Loupe. The Magazine of Christopher Ward. Issue 07. Winter 2017
Bronze aged Introducing the C60 Trident Bronze, the watch thatâ€™s unique to you
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Loupe. The Magazine of Christopher Ward.
There’s something massively appealing about Christopher Ward’s limited edition watches. And not just because of the historical interest many enjoy, but the rarity thing too. Basically, I like a watch hardly anybody else has got. And that’s one reason why the new C60 Trident Bronze, this issue’s cover star, is so special. Okay, Tridents aren’t exactly unusual, but though each Bronze might start out in life looking identical to its brothers, it will become more and more unique as time goes by. The way rain and sweat and general humidity acts upon yours will be just that little bit different to the way it acts upon everyone else’s, you see, the darker patina it develops becoming as distinctive as a fingerprint. In other words, it’s in a special edition of one. And what could be more appealing than that? Matt Bielby
For the many, not the few We’re usually busy preparing for SalonQP at this time of year, but with the success of our new watches this autumn – the C7 Rapide has certainly lived up to its name! – we took a decision to focus on the many, not the few (with apologies to Thucydides, Shelley and Corbyn) at the busiest time of our year, and so everyone will be manning watchmaking benches in Biel and laptops in Maidenhead next week rather than in Gallery 7 at the Saatchi Gallery on the King’s Road. We’ll miss our friends at QP, but we hope to be able to make many more watches in time for shipping this Christmas. Whilst the brilliant new C60 Trident Bronze is likely to be the season’s best seller (see it on pages 14-18), it’s the C9 Me 109 Single Pusher Chronograph that would have stolen the show at the Saatchi Gallery. The word ‘special’ doesn’t come near to describing this wonderful watch and, as the 100 piece limited edition sees the last of Calibre JJ02, it is certain to become a real collector’s piece. Although one of our more expensive watches, it probably represents the best value in our collection, encapsulating perfectly our mission to make fine watches available, yes, you guessed it, for the many, not the few. Chris, Mike and Peter
Editor: Matt Bielby Art Director: Jamie Gallagher Designer: Sam Burn Photography: Peter Canning, Damon Charles Printed in London by: CPI Colour Cover: C60 Trident Bronze Pro 600 1 Park St, Maidenhead, Berkshire SL6 1SL christopherward.co.uk
Contents Features 10 – 12
26 – 31
Thinking of treating yourself (or a loved one) to a new watch this year? The three co-founders pick their current personal favourites…
Bored of your usual workout? Training has never been as much fun as it is with the innovative new CardioWall
14 – 18
Sea of sand
32 – 33
Catching up with CW Challenger Jamie Maddison on completion of his latest ultra-marathon
Some watches get better with age, and this has never been more true than with the C60 Trident Bronze
20 – 25
Whac attack 10 — 12
34 – 37
CW has created numerous RAF-themed watches over the years, and now it’s the turn of the Luftwaffe. The resulting C9 Me 109 SIngle Pusher Chronograph is one of the most striking watches Christopher Ward has ever made…
Back in the ’70s, some of the best commercial art was to be found on album sleeves, and much of the most inventive was created by innovative outfit Hipgnosis
Jingle bell rock
38 – 41
There may be some cheese involved, we confess, but few things rock our year like the very best Christmas songs…
Pop culture 20 — 25
Regulars 06 – 09
43 – 50
What we do, and how we do it. Andrew Henry explains how important it is to get your watch serviced, Adrian Buchmann on the C7 Rapide Collection’s use of colour, plus we celebrate a most unusual ‘Rolex’ and the most bold of swimmers…
Christopher Ward goes on a serious diet, plus Morgan’s Run For the Hills event and more…
Enemy ace 34 — 37
News, reports & innovations. This issue: Christopher Ward goes on a diet, and more
Thin air Introducing the C5 Malvern Air, so slim you’ll hardly know you’re wearing it. But this is a watch with more than just narrow appeal…
Once upon a time, the best watches were prized for how slim they were, but then came the size wars of the Noughties, when ‘wrist presence’ was all, and sports watches, in particular, crept up from diameters of 36mm or so to 44mm, 48mm and beyond. These watches were thick too, and often bristling with buttons and prominent bezels; Big Ben on a leather strap. The tide has turned since, of course, and watches are getting smaller again. In particular, they’re getting slimmer – the better to slip unheeded under a dress shirt cuff – and though the appeal of ultra-thin watches remains somewhat niche, for now, they’re beginning to garner more
fans, impressed by their elegance and the sure sign of superior watchmaking. Now Christopher Ward is to position itself at the very forefront of this new trend with the C5 Malvern Air, the slimmest and lightest mechanical watch the company has ever created. Powered by the hand wound ETA Calibre 7001, it boasts a height of just 5.95mm and weighs in at a little over 30gms. (Did we say ‘the slimmest and lightest mechanical watch the company has ever created’? Make that ‘one of the thinnest watches in the world’!) And the very best bit is, it launches – or should we say, floats away? – in spring 2018, at a price below £600.
From Flanders Fields Made with brass from recovered British shells, TMB Art Metal’s Passchendaele 100 Poppy Pins are a remarkable tribute to fallen soldiers
Here at Loupe we normally write about Chris Bennett’s company, TMB Art Metal, in the context of its collaborations with Christopher Ward creating remarkable watches, most recently the C9 P2725 TM-B Limited Edition, containing metal from a very famous WWII Hawker Hurricane. But the ‘precious metal’ Chris uncovers has many other applications too, one of the most laudable being in a series of Poppy Pins, made for the Royal British Legion to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Passchendaele, which ran July 31 - November 10, 1917. In that period over 90,000 Commonwealth soldiers were killed, 60,083 of them British – so this limited edition runs to 60,083 pins, each commemorating an individual soldier who fell during the battle. They’re made from British brass artillery shell fuses, recovered from the battlefield sites – and each contains earth removed from the fields and
mixed into red and green enamel. “Last year we did a similar poppy but without the leaf,” Chris says, “and for 2018, to commemorate the end of the war, we’re likely to do a different one again. After that, I don’t know – but this one is particularly special. They sell well, and people really like them, so I expect there’ll always be a number available through the Royal British Legion’s online Poppy Shop.” Indeed, apart from the occasional pop-up store, this is the only place you can buy this remarkable – and very personal – tribute to the men who died in The Great War. Each costs £39.99, with profits going to support serving and ex-Service men and women, veterans and their families. tmbartmetal.com; poppyshop.org.uk
Kings of the hill
At the year’s major Morgan enthusiasts’ bash, Christopher Ward’s Morgan Chronometer Collection wowed all comers Take a sunny August bank holiday weekend, add thousands of Morgan enthusiasts and, of course, Morgan cars of all ages – and from all over the world. Then season with the English Philharmonic Orchestra, a gala dinner, a speech from Sir Ranulph Fiennes, fireworks and, as icing on the cake, a hot air balloon, and what do you have? A fine celebration of all things Morgan Motors. Christopher Ward’s tent at Run For The Hills 2017, the Morgan community event held at Malvern Three Counties Showground, not far from the factory, was busy all weekend with Morgan owners ordering C1 Morgan Chronometer Collection watches – and even more of them asking about the inspiration and design partnership between the two brands. For more, christopherward.co.uk/morgan
Perfect health Getting your watch serviced at Christopher Ward might just be the best money you’ll ever spend… Where better to send your Christopher Ward watch for servicing than to the company’s own team of specialist technicians? After all, they will treat your timepiece with all the care and attention to detail it deserves. “Our easy, fast and affordable approach to servicing and repairs makes keeping your watch in good working order stress-free,” says Technical and QC Manager Andrew Henry, “and it protects your Christopher Ward’s 60-month movement guarantee, too.” Watch servicing also makes a great gift for the Christopher Ward owner – a timely reminder, perhaps? We’ve more about it on page 46. For more, christopherward.co.uk/servicing
Service with a smile This is Customer Services Manager Scott Callaway, the man to talk to if you ever have a question for Christopher Ward…
Scott’s next watch might well be a Trident Bronze
Tell us about you, Scott. I was born just down the road from our Maidenhead office, in Slough, but I’ve lived in Maidenhead all my life. I left school at 16, and started working at Seiko UK Ltd as a temp. I then became a permanent member of staff there when my three-month contract was up, making me the youngest ever employee of Seiko in the UK (I still am, to my knowledge). I started in After Sales, before moving into more product related roles, working with multiple brands within the company. This enabled me to deal with independent retailers and large national chains, as well as end consumers. And how long have you worked for Christopher Ward? After almost 10 years with Seiko, I felt it was time for a change – but I still wanted to stay as local as possible. Maidenhead and the surrounding area is actually a bit of a hotbed of watch brands, but Christopher Ward was the logical first choice and I joined in July of 2016. Do you collect watches yourself? An ex-colleague really got me into collecting them, and I always read watch articles online and go to Salon QP every year for a look round. It’s nice to see what everyone
else is doing, and I’m not just interested because I work in the industry, but as a potential customer too. What’s your typical working week like? My role covers two overlapping areas of the company: Customer Services and After Sales. This means that the majority of my role is actually ‘on the front line’, answering phone and email enquiries. This is the part I enjoy most, as I get to interact with customers. The most difficult thing is keeping up with the 24 hour nature of online shopping, with customers all over the world – trying to remember that if someone in Florida wants a phone call, it probably isn’t best to call them promptly at 9am UK time! The job, and the role of my team, has changed a lot recently. We’ve opened our Customer Service telephone lines for an extra two hours a day by splitting shifts within the team. (They used to be open 9am-5pm, but are now open 8am-6pm.) We’re always looking to improve the customer experience and make our processes more streamlined and efficient. What models or innovations have particularly excited you lately? I like a watch that has a good story to go with it, so I was instantly taken by the recent
P2725 TMB Hurricane watch – it really is a lovely timepiece. I’m also a fan of watches that stand out, so I love the orange-face C60 Trident 316L, especially on the soft touch leather strap. However, I think my next Christopher Ward is going to be the Trident Bronze. Ever since I saw the sample, I was hooked! What new model would you like CW to make next, and why? I’d love to see a tourbillon in the collection; it would sit well in our C1 case, with the rest of the dress models. However, I’d also love us to create something even more complex, like a minute repeater. (Even with our competitive pricing, I’m unsure if I’d be able to purchase one, but this would be a real jewel in the crown!) Finally, tell us something surprising that’s happened to you while working for Christopher Ward. We’re just about to have our team go-karting competition, and we’ve some quite competitive members of staff, so I’ll let you know after that!
Hit the wall 10
Clockwise from left: pretty Fowey in Cornwall; the CardioWall Pro X they make there; and inventor and founder Simon Heap
What do you do if you want to live in a far corner of the country 12 months a year? For Simon Heap the answer was simple: invent a radical new product, then build a factory to make it… One of the Holy Grails of the coveted work/life balance is being able to do the thing you want to do where you want to do it. For engineer and sports training consultant Simon Heap that would appear especially hard, as where he insists on living is remote Fowey in Cornwall. He’s done it, however, by establishing his own factory and design facility, making the bizarre-looking creations you see here. They’re called CardioWalls, and they’re an exercise tool that makes your workout fun. Simon’s first career was as a consultant, helping elite athletes make the incremental gains needed to excel at their sports; those that required plenty of high-tech kit (cycling, bobsleigh, sailing) a speciality. “I’d watch Victoria Pendleton or Chris Hoy in training,” he says, “and I’d realise how different they are to the rest of us. Not just extraordinary in a physical sense, but with an incredible dedication to their sport 11
– and their training. With regular people like me, our vision is less focussed; we often need something extra to keep us engaged. I started to wonder what that could be…” The result was the first CardioWall, which Simon designed and then created a company, Rugged Interactive, to manufacture. At one point he even appeared with it on TV’s Dragon’s Den, and though he had investment offers, none were ones he was happy with. Not that this worried him overly; and anyway, you get the impression that Simon would rather go it alone. Imagine an investor had wanted him to move Rugged to nearer London, for instance; Fowey might be a town full of yachts and tickety-boo houses in the summer, but jobs are hard to come by in winter, and Simon sees part of his role as supporting and growing the local economy. Any suggestion they might move would go down very badly indeed.
“Formula One drivers have taken to the CardioWall in a big way, as it helps them work on their reactions”
whether to continue with the project alone. With the world economy in freefall, leaving it there might have seemed the sensible move, but the guys persevered – and slowly made progress. These days the company is thriving, and CardioWalls are used by elite sportsmen and Joe Public alike. Premiership football sides have bought them, for instance, and Formula One drivers have taken to them in a big way, as they help them work on their reactions while tired.
The Rugged story began in the late Noughties, just before the 2009 Global Financial Crisis, when Simon and his team found themselves contracted to develop a new product for a client. It was, of course, the original version of the CardioWall – basically, a sophisticated take on the old arcade game Whac-A-Mole, where you get a great workout by bashing lights as they come on and off in seemingly random order – and things initially appeared to be going swimmingly. But then 2009 happened, the client went bust, and Simon had to decide
“We currently make two versions of the regular CardioWall,” Simon says, “as well as the more expensive CardioWall Pro X versions.” The regular ones are a coloured board, like a ping-pong table on its side, while the more technical-looking Pro X versions are like a futuristic spider, the sort of exercise kit you might find on a spaceship in a Ridley Scott film. “Whichever version you have, people like them because they turn your workout into a game.” Indeed, each CardioWall has a high score table, and records your personal scores too – so you can compete against both other people and yourself. “We’re constantly surprised by the uses people put them to,” Simon says. “Many customers have been from the trampoline park industry; they instal Walls next to trampolines, so you have to bounce up to hit them.” 12
And CardioWalls are also doing well in schools, where they find that giving a disruptive pupil a five minute session can have beneficial effects, calming them down and getting them ready for class again. “It’s been suggested our CardioWalls would be effective in prisons too,” Simon says, “as well as care homes for seniors.” The CardioWalls aren’t cheap, at around £6,000 to £18,000 per unit, but the guys at Rugged have ideas for more affordable home versions somewhere down the line. Since a major part of Simon’s motivation is to keep living and working in Fowey, however – about 270 miles west of London, remember, and down small roads too – growth has to be managed. He can’t ever see CardioWalls being built anywhere but his factory, for instance. “It’s fundamental that we support the local economy down here, and do so with high quality jobs,” he says. “Our Walls will never be built in China or wherever. It’s just not what I want to do.” For more, rugged-interactive.co.uk
Powered by a hand-wound version of our Calibre SH21 movement, the C8 Power Reserve introduces this complication for the first time - when fully wound, the decorated twin barrels provide an incredible five days of power. Meanwhile, the black DLC case and altimeter-inspired date calendar match that practicality with stunningly innovative design.
new old The
Spot the difference: the top half of this watch is factory fresh, the bottom half aged to develop a patina
C60 Trident Bronze
One of the hottest trends in watches – the use of bronze as case material – hits Christopher Ward with the launch of the C60 Trident Bronze Pro 600. Few watches have been so eagerly awaited, look so amazing, or present quite so many challenges in manufacture…
The C60 Trident Collection of diver’s watches has long been Christopher Ward’s most popular range, but you’ve never seen a Trident like this before. Most CW watches are made in unlimited series runs, and some are limited to special editions of 100 or so, but the C60 Trident Bronze Pro 600 is somehow both at once. In fact, you could say each watch is in a series of one. And it’s all to do with the material it’s made from. Bronze has many exciting properties, you see, but its most important claim to fame is as the first corrosion-resistant metal known to man. On exposure to water – or even moist air – bronze soon oxidises, but only on the surface, creating a superficial layer of copper oxide that protects the metal beneath. This is why the bronze fittings on ships develop a unique look all their own, and why each Trident Bronze will soon develop a one-of-a-kind patina.
“Because bronze has been used on ships for 3,000 years, most watch applications have followed this nautical lead,” says Christopher Ward co-founder Mike France. “That said, there’s little history of bronze in the watch industry at all. Indeed, the recent trend for it seems to have begun when the Italian Navy commissioned Officine Panerai to make a bronze prototype of their famous Mille Metri model in the 1980s.” This watch never went into production, but a mystique grew around it, and eventually an ex-Panerai engineer created a small run of similar watches branded Ennebi Fondale. When Panerai was bought by Richemont – and the business was moved from its old home in Florence to Milan and Switzerland – some watch-makers remained behind, and founded rival outfit Anonimo. This made a number of bronze models, and others followed – mostly small-scale outfits like Benares. The first really big name to get involved with bronze watches was Audemars
“Some beautiful bronze watches have been made in recent years, but the C60 Trident Bronze is one of the first truly affordable ones” Piguet, then came Hublot, IWC, Tudor, Zenith, and Oris – all inspired by Panerai and the smaller makers. “Some beautiful bronze watches have been made in recent years,” Mike says, “but they’ve been very expensive. Lately, more affordable offerings have started to appear – but even Oris operates at price points beyond ours. The C60 Trident Bronze is, therefore, one of the first truly affordable bronze watches.” Bronze was developed concurrently in the Middle East and China around 7,000 years ago – and the Bronze Age itself runs many thousands of years, from around 3300BC to 700BC, the beginning of the Iron Age. The recipe changed over the years, but it’s always an alloy consisting primarily of copper, usually with some tin mixed in, and sometimes other metals and non-metals too, such as aluminium, manganese, nickel, zinc, and arsenic. Typically, modern bronze is 88% copper and 12% tin, but the ‘mild bronze’ of the ancient world had only about 6% tin, and aluminium bronze uses aluminium instead of tin, which gives more strength and corrosion resistance; the similar brass, meanwhile, is a copper and zinc alloy. These days there are dozens of different types of bronze, and each develops its patina in a different way. Some are quite pale and establish only a mild patina, while others look more like rose gold, or even the brown of a two pence piece. The one used in the C60 Trident Bronze
is a Japanese-made multi-alloy bronze of copper and tin, but with smaller amounts of phosphorous and other ingredients too; in fact, it’s identical to the bronze used by Oris. Tudor, on the other hand, uses a version that contains aluminium instead of tin. “The big difference is that ours tends towards browner tones when it ages, and Tudor’s tends to look more yellow/green,” says Adrian Buchmann, senior designer at Christopher Ward. “I really like the colour of our bronze, as it’s not too close to either yellow gold or rose gold – both of which I like, but which might look too much like you’re showing off. In fact, for me any bronze borders on being a bit much when new, but it ages so gracefully that it soon looks amazing. The way the patina develops depends on the seasons, and on where you live – customers in Malaysia, say, find the humidity makes the bronze go more red – and how you use the watch affects
the patina, too. If you dive with your watch in salt water, for instance, it might get a greenish tinge.” You could say that a bronze watch case is to a steel one what a mechanical watch movement is to quartz. The quartz may be cheaper, and more accurate, but it doesn’t have the soul of a mechanical watch. And modern stainless steel may be harder than bronze, and just as corrosion-resistant. But it, similarly, is not quite so alive. “Of course, the patina isn’t permanent,” says Adrian, “and you could use elbow grease to remove most of it, if you wanted – though you’d struggle around the fiddly bits. Then you’d get to watch the patina develop all over again.” “Part of the reason bronze is more expensive than steel is that it throws new manufacturing challenges our way,” says Mike. “For instance, when the cases are made the process has to be faster than
“With a car, you fear the first scratch; with a bronze watch, each new addition to its distinctive character is something to be celebrated, not cursed” usual, to prevent them acquiring a patina before they’ve reached the customer. They’re then vacuum-packed to keep them safe from moisture.” “And it doesn’t end there,” says Adrian. “We wear gloves when making watches, but with these – having created cases and movements separately – we introduce them to each other in as short a time as possible, then seal them again. We have to get it to the customer in an utterly pristine form.” “It’s almost like owning a new car,” Mike says, “except the opposite way around. With a car, you fear the first scratch; with a bronze watch, each new addition to its distinctive character is something to be celebrated, not cursed.”
Here’s a Trident Bronze as each customer will first see it, but it won’t remain looking exactly like this for long…
The first open series of Trident Bronzes are all automatic watches using the Sellita SW200 movement and a navy blue dial, to contrast beautifully with the case; straps are leather and high density webbing. (“It all makes this the perfect watch to wear with jeans,” says Mike.) Though Trident Bronze has great undersea performance – water resistant up to 600m – it’s the way it looks that everyone will remember. “Across so many areas, vintage has become a huge trend,” says Mike, “and with watches it’s no different. There’s something about a vintage item that has an authenticity that many modern watches fail to
match, yet few of us are willing to live with the performance compromises it often brings. Trident Bronze reflects this dissatisfaction with efficient modern technology, while forcing few compromises upon the wearer. Indeed, since we announced the Trident Bronze, we’ve had more enquiries about it than anything else.” So what’s next for Christopher Ward and bronze? “I love the material,” says Adrian, “and in the future I’d like to see us extending its use to other models. For instance, a bronze C65 Trident Vintage would be very interesting.” It’s going to be interesting, too, to see how the first owners enjoy their new watches. Anyone expecting their C60 Trident Bronze to remain exactly as it came out of the box is in for a bit of a shock – but hopefully it’s one that they’ll embrace. Bronze has a living appeal to it that means this watch is much more than the version you initially buy – it’s all the other versions, each subtly different to the last, that you’ll own going forward too. The C60 Trident Bronze Pro 600 available now, £795.
Cover stars Record sleeve design provided some of the most iconic images of the 1970s, and the masters of the art were Londonâ€™s Hipgnosis design studio. Anthony Teasdale tells their story
Elegy by The Nice
Peter, Po and Storm in the Denmark St studio, 1980
It’s March 1, 1973. You’re walking back from the record shop with a copy of Pink Floyd’s new album Dark Side of the Moon in a plastic bag. After a little too long waiting at the bus stop – this is the ’70s, after all – your double-decker arrives, and you get on, jogging up the stairs to your favoured spot near the back. You sit down, rub the condensation from the window so you can see out, then pull the record from the bag. It boasts a cover that’s both unique and mysterious. Instead of the band’s name or album title, all that greets you is an image of a prism, dispersing a ray of light into all the colours of the spectrum. You run a fingernail down the cellophane wrapping and open up the gatefold sleeve where the lyrics are printed inside: if the packaging is this good, imagine what the music’s going to sound like… Today, 44 years on from the release of Dark Side of the Moon, the image of that prism is as potent as ever, a symbol of music’s cultural dominance of the age. And the design agency behind it, London’s Hipgnosis, was as integral to pop’s ascendancy as any of the bands themselves.
Hipgnosis was made up of Cambridge designers Aubrey ‘Po’ Powell and Storm Thorgerson. In 1967 they were approached by their hometown friends Pink Floyd to design the group’s A Saucerful of Secrets album. This led to them being offered more work by EMI, and the pair soon set up a studio – with loans from their mums – in London’s Denmark Street. The name came from a piece of graffiti written on the door next to their studio, rumoured to have been the work of Floyd frontman Syd Barrett. From the beginning, Powell and Thorgerson realised that fans pored over albums in search of insights into the music, which is why they added lyrics, posters and postcards to their packages. Sean Bidder, creative director of The Vinyl Factory, which reissues records with limited edition artwork, expands upon this. “Album cover artwork was the crucial artistic statement and marketing ploy in the pre-video age,” he says. “And in the best cases it became the ultimate branding exercise. Moreover, this was a time when modern art wasn’t accessible for most people, so the LP cover became a way of presenting big ideas through a populist prism.” 21
With regular commissions coming in, Hipgnosis were able to flex their creative muscles, using innovative techniques like airbrushing, cut-and-paste and multiple exposures in their work. And, in keeping with the spirit of experimentation, images of the groups they worked with were a rarity: instead abstract art, high-concept photography (see their work for prog rockers, Yes) and visual puns on lyrics were the order of the day.
imagery – photos are manipulated in an odd way. There are sleeves like AC/DC’s Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap, where the eyes are obscured, or ones like Black Sabbath’s Never Say Die, where people wear masks.” Thorgerson and Powell always worked on projects in the same way: an initial listen of the album, before studying the lyrics in detail then talking to the musicians themselves. From there they’d begin the design process, which, in the words of Thorgerson, meant “transforming the audio into the visual”. Speaking in 2010, Aubrey Powell described one of their creative get-togethers. “We used to have late-night meetings twice a week till about four in the morning,” he said. “We worked very hard. They were very intense creative meetings, and often the room would be full of other people; hangers-on, the local tramp, the drug dealer would come round, Japanese groupies, a couple of other designers.” This process led to a string of brilliant work, featuring artists as diverse as Peter Gabriel and Electric Light Orchestra. Yet it’s still Dark Side of the Moon – and that prism – that defines them.
They weren’t picky about the type of musicians they worked with either. While they’re best known for their early 1970s prog-rock images, they also made covers for heavy metal acts like Black Sabbath, Rainbow and AC/DC. Justin Quirk, music writer and editor of art/design magazine Supplement, has studied Hipgnosis in detail. He believes that a feeling of unease permeates their work, mirroring the ‘post-’60s hangover’ of the era. “It’s unusual that a design studio could work across that breadth of styles and still keep such a strong visual identity,” he says. “The thing that does run through their work is a kind of bleakness – it feels like a very distinctly ’70s mindset. There’s quite an unsettling quality to a lot of the 22
Abstract art, high concept photography and visual puns were the order of the day
Silk Torpedo by Pretty Things
Atom Heart Mother by Pink Floyd
Presence by Led Zeppelin
According to Thorgerson, the idea was inspired by Pink Floyd’s legendary light shows and singer Roger Waters’ fascination with the triangle, seen as a symbol of thought and ambition. A monochrome photo of a prism disseminating colours from light was found by Powell in a physics textbook and given to artist George Hardie, who produced the actual artwork. The band liked it immediately, and asked Hipgnosis to expand the theme over the gatefold sleeve, resulting in perhaps the most iconic album sleeve ever. The popularity of DSOTM gave Hipgnosis – now with third partner Peter Christopherson – enough projects to work on until 1983, when the company was dissolved. Powell went to work in video and film, while Thorgerson continued designing albums covers alone until his death in 2013. Today, their output is still admired, especially with the resurgence in vinyl of the last few years. For Sean Bidder of
the Vinyl Factory, Hipgnosis’ work symbolises the synthesis of two of the 20th century’s most powerful cultural forces: music and graphic art. “I think the best album sleeve designers consider themselves artists who are using the format as a canvas for conveying big ideas to a broad audience. And when they find the right platform – be it a band or label – the result is powerful and inspirational work, whether that’s Peter Saville and Joy Division/New Order or Hipgnosis/Pink Floyd.” And that’s as true now as it was in March 1973. Vinyl. Album. Cover. Art: The Complete Hipgnosis Catalogue is published by Thames & Hudson, out now
All I want for Christmas… It’s a myth that gift buying is an impossible task, but if you are struggling, here’s a little inspiration from the three Christopher Ward co-founders. They’ve each picked their three favourite watches, and explained why. Which ones appeal to you?
Peter’s choices Peter likes to keep it real, with a selection of elegant but modest dress watches – and the odd surprise too… Of the three co-founders, Peter Ellis is perhaps the one with the most subdued tastes, and biggest commitment to celebrating where the brand came from. “I tend to wear watches at the more dressy end of the spectrum, and I don’t like them too large,” he says. “40mm is about my limit. Sure, I enjoy some sports watches, but I rarely wear them for choice.” How come? “I suppose I’m just boring! No, it’s more that I enjoy simple designs, and watches in the vintage style. I’m not much of a collector of actual vintage watches, if
I’m honest, but my eye is more likely to be caught by a nice early ’60s Heuer Carrera than a modern sports watch. I suppose I’m different to the other guys in that I wear the early watches we made as much as the latest models. In fact, I tend to rotate though a selection from our first few years – watches like the C5 Malvern MkI – as a way of reminding myself where we come from. The new watches are better in every way, but it’s no bad thing to remember the blood, toil and sweat it took to get us where we are now.”
C1 Grand Malvern Moonphase £1,395-£1,425 When Christopher Ward brought out its first moonphase complication, powered by Calibre JJ04 – an in-house modification of the ETA 2836-2 movement – it caused quite a stir. But the new version, housed in the current C1 Grand Malvern case, takes elegance to a new level. Peter: “The Moonphase is the next watch that’s going to go into heavy rotation with me. It has everything I like; a clever movement, and restrained but striking looks. In fact, I was at a black tie do the other day and remember cursing myself that I hadn’t
C65 Trident Classic MkII
thought to wear the Moonphase. It’s true that where the moon is in the sky doesn’t impact on my life very much, so you could call this an unnecessary complication, but I still find it pleasing. This is one of the watches I’m most proud of – indeed, if I was trying to impress others new to Christopher Ward, this is what I’d show them. Mine would be on a tan strap with a blue face, which takes away from the dressy aspects, but the colours go so well together.”
C5 Malvern Automatic MkIII
A close cousin to the C60 Trident range, the strikingly simple C65 Trident Classic MkII retains some dive watch design cues while being unmistakably a dress watch. Peter: “I love the entire Trident range – that it sells so well for us doesn’t hurt! – but the fact is that most of them are a little bit too casual for me most of the time. That makes this perhaps the perfect watch for me, as it’s undeniably dressy yet a little bit rugged at the same time.”
The C5 Malvern Automatic MkI was the very first Christopher Ward watch, launched in the summer of 2005. This latest version retains all its virtues – a very wearable size, amazing quality for the price, elegant go-anywhere looks – and continues to make a great entry point to mechanical watches. Peter: “This is the modern version of the old C5 Malvern I often wear, and it’s become a personal favourite in the same way. I’m not a showy-offy sort of a person, and this subtly classy watch shouts as loudly as I’d want a watch to shout, most days. I like it best with a white face, and though I’m normally a tan strap guy, I’d take this on black for more formal occasions.”
Mike’s selection Mike’s choices are biased towards sports watches, and include some of the most horologically impressive pieces that Christopher Ward does… When Mike’s not at the Christopher Ward offices in England and Switzerland, you can generally find him on the coast somewhere – either Cornwall, or in pursuit of the world’s best dive sites. No surprise, then, that his selection is rather heavy on the sports watches. “Pete’s a humble man,” he says, laughing, “but I have pretensions of grandeur. Though I understand the value of quartz movements – both as an entry-point to watches, and where greater precision is required – only mechanical watches really do
it for me. There’s just something seriously magnificent about a piece of micro-engineering that measures time using the power from a mainspring to drive a collection of gears and wheels and, by the addition of a rotating disc, can even do this kinetically. I’m still very much in awe of the art and science of mechanical watchmaking. “Saying that, I have very eclectic taste when it comes to watch types, but perhaps my strongest affinity is for sports watches, which derives from my love of sport and has certainly influenced my selection here.”
C7 Rapide Automatic £695-£760 The odd eyebrow was raised when the new motorsport range introduced a few simple three-hand designs to the mix. After all, motorsport watches are usually thought of as chronographs. But, as it turns out, the three hand design works particularly well… Mike: “I’m very enamoured with the C7 Rapide Collection, partly because it’s so new, partly because I love motorsport, and partly because the case we’ve developed for it is so clever and distinctive. For me, perhaps surprisingly, the very best iteration is the simple three-hand version, and it seems I’m not
C60 Trident Titanium Pro 600 Variation #2
alone in this, either; it’s sold very well, because it’s at an accessible price point, and because the case, face, hand and index design all come together so well in this version. It’s the C7 Rapide in its purest form. We were a little nervous when launching it, as we’ve never done a three-hand motorsport watch before, but needn’t have worried. It’s sensational – and particularly striking with a blue dial and the striped webbing strap.”
C9 Me 109 Single Pusher Chronograph
Made of super-light and highly anti-corrosive titanium, this Trident iteration is like Darth Vader’s dive watch: somewhat menacing, but undeniably cool. Mike: “Of all our watches, this one is closest to me. I’m a diver, and it’s accompanied me on my most memorable dives. I used to be a devotee of the C60 Trident Pro in steel, but this has totally usurped it. Partly it’s because of how it looks, partly it’s because it’s so much lighter than the steel version, and partly it’s because it has such magnificent lume. It works well with jeans, but I wear it with a suit too – yes, even on rubber, my strap of choice.”
The latest of Christopher Ward’s increasingly attractive range of aviation watches is this striking Luftwaffe-themed piece. You can read more about it on page 34-37. Mike: “So many stories intertwined to bring this watch into being that it just had to be on my list. The C9 Me 109 is powered by an especially bespoked version of our fabled Calibre JJ02 movement (enough by itself to make any watch special) and the design is based on a Junghans clock from a WWII German fighter plane, the Messerschmitt 109. And it’s a limited edition of only 100 pieces. Well, 99 actually – I’ve already reserved mine!”
Chris’s picks Chris’s ambassadorial duties for the company means he’s rarely far away from the cleverest complications, though off-duty it’s a rather different story… “There are two types of watch I wear,” says Chris Ward, the co-founder who gave his name to the company. “On official duty, I go for a dress watch and a higher complication. I do a lot of ambassadorial work for the brand, and people like to see what we do, so it makes sense to have a flagship on my wrist. But when I’m not on show, I like something more casual and sporty – and I’m not a mechanical snob, so I don’t mind quartz. In fact, I really like a quartz chronograph, as they weigh less on the wrist than a mechanical one.” So, basically, you tend to wear watches as they’re designed to be worn?
“I suppose I do. When we first started the company I owned a few – ones I’d been bought for landmark birthdays, and a couple of Swiss watches I’d inherited – but I was no expert. I did get into collecting watches – mostly dress watches of the ’60s and ’70s, like the Omega De Ville – but these days I just tend to wear Christopher Ward. I have seven or eight at home, and another three in my office, including a prototype of the GT40 watch we did, which is an interesting talking point.”
C8 Power Reserve Chronometer £1,645-£1,695 Powered by a hand-wound complication of SH21 that allows it to run for five days between winds, this is an imposing 44mm watch that epitomises all that’s good about the current Christopher Ward aviation range. Chris: “This marked a step forward for our aviation range. It’s very on-trend, and if it’s intrinsically more casual than some watches I wear, it has real wrist presence. People just seem to like a big black watch. That it carries our Calibre SH21 movement is another great talking point with people – especially as you can see it through the display back. I tend to wear it on a tan strap, as it harks back to days gone by.”
C7 Rapide Chronograph Automatic
C3 Malvern Chronograph MkIII
£1,495 - £1,560
One of the most striking models in the C7 Rapide Collection, this chronograph manages to be highly modern while retaining a ’60s motorsport feel. And that it’s powered by the famous ETA Valjoux 7750 means it’s a serious amount of watch for the money. Chris: “This is very sporty, and though it’s quite heavy on the wrist – automatic chronographs always are – it’s perfect for when I’m going to the pub and want something casual. It’s got a solid case back, but that’s okay – all the action is on the front. I wear mine on the black Piccari leather with a red underside – it means there’s not too much red on the watch, but just enough to make it sing.”
Now in a C1 Grand Malvern-inspired case, yet retaining the Malvern Collection’s motorsport-inspired roots, the C3 Malvern Chronograph offers Swiss quartz accuracy and elegant looks. Chris: “This is a great everyday dress watch, slim enough to slip under a shirt cuff. The C3 Malvern has always been a favourite. I’ve got a soft spot for the MkI, one of the first watches we did, and when we did the MkII – which had a flatter dial and more contemporary look – I felt it worked for the time, but something was lost. Now, with the MkIII, we’ve moved forward again, while recapturing some of what I liked about the MkI. It’s an amazing watch for the money.”
Jılw jäne şañ (Heat and dust)
For most of us, running for days through a boiling hot desert would be anything but fun. But then most of us are not adventurer Jamie Maddison… Christopher Ward Challenger Jamie Maddison makes a habit of running across crazy, obscure locations, and has recently returned from his latest challenge: an ultra-marathon across the highly inhospitable Saryesik-Atyrau Desert in eastern Kazakhstan. As he ran it in September, there was mid-30ºC heat to contend with; looking back, he now reckons it would have been much wiser to have left it a month, allowing the average temperature to drop to a more manageable mid-20ºCs. “The worst moment was at about 32 miles,” Jamie says, “which doesn’t sound far, but I’d been going up and down sand dunes for hours, and now the sun was at its absolute hottest, and I could feel my vision starting to draw in around me. It felt like time was slowing and it was all I could do to put one foot in front of the other. What got me through was focusing on what lay just ahead: if I could cover off one more mile, I could then look to the next mile, and so on. That, and reciting Rudyard Kipling’s poem ‘If–’ over and over again.” Then, just two miles before the finish, something happened to Jamie’s knee. “I’d experience a sharp, shooting pain every time I put weight on it,” he says, “but I just had to finish. The best moment was seeing the river at the end, running towards it and diving into ice cold water.”
Jamie started at a town called Birlik on the western edge of the desert, then ran through sand dunes and along dusty tracks eastward for 70 miles. It took him 30 hours, including a night-time stopover as navigation was tricky and, Jamie says, his support driver “was getting dangerously tired”. It all sounds a bit of a horror story, you might be thinking, but not for someone like Jamie. “The more you can ready yourself for something like this, the greater chance you have of succeeding,” he says. Also accompanying Jamie was his CW watch, which he wore at all times. “Unlike a GPS running watch, which you tend to pause when you’re resting, an automatic watch keeps running,” Jamie says. “With its adjustable bezel, I would set a start time and keep note of how many hours had gone past from that point – rests included – so I could tell how long in total I’d been going. I’d also use it to keep track of what direction I was going in, via the sun. As I knew the nuances of the route, whenever we changed direction I could place roughly where we were in relation to how far I had to go. It proved to be very handy!” For more, christopherward.co.uk/challengerprogramme/ jamie-maddison 32
Photography courtesy of Mark Woodward
C9 Me 109 Single Pusher Chronograph LE
We kissed the devil So ran a line in the song of the Jagdflieger, the Luftwaffeâ€™s fighter wing. Christopher Ward could be said to be doing something similar with the C9 Me 109 Single Pusher Chronograph LE, as it takes its cue from the cockpit clock of the fabled Messerschmitt 109â€Ś Words by Philip Whiteman
Peter holds the original cockpit clock
Made in Germany by Junghans, the clock the C9 Me 109 Single Pusher Chronograph takes inspiration from is a beautifully designed cockpit instrument, valued by WWII airmen and prized by collectors, writes Philip Whiteman. It’s a watch that came about through a series of happy accidents, the first of which happened 20 years ago, when I was offered ‘some kind of German dashboard clock’ by a contact at AEA Harwell, an offshoot of the old Atomic Energy Authority, where I used to work. This chap, a former instrument technician and amateur horologist, knew I was a pilot – and had already come up with one of the rather cheap and nasty Waltham clocks used in US aircraft. The fresh offering, however, was rather more arresting – it had a stopwatch function with a fly-back second hand and separate sub-dial showing minutes elapsed, and its intricate movement could be seen by removing the cast metal rear cover. However, what clinched the deal was the overall dark grey finish, which to me shouted one word: “Luftwaffe!” And so it proved to be: some internet research soon revealed that I had in my hands a well preserved example of the late wartime version of the Junghans BoUk1 Fl 35
23885 blindfluguhr (blind-flying clock), which was standard equipment for German fighters of the 1940s. Fighter pilots cannot afford to spend more time than is absolutely essential ‘head down’, with their attention diverted by instruments. Nevertheless, they have to monitor elapsed time closely, for navigation and fuel management. Speed and time give distance flown, you see, and time airborne gives a more dependable estimate of fuel/duration remaining than fuel gauge readings – especially the readings of the fuel gauges of the ’40s! Instrument flying was in its infancy at the time but then, as now, required an accurate stopwatch for making accurate turns flown at specific angles of bank shown on the aircraft’s artificial horizon. The BoUk1’s stopwatch function would have been vital in bad weather, and for making a safe return to base. The clock has a rotating bezel, which allows start/departure time to be indexed quickly and simply with a gloved hand. The second hand and indicator on the 15-minute sub-dial are activated by an easy-to-see push button below the winding crown. The movement is Junghans J30BZ that runs for 36 hours on a single wind. When supplies of suitably
“There are many pilot’s watches out there, but how many of them can claim real inspiration from a pilot’s instrument?” Now that, we’re pleased to be able to say, is some serious lume
accurate watch movements became hard to obtain late in the war, the BoUk1 was adapted for use as an oversized navigator’s watch by adding a strap that allowed it to be worn on the arm of a flying suit. Confirmation that my clock was the kind used in fighters came with a 1998 visit to IWM Duxford to see Messerchmitt 109G ‘Black Six’ being flown for a TV programme. At Duxford I interviewed Russ Snadden, a former RAF engineering officer who’d masterminded a totally authentic restoration of the aircraft. Russ invited me to hop into the cockpit, and there it was – a Junghans clock identical to my own (albeit, this one wasn’t working). The temptation to sell was resisted, and the clock became a desk ornament until the next happy accident – a meeting at Christopher Ward’s local aerodrome, White Waltham, with company co-founder Mike France. At the last minute, the Luftwaffe clock was taken along as something he might just be interested in. And so it proved to be: Mike’s eyes lit up when he saw the clock and I explained its 36
provenance. He asked if he might borrow it, as the company was always looking for inspiration for new watches – and now we know where that led! To find out how he’d approached turning my Junghans cockpit clock into a watch, I spoke to Adrian Buchmann, Christopher Ward’s senior designer. “The watch uses a 43mm case finished in black sandblasted PVD with polished champfers, though only on the movement,” he told me. “It has a hand wound JJ02 movement, which is Johannes Jahnke’s single-pusher chronograph movement built off the Unitas 6497. With a single pusher chronograph, you’ve got a watch that refers back to an earlier era of chronograph design (it just has the one button, which goes through a series of actions: start, stop, reset). It’s a way to achieve chronograph functionality that seemed suited to this watch.” And what about the design and feel of it, I asked him. “I think the matte black textured dial, with its 3D effect light old radium print,
The DNA links are clear between the C9 Me 109 Single Pusher Chronograph and the Junghans clock that inspired it; note, particularly, the hour hand shape
The finished watch is one of the most striking CW has ever made
gives it very much the appearance of an old aeroplane clock. But it’s the distinctive shape of the hands, with their big blocks of green lume, that make the watch. The minute and, especially, hour hands are very distinctive, but I also like the shape of the chronograph seconds register – the thing that looks like a conventional second hand – with its unusually-shaped black brushed gunmetal counterweight. The two bi-compax sub-dials run continuous seconds at 9, and a 30-minute totaliser at 3; both reflect the appearance of the minutes elapsed sub-dial at 6 on the original clock.” I am full of admiration at the way Adrian has incorporated so much of the look of the aircraft clock in this handsome special edition watch. And
how appropriate it is that the JJ02 Calibre bestows the same single-pusher stopwatch function as the original. There are many pilots’ watches out there, but how many can claim true functionality and inspiration from a genuine pilot’s instrument? Philip Whiteman is editor of Pilot, the UK’s leading GA magazine, now in its fiftieth year. He flies his own 1944 Piper L-4H Cub, a veteran WWII spotter plane. For a further information on WWII Luftwaffe clocks, try the book German Military Timepieces: 150 Years Watches and Clocks of German Forces, by Konrad Knirim. The C9 Me 109 Single Pusher Chronograph Limited Edition, limited to 100 pieces, is available now, £2,950. 37
Merry and bright We’re dreaming of a bright Christmas song, and you know what? We’ve found a few. Welcome to the Christopher Ward seasonal playlist, not exactly free of saccharine, we confess, but at least these tunes have other strong qualities to compensate…
December’s a strange old month, when normal critical faculties are put on hold in favour of radio playlists full of cosy, sentimental, feel-good classics which talk of a bygone age. (Heck, many of them were written in a bygone age.) This year’s Christopher Ward playlist presses home a number of things, including that not every holiday song is a wrapping-worthy treat. (We love The Jackson 5 as much as anyone, but hearing a five-year-old Michael singing about his father getting cuckolded by a strange bearded man in ‘I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus’ is all kinds of strange.) Equally, however, this list has taught us that plenty of the Christmas classics are surprisingly good – even brilliant, in their own way – and that, for one month a year, festive cheer is far more welcome than Grinch-like grumbling. Whatever their qualities, what none of these songs are – perhaps save the Pogues one – is cool. It’s chilly outside, but there’s nothing cool about Christmas…
Wonderful Christmas Time Paul McCartney (1979)
I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday Wizzard (1973)
Happy Xmas (War is Over) John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band (1971)
Post-Beatles, Paul McCartney wasn’t afraid to give his silly side its head, and this one-man show – Macca recorded it entirely on his own – beats even his theme to forgotten flick Spies Like Us for controversy amongst fans. Some love, it, some hate it – though we assume McCartney himself is rather fond of it, as it’s estimated to have earned him £11m over the years. Revolving around a wobbling synth melody that’s part funk, part ’70s space-rock, ‘Wonderful…’ suffers from the thinnest of lyrics, which is perhaps why people tear into it. But there are compensations: it marks a moment of re-invention, his band Wings having run its course and a brave new world of ’80s experimentation beckoning.
There’s something about English glam rock and Christmas that fits together like egg and nog. Think Slade’s boozed-up, joyfully simple singalong ‘Merry Xmas Everybody’; think The Darkness’s innuendo-packed ‘Christmas Time (Don’t Let the Bells End)’; and think this one, best of the bunch for our money, with its twinkling bells, children’s choir fade-out and knowing ‘ker-ching’ of a ringing till. There’s a haunted sadness in frontman Roy Wood’s eyes that gives it unexpected pathos: perhaps it’s that the song, amazingly, never reached higher than No.4 in the UK Singles Chart – or that the original tapes were lost in the ’70s, meaning the band had to rerecord the song for rerelease in 1971.
Much of John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s 1969 revolved around their famous Bed-Ins for Peace, the centrepieces of two years of activism that included putting up giant posters declaring ‘War is over!’ in 12 world cities, and releasing this single at the close of the year. It wasn’t a hit, released too close to Christmas itself, but when it came out almost a year later in his home country it made No.4 in the Singles Charts, and then No.2 in 1980, following Lennon’s death. This is the definitive Christmas ‘peace on Earth’ song, written with clear reference to the Vietnam War but now a seasonal staple, both hopeful and resigned, and largely successful in its attempt to convey real optimism without much of the schmaltz.
Peace On Earth/ Little Drummer Boy Bing Crosby and David Bowie (1977/1982) It’s almost impossible to believe that these two singers – one from the past, the other the future – co-existed on the planet at the same time, let alone sung together. But this surreal duet – performed in September 1977 for Bing Crosby’s Merrie Olde Christmas TV special – is real alright, and became one of Bowie’s best-selling singles when released as a single a few years later. First the pair banter about what they each do for Christmas, before launching into this medley of two different songs: ‘Little Drummer Boy’, a 1941 classic, and ‘Peace On Earth’, a new tune and lyric. No-one’s sure Bing really knew who Bowie was, but that he died before it was shown is a real yuletime tragedy.
Santa Baby Eartha Kitt (1953)
Last Christmas Wham! (1984)
Jingle Bell Rock Bobby Helms (1957)
2000 Miles Pretenders (1983)
People complain about the commercialisation of Christmas, but here’s a song that celebrates it: ‘Santa Baby’ sees a mockingly seductive woman reading an extravagant Christmas list, complete with items from Tiffany’s, sable coats, even yachts – all stuff she appears to be demanding, not just dreaming of. First recorded by Eartha Kitt, her fireside seduction rendition was a huge hit. She re-recorded it a number of times, an uptempo 1963 version becoming the model for Madonna’s winkingly vampish cover. Kitt was a true all-rounder – singer, dancer, actress, comedian, writer, political activist – with the most amazing voice. Orson Welles called the ‘most exciting woman in the world’ and, listening to this, you can believe it.
The race for 1984 UK Christmas No.1 had been between the country’s biggest acts (Wham! and Frankie Goes to Hollywood), but then ‘Do They Know It’s Christmas?’ came along and the world changed. In the end George Michael and Andrew Ridgeley had to be content with the No.2 slot, but ‘Last Christmas’ has been rereleased so many times it’s now the biggest-selling song in UK chart history not to get to No.1. Yes, the whole thing’s layered in the finest ’80s synth cheese – sleigh bells; those incredible jumpers; that soft-focus ski lodge video – but the mix of wistful whispering, significant glances and open-wound delivery give it heart and soul. Many of the songs on this list are great, but this one is truly something special (special).
Some Christmas songs dominate Christmas; this rockabilly classic dominated five Christmases in a row, and by the mid-’60s was a cast-iron classic – not bad for a song written by a PR guy and an advertising copywriter, extrapolating on the old seasonal standard ‘Jingle Bells’, and chucking in references to more contemporary songs like ‘Rock Around the Clock’. “I really didn’t want to cut it,” said country singer Bobby Helms, “because it was such a bad song. So me and one of the musicians worked on it for about an hour, putting a melody to it.” The pair eventually became happy enough with the results to give it a go. The result? Helms – who never had another comparably enduring hit – becomes a star again for one month every year.
As with the greatest love songs, there’s real tragedy at the heart of the best Christmas numbers too, and none more so than ‘2000 Miles’, the Pretenders classic with an ‘It’s Christmas, and I miss you’ theme lent added poignancy when you realise it’s not really about two lovers on different continents, but the band’s guitarist, James Honeyman-Scott, who’d died of cocaine-exacerbated heart failure the previous year, aged just 25. Chrissie Hynde wrote and sings the hell out of it, and new guitarist Robbie McIntosh pays tribute to his predecessor, his guitar mimicking the sound of snowfall. “Robbie plays beautifully on ‘2000 Miles’,” Hynde said. “Anything to avoid listening to my voice and my stupid words.”
Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree Brenda Lee (1958) The original version of this easy-on-the-ear, singalong, country-meetsrock ’n’ roll mash-up was recorded by a 13-year-old Brenda Lee in 1958 – it’s almost impossible to reconcile that fact with her mature-sounding voice – and later by numerous others, notably a Comic Relief charity version in the late ’80s. By 2008, its 50th anniversary, the original version – not a hit initially, though it became so when Lee became a star in 1960 – was said to have sold over 25 million copies. It’s the work of songwriter Johnny Marks, who wrote a number of the best Christmas songs of the ’40s and ’50s (‘Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer’ is another), despite being Jewish, and so not celebrating Christmas at all.
Baby, It’s Cold Outside Dean Martin (1959) This playfully horny calland-response classic is best remembered for the 1959 version sung by Rat Pack star Dean Martin, but the song itself is a good 15 years older, written by Frank Loesser in 1944 and first sung by him and his wife, Lynn Garland, at the end of a New York housewarming party as witty suggestion that guests had better finish their drinks and get going. In ‘Baby…’, one singer (usually a guy, identified as ‘wolf’ on the score) tries to persuade the semi-reluctant other (normally a girl, ‘mouse’ on the score) to stay with him for the evening, citing romantic and practical reasons. Dean’s version replaces the female voice with a choir, making it a little less creepy – but lines such as ‘Say, what’s in this drink?’ certainly raise eyebrows…
Do They Know It’s Christmas? Band Aid (1984)
All I Want For Christmas Is You Mariah Carey (1994)
Fairytale of New York The Pogues and Kirsty MacColl (1987)
The early ’80s were a high point of British pop, and Bob Geldof and Midge Ure’s reaction to the 1984 Ethiopian famine roped in all the period greats – Wham!, Duran, Culture Club, Spandau – for a hit that spanned the world, and became the biggest UK chart success of the decade. Its theme gives it emotion – but so does the fact that it’s a well-performed and surprising unconventional pop song. Ure wrote a Christmas-like melody, Geldof repurposed lyrics from a song he’d already finished, and the UK’s biggest music stars of the time agreed to appear, the most famous getting to sing a line or two apiece. The result was a phenomenon, and a snapshot of a time when British pop dominated the world.
There are divas and then there’s Mariah Carey, a woman living on another planet, it would be tempting to say – until you hear the selfless plea at the heart of this song, hidden behind retro pop hooks, seasonal sleigh bells and uplifting dance-pop vibes. This is Christmas how we want it to be – equal parts real emotion and seasonal schmaltz – carried on girl-groups harmonies, flirtatious cooing, and one of pop’s jolliest falsettos. Now a seasonal standard – The New Yorker called it “one of the few worthy modern additions to the holiday canon” – it’s the singer’s biggest international success, something Carey herself puts down to her genuine, unabashed love of the season.
It’s the UK’s most played Christmas song of the 21st century, yet every time you make the effort to properly listen to this folk-style ballad, it’s heartbreaking, a four-minute epic of the Irish in America. The song came together over two years, banjo-player Jem Finer starting with lyrics about a sailor looking over the ocean, then changing it when his wife suggested it be about a couple bickering at Christmas; he eventually gave what were effectively two different songs to singer Shane MacGowan, who wrote new words. Guest artist Kirsty McColl, wife of Pogues producer Steve Lillywhite, was brought in to voice the female character in a swinging call-andresponse structure full of booze and drugs and bent, if not quite broken, dreams.
White Christmas Bing Crosby (1942) Is this the best Christmas anthem? It’s certainly the best-selling one, all nostalgic fantasy of Christmases past. By the time Christmas Day itself finally comes – full of family quarrels and gift disappointment (and absolutely, definitely, no snow) – this song has generally played its part, but hey, there’s always next year to dream of. Legend has it that Irving Berlin wrote it in the warm California of 1940, the great songwriter telling his secretary, “Grab your pen and take down this song. I just wrote the best song I’ve ever written—heck, I just wrote the best song that anybody’s ever written!” Bing was less impressed, but the mix of melancholy and a comforting portrait of home resonated strongly, not least with US soldiers following Pearl Harbour.
A dive watch capable of being waterresistant to 600m needs to be constructed from the finest materials available. That’s why we’ve made this Trident: limited to 316 pieces – a celebration of the premium 316L steel alloy used in its bezel and case – and with a bold matte blue dial, the limited edition C60 Trident 316L will stand out anywhere.
Design matters | Watch history | How it works Great watch wearers
Bride wars Beatrix Kiddo, famously played by Uma Thurman in the two-part movie Kill Bill, is Clint Eastwood meets Bruce Lee in a supermodel’s body. She’s also the owner of a most peculiar Rolex… There are lots of interesting things about Quentin Tarantino’s two-part Kill Bill – a gleeful, ultra violent B-movie mash-up – and one of them is how much of the iconography is self-consciously borrowed. Think of The Bride/Black Mamba/Beatrix Kiddo’s iconic black-striped yellow jumpsuit – a close replica of the one worn by Bruce Lee in Game of Death. Think of her pick-up truck, named for a line from ‘Greased Lightnin’’. Think of the argument about code names you don’t like, which is right out of Tarantino’s very own Reservoir Dogs. Though the two Kill Bills are packed with plenty of references to mainstream movies too – everything from Citizen Kane to Blade Runner, The Searchers to Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan – it’s the cheap stuff QT loves the best, and whole shots and scenes are lifted from spaghetti westerns and samurai flicks, Italian gore-fests and American car chase romps. Most of all, though, he likes Hong Kong martial arts movies – from Five Fingers of Death to Fists of Fury – made fast and cheap but with endless energy; the sort of film where authenticity is very low on the priority list.
Enter Kiddo’s Rolex Daytona, a most masculine watch worn with sass by a most violent but feminine woman, shown in fullscreen close-up a number of times during the two movies – notably in the second one, where she’s timing her pregnancy test – that gleefully announces to the world one thing: I’m not real. Just check it out: sub-registers on the dial which don’t perform stop-watch functions, as in a real Daytona, but instead tell the day and date; a large second hand that ticks around the dial, rather than acts as part of the stopwatch function; and further obvious issues with the bezel and tachymeter. It’s no Daytona, this thing, but a Day-tona. An unrepentant, unashamed fake. Perfectly fittingly for the artificial world of Kill Bill, it turns out that one of the most famous individual Rolexes of all isn’t even a Rolex at all…
Adrian Buchmann has really been enjoying working with the new C7 Rapide Collection. Rarely, if ever, has he had so much colour to play with… I always think it’s cool have a bit of colour on a watch, writes Adrian Buchmann, senior designer at Christopher Ward, and especially a driving watch. After all, the car world – and the racing car world, especially – is hardly afraid of being visually loud. Think of a McLaren Formula One car or a racing Porsche in Gulf Oil colours – and, in watch terms, think of old Heuer Monacos, with their blue faces and orange hands, or the bright red or yellow faces of Girard Perregaux Ferrari watches. The thing is, though, you have to be careful, as it’s certainly possible to go too far – and you don’t want your watch ending up looking like a Christmas tree! When designing watches, I naturally think a great deal about their specific function – is this watch for divers? Is it for pilots? – but I also tend to split the types of watch we do into just a couple of much simpler categories. There are watches you wear with suits, and watches you wear with anything but a suit. There are exceptions, but in the main driving watches seem to me to be at the more casual end of the spectrum, and so can afford to be a little bit louder – and a little bit more fun. To my mind, few things look better with jeans than a driving watch. For the first collection of C7 Rapides, we’ve gone with some classic motorsport colour schemes. We have black faces and blue faces on the three-hand watches, and black, white, blue and British Racing Green faces on the
chronographs. As expected, the British Racing Green has been selling very well, and black too. But the most popular of them all has been the blue, which I’m thrilled about; it means that there’s an appetite for brighter watch faces. It’s true that diver’s watches often have colourful faces too, but they rarely have such colourful straps as some motorsport watches do, and it’s easy to underestimate how much the colour of a strap impacts upon the overall effect of a watch. The C7 Rapides come on a number of different options in fairly conventional shades – steel bracelets, and leather and rubber straps – but also black Piccari leather with a red underside and edge, and brightly-striped high density webbing versions. It’s these that show how punchy colour can be, even on something so small as a watch. And then there are the coloured aluminium bands around the sides of the C7 Rapide Collection, an integral part of their innovative four-piece cases. These are silver or matte black on many of the initial range, but a rich red or blue on the C7 Rapide Day Date COSC Limited Edition and C7 Rapide Chronograph COSC Limited Edition respectively, which both look spectacular. What’s so great about these bands is that you can get a noticeable amount of colour onto the watch, without being too in-your-face. Think of the bright red brake calipers on a sports car; they’re half hidden by the wheel, and don’t hugely affect the look, but you certainly notice them… 44
“To my mind, few things look better with jeans than a driving watch.”
The great thing about these aluminium bands is that they’re super-easy to make, as aluminium is a material that takes colour well – in fact, anything in the Pantone book can be replicated perfectly, with the exception of a pure, bright white. (But then, white isn’t even in the Pantone book!) In fact, the only real issue with aluminium is that it’s sensitive to the amount of time you immerse the metal in the anodising acid bath. Just leaving it in half a second too long can totally change the finished effect. And these bands have further potential too: in the future we could create patterns on them, if we wanted
to. Not by printing on them, as that wouldn’t last, but through engraving or punching holes in the metal, to show the silver of the stainless steel beneath. Or we could create these bands in a different metal altogether, though the ring would probably have to be a little thicker. Right now, we’re having great fun playing with colour for future iterations of the C7; it’s something that makes this a satisfying range to work with. Black and yellow would look great, for instance, and at some point I’d like to experiment with a completely luminous ring, which would make the watch actually glow on your hand… 45
Happy hours How can you ensure your watch remains happy and working well? And how important is servicing anyway? Andrew Henry, Technical and QC Manager, tells all…
Here at Loupe, we talk a great deal with the people who create Christopher Ward watches, but very rarely with those who keep our watches happy and healthy. Technical and QC Manager Andrew Henry heads up this operation in Maidenhead, after moving away from graphic design when he found it was all becoming too digital for his liking. “I enjoyed traditional printing processes, such as lithography and screen printing, far more,” he says, “but they’re dying arts. So I decided to try my hand at horology, believing my visual problem solving could be transferred to more practical hands-on work. Also, it didn’t hurt that watches are a longstanding passion of mine.” (Andrew also confesses a similar passion for Chelsea FC, but don’t hold that against him.) Andrew first came to Christopher Ward in 2012, looking for watchmaking apprentice work, and fell under the wing of Chris Ward himself, who sent him to Switzerland to train under CW’s watchmakers. “My initial responsibilities included quality checking quartz movement functions and performing battery exchanges,” Andrew says, “but I soon graduated onto mechanical watches, and began liaising with old and new Swiss suppliers.” He was promoted to Technical Manager/Workshop Leader, which saw him leading the horological team in the UK, and liaising with the atelier in Switzerland. “As we have such a small team, we often get involved with the other departments, advising the design team on technical
issues with prototypes, for instance,” he says. “The only problem with that is, as the business expands, I seem to spend less and less time on the bench!” So, Andrew, tell us about the servicing offer at CW. Currently we have four technicians in the watch clinic, who cover all repair work on movements, cases and bracelets, from diagnosing issues to carrying out complete and partial services on quartz and mechanical movements and replacing pushers, crowns, bezels, case gaskets or sapphire crystals. There aren’t enough of us here to offer a polishing service, but we do offer competitive pricing for replacement cases and bracelets. There’s a 60-month guarantee on our movement work, which covers the majority of watches returned for repair, and we can repair watches outside the guarantee at competitive prices. Our technicians have become competent watchmakers themselves, enabling us to provide more complicated mechanical repairs here in the UK. This means we rely less on our Swiss atelier for customer care. How often should we get a watch serviced? A watch is a precision instrument with many moving parts, and needs to be serviced regularly. Time between services depends upon the model; the climate, environment and conditions in which it is used; and the care taken by its owner. We recommend you service your 46
“A watch is a precision instrument with a great many moving parts, and needs to be serviced regularly” CW watch every 3-4 years, and look at it like a trip to the dentist. Taking the watch apart, re-oiling it and cleaning it where necessary will prevent components wearing. And what happens during a service? First, a watchmaker or technician will conduct a thorough examination of the watch and movement. This includes demagnetising the movement; full disassembly; movement repairs; cleaning of components using an ammonium-based solution; movement reassembly; regulation to appropriate tolerance; case cleaning, including bracelet; gasket replacement; and a reseat of dial and hands before the posage (that’s what we call the assembled movement, dial and hands) is put back into the case, and the watch is sealed and tested. The watch’s rate and power reserve are checked for 48 hours, or longer if necessary, before the water resistance is checked. The whole process can take up to three days for a standard 38/42 hour power reserve, or six days for an SH21 with a 120 hour power reserve. Refurbishing is not included, but we carry out a full diagnostic of the watch prior to servicing, as some components may need to be changed. We can recommend new components if necessary – which come with an extra charge.
What would happen if a watch never got serviced? I’ve known Rolexes that have never been serviced and still run as they did out of the box, so it’s not guaranteed to break if it’s never serviced. But a service is still advisable to ensure everything’s functioning correctly. Outgoings in the short term can save money in the long term – especially if a component were to break due to lack of upkeep. Due to the components in the watch functioning in unison, there are various parts of the movement where metal is acting on metal, which will always result in wear. This can cause further damage, such as excessive wear of jewels, increased viscosity of lubricants, defective ball bearings, broken mainsprings, loss of balance amplitude, jammed rotor weights, broken wheel teeth and arbour pinions, and loss of tension in springs. All these symptoms are likely to cause your watch to either gain or lose excessive time, or for the watch to stop completely. Obviously, it is impossible to completely prevent these issues, but servicing should decreased their probability. How about quartz watches? Due to the cost difference between mechanical and quartz movements, it’s often seen as uneconomical to service a quartz watch. It may be cheaper to replace the movement instead. However, this is rarely the case with higher end quartz movements, so they are serviced similarly to a mechanical movement. The battery consumption is checked initially,
What are your favourite movements to work on? They include the ETA Valjoux 7750, as it’s a chronograph classic. Robust and accurate, the chronograph structure is simple and easy to maintain, allowing for various modifications and variations. I have also grown fond of our own SH21. With its modular design and size, it’s relatively pleasant to work on. Components are readily available for defective parts, which also aids the process of repairs – and, possibly, sways my opinion!
at which point the watch is disassembled, with special attention paid to the electronic circuit and coils, which are removed, inspected and placed in a safe place. High battery consumption is usually due to increased friction in the gear train, which is why all the wheels and bridges are cleaned with an ammonium-based solution before the movement is reassembled and lubricated accordingly. The battery is then replaced and the consumption checked again before case cleaning, including the bracelet. The gaskets are replaced before the posage is rehoused in the case and the watch is sealed and tested before being put through quality control.
Are you a watch collector yourself? Yes, and partly because my father is an avid collector. He gave me my first Swiss watch, when I was fourteen. It was a Breitling Colt Ocean Automatic, powered by an ETA 2824 Calibre, and it still holds huge sentimental value. My Holy Grail watch is either a Heuer Carrera 12 Dato Ref. 2547S or a Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Ref. 15202ST. That said, the next vintage watch on my ‘to buy’ list is definitely an Omega Speedmaster Professional Ref. 145.012, using the Omega Calibre 321. I own a couple of Christopher Ward watches too, my current favourite being the C65 Trident Vintage, due to my small wrists and fondness of glass box sapphire crystals. From a engineering standpoint, I love the C9 Single Pusher Chronograph and C8 Power Reserve Chronometer, albeit they are a little large for me.
Do individual movements have particular issues? They do, and experience with each one allows for quicker diagnostics of faults. For example, on the JJ01 Jumping Hour module the lubricants and grease used on the detector to reduce friction on the CAM wheel will become increasingly viscous over time, meaning that the balance amplitude will reduce, and without the correct upkeep the module may begin to stop before the jump. With SH21 we completed extensive R&D before presenting it to market, but the best test is time. We are constantly improving it in small ways, using information gathered through analysis of returned movements.
For more, go to christopherward.co.uk/cservices/service-and-repairs 48
Good times Andrew Henry’s ten tips to help ensure your watch enjoys a long and happy life… 1 — Stay clear of strong magnetic fields You could magnetise your watch inadvertently. Most mechanical watches have some magnetic resistance, but you should still be careful.
5 — Don’t wind the watch while wearing it Take it off your wrist first. Just trust me on this one. 6 — Stay away from sharp objects Just because a watch is ‘scratch-resistant’ does not mean it is ‘scratch-proof’. So avoid harmful objects – and avoid dirt too, as it can cause slow damage.
2 — Don’t wear your watch in extreme temperatures Moving between excessive hot and cold can cause parts to expand or contract, which may damage your movement. Keeping a watch in extreme heat can also cause lubricants to congeal, causing gearing friction.
7 — Keep clear of chemicals I’m thinking of things such as cleaning supplies or perfume – especially if the watch has a leather band. Perfume can damage the band, weakening it and potentially causing it to tear. Let any perfume completely dry before placing the watch on your wrist.
3 — Invest in regular cleaning and oil changes Watches require regular cleaning and oil changes to continue running effectively. Seals to resist water can also crack over time. Even though modern lubricants are long lasting, they do dry eventually.
8 — Avoid extended exposure to sunlight UV rays can damage the pigments in dials or bezels.
4 — Keep it wound An appropriately lubricated watch will work better and for longer, and keeping the watch wound will help spread the lubricants. Most watches are regulated and adjusted at a state of full wind and, as the mainspring uncoils, isochronism error can creep in. It’s usually slight, but accuracy should be best with a fully wound watch.
9 — Heat can shorten battery life This being the case, it’s best not to place your quartz watch in direct sunlight. 10 — Rinse with fresh water after swimming Though the water itself will not hurt your watch, the chlorine in a pool, and the salt in the sea, might.
How dangerous is it to swim from Cuba to Florida without a shark cage? Be thankful that Diana Nyad is the one who decided to find out… A naiad is a Greek water nymph, not a river god but a more modest supernatural spirit associated with streams, brooks, wells, fountains and other bodies of fresh water. Their close namesake, Diana Nyad, however, is one of modern America’s most celebrated long distance swimmers, famous for splashing around the island of Manhattan in 1975, and then from the Bahamas to Florida – a distance of just over 100 miles – a few years later. Many years after, age 64, she become the first person to swim from Cuba to Florida – she went Havana to Key West, a distance of 110 miles – without the benefit of a shark cage. A 22-year-old Australian, Susie Maroney, had done the same swim in the late ’90s, but her shark cage not only took much of the fear out of the crossing – Florida has been called ‘the shark attack capital of the world’ – but is said to have made it somewhat easier too, the cage creating a drafting effect that pulls the swimmer along.
How likely was Nyad to have been bitten? There are certainly plenty of sharks in these waters – though fewer than there once were – and of the types most likely to attack humans, too: bulls sharks, great whites, tiger sharks, great hammerheads, shortfin makos… But of the approaching 700 shark bites in Florida waters since the 1880s, only one was in the Florida Keys – and that wasn’t fatal. (Around Cuba is worse, but there have only been seven fatal attacks there since the 1930s too.)
Of course, long distance swimming is especially risky regarding sharks: you’re safest from them near the shore, in daylight and in a big group of people, none of which she was. She did, however, wear an anti-jellyfish suit – their stings being perhaps a more serious risk, having put paid to many an earlier attempt, including one by Nyad herself in 2012 – while her support crew attempted to protect her with a mild electrical field
around her, designed to discourage toothy predators. (No-one’s sure if it actually works.) Even so, during her 53 hour swim Nyad was followed by at least six sharks at various times, including three oceanic whitetips, two big hammerheads, and – said a shark expert on her safety team – “what I suspect was a large bull shark”. They’re certainly all breeds you’d rather not encounter, thank you very much…
A watch made for travellers, thanks to its 24-hour fourth hand, the C60 Trident GMT 600 keeps time in two global timezones. Waterproof to 600m, and a re-engineered machine-grade, stainless steel case and scratch-resistant ceramic bezel, itâ€™ll function as perfectly in the boardroom as it will at 35,000 feet.
CUSTOMER DEFINED LOGO
C9 10017 CUSTOMER NUMBER
If undelivered please return to: Christopher Ward (London) Limited, 1 Park Street, Maidenhead, Berkshire, SL6 1SL, United Kingdom
The story behind the C9 Me 109 Single Pusher Chronograph is as enthralling as the watch itself, involving a famous World War II fighter, a remarkable watchmaking liaison and a serendipitous meeting at an English airfield between an eminent aviation journalist and one of Christopher Wardâ€™s co-founders. Only 100 pieces will ever be made. To learn more about the story and this unique watch, visit our website today.