company in Loughborough, called Bromakin. The chair is designed and made exactly to my size and requirements. The frame of the chair I currently have cost around £4,000. The 4-spoke carbon fibre wheels are around £1,500, and the smaller front wheel costs around £800. Tyres are around £60 each, and the gloves I use to push cost £250. The chair weighs 5KG. That’s incredibly light. Yes, and it’s highly aerodynamic too,
“I train twice a day, six days a week, a mixture of gym work, sports massage and track, road and roller sessions” enabling me to reach maximum speeds as fast as possible. There’s steering on the chair, for when I am training or racing on the roads, and underneath that there is the chair’s compensator, which is used on track. The compensator has two positions, which must be reset on every track I go to: the first position is for when I am on the straight part of the track, then – when I hit the compensator across – it switches to the second position, which guides the chair around the bend without me needing to steer. This lets me push for the entire time I’m racing. Tell us about your training. What do you spend most time doing? I train twice a day, six days a week, with Saturday being my day off. Monday,
We certainly hope to see Sammi looking this happy in Rio
Wednesday and Friday I have strength and conditioning sessions at Heriot Watt University gym in Edinburgh. Monday evening is a sports massage, and the rest of the sessions consist of track, road and roller sessions (depending on weather and my training programme). Then, during off-season, I do endurance work and strength training in the gym. When the competing season is about to begin, it becomes all about speed and power. I do work to improve my fast twitch muscle fibres – important for rapid movements – and I work on my starts to see what starting position works best. Finally, tell us a bit about your relationship with Christopher Ward. Christopher Ward has recently sponsored me again for a second year, which has enabled me to buy racing and gym equipment to help me progress. I have two CW watches, my most recent one being the C3 Malvern Chronograph MK II, which is a beautiful watch – though it took me weeks to choose the one I wanted! I have been down to the CW headquarters to meet everyone involved, and hope to continue to work with the company for years to come. Follow Sammi on Twitter at @Sam_Kinghorn
Our thinnest mechanical watch to date, the C5 Slimline Square is a masterclass in subtle elegance. The refined curves of its 37mm case will fit under any shirt or blouse cuff, while the decorated hand-wound movement is proudly displayed behind its exhibition window.
Swiss movement English heart
Discover the new breed of watchmaker...
Two days with some of our coolest models
Boy Meets World When you’re constantly wondering what time it is on the other side of the Atlantic, the C9 Worldtimer really comes into its own. Simon Kirrane tries it for size Simon Kirrane lives half his life in the UK, and half in New York, where he recently helped create W42ST – a local media brand celebrating and promoting the once gritty, now gentrified area sometimes referred to as Clinton or Midtown West, but better known as Hell’s Kitchen. Or that’s the theory. The thing is, he actually tends to spend most of his time in England, but still needs to keep tabs on goings on across the Atlantic, five hours behind. That makes the Johannes Jahnke complication fitted to the ETA 2893 movement that powers the C9 Worldtimer just perfect for his needs, though Simon wasn’t initially convinced.
Simon: not such a minimalist after all
The Worldtimer’s dial is beautifully multi-levelled and complicated, with a blue dimpled ocean just below intricate silver landmasses
“Actually, I wasn’t sure about this watch at all when I first saw it,” Simon says. “I usually wear small, vintage watches – and even then I check my iPhone for the time. This seemed too big, and too complicated, for me. But over two days, I got used to it.” This is certainly a large and eye-catching watch, dominated by the blue-and-silver map of the world on its face, and by the surrounding 24-hour ring, with its two-colour day/night indicator. Squeezed in tight at the edge of the dial is a narrow chapter ring, indicating minutes – and, when you consider that the dial also houses regular hour/minute hands, a second time zone hand, and a window at 12 o’clock that displays the airport code for the second time zone (with a crib sheet on the back of the watch, in case you don’t know them all), then yes, you’d have to say that there’s a lot going on. And we haven’t even mentioned that the whole thing is scattered with 24 tiny dots, indicating major world cities in various secondary time zones, with the one you’re using highlighted in red.
All too much? Some might say, but then this is a Worldtimer – or, perhaps more accurately, an extra-clever GMT watch that offers a second city timezone display – and a lot going on comes with the territory. So, what did Simon make of it all? “There’s a ton of info to take in at a glance,” he says, “but it turns out I rather like that. (I didn’t think I would; I thought I was more a minimalist kind of guy.) I’ll admit that it took me a while to get used to reading what time it is in New York at a glance – I got the hours easily enough, but it was a stretch for me to remember how to read the minutes – but in the end it started to make sense, and the watch became genuinely useful. Now, reading it’s like second nature. Well, almost.” So you like it? “Yes, I actually find it useful. I’m enjoying the styling too, and it certainly shows how bold Christopher Ward can be in terms of clever design.” C9 Worldtimer (on leather), £995 / $1,360 For more, christopherward.co.uk
For a man used to quartz watches, like Steve Jarratt, the extended power reserve on the C9 5 Day Automatic is the perfect feature
Power Play “This is the first Christopher Ward watch I’ve worn that contains the in-house movement,” says Steve Jarratt, a magazine editor who’s launched a number of important newsstand titles, including the technology mag T3, and the video game bible Edge. “And, I must say, it’s a very handsome thing. I’ve spent quite a bit of time just looking at the back of the watch, to be honest.” Normally a quartz kind of guy – Steve usually sports a TAG-Heuer chronograph – the white-faced, leather-strapped C9 5 Day Automatic is exactly what he’s not used to, and all the better for it. “It’s bigger, it’s got a much simpler dial, and it’s mechanical,” he says. “In every way, it’s nothing like any watch I own. But I rather like it. It’s very comfortable, for one thing. I admire the strap a lot – I barely know that it’s on – and, for a big mechanical watch, it’s nicely light. It’s super easy to tell the time with it too, as it has such a large, simple face. Even the date window is quite big. And, like I say, the display back – with so much of the movement visible – is very pleasing. The only thing I don’t really like is the height – to me the case seems very deep for a dress watch, which I suppose this is, and I have bumped it on the odd door.”
The looks – elegant and crisp, in a bright flat white (there are blue, charcoal and green versions too) with precise printing on the face and elegant, well-made chrome baton markers and Art Deco numerals catching the light – are certainly pleasing, but the main thing about this watch is the beautiful 31-jewel in-house automatic movement by Johannes Jahnke. This has, in this version, a huge 120 hour power reserve, massively up from the usual 40 hours or so you get on a mechanical watch. “The truth is,” Steve says, “I’ve not wound this thing once, so I’ve been treating it just like one of my quartz watches – except, of course, that I know there’s something more interesting going on inside. For someone like me, so used to kit you just plug in three times a week to power, the fact that I can take this watch off, leave it for a few days, and then just pick up and put on again without worrying if it’s stopped, is ideal. It might win me over to mechanical watches yet.”
Steve: now less of a fan of quartz tech
C9 5 Day Automatic 43mm, £1,375 / $1,890
Born to race Matt Bielby tries the C7 Rapide Chronograph MkII v390, a classic and classy car-lover’s chronograph at a remarkably tempting price Matt: quite a fan of this handsome chronograph
This leaves me, of course, to try out the last of this issue’s three test watches. It’s the cheapest, it’s not mechanical, and it doesn’t contain any particularly clever complication or ability, which may all make it sound a little… ordinary. But, in actual fact, there’s an awful lot to like about the C7 Rapide Chronograph MkII v390, not least that it’s almost the poster child for one of the most important Christopher Ward attributes of them all. That’s right, it’s a lot of watch for the money. 17
With the C7 MkII – a chunky stainless steel sports chronograph with three sub dials – you’re getting something that looks and feels rather like a TAG Heuer Carrera, and of comparable physical quality, but at a fraction of the price. It has a screwin crown and two chronograph pushers; a steering wheel embossed screw-back case; a slightly domed sapphire crystal on the front; and, inside, a Swiss-made Ronda 3540.D quartz movement, with a 54-month battery life. The bottom subdial is the running seconds; the big seconds hand is the chronograph seconds; the left subdial is a 30 minute counter; and the top subdial acts as a 1/10th of a second indicator for the first 30 minutes (it spins around once every second), and after that as a 10 hour counter for the chrono. Basically, this means you can measure everything from 1/10th of a second up to 10 hours – hugely more, surely, than any of us will ever need. Downsides? Well, the mirrored numbers appear and disappear depending on the light and the angle of the watch – it’s sort of pretty, but it means it’s not as easy to read as it could be in all lights – and, of course, it’s quartz, which you’ll either love for the convenience and accuracy, or find a little soulless. For £350, though – and less on rubber or leather – I couldn’t care less. There might be more handsome and functional everyday watches out there at this price, but I’ve not seen them. C7 Rapide Chronograph MkII v390 (black or white face), £350 / $480 on stainless steel strap. For more, christopherward.co.uk
The various levels of the C8 UTC Worldtimerâ€™s dial add visual interest, and contibute to functionality too
C8 UTC Worldtimer C8 Power Reserve Chronometer
Aviation themed watches are often exciting looking – bold and masculine, with an appealing ‘tool watch’ feel – and Christopher Ward’s C8 series bring a unique aesthetic to the breed. Now two new members of the family are taking the series to new heights, as Matt Bielby finds out…
Pilot watches are one of the main pillars of the industry, and plenty of famous Swiss companies have built their names and reputations around them. But while the likes of IWC mostly look to the B-Uhr observation watch for their inspiration – those oversized beasts inspired by Hitler’s mid-’30s desire to rebuild the German air force, with four German makers, plus the Swiss IWC, eventually supplying them to the Luftwaffe – Christopher Ward likes to do things a little differently. No surprise there, right? Doing things differently, in this instance, means looking to a different
inspiration. The B-Uhr look tended towards the aggressively simple: black dials, white Arabic numerals, luminous sword hands, and an upwards orientation triangle or arrow at the 12 o’clock position. These were big watches – not big in the normal way we think of it, but 55mm big. Virtually pocket watches for the wrist. IWC’s current Big Pilot watch is essentially a variation on the theme, and companies like Stowa (one of the original German manufacturers of B-Uhr) make even more literal modern incarnations. British pilot watches of World War II, even when made by the neutral Swiss –
Dials reference the Smith’s Mark II clocks found in Spitfire cockpits, and the backs nod to the giant turbines in the wind tunnels at Farnborough IWC famously supplied both the RAF and Luftwaffe – used a similar design language, but were mostly smaller, simpler things. Christopher Ward has made B-Uhr influenced watches in the past, but in recent years has instead been looking to some very British icons for their aviation-themed range. The dials now reference the Smith’s Mark II clocks found in Spitfire cockpits; and the backs nod to the giant turbines in the three wind tunnels at Farnborough Airport in Hampshire, for a long time home to the Royal Aircraft Establishment, Britain’s early skunk works. This is where they tested everything from the Hawker Hurricane to Concorde. “When we first came across those wind tunnels, we couldn’t believe that nobody had ever referenced their look in watch design,” says Mike France, cofounder of Christopher Ward. Now, with two new 44mm models – the first pilot watches from the company to sport Christopher Ward’s new logo
and branding, that logo appearing in the fast-becoming-familiar 9 o’clock position on one and, interestingly, centred more traditionally at 12 o’clock on the other – the proudly disruptive brand is looking set to make waves once again. First up, the C8 UTC Worldtimer, a particularly handsome beast in either regular brushed stainless steel or sandblasted steel black DLC (Diamondlike Carbon, giving a tough, black-coated finish). Powering it is the familiar 21-jewel ETA 2893 automatic movement, this one running hours, minutes, seconds, date and a UTC/GMT function, and with a 42 hour power reserve. Two C8 SH21 crowns – one at about two o’clock, the other at
about four – control regular functions and the cities ring, which moves through a sequence of 24 positions. The most appealing thing about it, though, is the way it looks: big numbers at 12 and 6, batons for the rest, a date wheel at 3 o’clock balancing nicely with the new logo’s regular position opposite it on the dial, and the 24-hour-clock number on a ring around the edge of the main watch face, depicted with white or old radium numbers on black for the top half of the dial (the nighttime hours, from six at night until six in the morning), and black on white or old radium for the daylight hours. Beyond all this comes that rotating ring at a low angle, with London at the top, Auckland at the bottom, and major cities
The new watches retain the Smith’s clock look, but in stylised form in each of the world’s time zones marching around the dial on two stacked levels: Zurich, Cairo, Moscow, Dubai… “Last year’s C8 P7350 Chronometer limited edition model, released to celebrate the anniversary of the Battle of Britain, contained a genuine piece of Spitfire in the case, and was very closely based on the Smith’s clocks,” says Mike. “These new pilot watch designs retain that look, but in more stylised form.” The very appealing package is completed by Tibor vintage leather straps in either black, a mid-tan or a darker brown; cases in regular stainless steel or the military black DLC; and the dial print in either straight white radium (with the steel case) or the slightly creamier old radium (with the black one). And then there’s the UTC’s sister watch, the C8 Power Reserve Chronometer, this one containing SH21 – Christopher Ward’s remarkable in-house movement, designed by Johannes Jahnke – in hand-wound small second and power reserve form. Despite two subdials (at six and nine), and a date window at three, it’s a slightly more restrained presence, though one thing strikes you immediately.
That’s right: the new, crisp and modern Christopher Ward logo has relocated to the classic 12 o’clock position – it has little choice, considering the dial layout – and is now centred (with ‘Ward’ underneath the central R to P of the longer ‘Christopher’), rather than aligned left. Opinions on this? Well, some will immediately like it better – it’s a much more familiar arrangement, after all – though I, personally and on balance, find the default nine o’clock position slightly more dynamic, individual and exciting. Whatever side of the debate you fall on, it certainly shows the useful flexibility of the new arrangement. Another black sandblasted watch with a two-layer dial and narrow old radium troughs serving as ‘batons’ – slimmer than on the UTC, and with numerals only at twelve this time – its design is very much in the pilot watch tradition. And though there’s no function here quite as clever as UTC/GMT, two things that this version of SH21 offers – besides the joy of knowing your watch contains one of JJ’s movements – are very pleasing and useful. One, of course, is that it’s a certified chronometer – the small text on the dial tells you so, and this immediately puts
it in the top 3% of Swiss mechanical watches for accuracy – and the other is SH21’s remarkable fiveday power reserve function, meaning that once you wind your watch (manually, remember) it will keep running for 120 hours. “It doesn’t take a huge number to turns to get it fully wound,” Mike says, “and, in some ways, having a lengthy Power Reserve function makes even more sense with a hand-wound watch than it does an automatic.”
It’s a watch where you want to stare at the back as much as the front… Useful? I’d say so – as someone who flips between three or four regular daily watches, the thought that a mechanical watch almost certainly won’t have run down (and so need resetting, including the date wheel) by the time I get around to wearing it again is pleasing indeed. The subdial at nine reminds you how much power the watch has left, while the lower dial handles the seconds. Remember how we talked about how Christopher Ward aviation watches use a unique design language? Well, part of it has always been the distinctive case backs that the C8 range uses, featuring what looks like a six-spoke car alloy with its surrounding tyre, but which actually references those huge Farnborough fans. The C8 UTC has this case back, but the C8 Power Reserve Chronometer does something different again, giving the watch a huge sapphire display window at the rear to show off SH21 and a redesigned bridge – here in sandblasted black PVD – and revealing the large twin barrels that give this version of SH21 its impressive 5-day running time.
Because of the new bridge, and the lack of an automatic movement’s rotor to get in the way, the two barrels are hugely striking and dominant, and have here been engraved to again reference the Farnborough turbines. The end result is a watch where you want to stare at the back almost as much as you do the front. With these two new watches, Christopher Ward doesn’t just seem to have upped its aviation game, but is making its new design language really sing. Matt Bielby is editor of Loupe Magazine The C8 UTC Worldtimer and C8 Power Reserve Chronometer are on pre-order for October release; £899 / $1,200 (steel) and £950 / $1,270 (black DLC) for the UTC, and £1,550 / $2,070 for the PR christopherward.co.uk
Life Darron Coppin’s Sven Cycles makes bespoke, one-off bicycles to match each customer’s exact lifestyle and requirements. But now he’s starting to think big…
“I have to keep making things,” says Darron Sven Coppin of Sven Cycles, the small, Dorset-based bespoke bike builder. “And bikes are just good, aren’t they? Well, aren’t they?” Darron’s bicycles are all one-offs – not cheap exactly (they start at around £2,500, but most customers spend a grand or so more), but certainly excellent value, considering how well built they are and how long they last. Most of them are made of steel in a classic touring bike style that people enjoy, yet which is ill-served by the major bicycle companies. “There’s no point in us making racing bikes,” he says. “The big boys do that too well. Though, sometimes, we do create something a little more unusual…” One of those ‘more unusual’ bikes is the one you see on these pages. The Angry Commuter was designed to a very specific brief, and features unusual details like a highly aggressive stance and leather gauntlets on the handlebars, created to Darron and the client’s specs by a top car upholsterer. This was a fun six month project, and if it was rather more expensive than most Sven products – think two or three times the price of one of Darron’s more classically styled bikes – it’s still no more than the £8k you could easily drop on something equivalent from a company like Trek or Specialized.
Darron raced mountain bikes in the ’80s, and has vehicle engineering in his blood – his dad worked at the coach builder Mulliner Park Ward as a body stylist, owned one of Fangio’s old GP cars, and drove blower Bentleys – and Darron himself is into his classic cars and bikes, currently running an Isle of Man TT racing Ducati. He made his first bike in the ’80s, but gave up on London – and a career in the creative industries – to return to a slightly more hands-on, rural way of life six years ago, building bikes full-time. “It’s been great fun,” he says, “but it’s only really becoming a proper business now. By this autumn there will be three of us full time, and we’re going to start offering more off-the-peg versions of our most popular models, in a standardised small, medium and large. You’ll be able to customise them to a degree, but the whole point is to make this style of bike more accessible, driving the price down to the £1,800 mark. You’ll still be getting a bike built to a very high standard, using reliable components which won’t date, though; the sort of thing you’ll be able to use for 20 years or more.” In five years’ time, Darron hopes they’ll be selling around 2,000 bikes a year – here and abroad, both directly and through selected bike shops – rather than the 40 or 50 they currently do, making this a proper little bike manufacturer, not just a bespoke frame builder. “Though the bespoke side of the business will continue,
The Angry Commuter: it looks fast just standing still
of course,” he says. “After all, it’s just too much fun to do.” Darron’s current customers tend to be 35+, but other than that there’s little pattern: they’re men and women, older and less so, bike enthusiasts or just people who want a good bike to own and ride. As we speak to him, Darron is just about to embark on a fresh project that’s, in its own way, as radical as the Angry Commuter. “It’s for an American chap in his seventies, who wants to keep it on his yacht and use it to explore islands in the Caribbean,” Darron says. “It needs a basket for him to carry the things he collects, hugely wide five-inch tyres for poor road surfaces, and has to take into account both the need to survive the sea air, and the client’s various medical issues, all of which will make it a really fun thing to do.” Perhaps vaguely similar, but with a much higher profile, is the Foraging Bike that Darron recently made for Hugh
Fearnley-Whittingstall of River Cottage, a basket and saddle-bag festooned beast with looks heavily inspired by the classic Series 1 Land Rover. Apart from owning something unique, of course, what are the advantages of getting a bike custom made? “Most bikes feel quite sluggish,” says Darron. “But these are lively and responsive, and made to your size and requirements – if you’ve broken a leg, say, and so one leg is a few millimetres shorter than the other, we’ll modify the bike to compensate. The upshot is that you’ll want to ride it more.” And what sort of bike do you like? “I tend towards classic designs, simple paintwork and a minimalist look that – when you get close – you can tell has been really beautifully finished,” he says. “Most of all, I obsess over a bike looking like a complete object, not just a collection of random pieces. I’ve been doing this long
“Most bikes feel quite sluggish, but these are lively and responsive. You’ll want to ride it more” Photography by Damon Charles
enough that I know how each bike will perform long before I’ve finished making it, but the fact that it looks right is just as important to me. I like to ride each bike I make, though, so I know I’ve got it right. What, even the ladies’ bikes? “Oh, yes. I recently completed a pink ladies’ roadster, and I was riding around on that for a while, complete with my two small dogs – a chihuahua and a miniature dachshund, as it happens – aboard. I got some looks, but I don’t mind. A beautiful bike is a beautiful bike, after all.” For more, svencycles.com
Chris Bennett has a strong claim to being the Howard Carter of vintage vehicles. But rather than discovering Egyptian tombs, Bennett has devoted his career to digging and rummaging in the most unlikely places in order to track down long lost pieces of some of the world’s most iconic sports cars…
Metal Chris Bennett’s TMB Art Metal group’s ongoing collaboration with Christopher Ward has already yielded some ultra-rare limited edition watches, containing metal sourced from classic planes and cars: a scrap of Duralumin from a Supermarine Spitfire, say, or pieces of aluminium from an Aston Martin Le Mans-winning DBR1. This latest pair of creations only raise the ante further, though, making it now possible to own and wear pieces from two of the most coveted sports cars ever made, the Aston Martin DB4 GT Zagato and the Jaguar D-Type. Bennett’s name was made when live TV cameras followed him as he uncovered the remains of a Battle of Britain Hurricane aircraft beneath Buckingham Palace Road in London – the fighter had crashed after ramming 31
a German bomber targeting Buckingham Palace on 15th September 1940. Much of the wreckage initially went on display in the Imperial War Museum and is now at RAF Museum Hendon, but Bennett used some useless corroded aluminium engine casing to create sculptures, and his company, TMB Art Metal, was born. That he’s hugely well connected with both the RAF and the motor sports industry doesn’t hurt, of course, but it’s Bennett’s ingenuity which led to the latest Christopher Ward partnership, and the creation of a new limited edition set of watches, each containing metal from one of the two fabled Aston Martin DB4 GT Zagatos which famously competed in the 1961 24 Hours of Le Mans race, wearing licence plates 1 VEV and 2 VEV.
Only 19 Zagatos were ever made and so, in keeping with the rarity value of the car, only 19 Christopher Ward C9 DB4 ‘1 VEV’ watches have been created too, each containing metal taken from 1 VEV – from beneath the boot, it turns out – now recast as discs. But as Mike France, co-founder of Christopher Ward, points out, this doesn’t mean any cars were damaged in the process. “I really don’t want anybody to think that we’ve been destroying one of these cars with a drill,” he jokes. “The fact is, many old cars go through extensive restorations, during which parts can no longer be saved or repaired. This particular Zagato was restored a decade ago, and the original metal was removed as part of that.” The Zagato models were essentially lighter, smaller, more aerodynamic, more powerful, and – to most eyes – more beautiful modified versions of the existing DB4 GT, built by the independent coach building company Zagato, based in Lombardy, with design credited to chief stylist Ercole Spada. And elements of the car are reflected in the look of the watch: the dial references the car’s instruments, down to the style of hands and use of vaguely period fonts, while on the reverse the piece of original Zagato metal has been fashioned into a perfect facsimile of the car’s three-spoke steering wheel, kept safe under museum grade sapphire crystal. Through the spokes of the wheel you can see the watch’s ETA Valgranges A07.161 automatic movement, with its rotor featuring a new treatment, Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD), in Aston Martin racing green. An improvement on the famously robust Valjoux 7750, the Valgranges A07.161 has a 46-hour power reserve, and features both date and power reserve displays.
The C9 D-Type
The dial references the car’s instruments, down to the style of the hands and the use of vaguely period fonts
“These watches were designed only after we’d had a very close look at the Smith dials used on the dashboards of the original cars,” says Mike. “We did something very similar when we made a limited edition Ford GT40 watch.” Other pleasing touches include a Peccary camel-coloured leather strap, with the new Christopher Ward twin flags pattern stamped to the underside in subtle fashion, and one of the excellent Bader buckles Christopher Ward uses with ‘I VEV’ engraved upon it. But the Zagato isn’t alone, for it’s being released in parallel with another TMB Art Metal collaboration, this one celebrating the Jaguar D-Type, another mid-century byword for motoring prowess. Thanks again to the detective work of Chris Bennett, the pistons and connecting rods of one of the 18 factory works cars intended for racing were found gathering dust, and pieces have been embedded into the C9 D-Type watch. Sick and tired of Ferrari’s 1950s domination of Le Mans, Jaguar created the D-Type with a specific task in mind: to win that race. Jaguar had already proved they had good engines and brakes with the earlier C-Type, but the D-Type moved the game on by the application of low weight and a small frontal area, and an innovative monocoque construction. Plus, it used aero-industry aerodynamic principles brought to the project by Malcolm Sawyer, formerly of the Bristol Aeroplane Company. With a smooth underside and that distinctive stabilising fin, it was rarely the most powerful or quickest accelerating car on the grid, but was always the fastest along the circuit’s long Mulsanne Straight: in its first year racing, 1954, the Jags were hampered by fuel filter problems and spent an age in the pits,
but still ended up finishing less than a lap behind the winning Ferrari, doing 172.8mph on Mulsanne (against the Ferrari’s 160.1mph) as they made up the ground. The next year they won, and though the following two years – ’56 and ’57 – the works teams had further problems, D-Types entered by private teams won both times too. The precious metal used in the D-Type watch is displayed in a similar fashion to that in the Zagato version, though this time it has been cut into the shape of the car’s distinctive central wheel spinners. The rest of the watch has a similar vintage dial look, though using different fonts and a different style of small seconds subdial, and this time 33
it’s all mounted on a black Peccary leather strap. Much of the typographical language has been taken from the car’s speedometer, while the 12 is here presented in a white circle, to reflect the style of period racing numbers, as famously seen on the D-Type’s nose and fin. The watch uses the same Valgranges A07.161 movement, complete with power reserve display; this time the limited edition is 55 units, to commemorate that first famous victory year.gns. The C9 DB4 ‘1 VEV’ £3,995 / $5,330 and C9 D-Type £2,995 / $3,990 are available now For more, christopherward.co.uk
Make our day Few things are guaranteed to perk up your evening like a good Clint Eastwood film â€“ and, happily, there are plenty to choose from. Here are our favouritesâ€Ś
Clint’s a singular figure, the star of over 50 movies – and the director of 40 or so – who’s famous for his solid craftsmanship, his dedication to the core of whatever story he’s telling, and his suspicion of extensive dialogue. He’s also a controversial figure – a non-believing Republican who’s always backed civil rights, gay marriage and even gun control, and who’s disapproved of virtually every American war of his lifetime, even as he’s being accused of racial insensitivity, or celebrating violence. Little surprise, then, that time and again his films are about undercutting or examining the killer image that made him a star. Think of him as undeniably right wing, then, but in a particularly thoughtful, socially liberal, libertarian sort of a way. Also, think of him as one of the most interesting film-makers out there. Here are some of our favourite reasons why…
A Fistful of Dollars 1964
Where Eagles Dare 1968
Dirty Harry 1971
Play Misty For Me 1971
Eastwood made his name as cattle drive ramrod Rowdy Yates on hit TV oater Bonanza, but his first starring film role came in a very different type of Western. The cigar-chewing ‘Joe’ from Italian director Sergio Leone’s A Fistful of Dollars – the first big hit of the Spaghetti Western cycle – was a laconic man of slow movement and sudden action; Eastwood would reprise versions of this character in two more films, solidifying an on-screen persona that would serve him well: detached, sporadically violent, deceptively laid-back. Best bit: “I don’t think it’s nice, you laughin’. You see, my mule don’t like people laughing. He gets the crazy idea you’re laughin’ at him…” Joe doesn’t say much, but when he does you should listen.
Eastwood regularly bins much of his dialogue, and here asked for most of Lt. Morris Schaffer’s lines to be given to co-star Richard Burton. Thriller writer Alistair MacLean had cobbled together this WW2 men-on-a-mission story to give Burton a more traditional action hero role than he usually played, but Eastwood’s grim, capable wingman stole many a scene, and hogged the action sequences. It was Clint’s first big payday, and put him in stolen Nazi uniform that he rocked with vigour – ironic, considering the criticisms earned by his next major role… Best bit: We’ve always had a soft spot for the poster tagline: “One weekend Major Smith, Lieutenant Schaffer and a beautiful blonde named Mary decided to win World War II.”
In ‘Dirty’ Harry Callahan – a no-nonsense SFPD Inspector on the trail of vicious serial killer Scorpio, based in part on the real-life Zodiac Killer – Eastwood found his most iconic role. When Paul Newman turned down the part – in doing so suggesting it might suit Eastwood – the film eventually got the creative team it needed: director Don Siegel; Eastwood as a strikingly blunt, cynical, rulebook-tearing anti-hero; and an electric unknown called Andy Robinson as the killer. Four sequels would follow, sales of Harry’s iconic .44 Magnum handgun would soar, and the fictional trope of the loose-cannon, playsby-his-own-rules maverick cop had got its poster boy. Best bit: “I know what you’re thinking. ‘Did he fire six shots or only five?’…”
Eastwood had been offered the Dirty Harry role while finishing off his own directorial debut, a Hitchcockian psychological thriller set in California’s Carmel-by-the-Sea – the seaside city where he would later become mayor – that showed a very different side to his character. This Eastwood was a free-wheeling, shaggy-haired, late-night radio DJ, dating girls, reading poetry, and playing victim rather than hero when stalked by an obsessive female fan. Many of the traditions of the stalker film sub-genre – think Fatal Attraction – began here, including the main character you just want to scream at for not seeing the nightmare coming… Best bit: Psychotic Evelyn’s knife attack on a maid rivals Psycho’s shower scene.
Thunderbolt & Lightfoot 1974
The Outlaw Josey Wales 1976
Every Which Way But Loose 1978
Escape from Alcatraz 1979
Pale Rider 1985
A first film for the recently deceased Michael Cimino – the Deer Hunter guy – was this tough-buttouching comedy crime flick, teaming enigmatic bank robber ‘The Thunderbolt’ (Eastwood) with charming young scallawag Lightfoot (Jeff Bridges, in a star-making role). A meandering meditation on buddy movie bromance set against a striking Montana backdrop, it’s one of a number of oddball heist movies – Kelly’s Heroes was four years earlier – that Eastwood’s made, though few have quite the art and soul exhibited here. Best bit: Our heroes hitch a ride with a crazy hillbilly who crashes his car, then opens the boot and endless white rabbits hop out, which he starts shooting – until Clint decks him. What does it all mean?
Clint made a half dozen or so Westerns in the ’70s but they all bow to this one, a revisionist revenge tale based on a book by a novelist who screenwriter/ original director Philip Kaufman had called “a crude fascist”, but which somehow transformed on-screen into a moody, thoughtful, often beautiful look at war (Vietnam looms large, of course), forgiveness, friendship, suffering, the consequences of violent acts and male vulnerability. Eastwood took over directing the film after a fall-out with Kaufman, and turned in one of his most masterful works, showing a man growing out of killing as a credo, and learning to live again. Best bit: This is not a dialogue-heavy film, but what there is is often terrific: “Dyin’ ain’t much of a livin’, boy.”
This lightweight comedy adventure about a street-fighting trucker roaming the modern-day blue collar American west with his pet orangutan, Clyde, was a critical flop – and huge popular hit. There’s little plot, a sour attitude, some poor quality gags, the always-unimpressive Sondra Locke (who contributes a faintly unpleasant romance and some truly dreadful singing), and violence that’s too brutal for a comedy – you’d think. But late at night, a few beers inside you, it just works – Clint making a Burt Reynolds film, but with added randomness, silliness, grace, heart and ambiguity. Best bit: The quiet ending, when Sondra Locke’s Lynn turns her back on our hero, who then throws a vital fight, is devastating.
There’s a thread of straightfaced adventure stories running through Eastwood’s career, and this is the best of them, the last of his collaborations with Dirty Harry director Don Siegel, and loosely based on a real-life 1962 prisoner escape from the maximum security prison in San Francisco Bay. The film implies that the escape was a success – in reality, nobody knows if Frank Morris and his companions got away or drowned in the water – but the build up is wellpaced, understated, and filled with authentic detail. Eastwood’s quiet, smart, watchful loner is a million miles from Harry Callahan, yet is another of the rebel figures both director and star loved. Best bit: In a film of little action, a prison yard knife fight scene is pure cinema.
Eastwood had directed a vaguely supernatural Western in 1973 – High Plains Drifter – and revisited the theme with Pale Rider, one of his most successful films, which ties the action of 1950s Western Shane (lone gunfighter comes to the aid of a beleaguered community) with the Biblical Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. Might the grizzled preacher with the pale horse who sides with poor miners during the California Gold Rush really be Death personified? Its added complications over the Shane model (like having our ghostly ‘hero’ secretly cuckold his best friend) gives it mixed moral messages that work with the material, not against it. Best bit: The preacher helps break a giant rock, an obstacle the miners can only defeat together.
The Bridges of Madison County 1995
Million Dollar Baby 2004
Gran Torino 2008
American Sniper 2014
Many consider this four Oscar-winner Clint’s best film. Ageing outlaw-turned-pig farmer William Munny is recruited to avenge a prostitute disfigured by some cowboys, and the myths of the old West are slowly stripped back to reveal the complicated truth. A drained, muddy, wintery work, it looks at old age, heroism, courage, pragmatism, reputation and being true to yourself through the prism of multiple memorable, multi-faceted characters – even Gene Hackman’s brutal sheriff bad guy, Little Bill Dagger, has his virtues, while the prostitutes over-exaggerate the injuries that send Munny on his way. Best bit: Hackman’s villain is one of cinema’s greatest, in some ways more moral than our ostensible ‘hero’.
Eastwood has made the occasional straight-up love story, and this unhurried, elegiac tribute to a lost ’60s down-home America struck a particular chord. Based on a best-selling novel, it tells of a brother and sister arriving at the Iowa farmhouse of their recently deceased mum, Meryl Streep, and finding letters and diaries that reveal her secret past – including the four-day affair she once had with Clint Eastwood’s character, who’s shooting a photographic essay for National Geographic on the covered bridges of the area. It’s a film of extended flashbacks, long silences, small details and measured tone – not to mention one of Streep’s trademarked accents. (Here, she’s playing an Italian war bride.) Best bit: Clint steps back, and allows Streep to shine.
Another Best Picture award for one of the highlights of late-career Eastwood, wherein he’s made slightly fewer films, doesn’t always star, and aims for an even-handed take on a real-life story or pressing social issue. Taken from short stories written by a boxing insider, this tells of an ageing trainer taking on a promising amateur boxer – Hillary Swank, underplaying deftly – and bringing her up through the ranks, until everything changes during a big money fight in Las Vegas. Far from the female Rocky it looks like on the surface, this is a night-dark film of enormous emotional impact, and with a real story to tell – though it’s not necessarily the one you’d expect. Best bit: Yes, there’s a twist towards the end. Yes, it’s like a punch to the gut.
Named for the treasured ’70s muscle car owned by Clint’s Walt Kowalski – an alienated Korean war vet living in a largely SouthEast Asian part of Detroit – this is an old fashioned parable of street gangs and racial tensions that plays with the idea of Eastwood’s ‘lone avenger’ image. The film has an unpolished feel – all filmed within Metro Detroit locations, and starring a largely untrained cast of Hmong American unknowns – and (though surprisingly funny) deals unflinchingly with prejudice. Amongst other things, it’s one of Eastwood’s strongest commentaries yet on the white male machismo he’s done plenty in the past to propagate. Best bit: When Kowalski says “Get off my lawn” it’s as menacing as “Make my day” – yet strangely domestic, too.
This is largely a list of films Eastwood has starred in, but his parallel career as a director has started to dominate of late, and this recent hit is both typical and exceptional: a sad, gripping real life story that’s also one of the highest grossing war films of all time. American Sniper tells of the Iraq War, and the heavy toll it took on its deadliest marksman, an exceptional Bradley Cooper. Despite its melancholy atmosphere it’s been seen as jingoistic by some, and has prompted new controversy over Eastwood’s undeniably conservative, but certainly not one-dimensional, views. Best bit: Well, it’s clearly not the painfully artificial-looking baby that ruins one scene. Instead, look to the intense battle sequences…
The Conversation Anne-Claire Schott and Kate Nowell-Smith
Grape expectations On opposite sides of the globe – one in the Old World, the other the New – Anne-Claire Schott and Kate Nowell-Smith are innovating in the wine industry, creating intriguing wines in a creative, sustainable way
“It’s not just wine I make, but a wine with a message,” Anne-Claire Schott is saying. “It has a soul.” This is clearly a woman who cares about what she does, running the family wine business in north west Switzerland as essentially a ‘one-man band’, working 3.5 hectares of vineyards – containing around 25,000 vines, which she cultivates one by one – and producing about 25,000 bottles of wine a year. “It sounds a lot,” she says, “but it’s a drop of water on a hot stone next to the world’s production.” Anne-Claire is an oenologist – a student of winemaking – and an art historian, with twin aims: to celebrate the beauty of the winemaker’s craft, and to modernise what they do. “I’ve a passion for sustainable production,” she says, “and am always looking to be more sensitive to the needs of nature.” Anne-Claire is also the sister of Antoine Schott, assistant CEO at the Christo-
pher Ward atelier in Switzerland – and so something of a watch fan. “I have a C9 Moonphase in steel blue,” she says. “Working so closely with nature and the seasons, the rhythm of the moon is very important to me, and it’s fantastic to keep being reminded of what’s happening up there by the watch on my wrist. Through Antoine I’ve learned to love mechanical watches. Passion, high quality and authenticity are getting lost in our fast-moving world, and things like wine, art and ‘proper’ watches keep them all alive, somehow.” On the other side of the world, Kate Nowell-Smith is another winemaker with an interest in art, a love of both trad wine-making techniques and modern innovations, and a blue C9 Moonphase. “It’s so chic!” she says. “It absolutely checks all the boxes: a mechanical movement with a exhibition back, a gorgeous look, and a complication that manages to be modern and classic at once. My love of the Moonphase is mostly aesthetic, but there are many old Italian winemakers who insist wine should be bottled during a new moon, so perhaps I will give this a try…”
Kate’s business is very young and small – she only produced 150 cases (1,800 bottles) in 2015. “My intention is to grow it slowly,” she says, “so that I remain in control, and am never forced to compromise. (Although, as this is farming, nature always has the last word!)” She currently farms a 1.5 acre Grenache vineyard in the Russian River Valley appellation in Sonoma County, CA. “I do all the work by hand,” she says. “This is a manageable size for one person, but one must stay a step ahead of the vines. I make a rosé of Grenache and a Grenache from this vineyard. I also buy Cabernet Sauvignon grapes from a top vineyard in Alexander Valley nearby.” So what’s she aiming for here? “Balance, ‘typicity’ – a wine that reflects the grape from which it was produced – and food friendliness. I pick my grapes at lower sugar levels than many in California do, to retain bright acids and varietal character. I ferment the must without the addition of commercial yeast, and age the wines in French oak barrels. If all goes well, I hope to add a Chardonnay to my line up in 2017.” The wine-growing region she works in is extremely diverse in terms of geology and terroir. “This means many different varieties can be grown successfully here,” Kate says. “It’s just a matter of figuring out where to plant what. Economies of scale are not in my favour, and I never cut corners, but I also don’t have massive capital investment to weigh me down, so I can deliver a quality wine at a good price.”
I’d like to wipe out the whole notion that women make ‘feminine’ and that men make ‘masculine’ wines
Anne-Claire, too, does pretty much everything. “From the growing and wine making to sales and marketing, I’m involved in it all,” she says. “I have competent people helping me, of course – both of my parents, for instance – but everything goes through me.” It sounds hard! “It is, but I do it because of my passion for our landscape, and to express something with wine. Perhaps the most fascinating thing is that I can only ever make wine once a year – perhaps something like 35 times in a long career. That’s not much – but it’s why it feels worthwhile putting so much effort and energy into each wine.” Anne-Claire currently makes eight different wines: five whites, two light reds, and a sparkling. “If you were try just one, though,” she says, “make it my new wine, which I made for the first time last year. It’s Blanc 2015, a cuvée (or blend) made of six grapes
varieties that grow along our small, often antique stone walls. These affect the way those grapes taste – and I’ve had no influence on the exact composition of the wine. It’s a very aromatic and smooth white, with different aromas that change every time you take a sip. The walls these vines grow beside decorate and draw the topography of our landscape here at the lake of Biel, and at the same time they make the use of machines and tractors impossible. Industrialisation just wouldn’t work here – which seems like a great opportunity in this fast-changing world.” Both Kate and Anne-Claire are relatively rare figures as women in the industry – “female winemakers only number about 10% of the winemakers we have here in California,” Kate reckons – but, despite having experienced some gender bias along the way, they both feel their sex brings a few advantages.
“Women, as a rule, have excellent sensory abilities,” Kate says, “and thus can bring a lot of finesse to winemaking. I am, however, wary of attributing any stylistic differences to gender. In fact, I would like to see the opposite: I’d like to wipe out the notion that women make ‘feminine’ wines and men make ‘masculine’ wines. It’s true, I use ‘gentle’ winemaking techniques, such as punching down my must instead of pumping it over, and I use a basket press, which is pretty much incapable of squeezing out the harsher tannins from the pomace. All this leads to a more refined, ‘elegant’ wine – but then plenty of men use these techniques too.” And Anne-Claire actually sees one traditionally-perceived weakness as a potential advantage. “Yes, women are physically less strong,” she says, “and to an extent have to work with other people to achieve success – but that can be to our benefit. It means we’re more likely to
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make interesting connections, exchange ideas, and question the traditional ways of doing things – important in an industry as traditional as wine making.” Both women create wines well worth tracking down – look for Kate’s Cabernet Sauvignon or Grenache, and (in particular) Anne-Claire’s Aroma Der Landschaft (aroma of the landscape) series of almost conceptual wines, of which Blanc 2015 is a part – and both have strong ideas about the watch industry too. What, for instance, would they ask for if we were to make a watch just for them? “Probably something very connected to art and wine,” says Anne-Claire. “Perhaps a beautifully-crafted watch where the dial makes a visual connection between the philosophy behind a piece of art, and the complexity of the aromas of a wine? Looking at that watch would make you think, reflect and enjoy.”
And Kate’s yet more specific. “The watch I most wish to see would be smaller than what is currently available – say, 30-32mm – with a nice rounded PVD gold case, a clean face, preferably with a mother of pearl dial or a subtle coloured dial, simple hour markers, and an exhibition back. It would be fun to have the ability to switch out the straps, especially with the mother of pearl face. “The CW practice of incorporating pieces of historic cars and planes into watches is an appealing idea – so could there be a more feminine take on this? Say, a piece of lace from an Alexander McQueen dress, or a tiny shard from one of Britain’s great ceramics producers? After all, you do have a wonderful manufacturing legacy to celebrate in the UK…” For more, nowell-smithwines.com; peterschott.ch
The modernity of Swiss watchmaking blends with retro styling in the C65 Trident Classic Vintage Edition. The ‘glass box’ sapphire crystal recalls the chunky aesthetic of the ’70s, while the ‘Old Radium’ luminescent paint on the hands and dial add all-important visibility. The Vintage Edition is a watch that goes back to the future.
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Design matters | Watch history | How it works
Great watch wearers
Lucky Lindy The great aviator Charles Lindbergh, the first man to fly non-stop across the Atlantic, inspired (and wore) one of the world’s most influential pilot’s watches In 1927, Charles Lindbergh was about as famous as a person could ever hope to be. On May 20 that year, the 25-year-old US Air Mail pilot steered his one-off single seat monoplane, The Spirit of St Louis, nonstop from New York to Paris, the first human to fly the Atlantic solo. For his efforts, he not only received the $25,000 Orteig Prize – the pursuit of which had already killed six well known aviators – but became the biggest celebrity in the world. And that made him irresistible to brands looking for exposure. One of those was Longines. Already the official timer of the Olympics, the company had timed Lindbergh’s journey across the Atlantic, and was thus ideally placed to work
with him on product development. Lindbergh’s experience helped them create one of the great navigational watches, the Lindbergh Hour Angle. The base for the timepiece was the Weems Second-Setting Watch, which had been developed by US Navy Captain Philip Van Horn Weems – who’d taught Lindbergh celestial navigation – in 1929 as a tool for nautical navigators. The most striking thing about it was the independently rotating centre dial that let pilots set the seconds of their watch to a radio time signal without stopping the seconds hand, thus eliminating even the smallest timing errors: vital on long journeys across the ocean. Lindbergh used his experience flying ‘blind’ over the Atlantic (at one stage he was just 10ft over the sea) to add further markings to the bezel, and a dial to help pilots calculate the ‘hour angle’ – finding longitude based on Greenwich Mean Time. Like the Weems timepiece, the Lindbergh was large (47.5mm in diameter) with an
oversized crown, enabling ease of use for glove-wearing aviators, and with a 42 hour power reserve, more than sufficient for the duration of his original 33.5 hour Atlantic flight. The watch was launched in 1931 and was snapped up by professional pilots and fans alike. Today, despite the fact that GPS has made the technology redundant, it’s still made to the same specification, and still carries the name of one of the most daring – though not entirely unproblematic, as his views on race demonstrate – pilots of them all: Charles Lindbergh.
Flight club Aviation watches are real tool watches, writes Adrian Buchmann, where legibility is the key feature. As long you keep this in mind, though, there’s room for innovation – and I believe there’s always a better approach possible. On our new pilot watches – the C8 UTC Worldtimer and C8 Power Reserve Chronometer, covered elsewhere this issue – we’ve worked to push the collection further on, both aesthetically and in terms of the technology. For instance, with the dials we’ve worked on a new type of finish to achieve an extra matt surface, which helps legibility and prevents reflections. The crowns on the two new releases have a wider diameter too, which is useful if you’re wearing gloves – but, at the same time, they are closer to the case body to improve ergonomics. The C8 Power Reserve is also driven by a version of SH21 mounted on a new main bridge, which is lighter than before. In part, this was done to reflect aircraft engineering principles. With aviation watches, function always comes before form, and here we’ve
particularly focussed on the dials, hands and lume – making sure things are totally clear at any time of day or night. Of course, pilot watches are quite big – for reasons both historical and practical. The famous B-Uhr Watches used by the Germans during the Second World War used pocket watch movements; as these were large, the cases needed to be large too. Though their 55mm diameter today seems cumbersome, you need to remember that they were designed to be worn on top of the pilot’s jacket. And it certainly meant they were extremely legible. The original B-Uhr watches used trapeze-shaped hands, directly inspired by aeroplane instruments. However, when the Flyer collection was first launched, we wanted to make more British references, and so looked to the Smiths clocks used in British planes. On the new models we’ve further refined this hand design. They now only have lume at the end, to help differentiate hours from minutes – and we’ve added a thinner area at the end to help 44
With two new pilot’s watches in the range, what better subject for Adrian Buchmann, our senior designer, than the history of aviation watches...?
with precision reading. These details really make a difference. Aviation watches are more likely to use Arabic numerals than diver’s watches, because all the information the watch provides is important, whereas for a diver’s watch it’s the minute hand and its visual connection to the bezel markers that matters most. In terms of complications, on an aviation watch you always want to give real benefit to pilots and travellers – the C8 UTC Worldtimer being the perfect example. It’s a very quick way to see the time in every major world city – yes, even quicker than using your iPhone! In fact, the latest UTC is a pleasure to use – and I’m very pleased with the way it looks too. We wanted to add a real tool watch to our aviation range, but without allowing the face to become crowded or cluttered looking. We worked very carefully on the layering, textures and proportions to provide a clear area for the Worldtimer tool elements that didn’t clash with the basic hours and minutes.
The history The Breitling Navitimer is one of the most famous modern pilot’s watches, and its sliderule function adds a real tool element
Why are pilot watches almost always black? It’s a good question! Well, there’s tradition, of course. And, because lume colours have mainly been white or white/ yellow (think of colours like old radium, extensively used on World War Two plane instruments), black dials make sense, as they offer the best contrast possible. The big difference between an aviation watch and a diver’s watch in terms of the face design is that diver’s watches only become tools underwater, where it’s quite dark, while aviator watches are tool watches day and night. Because of this, the use of colour on diver’s watches is not a problem, as the colour naturally disappears to the human eye as you go deeper under water anyway. The fact that the whole world of SCUBA diving is far more likely to use bright colours in its equipment – it’s as much as a sporting environment as it is a technical one – also means that the use of colour feels more natural there.
Why are pilot watches almost always black? It’s a good question…
The Cartier Santos doesn’t look or feel much like a modern aviation watch, yet the needs of a flyer defined its original design
IWC’s wide range of pilot watches are amongst the modern successors to the legendary B-Uhr of WWII
The Omega Speedmaster, meanwhile, was never designed as an aviation watch at all, but became one regardless
When you look at the great pilot’s watches of the past – things like the Cartier 45
As far as complications are concerned, on an aviation watch you always want ones that will give real benefit to pilots and travellers
Santos, Longines Lindbergh, Breitling Navitimer, Omega Speedmaster, IWC Big Pilot, Rolex GMT-Master and, of course, the B-Uhr of WW2 – they all show interesting approaches, and have contributed to the general development of the aviator type watch. Louis Cartier brought to his friend, the Brazilian aviator Alberto Santos Dumont, the ability to read the time without fishing around for a pocket watch. The IWC watches have a history running right back to B-Uhr, as they were one of the five manufacturers (and the only Swiss one) who made them for the Germans, following the very precise specifications of the Reichsluftfahrtministerium (Nazi Germany’s Ministry of Aviation). And B-Uhr itself is still one of the most recognisable designs in the horological world. Things like the Longines Lindbergh and, especially, the Breitling Navitimer are interesting in that they’re more tool utility watches, giving additional valuable information to the pilot. And then there’s the iconic Omega Speedmaster, which
was never designed to be an aeronautical watch at all, but became one thanks to NASA and the American Space Programme. It was chosen for the Gemini and Apollo missions simply because Omega had built a solid, easily available watch and, particularly, because they’d used a Hesalite crystal – that’s a material similar to Plexiglas – which was crucial for astronauts. The thing about Hesalite is that it won’t break into thousands of little parts when hit, like sapphire glass can. In a zero-gravity environment, of course, little fragments of glass floating about could have been a real danger for the astronauts. Adrian Buchmann is Christopher Ward’s senior watch designer
Making time So how, exactly, do we put together SH21, Christopher Ward’s highly versatile in-house watch movement? Johannes Jahnke, the man who designed it, explains… This time around, writes Johannes Jahnke, I thought it might be a good idea to look at the SH21 movement in some detail – and, in particular, how we make it. The average time it takes us to put together a single SH21 with automatic and date function – such as the version we use in the C9 5 Day COSC – is 110min. But there is a high variance, depending on the speed of each individual watchmaker, conditions on the day, and the batch size we’re working with. As we need a lot of different tools to put each movement together, and we have to set them all up each time we make one, we tend to save a lot of time if we’re working on larger batches, particularly of 100 units or more. If one of us was just to sit down, put all the tools together ourselves, and then make one individual movement, it would probably take us around five hours. So how big is a batch? Sometimes it’s just 15 pieces, but then the next one
might be 200 pieces – but with some of those movements needing to be slightly different to the others. It’s a bit like a car production line, where a car has been ordered for a customer with a particular specification, so the people putting it together need to know what extra equipment to add and what to leave off. This means we need an extremely strong logistics department to make sense of it all – and is why what we do at an atelier like ours is so different to what they do on a static assembly line, such as the one that makes thousands of identical ETA 2824 movements for use by dozens of different watch makers. Normally, three watchmakers might be involved in the making of any one movement. There’s our core SH21 team – Philipp, Leandra and Petra – but, as all the other watchmakers here are broadly educated, they can help out where necessary. (The rest of the time these other guys will make individual modules, say, or work on the Single Pusher line.)
All our watchmakers have four years education at one of the Swiss watchmaking schools as a base standard, but to be able to start working on SH21 takes around two weeks of internal education on top of that – and to achieve really fast manufacture times requires more like three, or even six, months’ experience
What we do at an atelier like ours is different to a static assembly line with the assembly process. Our best watchmakers are good in terms of both quality and quantity, but to start with we make sure it’s the quality that they’re getting right – the speed can come later.
At the moment the whole production takes place here in Biel. We have a capacity of around 2,000 movements a year, but that depends on what else we have to assemble – you know, things like Jumping Hours, Worldtimers, Single Pushers and Regulators, plus the servicing of older watches. As all the lines are growing, though, we are constantly looking for external assembly facilities to take the overflow. We’ve known for a long time that we’re going to have to up our capacity, so we’re going to need external assembly capacity in the near future. Some of the watchmaking tools we use you’d probably easily recognise, but not all of them. There’s all the standard stuff – tweezers, screwdrivers and the like – plus some highly specialised tools which we’ve created especially making SH21. It’s not that the movement is particularly hard to make – you can do it using just the standard tools – but, as we’re in a constant process of industrialisation,
we’re investing in special items to help us achieve the most consistent quality possible. The ultimate aim is to make less checking necessary, and to reduce assembly time. The problem with making an SH21 using the standard tools is that it’ll need more checking afterwards to guarantee our high quality standards. All the components we use are produced in Switzerland, in the region between Grenchen and Le Locle. That’s great, because it means we can visit any of our suppliers within an hour’s driving. The parts themselves are not unusual, and we get consistently good feedback from our suppliers on how easy they are to make. Everything to do with SH21 is based on the idea of ‘brick building’ – the parts themselves are simple, but you can make something highly complicated from them. We’re constantly trying to improve the flexibility of our assembly line too. For instance, from about 250 different movement parts – some of these being small pre-assembled items, already made of a
number of parts – we can build all sorts of different versions of SH21 with different functions: hand-wound versions, automatic versions, central and small seconds, date functions, hacking mechanisms, Power Reserve indicators (with a number of different displays) and so on. Though it’s been called revolutionary – and in some ways it is – the SH21 movement is actually a relatively classic piece of design. A watchmaker of the past would definitely recognise it and understand how it works, but what they might not recognise is today’s twin demands for quality and quantity. Of course, they made some very precise watches in the past – some far more precise than many people make today – but not in the numbers we’re doing. You see, we’re producing chronometers in large quantities, not one at a time in small artisanal workshops. I think the stability and reliability of the components we use, and the processes we have, would
Though it’s been called revolutionary, the SH21 movement is actually a relatively classic piece of design
impress a watchmaker from the past. As we produce nothing but COSC-certified chronometer movements, we cannot do what some might and take the ‘bad’ ones for use on an entry-level line instead. I think that’s quite unusual. Further, I like to think that our imaginary watchmaker of the past would be particularly impressed by the capabilities of our Power Reserve – five days! – and the stability of the amplitude over the first period of around two days, not to mention that all this is combined with a relatively heavy balance wheel which, again, brings stability into the system. With the spring material and precision capabilities they had in the past, it would simply not have been possible to achieve this combination.
small second movements into central second movements, but most of the modern industry has forgotten this (relative complex) system, preferring instead to produce cheap movements that only allow for a central second hand. We have reintroduced it, allowing both ways of displaying seconds on a single movement – it’s a step backwards in a way, but it also gives an additional flexibility which is not normal in industrial production. There were amazing watches made during all the different watchmaking eras, but what’s new about the processes we employ is that they’re bringing an equivalent precision to standard production lines. In doing so, we’re making high-quality mechanical watches affordable to many more consumers.
Our ancient watchmaker might also recognise the very specific way we construct the central second function. In the past, good watchmakers used to do something similar, transforming
Johannes Jahnke is Christopher Ward’s master watchmaker
4 mins 20 secs It took under five minutes for the Sex Pistols to shock the nation Anyone can swear on telly these days (post-watershed, anyway). But in the 1970s, when the guardians of public morals still held sway, it was enough to bring the full weight of the moral majority down upon you. Swearing was for the pub, football ground or picket line. Not on telly. That was until the Sex Pistols appeared on the Today TV show on December 1, 1976. Today was a live tea-time post-news show on Thames – the London weekday ITV station – hosted by Bill Grundy: all sideburns, big collars and sneering, look-at-me-I’m-off-the-telly attitude. Confronted by the Pistols and their entourage – including guitarist Steve Jones wearing a T-shirt with a pair of breasts on the front – Grundy went into attack mode. “I am told that this group have received £40,000 from a record company,” he says. “Doesn’t that seem, er, to be slightly opposed to their anti-materialistic view of life?”
The group tell him they’ve spent the money “down the boozer”, and then things get really strange as Grundy lists the names of famous composers and singer Johnny Rotten mutters ‘sh*t’ under his breath. Siouxsie Sioux, later of the Banshees fame, tells Grundy she’s always wanted to meet him, and he – because it’s the 1970s and he’s a TV presenter – suggests they “meet afterwards”. Steve Jones, now surely several bottles of wine down, is impressively unimpressed. “You dirty sod, you dirty old man, you dirty bastard… you dirty f**ker. What a f**king rotter.” And with that the studio descends into mild chaos as the theme music plays, Jones and Sioux start dancing to the music, Grundy appears to mouth “Oh sh*t” to himself, and the show finishes. But, of course, that’s just the start. After the programme, ITV was inundated with hundreds of complaints:
one viewer, a 47-year-old lorry driver, was so incensed by the bad language that he kicked his TV screen through. And, the day after, the Daily Mirror led with the story – memorably headlining their piece ‘The Filth And The Fury’. So what had changed? Well, Grundy was suspended and Today was quickly cancelled; Grundy’s career never fully recovered, though his relentless drinking doubtless contributed to that. More importantly, until the Grundy incident punk rock had been the preserve of a few hundred art school types in London; afterwards, it – and the Sex Pistols in particular – were national news. And those guardians of public morals were about to become very busy indeed…
The Jaguar D-Type is assured of its legacy in motorsport. A three-times winner of Le Mans, a piston from one of these cars has been cut into the shape of its wheel spinner and sits behind the backplate of the our own C9 D-Type â€“ limited to just 55 pieces.
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If undelivered please return to: Christopher Ward (London) Limited, 1 Park Street, Maidenhead, Berkshire, SL6 1SL, United Kingdom
Meet the new C8 Power Reserve Chronometer, page 22.
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