Loupe. Issue 01. Summer 2016
The Christopher Ward rebrand under the microscope.
Loupe. The Magazine of Christopher Ward.
C5 Malvern Slimline Square
The Shock of the New Here at Christopher Ward we fairly recently came to the conclusion that we should take a hard look at every way in which we communicate this brand of ours, but getting to that point was an interesting journey. For instance, the old branding wasn’t even all that old – and although a few people had made less than complimentary comments about the ‘Chr Ward’ logo, it had served us well. But then we merged with Synergies Horlogères, and our world changed. We had become even more different, with even more potential to disrupt an industry we both love for its craft and complexity and loathe for its pretentiousness – and its loopy pricing. (Or should that be “loupey” now?) We decided to raise our game, and this magazine is part of that. We thought long and hard about how we could share aspects of the new look beforehand, as we know many of you feel very close to us – something that’s very humbling – but the logistics aren’t easy, and we definitely didn’t want a horse designed by committee.
Loupe. The Magazine of Christopher Ward.
This is, for those of you who’ve received the Christopher Ward magazine before, a rather different creature than you may be used to. It has a new name – hey, it actually has a name! – and a very new look and feel; the approach is somewhat different too. What’s not new, however, is the inside look we intend to give you into the world of Christopher Ward and, beyond that, of watches in general. And beyond even that, too, we mean to look at a few other things going on in the world that we think you might be interested in – because we are. It’s a heady mix, and a rather exciting one. We hope that receiving this magazine every quarter is going to become a welcome component of your year. Matt Bielby
We hope you love every aspect of the new branding, but know some of you may not. As ever, we look forward to the dialogue and, just in case you need them, our email addresses are: email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com Enjoy the read. Editor: Matt Bielby Art Director: Jamie Gallagher Designer: Sam Burn Photography: Damon Charles, Peter Canning
Mike, Peter and Chris
1 Park St, Maidenhead, West Berkshire SL6 1SL christopherward.co.uk
C60 Trident Pro 600
Contents Features 22 – 27
Inside the rebrand
36 – 39
Mr Kiss Kiss Bang Bang
You may have noticed already: we have a new logo and more. We take a look inside the most extensive rebranding Christopher Ward has ever undertaken, and reveal just what’s changed, and why.
28 – 29
Beard Science The ongoing revival of the beard continues apace. Here’s how to make the most of yours.
30 – 35
Perhaps nobody has popularised watch-wearing as an active hobby like 007, so how strange to find that he mentions them barely a couple of times in the original books. We re-read the canon, with further surprising results.
40 – 43
The Conversation Michael Wignall
The New Deal 22 — 27
It’s one of the toughest jobs in the restaurant business: taking over from Michael Caines MBE at twoMichelin-star Gidleigh Park. We meet the chef who’s taking it on.
Class of 65 Inside the new C65, a dress watch with proper sporting DNA.
Dig the new breed 30 — 35
Regulars 07 – 16
45 – 50
Breaking news, cool companies and stuff that matters. This issue: sneak peaks at this year’s CW releases, some amazing handmade furniture, and we sponsor the Motor Sport Hall of Fame.
18 – 21
What we do, and how we do it. We go beneath the bonnet of Christopher Ward.
Forty Eight What are our watches actually like to live with? Over two days, three friends-of-the-company find out.
Slim picking 18 — 21
News, reports & innovations.
Born to race Our latest collaborations with TMB Art Metal celebrate two great British Le Mans challengers, the Jaguar D-Type and Aston Martin DB4 GT Zagato. It all began when Chris Bennett – owner/founder of TMB Art Metal, repurposers of intriguing historical metals taken from important trains, cars, planes and more – first contacted Christopher Ward, with the idea that the company might like to start using his precious metals in their watches. “When he arrived with a reclaimed piston from a WW2 Hurricane, we were putty in his hands,” remembers Mike France, Christopher Ward co-founder. “The first watch we collaborated on, though, was actually a car-based model – the C70 DBR1 Chronometer. Each of the 100-piece limited edition had a piece of original aluminium from the 1959 Le Mans-winning
Fin-tastic: the D-Type looks fast standing stillcuptios Spare D-Types were repurposed as road cars, dubbed the XKSS; Steve McQueen famously had one. A future ArtMetal collaboration, perhaps?
Aston Martin DBR1 embedded in the back-plate, behind sapphire crystal. It was a real challenge to do, taking 50-year-old metal of variable thickness, and full of lumps and bumps, and laser-cutting it so it fitted perfectly into a precision watch.” However, Johannes Jahnke – Christopher Ward’s master watchmaker – spent many hours working out how it could be done, and eventually cracked the problem. “The rest,” says Mike, “is history – pun intended – and the watch was a huge success.” And so it’s continued with various other collaborations, though each one depends on the exact metals Chris can source, their provenance, and the quality of their back story – as well as a sort of instinct. (Basically, does it get the team at
Christopher Ward excited?) Runs, naturally, are super-limited. “The metals are very scarce – in many cases, priceless – so the maximum number we’re ever going to do of a watch is 100 pieces,” Mike says. “The specific number, however, is also influenced by the story of the vehicle or plane involved. Last year, for instance, we were lucky to get metal from the legendary Ford GT40 that won back-to-back Le Mans victories in 1968 and ’69. Naturally, we only made 40 pieces. Our C8 P7350 watch had elements of the only remaining airworthy Spitfire to fly in the Battle of Britain – and the year we did it was the 75th anniversary of that conflict, so the edition was limited to 75 pieces. Each watch was also flown in a special flypast, before being handed to its owner.”
The Zagato’s an undeniably gorgeous car, though those rear side windows are a bit odd…
Inside the Atelier (pieces of old car not pictured)nonsequistio
We’re real motorheads at Christopher Ward, and have a particularly strong affiliation with Aston Martin.
So, what’s next? Two exciting new carbased watches, as it turns out. First up, and this autumn, Christopher Ward is releasing a watch containing elements of arguably the most famous Aston Martin ever made, the DB4 GT Zagato, registration number 1 VEV, which raced in the 1961 24 Hours of Le Mans. “We’re real motorheads at CW,” Mike says, “and we’ve a particularly strong affiliation with Aston Martin, ever since the dashboards of vintage AMs inspired one of our first models, the C3 Malvern Chronograph. And 1 VEV – along with 2 VEV, which also raced at Le Mans – are amongst the most famous Astons out there. Though never particularly successful on the track, the Zagato remains one of the most beautiful cars ever designed, and has AM lovers drooling at the mention of its name. Since just 19 of them were made, we’ll only make 19 watches.” He laughs. “So form an orderly queue, as they’ll be sold in a flash.”
It would be possible to sell many more of each of these, though, surely? “We could, but how special is it to own a watch that you know only 18 other people have?” The other new watch is inspired by a rather more successful racing car, the D-Type Jaguar, designed with the sole purpose of winning Le Mans – which it did in 1955, ’56 and ’57. “The circuit has very long straights, and the fin design on the back of the car was developed for maximum speed on them,” says Mike. “It worked brilliantly, and the metal we have for this one is from one of only 18 factory-made racing D-Types ever produced. “We’re going to be a little bit coy here on further specifics at the moment, but both these designs will take their inspiration from a close study we’ve made of the dashboard dial and hand languages of each car. Both will have ETA Valgranges AO7 Power Reserve calibres at their heart, and we’re becoming increasingly innovative with our use of the precious metal involved in these watches – but, if I told you too much now, I’d have to kill you!” Well, okay. And if you killed us, we’d never have the chance to get our hands on these beauties. Price points have yet to be decided, but both will be launched on preorder in September. christopherward.co.uk
Jeremy Cavanne, a watchmaker at the Atelier, and one of the men who’ll be helping put the new ArtMetal collaborations together
Eye in the sky London Eye proved we’ve an insatiable demand for getting high and looking down on things; now the same architects are back with a new twist on the idea, Brighton’s British Airways i360 Many an engineering project has some sort of ‘first’ to it – a height never before reached, a span never before bridged – but the British Airways i360 in Brighton, due to open this summer, has two. It’s not just, we’re told, the world’s tallest moving observation tower, but also the world’s first vertical cable car. It goes up 162 metres (that’s 450ft in old money), giving uninterrupted views of the city, the sea, the South Downs and the coast for miles in each direction. If you’re finding that all quite hard to imagine, think of a steel-and-glass flying saucer that rises up and down a big stick on the Brighton seafront, near the West Pier; designed by Marks Barfield Architects, makers of the London Eye, the glass
Meet the press We’ve a new way to put our movements together. Johannes Jahnke explains… What’s this thing, you may ask? It’s only the latest addition to the Christopher Ward Atelier in Biel, Switzerland: a linear press for setting stones and pins. “It’s roughly similar to a 3-Achs CNC machine,” says Johannes Jahnke, master watchmaker, “but there’s no spindle on it, and there’s a different measuring system for checking the height and pressing power. These things are relatively new, particularly for the small quantity jobs we’re doing. What’s so great is that they’ve brought the technology of the big production lines down to a much smaller scale.”
And what does that mean in practice? Well, better, faster, more accurate movement assembly is the idea. “All riveting and so on were once done by hand,” JJ says, “but the new machine allows for automatic checking, meaning we can reduce the quality control required. It will make assembly for our in-house movement, SH21, much quicker too. Basically, production will be more stable and reliable. The first big job we’ve got for it is to assemble the Jumping Hour module.” 10
viewing pod is like a larger version of one of the London attraction’s cars, this one with room for 200 each trip. You can wander around, drink Champagne during your ‘flight’ – and, in the evenings, watch as it transforms into the Sky Bar, billed as the UK’s most unique drinking establishment. (And probably the hardest to leave in a hurry, if you suddenly realise you forgot your mum’s birthday drinks.) There’s a brasserie at the base, with food from a past MasterChef: The Professionals winner, too. And it’s not going to be crazy-expensive either, with rides from just £13.50 adult, £6.75 children. For more, BritishAirwaysi360.com; marksbarfield.com
Car guys, more often than not, tend to be watch guys too. And thanks to Drive Time – a new glossy book to celebrate the pairing – never has the connection been more clear Cars and watches have a long history of cross-fertilisation and shared fan bases, of course, but rarely has it been celebrated with quite the same aplomb as in Aaron Sigmond’s new book Drive Time, a glossy coffee-table number full of pictures of cool watches and equally cool cars. Aaron’s an LA-based writer and editor – he loves luxury brands, be it the 246 GTS Dino that knocked his socks off as a schoolboy, or the high-end cigars populating his ’90s magazine, Smoke – and has edited titles for everything from Girard-Perregaux to Donald Trump. Aaron’s been a lucky boy as regards cars and watches, that’s for sure – for his 17th birthday he got a 5.0 Mustang rag-top and a 1970 Omega Seamaster, then, at 19, a used XJS V12 and a new Cartier Santos – and there’s plenty of fun personal detail to the book, as well as a solid look at the whole “you either get it or you don’t” (as Jay Leno puts it in his introduction) car/ watch thing.
There are chapters on ‘the entwined destinies’ of car making and watchmaking, plus Hollywood legends and their watches; Ferrari and Porsche-branded timepieces; manufacturers (like Heuer and Chopard) with particularly close links to motor racing and the car industry; and the icons of the car watch, be it the Rolex Cosmography Daytona or the Cartier Roadster. Plus, as well as pieces on scores of other car, race, driver or motorcycle-inspired watches – Bulgari’s relationship with Maserati, Jaeger-LeCoultre’s with Aston Martin, TAG Heuer’s with McLaren Formula 1 – there’s one on Christopher Ward too, particularly referencing the C7 Bluebird and C70 British Racing Green chronograph. Drive Time by Aaron Sigmond; Rizzoli; £55; out now
Wood love Meet furniture superstars Dave Young and Ross Norgate, turning the tables on boring design To most of us, there’s three basic types of furniture: hefty and antique, flatpacked and virtually free, or Italian and mad expensive. But wait up! There is another way. Consider the work of the modern artisans at Young & Norgate – once of Devon, now Bristol – who make extraordinary bespoke furniture that combines the best of elegant, pared back, modern or mid-century design with honest materials and craftsmanship. Dave Young and Ross Norgate create both free-standing and fitted furniture at their workshop – in edgy but arty Montpelier, right in the of middle the city – with each piece made to order. The guys first met at Dave Savage’s Fine Furniture School at Shebbear in Devon, and share the same ethos, but roles do inevitably get spilt. Dave traditionally focuses more on design, whilst Ross keeps his eye on the making side of the business. “Britain has a rich heritage of good wood craftsmanship,” says Dave. “Our aim is to combine these skills with well considered, clean-lined, elegant designs.” To date, the workshop has been building much of its reputation amongst London clients, tackling projects ranging from individual pieces for private homes – think everything from a single bedside table to a series of kitchen cabinets – to entire office or shop fits. “We did a lot of work for Berry Bros & Rudd,” says Kiwi-born Dave, “who are Britain’s oldest wine merchants, and important suppliers to the Royal Family. It involved a complete refit of their
shop.” Think modern desks and display racks, combined with traditional wooden beams and wall panelling. Each piece, be it a chair or dining table, is hand-made to order, allowing an unusual degree of flexibility with regards to exact dimensions and timber choice. Amongst the woods used is the extremely rare and expensive sub-fossilised bog oak, which is dredged up from the bottom of East Anglian peak bogs, where it has been lying for over 4,000 years. The end result is about 30% denser than normal oak – the stuff basically shrinks – and reveals, says Dave, “the most rich, beautiful colours when working it. The very peaty smell it gives off when being machined all makes it – quote, unquote – very ‘special’ to work with too.” One piece they’ve made from bog oak is the Animate writing desk – one of their most celebrated designs, awarded with the coveted Design Guild Mark from the Worshipful Company of Furniture Makers, and a celebration of the art of traditional piston-fit drawers. (This is showcased by presenting part of the drawer on the outside of the desk.) Revisited and improved over years, it takes fifteen days of the most painstaking cutting, shaving, turning, sanding and polishing to create what amounts to a celebration of the whole idea of ‘desk’. The bog oak version doesn’t come cheap, though: it’s over £4,000 per desk, in a limited edition of just ten pieces. For more, youngandnorgate.com 12
â€œBritain has a rich heritage of good wood craftsmanship, our aim is to combine these skills with well considered, clean-lined, elegant designs.â€? Dave Young
SH21 gets a fresh spiral finish, and a micro-engraved new brand pattern too
We all like an exclusive, right? Well, here’s your first look at a new finish for SH21 – Christopher Ward’s in-house movement – which will be rolling out within the year. “When we first designed SH21, our main aim was to create a robust, reliable and accurate movement,” says Chris Ward, company co-founder, “and – with the goal of it being of chronometer status – the technical aspects were naturally complex. However, from the very earliest days of development, we had a particular finish in mind, too. We decided on a highly pareddown aesthetic, which allowed the working of the movement to be seen without distraction.” To achieve this ultra-clean look – something Panerai is also famous for adopting – isn’t easy, as it allows for no blemishes whatsoever. “It’s very much a finish for the aficionado.” says Chris, “and, with hindsight, we were maybe a little too purist in our approach.”
Hence, and to tie in with the company’s new branding – see page 22 for more – a striking new look for the movement was required.
It means that the look of Christopher Ward movements in assorted future watches has the potential to be much more varied than before.
“As I speak, we’re still in the sample process,” says Adrian Buchmann, senior designer, “and we haven’t validated anything. But, ideally, we’ll be moving from the linear brush we have on the current SH21 to a finishing called ‘colimaçon’ – spiral, in French – which results from a grinding wheel that’s rotated on the surface of the bridge in a specific orientation, creating a spiral effect. “On top of that, we plan to have the new brand pattern micro-engraved. In terms of complexity of finishing, the current one is actually more difficult to achieve – because any fault is highly visible, whereas colimaçon can better handle micro scratches – but our hope is that the new look will be more striking, playing better with the light, and giving some richness to the bridge.”
“The new technology we now have access to means we can now create virtually bespoke main-plates,” says Chris, “and potentially add colour to different aspects of SH21 and its derivatives. Add the new branding devices to this too, and we have a much bigger canvas to play with than before. You’ll start to see it over the next twelve months, as the original finish is phased out and we replace the existing models with new ones.”
Fly Super There are two new C8 Flyer models, with updated cases. One of them’s the first power reserve complication of Calibre SH21
This year will see the launch of two new variations of the C8 Flyer Collection – Christopher Ward’s signature aviation range, the current design only a year old now. “Many watch brands – including us, in the past – have used the ubiquitous B-Uhren designs from pre-WW2 as their inspiration,” says Mike France, co-founder, “but with the current Flyer collection we wanted a unique design aesthetic that was rooted in English aviation.” This being the case, the latest Christopher Ward pilot’s watches take their design cues from the cockpit clock of the iconic Supermarine Spitfire, as well as the incredible wind-tunnels at Farnborough, used in the development of such planes as the Spitfire and Concorde. One of the new variations is an SH21 Power Reserve version – the first release of the power reserve complication of Calibre SH21 – and the other is a UTC/Worldtimer. The pair are amongst the very first designs to carry the new Christopher Ward branding.
“The C8-SH21 has an engineered dial, with a sandwich construction,” says Adrian Buchmann, senior designer. “Some indexes are set into the lower part of the dial – at 1, 2, 4, 5, 7, 8, 10 and 11 o’clock – and the others are raised. The date has a large opening on three numbers, with only one highlighted with Super-LumiNova on the lower part. All the dial language as been adjusted to have even higher legibility than the current C8, and there are new hands too, which combine the best of WW2 aircraft dashboard hands and modern aircraft hands.” And there’s more, for a new way of creating matte dials – to minimise reflection – is being introduced, and the C8 case is being modified too, with more dynamic curves and a new crown. “The goal was to improve on the current case, to make the watches even more comfortable to wear,” says Adrian. “Johannes has found a great technical solution with the movement, too, which allows him great stability while giving me more design customisation options.”
Then there’s the C8 UTC/Worldtimer edition, a traveler’s watch with both UTC indication and a Worldtimer tool. “The UTC is generally set up in your home time – London, for example – and you don’t change it when you travel, so you can always see what time it is there,” says Adrian. “The Worldtimer, meanwhile, is a rotating internal dial ring that can be moved with the crown. To make it work, you set up one of the cities with the right time – so if you’re in Cairo and it’s 2 o’clock, you move Cairo in front of the number 2 – then you have the 24 timezones visible (so you now know that it’s 9 o’clock in the morning in Tokyo, say). “In terms of design, we used the same improvements as with the SH21 version, with a multilayered dial, refined case and new crown.” The C8 Flyer Collection will be available from christopherward.co.uk or by calling +44 1628 763040
Sir Patrick Head (right), one of this year’s potential members
Race to win Christopher Ward sponsors the Motor Sport Hall of Fame, now open to public vote for the first time This year, Christopher Ward has become Official Timing Partner for the Motor Sport Hall of Fame, a well-established celebration of the greatest names in the sport. But it’s one that’s now entering an exciting new phase, as its just been revamped to add a reader vote element. This year’s nominees include such diverse figures as Nigel Mansell and Gilles Villeneuve, Richard Petty and Sir Patrick Head. “We launched the Hall of Fame in 2010, as a means of celebrating the great names in racing,” says Mike O’Hare, commercial manager of the venerable magazine, originally founded in 1924 as the Brooklands Gazette. “Each year, we would decide on four or five figures we felt deserved to be part of it, whether as racing drivers, team bosses, engineers, motorcyclists or whatever. The Hall of Fame was always a fabulous event, but it was exclusively for the great and good – not the fans. That’s why we’ve now revised the concept, opening up the choice of inductees to a public vote.” Yes, the new format has taken some of the power out of the Motor Sport team’s hands – though they do still shortlist around a
dozen names for each category – but it’s likes of Alain Prost, who we both consider also brought plenty of new excitement to one of the all-time greats, weren’t on the the event. list. There are, of course, many others we “The idea is that we give our readers think should be included too – but haven’t some guidance on who should be next, but been, as yet. after that it’s over to them. “And yes, the public have sometimes “It’s created logistical complications, expressed outrage that this hero or that is though – especially as the public might not yet included. Certainly, for Nigel and choose figures who live in distant corners of I, it was both a relief and an honour when the world, or five posthumous ones! Overall we were able to induct Prost in 2014, and it’s been worth it, though, as people are he agreed to join us at the ceremony in now much more engaged with the conLondon. We still have gaping omissions – cept. We’ve had 25,000 votes so far, which but, as the Hall of Fame is an annual event, is hugely encouraging.” there are plenty of years ahead to add more names.” Of course, as with any such undertaking, potential controversy is never far away – This year’s ceremony takes place at the and nor should it be. Royal Automobile Club, Woodcote Park, on “I guess the biggest talking points of the Tuesday May 31, and ticket prices start at past have revolved around the perceived £72. To vote, book or for more info, go to omissions of some great names,” Mike the web site below. says. “In the first year, we named eight founding members: Enzo Ferrari, Tazio NuFor more, www.motorsportmagazine.com volari, Stirling Moss, Juan Manuel Fangio, Jim Clark, Jackie Stewart, Ayrton Senna and Michael Schumacher. Both Nigel Roebuck – the magazine’s editor – and I felt that eight was the right number to launch the concept, though it meant that the 16
C70 Brooklands 1926 Chronometer
Two days with the latest models.
The gold highlights work a treatuistio bla
In a world where anything from 18 metres down is considered a ‘deep dive’ for scuba divers, and 100 metres is as much as anyone should try without highly specialist equipment, a watch designed to resist water pressure at up to 600 metres would seem rather like overkill. But then, we like cars that move far faster than we’re ever likely to drive too, and the C60 Trident Chronograph Pro 600 – near the top of Christopher Ward’s core Trident range of dive watches, which start at just under £300 – is quite some watch. Happily, it will work just as well with a suit, or jeans, as it will at the bottom of the North Sea. Modern automatic chronographs are an acquired taste – they’ve got complicated, business-like faces, heaving with sub-dials, that make them pleasing to look at, but the
There’s something pleasing about tech built to standards most of us will barely scratch the surface of. Matt Bielby dives deep with the C60 Trident Chronograph Pro 600
There’s something a little ’70s playboy about a blue-and-gold colour scheme, but that’s okay; we’ve always had a certain regard for Roger Moore
movements are big and so the watches are at the 9 o’clock position to let you know the bulky. Some people love this, of course – it movement is running. wasn’t so long ago that 45mm (and above) That the water-resistant chrono pushers hockey pucks looked dangerously like need unscrewing each time you use them becoming the norm, and to many a 43mm, can be a bit of a faff, perhaps, but then Valjoux 7750-powered beast like this is still how often do you use yours anyway? just average, not huge – but of late things (Okay, keen cooks, I’ll concede that yes, have returned somewhat towards the land maybe you do.) As with most watch funcof sanity. tions, it’s the fact that it can do something Though the C60 initially felt a tad hefty that matters, not that you’ll often use it. to me, it’s not ludicrously so – and is definitely something I could get used to. And here’s the other thing. Most of my watches are black – black face, black The C60 is full of cleverness: the ceramic strap – yet I probably wear my 1950 Omega bezel has a full minute-track; there’s an Seamaster the most, and why? Silver face, automatic helium release valve (which brown strap. It just goes more often, more will only come into its own during decomof the time, with what I’m wearing. So the pression, but is something to talk about); navy and metallic gold look of the C60 – and a highly detailed dial full of intriguing perfect with jeans – is actually perfect for intricacy. The little trident device on one me too, making this a watch sure to find a end of the chronograph hand has always regular place in my rotation rota. been cool, of course, but I also like the way the date display is neatly tucked away into C60 Trident Chronograph Pro 600, the lower of the two sub-dials, and that £1,395 / $1,920 there’s a smart little spinning disk register
Some of us live all our lives without wearing a watch. We got Adam Dedman to break an adulthood habit and try the agreeably sylphlike C5 Malvern Slimline for size
Slim picking I was trying to think about when I last wore a watch, at least on a regular basis. It was at school, certainly – a digital Seiko, and then I think I had a Swatch. In my adult life, I’m surrounded by computers – I’m a graphic designer, and every Apple Mac has the time right there, in the top right corner – and, of course, I live through my phone. So wearing a watch again was a bit of a strange thing for me. Which is exactly why Christopher Ward asked me to try out a square C5 Malvern Slimline, of course. The thing about this one is that it’s got a clean enough face to appeal to my designer sensibilities – half the time we’re trying to pare things back, make them simpler – and, though the watch is a fair size (well, 37mm; I know the size-obsessed will scoff) it’s still skinny enough to slip under my shirt cuffs rather than crumple up against them. (I tried a chronograph too, and it was way too much for me – like wearing a gym-style wrist weight.) The Slimline is, I figured, a good starter watch for me; an entry level drug into the world of mechanical timekeeping.
So how did I get on with it? Well, it was strange. The two days I tried it – midweek, the watch accompanying me to the office twice and the pub once – were good in that I didn’t bash it on anything (I was scared I’d keep smacking it on the desk), but it was only towards the very end if our time together that I found myself looking bottom left (to the watch) rather than top right (to the Mac clock) on a regular basis. What I did love about it, though, was the fact that it felt alive – and I could see the movement through the crystal on the back. And in a weird way, it felt odd to part with it... C5 Malvern Slimline Square, £399 / $549
After a bit, Adam forgot he was wearing it
New moon For years, Christopher Ward fans asked for a moonphase watch. Now we’ve got one, and we asked Martin Penning to live with it for a weekend Watches do a simple job, but they’re like having a clever dog too – and the more tricks it can do, no matter how pointless, the more fun it is to have around. Moonphase watches have been around since the end of the ’20s, and are one of the classic complications, but Christopher Ward has never done one before now. Enter a new modification of the the base ETA 2836-2 movement by the company’s own master watchmaker, Johannes Jahnke.
This is a handsome, relatively simple-looking watch that’s actually, on closer inspection, packed with pleasing detail. There’s the rich midnight blue of the face, with a bespoke guilloche pattern on the lower half of the dial – the wiggly bits represent the sea, I’m told – and simple polished nickel batons and hands. It’s big, but not too big – 40mm seems just right – and, of course, there’s a whacking great representation of the moon that moves smoothly, not in jumps, across the top half of the dial. How often do I need to know the state of the moon? Precious rarely, is the answer – I’m a luthier, not a farmer, fisherman or werewolf – but then, who ever did? You want to know what the moon’s doing, you just look up in the sky. With these things, it’s the emotional connection that matters – your watch, through clever mechanical contrivance, is telling you something more than just the time, and there’s something fun about the slowly changing state of this thing’s crater-bespattered representation of our near neighbour as it crawls along, shrinking or growing as it emerges from or sinks into shadow. Christopher Ward says this is the complication most requested by fans of the brand, which seemed ridiculous to me before I spent a weekend with the C9, but now makes a funny sort of sense. C9 Moonphase, £1,357.50 / $1,865
Christopher Ward gets a rebrand. We take a look at why – and how
Mike France, co-founder Christopher Ward
Back in 2014, everything changed for Christopher Ward – though it may not have been obvious at the time. That was the year that the company merged with a young movement manufacturer, Synergies Horlogères of Biel, Switzerland. “It was a major change for the business,” says co-founder Mike France, “and brought all aspects of watchmaking and selling under one roof. It was the day we grew up.” Now Christopher Ward designed watches, made watches, sold watches and – increasingly – could create its own movements to power watches. It was the most direct designer-to-consumer model in the industry.
And at the head offices in Maidenhead, discussions began about the future of the brand. It wasn’t that things were going badly, rather that ambition levels were now outstripping some areas of the business. And one element that was starting to look decidedly fusty was the way the company presented itself. “It felt,” Mike says, “like the culmination of a process we’d been pursuing for a decade or more. The watch industry has been one of the last great bastions of an old business model, where the middle men play a huge role. When we started, the main intent had been to take them out of the process and deal directly with the consumer, offering watches at good prices without any sacrifice in quality. We’d been one of the few companies shaking the tree – and I genuinely think we’ve become the spearhead of a trend.” Now, though, the company was taking the game to a new level – and the old communication style was looking increasingly unfit for purpose. “Suddenly, following the merger with Synergies Horlogères, people were starting to look at us in a different way,” Mike says. “We’re what they call an ‘industry disruptor’, and that needed to be made more clear.”
It didn’t help, either, that the company’s all-important web site was of an earlier generation too. This wouldn’t be just a refresh, but a top-to-tail reinvigoration of the brand. It’s at this point that we introduce the guys from West Country-based design agency Hello, tasked with refreshing Christopher Ward. The logo style, product packaging and more would be on the table. “We needed a partner who’d challenge our way of thinking, and could help develop the right visual imagery and tone of voice,” Mike says. “The last thing we wanted was the sort of agency that would only say what we wanted to hear. And we couldn’t find anyone who understood us like Hello creative director Jamie Gallagher and his team, or who could combine that understanding with the skill and attention to detail needed.” The Hello approach actually reflects that of Christopher Ward itself. There’s no middle man – no account manager or anything – just a direct line of communication between the watch company and the design team. “That’s just the way we like to do business,” Mike says, “and it made it much faster for us all to get to the base truths about the brand.”
Itâ€™s the bold, entrepreneurial, explorer attitude of the English and the precise, functional and elegant aspects of the Swiss, combined.
“the new branding reflects the feeling most people have here that they’re part of more than just another watch company” 26
So, Jamie, what’s the experience been like from your end? “Christopher Ward didn’t really come to us with a brief, as such,” he says. “It was more an appetite for change. We’re pretty straight talking – as are they, of course – and I think they liked that. We began by exploring the watch market, but we also looked outside of it too – mostly at brands with a similar history of challenging the status quo. After all, Christopher Ward has a real David and Goliath relationship with the established heavyweights of the watch world. What we needed to lose was the slightly ‘me too’ nature of some of the current models, but the good thing was that this was already changing, and at pace, within the company. The core message had to be about a sharp, bright, confident, well-priced, wellmade, ambitious brand that’s not afraid to do things its own way.”
Jamie Gallagher, Creative Director, Hello
The new logo is a small part of this whole top-to-tail refresh, Jamie, but tell us about it anyway. It’s actually Christopher Ward’s third logo in its 12-year life, isn’t it? But it’s also the most modest one so far. “We definitely wanted something simple,” says Jamie,“without the fuss and embellishment of the old logo. The brand is straight-up and real – it’s about engineering over artifice. The new trademark does away with the faux luxury elements of the last one but, in a quiet way, it’s more bold and direct too.” And there’s not just the letter forms, but the new graphic pattern that accompanies them too. “This, of course, started as a stylised representation of the Swiss and English flags, combined to create an almost pixelated image, harking at the digital roots of the business. It works because the company’s dual heritages are equally important – it’s the bold, entrepreneurial,
explorer attitude of the English and the precise, functional and elegant aspects of the Swiss, combined. We needed to find a way to bring this relationship into the heart of the brand, so this pattern will be finding its way onto some of the watches, and even the movements within them.” Mike takes up the theme. “On most watches, the company logo is big on the face, on one line, and is usually very visible at the 12 o’clock position,” he says. “But not our new one. It needed to reflect a fresh edge, and the subtle change in the tone of voice we use.” A fresh edge, but still the same brand – after all, it’s long been the case that people who ‘get’ Christopher Ward often feel incredibly loyal to it. “That closeness is both humbling and gratifying,” Mike says, “and few if any watch brands have the same relationship with their fan base that we do. Nothing we do now could be allowed to damage that, but – at the same time – we had to make the brand exciting to people who maybe hadn’t thought much about it before too.” The other key to any rebrand, of course, is that it has to start inside the business, rather then be imposed from the outside – and it has to ring true to the people who work there. “If it doesn’t make sense to us,” Mike says, “then no new brand – no matter how clever – will be sustainable. And, happily, the overriding response to all this has been extremely positive within the company too. If anything, the new branding better reflects the feeling most people have here that they’re part of more than just another watch company.” For more, www.01134.co.uk
Step 02 Tailor your beard to you
These are dark times for the shaving industry, with the beard more common than at any time since the late 19th century. Naturally, its death is constantly predicted, but from The Revenant to Game of Thrones, it shows few signs of keeling over just yet. Here’s how to make it work for you…
Like a double-breasted suit works better with some body types, and women swear blind about the virtues (or otherwise) of vertical versus horizontal stripes, your beard is a tool you can use. Worn well it can distract from, or compensate for, all sorts of physical sins. Step 01 Quit the Stubble Cycle Sure, some of us still shave every day – and good on you. But for many of us, it’s become sort of optional – and we become caught in a loop of shaving one day, letting it grow out for a week, then shaving again. The result tends to be a sort of less-groomed version of the old George Michael stubble: a little too much grey in the sideburns, a little too light on the moustache, a little too heavy under the chin. You’re trying to have your cake and eat it here – you’re saying, yes, I’ve sort of got a beard, but not really. Welcome, gentlemen, to the Stubble Cycle, and though it can seem a sensible ‘third way’, the spotty end results are rarely elegant. What you need to do is man up, accept the itching, and let the beard grow. It’ll take six weeks, maybe eight, but when you eventually look in the mirror you’ll see a better, kinder, more manly man. Or, at least, a hairier one.
You’re bald? Then the beard says, look, I can still grow hair – just not where you might expect it. (And, if you’ve an especially round head, trimming your cheek line – from ears to moustache – at a rakish slant, or chopping off the bottom of the beard in a wedge-like shape, can add much-needed angles.) You’ve a beer gut? The beard works well with the “just livin’ life’” persona you’re putting out anyway, but if you square off the sides (trimming straight down from the ear and cheekbones so that bit is almost as long as your goatee area) you’ll balance out the hard and the soft in interesting ways. (This can equally work for you if you’re lanky and long-limbed, by the way – there are enough angles going on with you already, so soften things up with a shorter, more natural chin.) And speaking of chins, what if you’ve not really got one – or (hey, it happens) you’ve an especially ugly face? We think the beard might just help out here too.
Step 05 Remember, there’s no commitment
Step 03 Trim that neckline (but not too much) What makes a good beard is not the colour, not even the thickness, but how you handle the neck fade. Let your beard grow au natural and, where it disappears mid-neck, it’s almost certain to look messy and overgrown. But equally, trim it back too much, with too harsh a line, and that will most likely look wrong too – affected, certainly. Somewhere in the gap between where your jaw-meets-neck and Adam’s apple is where the beard needs to end, but in a soft, fading fashion – not harsh, like a chin strap. Ditto your cheeks, where you want to eliminate stray bits of growth above the general hairline – but without making it look like your beard is too groomed. As with so many things, an enhanced version of natural is best.
Step 04 Daily grooming is no bad thing Sure, at least part of the reason you grew a beard is laziness – no more shaving! – but that doesn’t mean you can let everything go hang. The good news: regular shampoo or conditioner work fine on a beard, but do wash it every time you wash your hair. (Er, as long as it’s not with dandruff shampoo – too harsh.) Or just scrub well with your daily face wash to get rid of all the rubbish – fluff, food, small birds – that could be lurking in there. Oh, and the occasional rub with beard oil (to soften it), and a regular brush – so that all the hairs are moving in the same basic direction – are no bad thing, either. Finally, trim back any hairs hanging over the lip. You’re not a warthog.
There’s no reason you have to keep your beard forever; instead, just think of it as a new part of your sartorial arsenal. (And, winningly, it’s a particularly cheap one.) Don’t worry too much about trends, or if the Hoxton hipsters have moved on; the beard is well established enough in the general population now that it’ll take a full decade to shift it. And anyway, once you’ve grown your full beard, it’s your choice. You can keep it forever – or just for a month, then abandon it. (Then, perhaps immediately, start growing another one.) Beards are gloriously impermanent – and can often work for different parts of your year. Like, you’re on your holidays – so grow one. Back to the serious life again – bin that beard right off. (It’s not like a tattoo, that rather more permanent reminder of weeks spent off the grid.) Remember Jon Hamm between seasons of Mad Men, or Daniel Craig between Bond gigs – even Roger Moore between Bond gigs, come to that, as seen in North Sea Hijack. These are guys who couldn’t wait to go full Yeti when they didn’t have to be sleek.
The first thing youâ€™ll notice, of course, is the crisp new logo: very restrained and tucked away unexpectedly in the 9 oâ€™clock position
C65 Trident Classic MkII preview
Dig the new breed Christopher Ward’s new C65 Trident Classic Mk II is the first watch to display the company’s new branding and design aesthetic. James Buttery takes a closer look…
The new hands are a distinct and solid-looking bar shape, while the elegant second hand reminds us that this is a Trident
The C65 Trident is the first watch from Christopher Ward to embody the company’s new tone, which embraces both the aesthetic and the conceptual.
If the old adage of a picture speaking a thousand words holds true, then the images surrounding my prose should be telling you all you need to know about the C65 Trident Classic MkII. This is indeed a milestone moment for Christopher Ward as a company, and the new C65 is the watch that heralds in a new era in the young brand’s history. The C65 Trident Classic Mk II is the first watch to truly represent the new outlook of this disruptive watch brand. Not only does it take on the new branding, but it also highlights the increased attention to detail that now permeates every level of the company’s watch production. Christopher Ward first released the C65 Trident mid-way through 2014 and, while it sat in the brand’s sports collection – as evidenced by the guilloche wave motif on its dial – it has always been a dressier affair than its C60 Trident sibling, which is Christopher Ward’s out-and-out dive watch. Boasting a capable level of water resistance and more rugged satin-brushed case finishing, the C65 was to pitch itself as a sporty dress watch, equally suited to the office as a weekend by the coast.
How you view the new C65 Trident Classic Mk II when compared to its predecessor will really come down to your own personal definition of certain adjectives. Is the new watch radically different to how it was before? Perhaps not, but at the same time each and every fundamental feature of the watch has been interrogated by the Christopher Ward design team and then improved upon. It is wholesale change for no other reason than improvement, a case of the company seeking to raise its standards when no-one had even been complaining about them. The first element, beyond the dial, you are likely to notice is the introduction of polished surfaces alongside the more familiar satin-brushed stainless steel. The contrast between these two finishes, and lines where they intersect, make for a more visually interesting, dynamic design. But this is not a watch of crisp lines. Most have been bevelled down entirely and then black polished, most evident when you look at the caseband line that flows out onto the lugs. This anglage line above and beneath the caseband also creates the neat optical illusion of making the watch appear slimmer than its predecessor. The resulting removal of case
material also makes for a more intriguing design; before, line met line, but now there are all manner of hollows and curves to discover here. Christopher Ward’s reworking of the C65 Trident has resulted in two distinct watches, the 43mm C65 Trident Classic and the 38mm C65 Trident Vintage. Like twins separated at birth, the former has adopted a more suave, clipped aesthetic while the latter opts for a rugged, slightly weather-beaten charm. If you’ll permit me to stretch to a slightly tenuous 1970s television analogy for a moment, I’d probably venture a case of Roger Moore versus Tony Curtis in The Persuaders. To achieve this, the Trident Classic opts for a polished bezel while the Trident Vintage uses more satin-brushed steel, more akin to the original C65 Classic. But where the C65 Trident Vintage really steps out on its own is through the use of a glass box sapphire crystal. If you’re not familiar with the term, a ‘glass box’ crystal towers over the bezel but, rather than being ground into a domed shape, its corners are rounded off. It’s a neat period feature that only adds to the charm of this already compelling watch.
After the initial surprise of such a dramatic shift in design, the C65 Trident emerges unscathed with bold new detailing, while the brand has signalled that it’s here to stay.
Beneath the deep-stamped, screwdown caseback, with newly sharpened Trident logo, lies an automatic ETA 2824-2 movement with 38 hours power reserve. But now I really must focus on the dial, as it’s certainly the biggest departure from the C65 Trident Classic of old, and is sure to be the first thing that anyone notices when looking at the new watch. Without going into the overarching rebranding that Christopher Ward is currently introducing – that’s explained far better elsewhere in these pages – the new logo now sits at the nine o’clock, its default home position from now on. The new logo – the company’s first since 2010, when the original Christopher Ward brand was replaced with Chr. Ward on its dials – uses a clean sans serif font to more contemporary effect. The imbalance between the length of the two-deck text is said to reflect the difference in length between minute and hour hands. It was also felt by the brand cofounders that using the word ‘London’ in the dial no longer reflected what the
company has become as it strides into its second decade. The company is a contemporary Anglo-Swiss concern, and anchoring it to London was no longer deemed fitting. But enough of the logo, as there is yet more change to discover, including the removal of the guilloche wave motif from the dial and the replacement of some fairly elaborate cathedral hands with ruler straight updates with luminous channels. All of the design changes have been made in order to simplify and modernise the look of Christopher Ward’s watches, signifying that the company is looking to its future rather than dwelling on the past. After seeing the new C65 Trident watches for the first time, I felt certain that the additional production processes required would result in added costs. But my suggestion was neatly batted away with a soft shake of the head and a gentle smile from co-founder, Mike France. The 43mm C65 Trident Classic will maintain its £499 price on a leather strap and £550 on a steel bracelet, while the
38mm C65 Trident Vintage with glass box crystal and leather strap will be available for £550, with the bracelet version costing £599. Both will be available to pre-order from May 2016. The C65 Trident is the first watch from Christopher Ward to embody the company’s new tone, which embraces both the aesthetic and the conceptual. After the initial surprise of such a dramatic shift in design, the C65 Trident emerges unscathed with bold new detailing, while the brand has signalled that it’s here to stay. James Buttery is editor of WatchPro magazine The C65 Trident will be avialble to pre-order from christopherward.co.uk or by calling +44 1628 763040
Now that’s a handsome piece of glass: the ‘glass box’ crystal is new to the C65 range
Somebody does it better That somebody, of course, is the real James Bond. Hereâ€™s why the guy from the books will always trump the chump from the filmsâ€Ś
Here’s something the movies never told you: flying to America used to be a scary, life-in-your hands experience; lothario super spies are quite used to paying for sex (007 does it, or considers it, in ‘The Living Daylights’, You Only Live Twice and more); and Hugo Drax loved rockets, but had no plans to build a space station manned by dolly birds. We are talking, of course, of the tougher, troubled Bond of the original Ian Fleming novels, not the slick, indestructible movie guy. How do we know? We read all the original books, in order, to find out.
Casino Royale 1953
Live and Let Die 1954
Diamonds Are Forever 1956
It starts with one of the great, much quoted lines of adventure fiction – “The scent and smoke and sweat of a casino are nauseating at three in the morning” – and revolves around 007’s attempts to bankrupt SMERSH agent Le Chiffre at the gaming tables of a fictitious French coastal resort, Royale-lesEaux. Bond’s tastes are eccentric and precise – hot rodded pre-War Bentleys; knee-length silk pyjama coats from Hong Kong – but don’t yet extend to watches. None are mentioned. Best bit: Two set-pieces stand out – the gripping, engaging gambling sequences, and the most brutal scene Fleming ever wrote, in which 007’s genitals are virtually pulped with a carpet beater.
Mr. Big, with his grey skin and virtually hairless “great football” of a head, rules Harlem; he’s also a SMERSH agent, bankrolled by a stock of old pirate gold from Jamaica. Bond wears his first Rolex here, and comes up against his first super-villain; the book also contains some of Fleming’s most ridiculous snobbery (all American food is essential inedible, we’re told) and most wince-inducing lines, especially those attempting to replicate the speech patterns of early ’50s Harlem. Best bit: This is 007’s first trip to Jamaica, and Fleming – who wrote the books there – is on familiar, inspiration ground; 007’s night-swim underwater is particularly evocative.
Forget Roger Moore in space: this one doesn’t even leave England (mainly Kent), the only 007 novel without a passport. It is, however, one of the best, with another taught gambling scene, the rare heroine who refuses to sleep with Bond, and a suitably memorable villain: the scarred war hero Sir Hugo Drax looks like a cross between a circus strongman and its ringmaster, and means to lob an atomic warhead at London. Best bit: A great car chase between Bond’s Bentley and Drax’s – a tad suspicious, this – Mercedes-Benz.
One of the weaker novels, with 007 again in America, this time trying to stop diamond smuggling out of Africa, and coming up against cartoon gangsters from outfits like The Spangled Mob. You get the feeling both Bond and Fleming feel these bad guys are beneath him, but a great female lead almost saves the day: Tiffany Case, sassy smuggler. Best bit: Fleming always gave good travelogue, and his lengthy description of the flight from London to New York – including a stop in Ireland for dinner – is a window into another world.
From Russia With Love 1957
Dr. No 1958
For Your Eyes Only 1960
Soviet spy outfit SMERSH hatches a plot to frame 007 – and ruin the rep of the British secret service – in possibly the best of the books. There are great villains – Donovan ‘Red’ Grant, Rosa Klebb – and an audacious beginning, in which we don’t meet Bond for the first third, but instead follow the actions of those moving against him; this is the one US president John F Kennedy said was a favourite, boosting the series hugely. A Girard-Perregaux is mentioned early in the novel, but is almost certainly not the unidentified “battered silver wristwatch” 007 later takes off a downed enemy. Best bit: It’s virtually all ‘best-bit’, but the unexpected cliffhanger ending is a tour de force.
The Bond stories have always fallen into two camps – the semi-realistic ones, and the wild flights of fancy – and this tale of a Fu Manchu-esque, robot-clawed Jamaican bird-dung merchant turned evil scientist, using radio beams to sabotage American missile tests in nearby Florida, is definitely one of the latter. Four years later this became the first Bond film, and set some of the tone for over-the-top adventures to come. Best bit: Either where Bond has his beloved Beretta taken off him by a proto-Q, to be replaced by a Walther PPK, or 007’s climactic triumph over a series of death traps, culminating in a battle with – yes, really – a giant squid.
A book of two halves: Bond’s cat-and-mouse encounters with gold-smuggling millionaire Auric Goldfinger around England and Europe are masterful, but it all goes a bit silly in the last act, when the action moves over to Kentucky and Goldfinger’s surely-doomed attempt to rob Fort Knox. Many of the 007 icons first appear here, though, including the Aston Martin (actually a ‘DB III’ – we assume Fleming meant a DB Mark III – not a DB5), and two trends reach their zenith: the indestructible henchman (the cat-eating Oddjob) and the girl with the rude, not just unlikely, name (Pussy Galore). Best bit: Golf wasn’t even terribly popular in the England of the ’60s, but Fleming makes the polite-on-thesurface duel between 007 and Goldfinger mesmerising.
A short story collection comprising ‘From a View to a Kill’ (Soviet agents murder dispatch riders in France), ‘For Your Eyes Only’ (ex-Nazis terrorise innocents in Jamaica and Vermont), ‘Quantum of Solace’ (Bond is told a story about a viciously collapsing marriage), ‘Risico’ (Soviet drug smuggling in Italy) and ‘The Hildebrand Rarity’ (a boorish fish poisoner gets his come-uppance in the Seychelles). Best bit: Nothing great, all diverting, but Fleming’s attempt to imitate the short story style of W. Somerset Maugham in ‘Quantum of Solace’ is surprisingly successful.
This is the one Fleming plotted, with the help of others, with the idea that it would come out simultaneously as a book and a film – resulting in endless legal wrangles. The result, though, is one of the best books, introducing SPECTRE and Ernst Stavro Blofeld – villainous private enterprise replacements for a disbanded SMERSH – and the now-classic holdingthe-world-to-nuclear-ransom plot. Best bit: Fleming always wrote a good underwater sequence, and the barracuda encounters here are memorable.
The Spy Who Loved Me 1962 An oddity, little more than a novella told from the point of view of a French Canadian girl from London running away from an unhappy love affair and falling foul of gangsters in a deserted Adirondacks motel; 007 turns up in the last quarter to save her. You’ll wait in vain for the submarine-eating supertanker to show up. Best bits: It’s much-mocked, even Fleming considering it a failure, and it didn’t appear as a paperback until after his death. But, actually, much of it is effective – not least heroine Vivienne Michel’s early, fumbling sexual encounters, a kitchen sink version of the early ’60s invading 007’s world.
On Her Majesty’s Secret Service 1963 The middle chapter of the ‘SPECTRE Trilogy’ that had begun with Thunderball, and one of the strongest novels. 007 tracks Blofeld down to a Swiss mountaintop stronghold, where he’s planning a biological warfare attack on Britain, along the way falling for Contessa Teresa di Vicenzo – Tracy – a suicidal wild child with a gangster father. She‘s the most compelling 007 heroine since Vesper Lynd in Casino Royale, and how her tale plays out is fascinating and tragic. Bond expresses his love for Rolex here for – surprisingly – only the second time. Best bits: The opening beach sequence is nightmarish and surreal; the ski chases thrilling.
You Only Live Twice 1954 It’s a damp-squib climax to the ‘SPECTRE Trilogy’, but the trip a Bond broken by Tracy’s death takes to Japan is full of fascinating travel-journalist’s detail regardless, and Blofeld’s remote stronghold, with its ‘Garden of Death’ – a magnet for Japanese suicides – is a compelling conceit. Best bit: The ninja employed by the Japanese Secret Service engage a once-read, never-forgotten method for preventing testicular trauma.
The Man with the Golden Gun 1965
Octopussy and The Living Daylights 1966
You Only Live Twice had been death-obsessed, but this last novel was written while Fleming was actually dying – of heart disease, age 56 – and published posthumously, never receiving the final polish his other books got. A weak villain (preening, bird-murdering gangster Francisco Scarmanga) and dull mission (save the world’s sugar harvest!) make it the worst of the series. Best bit: A spunky, potentially interesting Jamaican love interest is introduced – then quickly dropped in favour of dull SIS operative Mary Goodnight.
All that was left was a final collection of short stories: ‘Octopussy’ (Bond confronts a thinly-disguised portrait of Fleming himself over a wartime crime), ‘The Living Daylights’ (007 resists assassinating a beautiful cello-playing sniper in Berlin), and ‘The Property of a Lady’ (a tale of Sotheby’s and Soviet moles, originally published in the auction house’s yearbook). Later editions have ‘007 in New York’ (er, he goes there and enjoys scrambled eggs) too. Best bit: Fleming’s broken, doomed Major Dexter Smythe, MBE, lounging around Jamaica with a guilty secret and a bad case of ‘accidie’ – a sort of listless apathy – is poignant.
Heir to the throne The Conversation Michael Wignall
There’s a new Executive Head Chef at Gidleigh Park, the two Michelin star destination foodie hotel near Chagford in Devon. He’s got big shoes to fill, but ambition to burn…
Last, year Gidleigh Park – the small country house hotel with a two Michelin star restaurant, lost in the wilds of Devon – had a problem. Celebrated head chef Michael Caines MBE was leaving, and the whole business model really depends on having someone equally good in his place. Enter Michael Wignall: also with two Michelin stars at his most recent home, The Latymer Restaurant at Pennyhill Park, a much larger county house hotel not far from Ascot and Heathrow. It is, amongst other things, where the England rugby team train. “I needed a change, though,” Wignall says, “and so did Gidleigh. After all, Michael has done an amazing job here – really putting Gidleigh on the map – but he had been here 21 years.”
Nook in the Lake District; The Devonshire Arms in the Yorkshire Dales), and made The Latymer, with its two stars and five AA rosettes, one of the most heavily gonged restaurants in the country. So is he now aiming for a third star? “I’d never say that,” he says. “I never figured I’d get two stars. But, when I did, I thought: okay, what’s next? And this is certainly a better platform for it than The Latymer ever was. Most of the three star restaurants I’ve visited don’t just have amazing food, but spectacular locations too. With this place it’s the building, the grounds, and the fact that it’s hard to find, tucked away down tiny roads on Dartmoor. It’s the whole package, and a genuine foodie destination.”
The new Michael has a very different approach to the menu – more modern, more complicated – and an ambitious reputation. He’s earned one Michelin star at a string of restaurants countrywide (Waldo’s at Clivenden Hotel in Berkshire; Michael’s
You weren’t originally going to be a chef at all, were you? I was going to be a professional BMX rider. When I left school, all I wanted to do was ride my bike. I had sponsorship, and it could have happened – I’ve still got a BMX now
If you’ve got any spare time for wake-boarding. You’ve got a pretty big job on your hands. It’s certainly hard work – The Latymer was run as a separate entity to the hotel, only open five days a week, but here we do breakfast, lunch and dinner every day. That said, the team is twice as big, and I’ve brought plenty of my chefs with me, so they know how I work. I really like a big job, though. I’m one of those guys who, if I like doing something, I want to be the best at it. Or, at least, to work to the best of my ability. So, what’s on the menu that we really have to try right now? Though we have a limited a la carte option at lunchtimes, mostly we cook two set tasting menus – seven courses at lunchtime, ten at dinner – on which the individual dishes change all the time. Some chefs are happy to cook the same food for 20 years, hardly modifying the menu, but we must do a few hundred different dishes a year – I know we did 62 desserts last year, I counted – some of which we’ll only offer for a week, even a few days. We like the difficult dishes too, to the extent that whenever somebody leaves the kitchen, so we’re short handed and stressed, I’ll make the dishes even harder. It forces everyone to pull together, and reminds us all that nobody’s indispensable, no matter how good they might be.
– but my parents said, fine, but you can’t do that all your life. Why don’t you go to catering college, get a back-up plan? So I studied for three years in Preston, went to Spain for a year, then came back and thought I’d better start cooking seriously. I still like wake-boarding and snowboarding and all that, though, and part of the appeal of Gidleigh is that it’s only an hour to Newquay from here.
Go on, though, just one dish. Well, there is something we call ‘a cassoulet of clams‘ that we’ve done for about six years now. It’s incredibly labour-intensive, and very expensive in terms of ingredients – to the extent that I often wonder why we bother – but the problem is that I’m normally bored of a dish after about six days, and it hasn’t happened yet with this one. What’s in it? Clams, cockles, cuttlefish, a quail egg – the occasional guest finds it all a bit too seafoody, but most love it.
We’re guessing you’re enjoying all the great ingredients you’ve got right here on your doorstep now? Well, I’ve always bought fish from the boats down here, but I have favourite suppliers all over that I like to use. I have a gamekeeper in Lancashire, for instance, who shoots all my hares for me – which can be a problem when there’s a full moon, and they see you sneaking up on them. And we use widgeon from Scotland sometimes – but they’re hard to shoot too. (I actually went shooting them this winter, and couldn’t hit a thing.) It’s exciting how big the kitchen garden here is, though – and there are amazing ingredients like pennywort and reindeer moss just growing wild in the woods. What have been the big influences on the way you cook? I still love the food of Spain, and Japan, but I became a head chef very young – at 23, which is too young, some would say – so was forced to develop my own style, for good or ill. If you’re the type of person I am, though, who just wants to do his own thing, it’s perhaps best to do that. There are plenty of good chefs out there who get all the accolades, but you can tell where they’ve worked – in this kitchen or that – because their food is a carbon copy of those places, with just a few new touches thrown in. Nothing wrong with that, as such, but I couldn’t do it. Finally, any tips for our next trip to this place? Follow the instructions closely, and don’t trust sat nav – you might get lost if you do. The first time I drove down here I was on this tiny road and there were cows in front of the car, cars behind it, and I thought, my God. It’s a Porsche, and it’s just too low – you can’t see anything coming around the corner. So, good advice would be to bring a high, narrow car – or do what a couple did for service this lunchtime, and arrive by helicopter.
C8 Flyer Automatic 44mm
The story of us
Christopher Ward has a new PR agency, PHA Media. We met up with their Shelley Frosdick
Once you embark on a process like the current Christopher Ward rebrand, it starts to impact on everything that you do – and it becomes almost as important to get the message out about the changes you’re making as it does to actually make them. Hence the recent appointment of the award-winning PHA Media, a Soho-based PR agency, to push the Christopher Ward story out into the world. PHA was founded ten years ago by journalist Phil Hall, and now employs over 65 staff. “I think we’re different from most other PR agencies in that we really do go the extra mile, and are as passionate about our client’s businesses as they are,” says Shelley Frosdick, the director who’ll be working with Christopher Ward. “We don’t like to act like a third-party resource, but instead become part of each client’s business, sharing their passion and enthusiasm. Story-telling is at the heart of our culture, and our journalistic roots ensure unrivalled
access to the best contacts book in the industry. Our approach is fast-paced, and we act and think like a newsroom – with an instinct for what makes a story.” PHA currently works with brands like Disney, HUGO Boss and Lionsgate, and are particularly keen on what they call “disruptive brands” – industry-speak for the likes of Apple, who grow fast, take risks, and are constantly changing the consumer’s perception of them. “Christopher Ward is a great example of this,” says Shelley. “They have a great story to tell, and are revolutionising the watch market. We have experience in this sector anyway and, in Christopher Ward, we see an opportunity to work with a brand that has a unique position in the market.” When she first joined PHA, there were just four of them in a small office on Carnaby Street, but things have developed a fair bit since then. “Highlights have included
meeting the Beckham family (so lovely!), and observing top bariatric surgeons in theatre,” she says. “As a team, we all like that Christopher Ward has so much honesty, craftsmanship and quality at its core. And we love how committed the founders are to staying true to what they believe in. The biggest opportunity, as we see it, is extending awareness of Christopher Ward to a place where more and more people can enjoy the experience of owning a beautiful, well-designed watch.” For more, pha-media.com
Deep Join Adrian Buchmann for the first of a new series on why our various watch models look the way they do… Right at the core of the Christopher Ward brand sits the C60 Trident range of dive watches, which draw for their look and feel on the vast heritage of models developed from the late ’20s and early ’30s onwards – when brands like Rolex, Omega and Panerai first introduced commercially available waterproof watches – while adding their own distinct spin to the basic requirements. “To my mind, the design of a watch should always respect the function,” says Adrian Buchmann, the brand’s design supremo. “For a dive watch, the important issues are legibility, functionality and reliability. Legibility is crucial in the dark and underwater, and you need to be able to easily tell if the watch is working as it should, as well as distinguish the hour hand from the minute hand. That’s why most of our dive watches use Super-LumiNova, which offers non-radioactive photoluminescence. In terms of functionality, the critical thing is the 60 minute countdown. This is mostly expressed through a rotating bezel ring, in collabora-
tion with the minute hand. The design of the rotating bezel is crucial – it has to allow a good grip.” Also crucial, of course, are the fonts a dive watch uses – “most of the time you’ll see a sans serif with a very pure shape,” says Adrian – and the issue of reliability. “You need to deliver solid, highly waterproof watches with particularly strong movements. Both the key elements of a watch – the technical aspects and the design – need to challenge each other in order to push the boundaries.” How so? Well, take the last C60 Chronograph (see review, p18) released by Christopher Ward. This one combines all the specifications of a dive watch, plus a chronograph function. “The big challenge here, of course, was that adding a chronograph can make readability difficult, and most of the time you’ll end up with a very crowded dial. With this one, therefore, we tried to do everything a little bit differently. The idea was that we’d express the seconds in another way, to avoid any confusion with the chronograph, the time 46
and the diving function. We ended up incorporating a spinning disc sub-dial, with Super-LumiNova areas meaning you could be sure the watch is working in the dark. This, of course, gave Johannes Jahnke, our technical guru, a new challenge. We didn’t want to increase the case thickness, so he had to come up with an especially thin dial area and disc.” All of which adds up to quite a few restrictions, and you’d think that – put together – they’d mean most dive watches would wind up looking pretty similar. Surprisingly, though, they don’t. After all, there’s some freedom to choose what shape the hands are, says Adrian, and whether you use numbers, batons or dots on the dial. “Some designers start creating a new watch with the dial,” Adrian says, “and others with the case. I prefer to begin with the case, which gives a sort of ‘tempo’ to the project. Even before that, though, I like to identify the ‘universe’ in which this new product will exist. So I’ll create a series of mood boards, packed with atmospheric
C60 Trident Pro 600
images and details linked to the project. Only when the case and mood environment are ready do I feel prepared to start on the face. The dial and hands have to speak the same language as the case – so, if you have a ‘soft’ case with gentle curves, your dial should reflect that. There’s no right or wrong choice of index shape – the markers on a dial – but they have to suit the case, and the heritage of the brand. Thank goodness that there’s this multitude of legitimate solutions – it means we get lots of different looking dive watches, even though they’re all responding to the same basic problems.” Most dive watches have a black face, of course – for reasons of tradition, and strong contrast with black or steel-coloured markers – but by no means all do: there are blue, orange and white ones out there. “Think of aeroplane dials, or even the instrument binnacle in a car,” Adrian says. “Most often you’ll get white-on-black, even in the most modern aircraft. Colours can work, but most disappear to the human eye as you go deeper underwater,
the image effectively becoming blackand-white. Some colours show up better than others, though. Red, for example, starts to disappear at about 10 meters down, while yellow stays visible until 30 meters. Blue, perhaps surprisingly, is one that stays visible to a great depth.” So, of all the dive watches out there, which ones especially impress him? “Of late I’ve enjoyed Omega’s partnership with Liquidmetal, where they do bezels in ceramic mixed with very scratch-resistant Liquidmetal numbers,” Adrian says, “and IWC have a nice patent for a rotating dial ring. But the brand that perhaps most impresses me is Ressence, an independent Belgian company that has filled the area between the dial and the glass with oil. This is a technique developed by the IT industry, of all things, and effectively brings the information right beneath the glass. You feel you can touch the dial – as on the screen of your iPhone, for example – and the readability is perfect at any angle, with no mirror reflection underwater.” 47
And what’s next for Christopher Ward dive watches? “Our watches work well because they respond honestly to the key points we talked about at the beginning – they’re legible, functional and reliable – and the C60 Trident remains, alongside our dress watch range, our most important collection. And we’re constantly looking at ways to innovate with them, using new materials, colours, shapes, and treatments. The last redesign of the C60 automatic, for example, resulted in a real chameleon of a watch. You can wear it to the seaside, but it will also work for business meetings. With this one, the straight indexes – instead of, say, dots – make it more dressy and refined. The versions I’m the most pleased with are the Vintage and Titanium Variation #01 – yes, they look different, but they’re still 100% part of the family.”
Automatic for the people Johannes Jahnke, Christopher Ward’s master watchmaker, talks automatic watch movements: how they work, why they work, and the ways in which they revolutionised the industry Though manual watches – ones where you have to wind the crown by hand – are still made, most mechanical watches these days have a self-winding automatic movement, where the natural movement of the wearer’s arm provides the energy needed to make it work. Early self-winding systems used the ‘bumper’ system – developed in Bolton, England in 1923, and first produced with the help of Fortis – in which a pivoting weight swung back and forth between two springs, and through just 180°. Many quality manufacturers, including Omega, persisted with this through to the 1950s, and Rolex used a modified version from the 1930s on, but it was Eterna’s introduction of the ball-bearing, allowing for heavier rotors that swung through 360°, that revolutionised self-winding. “Automatic winding is an incredible feature,” says Johannes, “and is actually one of the more recent innovations in mechanical watchmaking. It had its real
breakthrough in the late 1940s; up until then, most mechanical watches had to be wound every day. With an automatic system, however, the user didn’t have to do anything – except wear the watch. To many it was almost magical – suddenly watches didn’t appear to need any kind of external energy to make them work. This wasn’t actually the case, of course, but it wasn’t immediately obvious to the layman how your watch was actually running.” What’s going on, of course, is that the spiral mainspring, which turns the gears that move the hands, is kept tightly wound by the natural movement of your hand, so the watch never loses energy. “The idea is that an eccentric weight or rotor – mostly mounted at a central position within the movement – can turn around its pivot, in doing so generating torque that will, through a series of gears, wind the mainspring,” says JJ. “It all sounds great, but the big problem is that, as you move your wrist about, the weight turns in both direction – and, to charge a watch,
we need to turn the ratchet wheel in one direction only. Thankfully, there are two possible ways to manage to this.” So what are they? Well, first up, you could use only the energy created by the rotor swinging in one direction – a simple solution, but not a particularly efficient one. “For this to work,” says JJ, “we need a kind of a clutch that can bring power to the wheel train in one direction, and which is free in the other. The rotor can spin relatively fast in the free direction.” Alternatively, you can use the energy generated by the movement of the rotor in both directions, though to do this demands a more complicated double clutch system. “You need one ratchet wheel to translate the energy from one direction, and another for the other,” explains JJ. “There are various different ways in which this can be done. There are cam systems – like IWC’s famous Pellaton, introduced in the mid-’50s – and horizontal sliding gears, or specially-formed teeth which can only turn
one way. Today, what’s mostly used are ratchet wheels with small latches inside the wheel; it’s relatively small, though the wheel itself is difficult to manufacture. “In a way, it’s comparable to an AC to DC converter in electrical systems – as the necessary power on the barrel is relatively high, we need a gear train which reduces the number of windings needed by raising the torque. The clutch system feeds the gear train with power, and the torque will be increased by a factor of around 150. In the barrel itself we also need a slipping clutch, because the automatic winding system doesn’t stop when the movement is fully charged. To prevent the mainspring breaking, the spring won’t be fixed inside the barrel, and instead just glides around.” If the watch is fully wound, the spring can still turn, but the unneeded power will be eliminated by friction between the spring and the barrel. “This latest clutch is the reason why it’s now possible to endlessly wind an automatic watch without breaking anything,” says Johannes.
Here’s part of SH21, with the large rotor to the right: it’s the way this swings back and forth that powers your watch. Making sure the mainspring doesn’t get overwound, though, is the tricky thing…
The blade itself These beautiful kitchen tools are hand-made by one of the rising stars of traditional Japanese knifemaking
The world of highend kitchen knives is a competitive one, and for every major player like Global – who revolutionised the market in the 1980s with their distinctive one-piece knives, with the hole-pitted handles – there are dozens of small Japanese knife makers, creating beautiful hand-made blades the traditional way, like tiny samurai swords. Niwaki is a British outfit that specialises in importing the work of Japanese blacksmiths – mostly knives, woodwork tools and gardening kit –
including the ones you see here, created by a young bladesmith from Sanjo City, Niigata called Masashi. He used to work with his uncle at Yoshikane – a celebrated knife maker – but has now set up on his own, and great things are predicted of him. These knives are have SLD steel blades from Hitachi (their high carbon content means they holds their edge well, are easy to sharpen and maintain, and, with a 12% chromium content, are very nearly stainless) plus charred chestnut handles, while the central blade is laminated to an outer cladding of 15-layers of Damascus stainless steel, creating a blade of cool beauty. They’re not cheap, mind: think around £289 for most models, or £735 for a set of three. For more, nakiri.com
C1000 Typhoon - Cockpit Edition
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
C60 Trident Pro 600 Chronograph