The Magazine of Christopher Ward. Issue 12. Spring 2019
Sea Change A fresh new look for the C65 Trident Automatic
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* 1965 1965 andand 2018 2018
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That’s one small step…
The Magazine of Christopher Ward.
The C65 Trident Automatic is a hugely attractive watch, but this issue stars something even more exciting – at least for an aviation geek like me. It is, of course, a watch to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the greatest aeroplane of my lifetime, the Aérospatiale/BAC Concorde. Born in an amazing, frustrating Golden Age of innovative aviation – one that gave us the Hawker Siddeley Harrier and Dassault Mirage, the MiG-25 ‘Foxbat’ and Lockheed Blackbird – Concorde was perhaps the most impressive of them all. It was certainly the most beautiful, and arguably the most useful. It was also – and crucially – the only one that wasn’t some weapon of war. Whatever the qualities of today’s Airbuses and Boeings, characterful they are not; and when we lost Concorde we lost some of the romance of the air. Talking to Mike Bannister – BA’s chief Concorde pilot for many years – was a pleasure this issue, and brought bit of the romance back.
What better way to start a brand new year than with a watch that looks back several decades for its inspiration? Hot on the heels of our best-ever selling watch, the C65 Trident Diver, comes, well, a C65 Trident Diver! The sense of déjà vu won’t last long, however, as the latest version sports a completely new dial design and, importantly, an automatic Sellita SW200 movement, as opposed to the handwound calibre of the original. If the hand-wound was inspired by the watches and culture of the early sixties, then the automatic is very much a watch of the second half of that most influential of decades. Dylan had gone electric, England were winning the World Cup and Neil Armstrong was making giant leaps for mankind on the moon. Heady times. These, too, are exciting times for Christopher Ward – if not quite as epoch-making! – and 2019, which starts brilliantly with the new C65 Trident Automatic, promises to be the best year ever for the company. Stay tuned, because there are exciting things in store…
Matt Bielby Chris, Mike and Peter
Editor: Matt Bielby Art Director: Jamie Gallagher Designer: Sam Burn Photography: Peter Canning, Ollie Edwards
Cover: C65 Trident Automatic 1 Park St, Maidenhead, Berkshire SL6 1SL christopherward.co.uk
Contents Features 12 – 19
Deeper and down
32 – 33
The Waiting Game
The smash hit C65 Trident family gains a new member that might just outshine them all, the gorgeous new automatic version
20 – 23
Nutter by nature
Why patience is a virtue when making that most misunderstood of ingredients, vinegar
34 – 39
Return of the Mach There’s never been an aeroplane like Concorde. Now, 50 years on, it gets a worthy tribute – in the form of a watch containing a genuine piece of one of the actual planes
The brief, brilliant career of the 1960s’ most influential tailor
24 – 25
Talk to me Facebook or Forum: which is best? The guys behind the major Christopher Ward online communities state their case
26 – 31
40 – 43
A beautiful wind 12 — 19
The List Why do a job when tech can do it for you?
Through the keyhole A tour of the Christopher Ward atelier with Jörg Bader Sr.
House call 26 — 31
Regulars 07 – 11
45 – 50
Insight What we do, and how we do it. Frank Stelzer and Adrian Buchmann talk automatic versus manual, and some unusual watch choices by a most unusual actor
The last of the rather lovely C60 Trident 316Ls, plus the rarest of historic pocket watches and a sneak peek at one of the year’s most significant upcoming watches
Superbird 34 — 39
Finally. A dull watch from Christopher Ward
The C60 Trident Bronze Pro 600, made from a corrosion-resistant bronze alloy, swiftly develops a protective layer of copper oxide when exposed to the elements. Whether you take it down to 600m, or no further than the office, the oxidization creates a patina which is unique to the wearerâ€™s environment. One thing that wonâ€™t take the shine off it, however, is the price. Do your research.
News, reports & innovations. This issue: New boxes, a grand tour, and a look at the next Tridents
Back to black The final Mk2 Trident 316L arrives, and they’ve saved the most popular colour scheme for last… Since the very first 316L Trident launched in May 2017, this limited edition series – designed to celebrate the marine-grade, anti-corrosive steel most Trident watches are made from – has captured the imagination of Christopher Ward fans across the globe. The original boasted a bold and distinctive orange dial, which was followed by another in a vibrant blue. Most recently, we’ve seen a joyous sunshine yellow version. Each sold out as quickly as the one before, with several keen and wise CW collectors buying all three colourways.
For its final bow in Mk2 trim – as the all-new Trident Mk3 arrives in May – the team at CW has decided to play perhaps their strongest card. After all, what dive watch colour sells better than black? Usually nothing, that’s what – which begs the question, what took them so long? Well, whatever their reasons, the Trident 316L is finally available in this most classic of colours. The CW guys may have been tardy in getting around to it, but 316L fans need to move quickly to secure their very own piece of CW history. Available now, £730-£795
Drawing board The eagerly-awaited C60 Trident Mk3 is getting ever nearer, with many of the details signed off. So many, in fact, that senior designer Adrian Buchmann is willing to share some of them...
“This is an evolution, not a revolution,” says Adrian, “rather like when a new Porsche 911 comes out. It might be entirely new underneath, but it looks very similar at first glance – just better. This means a ten or 20 year old Porsche rarely looks outdated, and it’s the same with the new Trident. We wanted to take everything that’s good about the current watch, then improve it. “As you can hopefully see from the design sketches above, the new watch has even more of the bold, masculine presence that the old one had, though it’s actually a bit sleeker. We worked hard to make sure 8
that the case isn’t quite as high, for one thing, and it’s now 42mm across, rather than the 43mm of the Mk2. The overall effect is to make it seem both tightly focused and slightly more aggressive. “We really worked on sharpening up the details too, making each element the best it can be. I’m particularly pleased with the more complex indices, which bring new life to the dial and make the watch feel more valuable, and the new Trident symbol on the reverse. It feels like a really serious piece of diving equipment now, more solid, robust and reliable.”
Amazing watch finds
CW owner Steve Dover with his rare Daniel Quare
Quare breed Daniel Quare made incredible clocks and
watches some 300 years ago, including the very first repeaters, like this one The world’s most important watches sell at eye-watering prices, but it’s still possible to luck across something that matters in the most unlikely places. So it was for Steve Dover – climber, photographer, diver, Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society, CW C8 P2725 owner (as you can see from the photo above) and discoverer of the Arabian Sea Humpback Whale – with the Daniel Quare you see here. Quare was a major English watch and clockmaker of the 17th century, being the inventor of the repeating watch movement, and Steve’s pocket-watch is a particularly fine example of his work. Steve got into watches through his dad – “he was a shipbuilder with a flair for fixing mechanisms, so my childhood was surrounded by ticking and chimes” – and found this one through a house clearance in Leamington Spar, amongst
a collection of pocket watch parts. “With them was this Dan Quare in most shabby, non-working condition,” Steve says. “They asked £1,200 for it, and I didn’t hesitate. When I showed it to an expert clockmaker he confirmed the provenance – very excitedly – and took on the project. Over two years and around £2,600 later he’d completed the restoration job. This is one of only very few from 1683; 85 exist in working order, and most are in museums.” Most importantly, it’s a great example of Quare’s repeater complication. “With no lights back then, you couldn’t tell the time,” Steve says. “Dan Quare solved this by offering the time in bells for each quarter of every hour, simply by depressing the crown – it’s a one finger, one hand operation. He won the patent for this type of pocket watch, which he was given in person by King James II.”
There have been many repeaters since Quare’s, but his were the first – so what’s it worth? “The last one sold at auction went for £35,000, so it’s worth at least that,” Steve says. “Oddly, despite his command of what was cutting edge tech for the time, Quare was made bankrupt twice, and died poor around 1724.” In many ways – and in great testimony to a brilliant inventor who clearly pushed technological boundaries – this is still a working watch, with Steve using it in his role as a transformation programme director to demonstrate why organisations need to embrace the latest tech. “Each time I press the crown and it chimes its hours and quarters,” he says, “I feel transported to the dark streets of old London.”
Do your research Is Christopher Ward a gateway into horology? Yes, and proud of it Were you in and around the capital back in November? If so, you may have spotted a major Christopher Ward advertising campaign at railway stations and on tube platforms across London. Plenty did, we’re pleased to say, and then came in droves to the website to ‘do their research’ into buying a new watch. Social media fans sent in their ‘spotted’ posts too, with lots of feedback from here and across the pond. “As intended, it really got people talking about and searching for the brand,” says head of marketing Helen McCall. “But, most
importantly, it got a whole new audience of potential future watch lovers taking a serious look at horology, and making their first steps along the campaign’s ‘do your research’ pathway. And there’s only one way that journey usually ends…” Did you see it? Join the debate online @chriswardlondon
Get it together
Eco-packaging sees CW become industry leaders in a vitally important way
Christopher Ward ‘Get Togethers’ are the best possible way to get an insight into the brand
Watches traditionally come nestled in luxurious packaging, befitting their status and price tag. All very nice – but at what cost to the environment? This has rarely been an industry that’s considered ecological impact, but all that is about to change with Christopher Ward developing the luxury watch world’s first entirely EVA foam-free, eco-friendly and biodegradable packaging for worldwide courier delivery. Bamboo is a prominent component, and there will be no compromise on the unboxing experience or protection needed. “You can expect to see the entire range packed this way by year’s end,” says head of marketing Helen McCall.
It is a truth universally acknowledged that Chris Ward likes a chat and a pint, so his new line up of ‘CWGTG’ get-together events – as they’re known – scheduled for 2019 will hardly be a surprise to anyone. Aimed at Loupe readers, keen forumites, watch enthusiasts and those curious to meet the man himself, there will be four this year, spread out across the UK to give the maximum number of people a chance to attend. www.christopherward.co.uk/cw-events
Rookies of the year Christopher Ward’s hard-working marketing department have some help this year, in the form of long-term interns Gary Ng and Avi Mendelsohn C’mon then, guys, tell us the stories behind how you both ended up working at Christopher Ward. Gary: I’m from Hong Kong but studying at university in the UK, and I simply applied for a year’s placement at Christopher Ward. I think I really lucked out in getting it. Avi: And I’m from London, currently reading Business and Management at Aston University; I have to work for a year to further my skills, so I initially began applying to well-known companies for an internship, before older students advised me to look at smaller companies, as I’d be more likely to get greater responsibilities and learn more. A family friend put me in touch with Mike [France, co-founder], so I was asked to come for an interview and meet the team. And how much are you into watches? Avi: I’m certainly passionate about creativity and fashion, which fuels my interest in watches; the first to really catch my eye was the Harry Winston Midnight Monochrome Automatic, which remains my favourite today. It’s the way such a simple face design is paired with detailed texture that I like; I’m almost always drawn to dress watches. The first watch I owned was very
Gary and Avi, outside CW in Maidenhead
different, a Swatch chronometer on a steel bracelet which was a 13th birthday present, although I never really enjoyed wearing it, but I love the black dial Armani dress watch with silver indexes I got for my 18th. Gary: I don’t have much history with them, to be honest; in fact, most days I don’t even wear one, unless I’m going to some family event or a posh dinner. I’ve certainly admired a few in my time, though, the first being my dad’s Rolex Submariner. Working at CW must have opened your eyes to more watches, surely? Avi: So much so! I’ve even created a list on my phone, cataloguing my dream watches – the Breguet Classique is on there, as well as IWC’s Portofino and Portugieser, and a couple of Roger W. Smiths, the Series 2 and The Great Britain. My favourite Christopher Ward isn’t actually made any more – the C9 5-Day Small-Second Chronometer on a blue alligator strap. I love Roman numerals, and the small second adds interest. Gary: I’ve recently had my eye on the C60 Trident Bronze ‘Ombre’ COSC LE; you rarely see a watch made of bronze, and it looks so good on a leather strap.
What jobs have the team got you working on? Gary: I’m currently looking into the Challengers programme, and conducting marketing research. One day I had to deliver a Powerpoint presentation on the Challengers to the team here, which certainly felt different from doing a presentation at school! Avi: I’ve been tracking and analysing social media statistics, and occasionally taking photographs for marketing. I had to track and document each of the adverts (static and non-static) featured in our out-ofhome campaign, so I spent the day in London checking they were all running as planned. Also, researching how different companies stay creative and original as they grow fascinates me. Finally, what would you love to be doing in ten years’ time? Gary: I’m not looking that far ahead, but I’d like to learn more about marketing. One day, I’d like to open my own restaurant. Avi: I see my career staying within the creativity and marketing sector, and eventually hope to start my own business.
C65 Trident Diver Automatic
ith the ’60s cool of Connery-era Bond never out of style, the team at Christopher Ward always expected the retro styled C65 Trident Diver to be something of a hit – but no-one thought it would do quite as well as it has. Indeed, this new range’s initial hand-wound iteration immediately became one of the company’s best sellers, the first watch in ages to really challenge the long established C60 Trident as top dog. Clearly, then, the hand-wound version wasn’t going to be the only C65 Trident Diver, and we’ve had a couple of spin-offs already – a GMT version, and a limited edition, bronze-cased model. The automatic you see here, though, is the really important one: an everyday self-winding C65, with the same 41mm case and glass box sapphire crystal as the hand-wound, and Sellita’s SW200 automatic movement inside, complete with Christopher Ward’s twin flag pattern engraved on the rotor. Crucially, it will sell at exactly the same price, while offering a unique look all its own. If any C65 is going to eclipse the spectacular sales performance of the hand-wound, it’s this one. “As we’ve developed the range, the core DNA of the Trident Diver has become increasingly clear,” says Mike France, Christopher Ward co-founder. “The shape of the case is a major part of it, of course – it has a sleek yet rugged feel, and sits at the current sweet spot in terms of size, being 41mm across. But perhaps even more important is our particular take on the 1960s diver aesthetic, which is retro but also distinctively Christopher Ward, and strong enough to accept various interpretations.” An automatic C65 Trident Diver was planned from the very beginning, of course, but the hand-wound came first because the Christopher Ward team had fallen so deeply in love with the idea of a watch that you interact with regularly. “Going hand-wound seemed more purely ’60s somehow,” Mike says, “though there were, of course, plenty of automatics around in that period, too. The really important thing was that any C65 launch model should do well enough to justify exploring other iterations, because from the start this collection clearly had such amazing potential.” In that spirit of exploration, then, a GMT version was fast-tracked – the team felt it important to add a genuinely useful complication to the range early doors – as was the development of a bespoke bracelet for the C65 case; taking advantage of the trend for bronze, and wanting to combine the vintage look with CW’s in-house Calibre SH21 movement, saw the arrival of a bronze-cased limited edition too. Both had different bezels and faces to the Trident Diver hand-wound, but the family ties were clear.
The hand-wound C65 Trident Diver has been Christopher Ward’s biggest hit in years, but here comes a piece to challenge it: the attractive new automatic version. And the changes don’t end there…
The round indexes soften and lighten the overall look of the watch â€“ and perhaps make it even easier to read
“We’ve taken an iconic design and refined it in a very Christopher Ward way, one that makes it a little more dressy and less sporty”
The really big news, though, was always going to be this automatic, which manages to squeeze its bulkier movement into the same height case as the hand-wound. “As with the width, the height seems at a sweet spot too,” Mike says, “being tall enough to have presence, yet slim enough to look elegant on the wrist.” There are two ways to go when developing any range. You can make each version look basically the same as the others – so a BMW 7 Series looks very similar to a 3 Series, just much bigger – or you can play around with the styling, while keeping the underpinnings similar. (The thinking that brought us the Ford Capri and Volkswagen Scirocco, sports coupes with everyday underpinnings.) With the C65 range, Christopher Ward is taking something of a middle path, so each version looks different to the last, while retaining much of the same design language. The handwound has stylised numbers at 12 and 6 and batons elsewhere; the GMT has batons only, directing attention to that big GMT hand; and the LE has a small second sub dial, as well as that unusual case material. This new automatic, too, has its own look, with a bespoke bezel and – perhaps even more noticeable – the use of bold dots instead of batons.
In doing so, it more directly references that most influential of dive watches – the 1960s incarnation of the Rolex Submariner – than any C65 before it. “The more complications you add to a watch,” says senior designer Adrian Buchmann, “the easier it actually is to design. Take a chronograph, which is easiest of all. As soon as you add all those sub dials, it immediately looks interesting; it almost designs itself. My job is much harder with a relatively simple watch, like this one.” Indeed, the design process here was surprisingly involved, Adrian and the team going through dozens of permutations and directions, all inspired by the dive watches of the 1960s but each quite different to the last. “Eventually, though, we decided that if the original hand-wound version references the early ’60s, then the new automatic should look forward to the late ’60s,” he says. “It’s around then that design became a little clearer, bolder and more practical. Thinking like this allowed us to keep the two core C65s separate from each other in a way that made sense, while allowing them to remain closely linked too.” It was with the late ’60s very much in mind, then, that the watch started to take on something of an early Submariner look, with raised old radium dots and indexes surrounded by slim polished bevels. “The Sub is, of course, an iconic
design, and few dive watches – even famous ones like Omega’s Seamaster – escape its influence,” Adrian says. “But we also enjoyed taking this route because people like our vintage lume so much, and we wanted to give them more of it. The dots allow that, while also softening and lightening up the overall look of the watch – and perhaps making it even easier to read. To make the look our own, though, we’ve avoided such obvious design elements as Rolex’s triangle at 12 o’clock, and we’ve paired the new face with a modified version of the C65’s narrow bezel, but the same hands as the hand-wound. We’ve taken an iconic design and refined it in a very Christopher Ward way, one that makes it a little more dressy and less sporty; this really is one watch that would be at home in any situation.”
The success of the C65 range is definitely down to the ongoing interest in vintage to some great degree, so does the team see this fading any time soon? “I don’t think so,” Mike says. “After all, it’s been an influence all century – the new Mini came out in 2001 – and, if anything, recent years have seen it step up a gear. It’s no secret, for instance, that the watch that most closely inspired the C65 Diver range in spirit, if not in detail, was the Oris Divers Sixty-Five, which we were so impressed by at Baselworld 2015. Our Trident Diver was encouraged by the reaction that it was getting, though it was also very much an extrapolation from the existing, retro designed C65 Trident Vintage. The Oris showed us where to go, but the C65 Vintage showed us how to get there.” This being the case, there must surely be further models in the pipeline too?
“We’ve already got a new, khaki face version of the hand-wound,” Mike says, “and at some point we’ll be looking at a chronograph and a Super Compressor.” The chronograph will doubtless look spectacular, but the Super Compressor is really interesting, more of a hard-core diver’s version, but using period tech to cope with the pressure of being deep underwater. Super Compressors have a distinctive look – with dual crowns and an internal, rather than external, rotating bezel – but it’s the way the case compresses as you go deeper, becoming ever more water-tight, that’s really fascinating. Many of the great watch brands offered models from the ’50s ’til the ’70s, and in recent years there’s been renewed interest. “Not every modern watch with ‘Super Compressor’ in its name has been a genuine Super Compressor, though,” says Mike, “as they often take the look, but forget about the compressing case. Ours, however, will be – which points towards
another great thing about retro design. It allows you to explore retro technology too, which has an authenticity people really respond to.” That’s in the future, though. In the meantime, there’s this C65 Trident Automatic, a gorgeous watch, very easy to live with – “most modern watch wearers prefer automatic movements, after all,” Adrian says – and, it’s worth reiterating, at the same accessible price as the hand-wound. It will initially be offered with black or blue dials, and on a stainless steel bracelet or a range of leather straps. “With the hand-wound, the blue dial version is outselling the black 65% plays 35%,” Mike says. “But with this new automatic, I think I prefer the black face. It’ll be interesting to see if everyone else agrees, but having the two designs look quite different certainly offers real choice.” The C65 Trident Automatic is available now, £695 - £760
It was a time of barefoot wanders across zebra crossings, of working class lads with talent to burn, and of suit lapels as wide as Concordeâ€™s wings. A time when menswear was defined byâ€Ś
Handsome, witty, camp and endlessly charismatic, the avant-garde Savile Row tailor Tommy Nutter helped define the London glamour of the late sixties and early seventies as much as its singers and actors, artists and photographers ever did; after all, he dressed most of them. Nutter was a peacock who reconciled the quality and traditions of the Row with the flamboyant needs of the contemporary dandy; a gay, working class figure who swerved the future laid out for him – perhaps as a plumber, a trade he apparently studied at Willesden Technical College – for a life on the Best Dressed lists. And now Lance Richardson has written a book about him – House Of Nutter: The Rebel Tailor of Savile Row – which tells the tale of Tommy, his creative partner Edward Sexton, and of the men (and, occasionally, women) who wore his suits, from The Beatles to Elton John, Mick Jagger to Eric Clapton, all the great style and cultural symbols of Swinging London. “When Tommy was coming up through [establishment tailor] Donaldson, Williams and Ward, Savile Row had become known for what one writer at the time described as ‘the exquisitely prosaic city suit’,” Lance says. “These were suits that were well-made but boring. At the same moment, teenagers were experimenting in fast street fashion — clothes that were poorly made but exciting. What Tommy did was unite the two extremes; he made clothes that were brilliantly tailored, yes, but with all the youthful vigour of the period.” 21
“It doesn’t matter if your clothes are brilliant, if nobody knows about them!”
Not that he spent too much time with the needle-and-thread himself. “Tommy was never the ‘back room creator’,” Lance says. “He doodled designs, then gave them to Edward Sexton, a master tailor, to execute in reality. Tommy’s role was very much about getting the word out and being a London ‘face’. After all, it doesn’t matter if your clothes are brilliant, if nobody knows about them!” It was a spectacular reign, but a relatively brief one. “Nutters of Savile Row burned bright for such a short period, partly because of the social situation,” Lance says. “Britain changed, the swinging sixties ended, and people had less money and less incen-
tive to be experimental in the 1970s. And, partly because things became untenable within the company, Tommy left. When he did so, the business lost a lot of its spark, though Nutters remained in business for decades, under the leadership of Sexton.” So should he, and could he, have created an enduring brand like Armani, Ralph Lauren, Paul Smith, or whoever…? “The Armani and Smith comparison is interesting, and I’ve thought about it a lot. Unfortunately, for all his talent, I just don’t think it would ever have happened for him. Both those men are good designers, but brilliant businessmen too. Tommy was a good designer and a rotten businessman, and he didn’t have the financial support to counteract that deficiency.”
A lot of what’s interesting about Nutters of Savile Row is the crucial, core relationship between Tommy and Edward Sexton, rubbing along together like two members of the same band. “Tommy thought outside the box,” Lance says, “while Edward had the skills to turn unconventional ideas into something you could wear. They were a unique and brilliant partnership. Nutters would never have worked without either of them. But, alas, things came to a head between them in 1976. Tommy was never good with money, and Edward had too much on the line for the amount of debt they were taking on. They had a falling out over it that was never really reconciled. It happens in business more than most people think.” What they left behind, though, was a vast wardrobe of amazing suits – like the one Mick Jagger wore at his wedding to Bianca, or the suits that three-quarters of The Beatles wore on the cover of Abbey Road… “Jagger at his wedding still looks sensational,” Lance says. “I think most grooms would want to pull off what he did on that day – and, subsequently, on their honeymoon in Venice. But, ultimately, the quintessential Nutter suits were the ones that Tommy wore himself, because he designed everything as though he was designing for himself – and if he couldn’t pull it off, he would refuse to do it. I think the pictures of him
modelling his own clothes show them at their very best.” And though later suits reflect their times just as much as the more famous sixties and early seventies ones do, and so don’t always have the famous giant lapels and so on, they still maintain the classic Nutter DNA. “Tommy and his team were recruited to make Jack Nicholson’s Joker suit for the 1989 Batman movie, because it obviously referenced Tommy’s work from the ’70s, but the specific design was actually done by costume designer Bob Ringwood,” Lance says. “Still, Tommy himself said it was a very ‘Tommy Nutter look’. Beyond that very singular example, though, I would say all his later work had
‘genuine Nutter DNA’ to it – because, after all, he made it. And he only ever made what he thought was fashionable.” But was it as good as his earlier stuff? “A-ha, if you’re asking me if I think that, then no. But every designer has a high point.” Because of his edginess, we’re tempted to compare him to Alexander McQueen too. Is that relevant – or fair? “I’m not actually sure he gets compared to McQueen all that often,” Lance says. “McQueen was, after all, primarily a womenswear designer – though yes, he did import the tenets of Savile Row tailoring into his work.” They were both gay and working-class though, of course…
Rock royalty: Mick and Bianca in Nutter suits, looking spectacular
“And both Tommy’s working class roots and his sexuality were crucial: they determined who he was, and who he was determined what he created. If you know how to read the designs, you can see very real traces of his interests as a teenager in there. The references to Teddy Boys, for example – which is a social group that he and Sexton were very much aware of in the 1950s.” Tommy occasionally made spectacular suits for women too, but would he have been well-advised to concentrate on womenswear more than he did? “Tommy made suits for women somewhat begrudgingly, and was never very interesting in adjusting men’s tailoring to fit the female form. And anyway, there weren’t that many women willing to pay for these suits at the time – the ones who did, like Bianca Jagger, were high-profile outliers. There was no money there, except for through people like her.” What about Nutter’s international appeal, or was he just a London thing? “He certainly never had much success in America, though it wasn’t for lack of trying. Americans didn’t wear outré suits. When they bothered to dress up at all during his heyday, it was with a very different aesthetic in mind — an aesthetic Armani tapped into, but not Tommy.” Perhaps it was just the sheer aeroplane-wing size of those lapels that Americans struggled with? Some of them extend right over the arms – a good look, or rather ludicrous? “Good enough for me,” says Lance. “Edward Sexton made me a replica last December, with lapels that reach the armholes, and I love it.” House Of Nutter: The Rebel Tailor of Savile Row, by Lance Richardson, Chatto & Windus, £25; penguin.co.uk
Back in the day, it could be hard to connect with like-minded folk who share your obsessions. But thanks to the likes of Kip McEwen and Chris Skivington, who run the Christopher Ward Forum and Enthusiasts Facebook group respectively, not any more
Before we talk about the internet, tell us what first got you into watches. Chris: Growing up I was fascinated by how things worked, then a career in mechanical engineering fuelled my love of mechanical watches. I collected the obligatory brands until a friend visited wearing his new green-and-black Trident GMT. I was impressed with the fit and finish and the ceramic bezel, and even more impressed when he told me the price. I’ve been hooked on the brand ever since. Kip: My passion began with my grandfather. For my 12th birthday he gave me his Hamilton pocket watch that he’d used for 55 years working for the Canadian National Railroad. It’s still my most treasured watch. My introduction to Christopher Ward was in late 2006. I wanted a blue dial watch with an alarm, and came upon the C4 Peregrine. I’d never heard of the brand, but the watch met my parameters and the price was right. I took a chance, and was so impressed by the design and quality that I did more research into the company and, when the red C4 Peregrine Limited Edition was released, bought that too. What’s the forum like, Kip? Kip: We promote a ‘family friendly’ atmosphere, and it’s, first and foremost, for CW fans: a place to learn all about the brand. Our members have a thirst, not just for what model is coming next, but also for what is going on with the company, including the people there. Much of the discussion revolves around new releases, of course, but many members have a
lot to say about other brands too, so we encourage the discussion of horology in general. This has led to a new area we call The Gateway, a source for the most complete and current links to watch forums, watch blogs, review sites and custom strap makers. It currently contains information on over 2,000 brands. And what about the Christopher Ward Enthusiasts Facebook group, Chris? Chris: It’s a relaxed place, and all the guys are friendly and welcoming to new members. There are torrents of wrist shots and watch related posts put up daily, but at its core the group is just a nice place to hang out. Personally, I find redemption in seeing ‘state of the collection’ posts, and can feel a little less guilty about my own! How did you end up running things? Kip: I lurked for a while, then joined in March 2007. Our founder, Hans, invited me to become a moderator a year later, but around 2010 – after he’d started his own business and other moderators were withdrawing from active participation too – I ran the forum as unofficial administrator virtually alone, officially becoming administrator in 2014. I immediately brought in some new moderators to help, but – on average – still spend 3-4 hours a day on the forum and related projects. I’ve made lots of friends here, and have been fortunate enough to meet many of them in person. Chris: I started the group because I wanted to talk to other people who enjoyed the brand. I feel it offers a different dynamic to
watch forums; both have their place and offer different platforms for engagement, but I prefer the fluid approach a Facebook group offers. Tell us about topics that have caught everyone’s imagination recently. Kip: A topic called ‘Forum and/or Facebook’ was interesting, as I got to see all the different perspectives, and how each group was viewed by members of the Facebook group and the CW Forum members. People were discussing why one format was better than the other, and how those who are members of both use each platform. I learned a lot from that. Chris: Some of my favourites were by Daniel Doogan, responsible for organising the group’s first limited edition Trident, the CWE. He’s worked tirelessly with Richard from CW and the group, bringing together a watch we can be proud of, and all 50 were sold in a matter of hours. Then there’s David, one of our very active members, who recently suffered a back injury while on holiday. His comical approach to being laid up in hospital thousands of miles from home, and the resulting posts by the group in support, were great to see. Finally, which CW watches are you most excited about right now, and which are you looking forward to? Chris: I love the new C65 range. The finishing on the case seems to be at another level for CW, a sign of the continual improvement we’ve come to expect. But I can’t not mention the Ombré too, which has caused a huge reaction in the group. Kip: I was excited by the C7 Apex – it’s quite a step outside the norm for CW – and I’m looking forward to the C60 Trident Mk3, too. I’ve seen and handled the prototypes, and the case is magnificent. www.christopherwardforum.com www.facebook.com/groups/ Christopher-Ward-Enthusiasts
Christopher Wardâ€™s atelier in Biel has recently renovated and expanded its production facilities. Join us for a guided tour with the man behind it all, JĂśrg Bader Sr.
I first bought this building back in 1982. Switzerland was going though a self-inflicted real estate crisis at the time, and we totally renovated it, even rebuilding some areas. There have been three major renovations since too, so itâ€™s quite modern inside. The exterior, however, was starting to show its age, hence our recent desire to redo that too.
There are actually two parts to the atelier: a house, built in 1923, and a small adjoining factory, dating back to 1953. Together they’ve been home to all the companies I’ve co-owned during my 37 years as an entrepreneur – I even used it during my spell with the Fossil Group. The most obvious thing we’ve added this year is the new concrete entrance. It’s very modern – and very practical, protecting against wind, rain and (in the winter) snow.
The atelier as we now know it was created in two earlier renovations, in 2007 and 2013. In 2007 the entire interior was redone, with all-new flooring and many windows replaced. The stock and QC room was created from a simple store room in the basement.
Our westernmost building has been there since 1953 and marks the edge of our plot, so it feels like the atelier partly stands in our neighbour’s garden. Before 2013 we weren’t using those offices much, but the creation of SH21 triggered a major internal renovation of this building, including a new basement with integrated heating, cabling, and air-pressure and suction supply.
There’s plenty of art on display inside the atelier, by two very different artists. I discovered Istvan Mazzag (www.mazzag. com) as a young man; he’s a Budapest-based painter with a bold, colourful style – his pictures are often of flowers. 35 years later we’re still friends, and I visit his studio in Budapest every few years. The more subtle art is by Ueli Studer (www.studermelar. ch), a landscape architect who also paints. Since Ueli is a Grenchen boy, just like me, it was natural I started following his work, and I now own a big collection of Studer paintings. 29
With the latest round of improvements, we’ve upped our game in terms of branding. We don’t want to shout too loud – after all, who are we compared to the mighty new Omega building 400m away, or the Swatch dragon in the park across the street? – but, at the same time, there’s no need to hide away. It’s probably a very Swiss thing to try to keep things in perspective, but I’m still mighty proud of what Christopher Ward has achieved, and the logos on our three glass doors say it perfectly. Initially, our architect wanted to integrate a Christopher Ward logo in concrete on the new roof, but it didn’t feel right to me – partly because we’re not actually in an industrial area, but a residential sector with private houses all around.
Not many ingredients bring flavour to food and are good for you too, but that’s the joy of vinegar. Angela Clutton – food historian and C3 Malvern wearer – has written a book about it, and here explains why we all need more acidity in our lives
Think for a moment about the role that time plays in cooking. Maybe what will come to mind is the careful timing of getting a fried egg exactly as runny (or not) as you most want it to be; or perhaps how a joint of beef brisket needs hours to slow-roast into melting tenderness. Time has been called ‘the missing ingredient’ by my food-writer friend Jenny Linford in her book of that name, and over the last year or so, as I have been writing my debut cookbook, The Vinegar Cupboard, it has been impossible to ignore the importance of time to this most special of ingredients. Time is at the heart of ancient vinegars from China’s Zhenjiang to Spain’s Jerez, and possibly most iconically of all, the famous balsamic vinegar of northern Italy of which true balsamic vinegar – the really serious, full-on, most prized of balsamics – is recognisable by its name: Aceto Balsamico Tradizionale from either Modena or Reggio Emilia. The first stages of its production are in cooking the pressed local grapes. Already time is a factor. Do that too hot, too fast and it will be burnt. But give it some time – go low and slow – and the grapes will become a fabulously sweet, caramelly syrup that then, over the course of many years, takes a journey through a series of ever-decreasing barrels, moving from one
to the next at the judgment of the skilled vinegar-maker. The syrup will be naturally exposed to yeasts that turn it to alcohol, and bacteria that turn the alcohol into vinegar. As it ages the flavour develops and the vinegar becomes sweeter and denser. It is ready when the vinegar-maker declares it to be so, and the Consortium that protects balsamic vinegar standards agrees. Aceto Balsamico Tradizionale from Modena has two age distinctions: a white cap for 12 years; a gold cap for the extra vecchio that is gauged to be 25 years old or older. Its counterpart from Reggio Emilia has three age distinctions: a red label for 12 years; a silver label for 18 years; a gold label for 25 years or more. Time is the ‘x’ factor for converting the same certain types of local grapes, only grown in the same certain approved areas, into excitingly varied vinegar with colours that can range from light hay to deep mahogany, and with flavours on a similar spectrum. The point of the ageing is always to develop the vinegar’s flavours, to knock off any harsh edges it might have. The ancient vinegar-makers of China who specialised in regional distinctions of inky black vinegars from rice grains, also knew very well the benefits that ageing can bring. The most famous of their black vinegars is the Zhen33
jiang of Jiangsu province on China’s east coast. The young versions of these are perky and bright-tasting. They’re delicious to be used in a marinade, perhaps. But go for an aged version and what you have is something that will be exceptional for a dipping sauce, or a garnish for a soup. Right there is, I think, the message about vinegar I most hope to share: as entrancing as the stories behind these vinegars are, we should never forget that first and foremost vinegar is an ingredient. To go back to the fried eggs and the slow-roasted beef I began this with, it is vinegar that can make both those dishes the best possible versions of themselves. Deglaze the frying pan you cooked the eggs in with a few tablespoons of a light sherry vinegar, let it bubble, then drizzle that over the top of the egg and it will sing with vibrancy. Slow-roast the brisket with several good slugs of (maybe not the very best) balsamic or a Chinese black vinegar and what is one of the toughest joints at the butcher’s counter will become more tender than you can imagine. Behind this kitchen basic is a kitchen hero whose backstory is one of alchemy, global scope and flavour potential. My discovery through writing ‘The Vinegar Cupboard’, and I hope that of anyone reading it, is that the most enjoyable vinegars are those born of skill and love – and yes, time – and are to be all the more valued for that. Angela Clutton’s The Vinegar Cupboard (Bloomsbury, £26), is available March 7; www.bloomsbury.com
To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the world’s first – and best – supersonic passenger jet, Christopher Ward has a remarkable collaboration, containing Calibre SH21 and a rare piece of Concorde G-BOAB…
Some years ago, a friend of Loupe’s was on a Royal Navy destroyer during a training exercise. Dots on a display represented other ships, helicopters – and something coming in very fast from bottom right. “What’s that?” asked our friend, concerned. An officer looked, did a slight double take, and smiled. “Oh, don’t mind about that,” he said. “Concorde.” But we did mind about Concorde. We minded about it like no plane since the Spitfire, and like no commercial jet, well, ever. Partly it was the way it looked, as if a paper dart had enjoyed congress with a swan, but mostly it was the way it moved. The C8 M2.04 Limited Edition – named for the Mach 2.04 that was Concorde’s maximum speed in service – uses the 44mm C8 Flyer case to pay tribute to this most remarkable of planes. It contains Christopher Ward’s hand-wound in-house Calibre SH21, with a small second dial at 6 and the five-day power reserve at 9, finished to the C8 Power Reserve standard. This impressive movement shares pride of place on the reverse of the watch, visible through a display back, with something even more precious. You see, M2.04 contains a piece of Concorde herself. “There was serendipity in the way this watch came together,” says Christopher Ward co-founder Mike France. “We knew the 50th anniversary of the first flight of Concorde in 1969 was coming up, and that Chris Bennett of TMB Art Metal had a piece of broken Concorde rudder that we could use. But then I was fortunate enough to meet Mike Bannister, too; he piloted Concorde at British Airways for many years, and could tell us everything there is to know about this amazing plane, and what it was like to fly. And when he agreed to get involved in the watch design too, well, we just had to do it.” “I knew what I wanted to do from age seven,” says Mike Bannister, who was actually Chief Pilot of British Airway’s Concorde fleet from 1995 until
Mike Bannister and the ever-gorgeous Concorde
its retirement. “We’d go on family holidays to Bournemouth each year, but I hated the journey there by coach,” he says. “I remember sitting on a beach and watching a little aeroplane flying to the Channel Islands or France, and thinking, that’s where I want to be. Because our five hour coach trip would only have taken 20 minutes by plane.” A pilot training college had been set up at Hamble, near Southampton, by an aviation industry scared that the ready supply of experienced World War 2 RAF pilots would soon dry up, and a young Mike graduated from there in 1969, joining what was then known as BOAC flying Vickers VC10s, still the fastest ever sub-sonic jet liner across the Atlantic. But since college, when he’d watched the plane’s first flight on TV, Mike had known he wanted to fly Concorde. “I got my chance as a co-pilot in 1977, age 28,” he says, “and did that until 1989, when I joined BA management, before returning to Concorde as Chief Pilot.” Mike would stay with the plane until it retired in 2003, when he ended up running BA’s Short Haul, Medium Haul and Gatwick operations, but it seems safe to say that if the plane had kept flying for longer, he’d have stuck with it.
“Our nickname for Concorde was ‘The Rocket’, and it certainly was – it went faster than a rifle bullet – but that was by no means all it was,” he says. “It was a beautifully responsive plane to fly, very precise and rewarding, like riding a race horse after learning on a riding school hack – you could fly it with your fingertips. But it wasn’t easy to learn. It takes two months to train an experienced flight crew to fly a new plane, but with Concorde it took six months as there was just so much to get your head around.” Concorde was an amazing experience as a passenger, too. The world would look smaller out of the window than from other airliners, because you were flying so much nearer the edge of space, and you could certainly feel the acceleration on take off – and then again, as the plane broke the sound barrier. Otherwise, though, it was as comfortable as any other luxury jet – if not a little more so. “Our passengers would save time on each transatlantic trip, of course,” Mike says, “but what no-one ever realised until they’d flown Concorde is that you were far less fatigued by the journey too, to the point where jet lag didn’t exist. London
to New York normally takes about eight hours, and you’re travelling in a cabin pressurised to the level of an 8,000ft mountaintop. But with Concorde the crossing was three hours, 20 minutes, with cabin pressure at the equivalent of 5,000ft, so it was more like you were up a big hill. That, plus the effect of the sun going backwards in the sky – because Concorde was moving faster than the earth rotates – would reset the body clock. You’d take off from London at 11am local time and land at New York at 9.20am local time, gaining an hour and 40 minutes, so you literally arrived before you left. Even better, you’d feel perfectly fresh, because your body believed it was 9.20am too.”
Concorde was an incredible plane, then, but how could any watch properly pay tribute to it? One thing the Christopher Ward team knew they didn’t want to do was simply come up with a generic pilot’s watch with a little picture of Concorde on the dial. Instead, they took inspiration from Concorde’s cockpit itself. “Everyone always comments on how small Concorde’s cockpit seems,” Mike Bannister says, “but it’s actually bigger than the passenger compartment of most cars. What makes it seem small is just how complicated it looks, for Concorde has far more dials than any other plane.” Concorde was designed and built before the digital age, of course, and that means
Both Calibre SH21 and the precious rudder metal can be seen through a display back
there were no modern multi-function screens – no so-called ‘glass cockpit’ – but, rather, each function required its own dial or control, many of them repeated for the captain, first officer and the flight engineer. “Concorde was effectively four aeroplanes rolled into one – a high flying aeroplane, a low flying aeroplane, a fast one and a slower one – and the instruments for all of them were there all the time,” Mike says. “And that’s why the cockpit is so much more colourful than in most planes, so each dial would be distinguishable from the others when the pilots needed it.” Travelling at Mach 2, or twice the speed of sound, is the essence of what Concorde was all about, and that speed was
displayed twice: through the Machmeter and the airspeed indicator. “Typically at Mach 2 we’d be moving at 1,350mph over the ground,” Mike says, “but the airspeed indicator would only be reading 480-500 knots, because the air’s so thin up there. For this watch, those are the two dials I thought we should use.” For Adrian Buchmann, Christopher Ward’s senior designer, taking inspiration from Concorde was almost overwhelming. “I worked on dozens of versions of this watch,” he says, “as I was so intrigued by all those little flashes of red, orange, yellow, green and blue in the cockpit. It was exciting, but also slightly worrying – because you want to capture the spirit of the plane, but you also know that too much colour might put buyers off. When Mike Bannister suggested we concentrate on two of the most important dials, my job suddenly became much easier. So the face takes its numerals and hand design from the airspeed indicator, and the power reserve sub dial takes inspiration from the Machmeter, both dials originally manufactured for Concorde by Jaeger LeCoultre.” Using every colour in Concorde’s cockpit might have left the watch looking not unlike Zenith’s El Primero in its Rainbow incarnation – attractive, if not for everyone – but happily these two dials use just yellow and a sort of red-orange on top of
their white-on-black, giving a unified colour palette that provides a very powerful look. “The orange on the sub dial indicates when you’re close to running out of power, and again on the date window to balance out the watch face, while the yellow crops up on the striking black-and-yellow chequered flag hands,” Adrian says. “The minute hand is in white, and the hour hand is in the chequerboard, with a chunk cut out of it on one side; these same looks are reflected on the much smaller small second and power reserve hands. “I loved working on the hands most of all. Looking closely at the airspeed dial, I wondered why one of the hands had that big chunk cut out of it. Well, it turns out that Concorde was at her best when flying as fast as possible, and to do that easily the pilot lined up the white ‘speed’ hand with the cut-out on the black-and-yellow ‘maximum’ hand. There’s always a reason for these details, and they’re the things that you really jump on as a designer.” The end result is an incredibly striking piece, not least because of the sandblasted grey DLC treatment to the case – never before used on a Christopher Ward watch – which echoes the soft, warm greys of Concorde’s cockpit walls. And then there’s the precious metal on the back of the watch – in the form of a ring that frames the visible movement, with the legend ‘Rudder metal VW23 from
Concorde 102, G-BOAB, 1969-2019, 50 years’ – which is kept safe behind a sapphire crystal. It’s taken from a vital piece of Concorde herself, rather than mere fixtures and fittings: a rudder with the maker’s serial number VW23, which saw service on three Concordes. “The unique thing about this rudder is it was extensively researched by the Air Accidents Investigation Branch at Farnborough after part of it broke free in flight, meaning we know its entire history to the exact flight hour,“ says Chris Bennett. “Concorde had two rudders – VW23 was an upper one – and it started life on G-BOAG in 1977, but after just a few flight hours was removed and fitted to G-BOAC instead, where it remained in service for eleven years. After it was refurbished in 1989 it was placed in storage, then finally fitted to G-BOAB in late 1991, where it did 254 hours before a section broke free halfway between London and New York in 1992. The flight crew weren’t fully aware of what had happened until they were on the tarmac. All in all, the metal in this limited edition of 50 watches achieved 10,861 flight hours and 3,724 landings.” On the whole then, this is a very special watch, and almost guaranteed to sell as quickly as Concorde flew. For Mike Bannister, it makes a fitting tribute not just to the plane, but to the people on ‘Team Concorde’. “There were only ever a few hundred of us, from pilots to cabin crew to ground staff, and we all knew each other very well,” he says. “When I look at this watch, I also think of them.” 50 pieces of C8 M2.04 Limited Edition will be produced, to reflect the plane’s 50th anniversary; each costs £2,495
AUTOMATIC FOR THE PEOPLE Tired of winding watches, shifting gears or wondering where on earth you are? It seems that the world agrees, and is keen to automate everything. Sometimes, though, be careful what you wish for… We both love automation and hate it, for it makes our lives easier, but it also threatens to rob us of our jobs – or even, if we’ve been watching Terminator too often, destroy the world. It’s also a source of endless frustration, for the more we get, the more we expect – so we swear at our satnavs, say, when we would have given our eyeteeth for one not so long ago. Sure, it’s still possible to enjoy fantasies about a completely automated
house – little robots like mythical brownies popping out at night and putting everything back in its correct cupboard – but how much would that really help? The more time we save, the more new things we find to fill it with. In the real world, running our lives remains plain hard work, though that hasn’t stopped us coming up with automated helpers of every shape and stripe. The results are, predictably, mixed.
Water clocks First seen: C16th BC Who do we have to thank? Perhaps the Egyptians The ancient world was obsessed with the idea of accurately measuring time. The first success was with the water clock, using a float (not unlike the ball and cock in a toilet) as its regulator; water would flow in or out of a bowl in controlled fashion, and the amount would be measured. No-one knows who made the first one, or when or where, but claims are made for Babylon or Egypt around the 16th century BC, or even (less convincingly) China or India centuries earlier. Though the earliest were very simple, by the time of the Romans they were much more complicated and accurate, with gearing and an escapement mechanism, calibrated by a sundial. Though nowhere near as accurate as the pendulum clocks that started replacing them in the 17th century, these were the timekeepers of choice for millennia, used by astrologers studying the heavens, city guards wanting to define the length of a ‘night watch’, and even holy men keen to know the precise time of night to make the correct sacrifices.
Power looms First seen: 1842 Who do we have to thank? William Kenworthy, James Bullough and others
Automatic watches First seen: 1777 Who do we have to thank? Abraham-Louis Perrelet
The arrival of mechanised looms powered the early years of Britain’s Industrial Revolution, the very first being completed by clergyman inventor Edmund Cartwright in 1784; it was water-powered, and didn’t work very well, but the upheaval had begun. Over the next 47 years the design was refined incrementally, with William Kenworthy and James Bullough of Blackburn producing the first completely automatic version, the Lancashire Loom, in 1842; in under a decade there were a quarter of a million happily weaving away, only one weaver needed to run six of them. Not everyone was happy about this, of course, and many skilled hand weavers suddenly found themselves jobless; indeed, 2,000 of them rioted in protest in 1816. There were dangers too: hair and baggy clothing could be caught in the machines, and many mills used child labour, the kids getting trapped fingers pulled off as they crawled under running looms to oil them.
The first credible working automatic movement was that of Abraham-Louis Perrelet, who revealed an automatic pocket watch in 1777; Abraham-Louis Breguet came up with another version the same year. It was not until the advent of the wristwatch just after The Great War, though, that automatic movements really took off. Some were based on Breguet’s design, while Bolton’s John Harwood invented the successful ‘bumper movement’, where the weight doesn’t spin a full 360 degrees, but instead bounces back and forth through 180 degrees; Fortis was making these by 1928, and bumper designs became the first commercial hit automatics of the ’30s and ’40s. By this time, though, Rolex had modified Harwood’s design to use a semi-circular weight rotating through the full 360 degrees, and automatics as we know them were born. 41
Typewriters First seen: 1878 Who do we have to thank? E. Remington & Sons The centuries long race to create a workable machine to write with – much faster and more legible than hand-writing – was largely an Italian and American obsession, the first commercially successful typewriter eventually cropping up in Wisconsin in 1878 and looking like “a cross between a piano and a kitchen table”; its various inventors soon fell out, but the patent was eventually sold for $12,000 and the sewing machine maker E. Remington and Sons began making them as the ‘Sholes and Glidden Type-Writer’. It wasn’t until about 1910 that we got to the classic typewriter design, but essential elements – such as the now universal QWERTY keyboard – were there from the start.
Automated telephone switchboards First seen: 1891 Who do we have to thank? Almon B Strowger The first phones were rented in pairs – if you had one, you could talk to whoever had the other, but no-one else. The first central exchange, allowing an operator to connect your phone to any other, appeared in Boston, USA in 1878, and over the years the process became more heavily automated, one major innovation coming from Almon B Strowger, a Kansas City undertaker who in 1888 became furious that he’d lost business when a customer had tried to phone him and been told his line was busy. Convinced a competitor’s wife, who worked as a telephone operator, was intercepting his calls, he recruited an electrician friend and started work on a design that used a metal ‘finger’ and magnets to eliminate much of the switchboard operator’s role. Few thought it would work – but it did.
Automatic transmission First seen: 1940 Who do we have to thank? The Brazillians
Washing machines First seen: 1907 Who do we have to thank? Alva J Fisher No-one likes scrubbing dirty laundry, but imagine how much of a chore it was in the years before running water; just doing a big load could take all day. By 1830 the first mechanical washing machines had appeared in England, but it was the mid-1850s’ creation of steam-driven washing machines that made the difference; some were wooden, but metal was better, as you could safely keep a fire running beneath the tub to warm the water without it catching alight. By the time of The Great War, electric motors were pressed into service to rotate the tub (on models like Alva J Fisher’s Hurley ‘Thor’ of 1907), but water would often drip onto them, causing yet more fires. It wasn’t until the late ’30s that truly automatic domestic washing machines appeared, America’s Bendix credited with the first; it proved to be a ‘killer app’ for domestic electricity, and soon 60% of US homes with electricity had one.
Electric kettles First seen: 1922 Who do we have to thank? Arthur Leslie Large People have been using kettles forever, but most of them were basically closed jugs you put on the fire or stovetop; the electric kettle, which plugs into the mains and needs enough water in it to cover the heating element at the bottom, is a much more recent development, basic versions cropping up in the UK at the tail end of the 19th century. The first were fairly inefficient, though, as the heating element wasn’t actually placed in the water (too dangerous!), but in a compartment below the kettle itself; Arthur Leslie Large of Birmingham’s Bulpitt & Sons fixed this in 1922, by introducing a heating element sheathed in a metal tube. Sold under the brand name Swan, these worked well enough – if you didn’t mind waiting 20 minutes for boiling water!
Teasmades First seen: 1936 Who do we have to thank? William Hermann Brenner Thornton Some automated innovations have a very limited lifespan, and so it was with the Teasmade, that peculiar British device common in the middle part of the 20th century, but now almost unknown – except as a retro novelty. It had long been a British dream to have a cup of tea ready to drink the moment you woke up each morning, but the idea of a machine to make it for you only really gained legs in the 1930s, first with George Absolom’s ‘Teesmade’, and then with Goblin’s superior version, designed by William Hermann Brenner Thornton and sold as the ‘Teasmade’ (note the different spelling). At their peak, two million households had one. The earliest models were potential death traps, though, heated by methylated spirits lit by the automatic striking of a match.
A self-shifting car transmission takes the effort out of driving, and it was in the Americas that the auto came into its own; first with a Canadian design of 1921 developed by steam engineer Alfred Horner Munro, and later with a Brazilian system of the early 1930s that, crucially, used hydraulic fluid rather than Munro’s compressed air. Neither found much success until the plans for the Brazilian system were sold to General Motors in the USA. Spinning out of this came the 1940 Oldsmobile’s ‘Hydra-Matic’ transmission and, eight years later, Buick’s better ‘Dynaflow’, grandparent of all modern autos. Sadly, one version that didn’t take off was the Electric Hand used by ’30s Cords and Hudsons, which had a removable manual gear stick; if you left it in place, however, and shifted via a smaller dashboard ‘thumb shifter’, the big gear stick would move by itself, as if Caspar the Friendly Ghost was your co-pilot.
Japanese smart toilets First seen: 1980 Who do we have to thank? Kazuchika Okura of TOTO Automated Teller Machines First seen: 1967 Who do we have to thank? John Shepherd-Barron and Barclays Bank ATMs – also called cash machines and more – read a plastic card, ask for a PIN code, then let you withdraw banknotes; they basically speed up day-to-day banking. Though there’d been attempts at cash machines before, the first success is generally reckoned to be the one outside Barclays Bank in Enfield Town, London, opened in June 1967 and invented by one John Shepherd-Barron of banknote printer De La Rue, who based it on a chocolate bar dispenser, “but replacing chocolate with cash”. Within a couple of years rival systems had cropped up in Sweden and elsewhere, with the new PIN system incorporated by the end of the decade. There are now 3.5 million ATMs in use worldwide, but there are signs their use is slowly declining – after all, how often do we need physical cash these days?
Visitors to Japan often comment on the obsession with loos, which manifests in both a National Toilet Day (November 10) and the bizarre disconnect between the two most common types: extremely basic squat toilets (think a small urinal sunk horizontally into the ground) and ludicrously high tech sit-on models, first introduced to Japan in 1914 by inventor Kazuchika Okura of the Toyo Toki Company (later TOTO), who’d become impressed by Western loos on a visit to Europe. TOTO has since innovated like crazy in this field, creating the modern smart toilet, driven by a unique combination of gadgetry and the nation’s ‘shame culture’. They incorporate a pleasantly warm ‘ewater+’ squirting bidet function, but you can also get seat heating, armrests, automatic flushing, automatic lid-opening, massage options, a blow dryer, air deodorisers, water jet adjustments, a water jet or water-with-soap option, below-rim air conditioning for hot days, voice activation or a wireless control panel, and more.
Satnav First seen: 1994 Who do we have to thank? USAF Everyone loves maps, but few of us enjoy relying on them in the field. One of the greatest labour (and nerve) saving innovations of recent years, then, has been the satnav, which uses a constellation of medium Earth orbit satellites to determine the location of your car (or phone) to within a few metres, then tells you which way to turn. But which satellites? Dominant are the 32 or so of the American Global Positioning System (GPS), but there are Russian and Chinese versions too, while the EU’s 30-satellite Galileo system is due to be fully operational in a couple of years. It all began with the US military’s TRANSIT system in the 1960s, but the later, better Navstar GPS has been globally available since 1994, around which time the first BMWs came equipped with GPS navigation; within a decade they’d become a near-essential option on most cars.
Robots First seen: 2000 Who do we have to thank? Honda
3D printing First seen: 1988 Who do we have to thank? S Scott Crump of Stratasys Sometimes a technology is so new we can only guess at all its eventual applications – or their implications. So it is with 3D printing, in which powder grains are fused together under computer control to rapidly and accurately recreate a three-dimensional object. The Japanese, French and Americans all experimented with this in the ’80s, but most affordable, domestic 3D printers are offshoots of a system developed in 1988 by the US company Stratasys, to the point where everything from Eurofighter Typhoons to Swedish Koenigsegg supercars have operated with 3D printed parts. It’s almost impossible see where this tech will take us, but the dream of a Star Trek-like replicator, which can copy anything put before it, has never been more near.
Robots are the principle of automation given the appearance of life, and we use these sophisticated mechanical tools to make our cars, to explore space, and to perform surgery. Few, however, look like the robot of the popular imagination: a mechanical man, our obedient servant until (this is always the fear) things go badly wrong. This century, however, has seen great advances in robots as we always imagined them to be, the best known and most impressive being the incredible creations of Boston Dynamics and Honda’s four-foot tall ASIMO (Advanced Step in Innovative Mobility), which has gone through numerous ever-more-sophisticated iterations since it was introduced in 2000. These days ASIMO can grasp objects, recognise faces, and now features hip joints sophisticated enough for it to run, walk smoothly over uneven surfaces, and climb stairs. Few practical applications have yet presented themselves, however.
At just 5.95mm the C5 Malvern 595 is one of the world’s slimmest mechanical watches. An amazing achievement when you discover that within the English-designed case there’s a Swiss-made ETA 7001 movement to ensure outstanding accuracy and durability. The quality is undeniable, and priced at a slender £595 it’s a beautifully subtle companion. Do your research.
Design matters | Watch history | How it works Great watch wearers
The Quiet Man You’ll rarely see Ryan Gosling wearing the flashy, obvious watches of other movie stars. Perhaps because Gosling – all evidence to the contrary – doesn’t think of himself as a movie star at all Ryan Gosling is the most brilliant yet frustrating actor. Not conventionally handsome by the standards of his peers – small eyes, big chin, wonky face – he nevertheless makes hearts flutter like few others. He makes interesting acting choices too – and his blank, soulful demeanour either works brilliantly or doesn’t work at all, depending not so much on anything he does, but rather on the strengths of the production around him. Not for him the superhero route to stardom of his contemporaries, from Chris Hemsworth to Tom Hardy. Indeed, after he rose to fame with tear-jerker The Notebook in the early 2000s, Gosling’s deliberately swerved traditional leading man status. Instead of summer blockbusters, rom-coms and feel-good flicks, he’s instead given us a campaign-trail whiz-kid in The Ides of March, a crooked mechanic in Drive, a drink-sozzled husband in Blue Valentine, a crack-smoking teacher in Half-Nelson, a vain salesman in The Big Short and a bank-robbing stunt biker in The Place Beyond the Pines. So he learnt his craft, got a feeling for what worked for him – chiefly a surface gentleness hiding the capacity for sudden brutality – and got big despite himself, most recently with the one-two whammy of La La Land and First Man.
Gosling makes similarly unexpected selections with his watches, too. You rarely see him in the obvious Rolex Daytona or flashier Pateks; indeed, he tends to go low-key and minimalist. The watch he wore in Drive was a movie prop variation on Patek’s white gold Calatrava reference 5196G, and he’s been seen with it since. In Fracture he had an IWC Portugieser Chronograph; in Crazy, Stupid Love he wore a ’40s yellow gold Rolex bubbleback reference 3372 and a 20-year-old Submariner reference 16610; and in La La Land he had a simple yellow gold ’50s Omega. (He’s given Omegas a lot of love lately; in Terrence Malick’s Song to Song he had a 1950s Seamaster, and in First Man he wore another yellow gold vintage Omega as well as, naturally, a ’60s Speedmaster, the famous ‘moon watch’.) His real-life watches of choice are similarly low-key, like his early ’60s Air-King Super Precision reference 5500 with an off-white dial – one of the most modest and unassuming of Rolexes. Gosling is something of a meta movie star, doing reliably serious work behind a leading man mask, and he knows the simplest, most understated and – yes – smallest watches work for him better than any big, over-complicated brute. When you’re this cool and this complex yourself, less is very much more.
Adrian vs Frank
CW technical manager Frank Stelzer and senior designer Adrian Buchmann take time out to (ahem) ‘wind each other up’ over the essential differences between hand-wound and automatic watches. Just don’t expect a definitive answer on which is best All mechanical watches need you to provide the power, but with a hand-wound movement you must make a deliberate effort to do so. So does this make these watches better (more engaging), or worse (more demanding)? Frank and Adrian have some views on the matter… Most people enjoy the ease of use of an automatic movement, but – for some – hand-wound has more heart and soul. What’s your take on this? Frank: For me, every mechanical watch has soul; I find no difference between automatic or manual-wind watches. Personally, I wear automatics, partly out of habit and partly for reliability – with manual watches I forget to wind them, so I’ll be wearing one only to find that it stopped hours ago. (When you’ve got a nice watch, it’s annoying to have to ask someone else the time!) Adrian: A hand-wound watch definitely offers a more tactile experience, though, and connects you more directly with the movement. The link is very intimate. On the other hand, yes, automatics are more convenient and hassle-free. My take on it is that handwound watches are great when they have a
power reserve indicator and will run for five days; otherwise, I’d go automatic. What are the advantages of handwound? Is there less to go wrong? Frank: Manual movements are generally a little cheaper to make, as they have fewer components. And, as a result, maintenance is easier, as there are fewer things to go wrong. Are they hard to damage? Yes – as long as you don’t overload the barrel spring. The result? An expensive repair. Adrian: We see it all the time. People will insist on overwinding them, very often breaking the spring. Frank: The other advantage is that manual movements have a very flat design, because there’s no automatic module – and therefore no rotor – so they can squeeze into very slim cases. (How slim these can be is shown by our manual winding C5 Malvern 595.) Yes, it is possible to make automatic movements that are almost as slim, usually by incorporating a decentralised micro-rotor integrated into the movement – but this can be very expensive. You only really find it with the likes of Piaget and Patek Phillipe.
And the advantages of an automatic? Frank: You don’t have to wind the watch yourself, of course! Automatics can be more accurate too, as – due to your arm’s constant movement – they’re always being wound. It means there’s a relatively constant force acting on the barrel spring, which leads to more precise timekeeping. Adrian: That’s basically it. It’s also a slight advantage that – if you have one – you can leave your automatic on a watch winder, so the wheels are turning constantly. Are hand-wound movements intrinsically more attractive to look at? Adrian: No question about it. We can make hand-wound movements look far more interesting – and it’s even better if they’re hand-wound chronographs. See, for instance, our C9 Me 109 Single Pusher. Frank: Personally, though, I rather like the look of a rotor. Yes, it obscures part of the movement, but in modern watches we’re seeing more and more filigree rotors, which cover less. Think of our own in-house movement, Calibre SH21: for its first generation, SH21 had two small openings in it, but the current rotor has a single large one. The
The Sellita SW200 automatic as found in the C65 Trident Diver Automatic
only movements where I think a conventional rotor really spoil things are the elaborately decorated, hand-engraved ones that companies like A. Lange & Söhne do – but, this being the case, their Langematik SaxO-Mat uses a decentralised micro-rotor. Carl F. Bucherer’s A2000 shows another, rather smart, way of doing things. Here, the rotor turns outside the movement, allowing a view of the entire thing. When you think of the great watch movements in history, are more of them hand-wound or automatic? Frank: For me, they’re automatics. Think of watches like the Rolex Oyster Perpetual, Zenith El Primero, Breitling Navitimer or IWC Portugieser, with its famous Pellaton elevator – all from brands that are about a sort of robust efficiency, and setting technological milestones.
Adrian: You know, I would have said more of them are probably hand-wound, I guess just because they’ve been around longer. They are certainly perceived as being aimed at the purist and connoisseur. All logic would say quartz movements make more sense than mechanical ones – they’re cheaper and more accurate – but we love mechanical more, because the watches somehow seem more ‘alive’. This being the case, isn’t handwound more ‘alive’ than automatic, because we engage with it more? Frank: I wouldn’t necessarily say so. Each customer has their own, personal relationship with his or her watches, and any mechanical watch – with or without an automatic system – seems alive. For most, whether a movement is automatic or manual makes very little difference when choosing whether to buy; usually the watch dial, hands and case make the first and biggest impression.
“Any mechanical watch seems alive” The Sellita SW210 hand-wound as found in the C65 Trident Diver
Adrian: I guess it’s like the difference between an old Remington typewriter and a brand new laptop. You can write on both of them, but one is more convenient and useful, and the other has more romance and soul. Yes! Or you could make similar comparisons between playing vinyl rather than audio files, or driving a manual rather than an automatic car… Frank: Personally, I love a manual car. Yes, automatic transmissions have their advantages – especially in long jams with stop-and-go traffic – but they also offer less driving fun. For me, owning a mechanical watch (whether automatic or manual wind) is more like driving a classic car; the technology is outdated in a way, but for enthusiasts there’s nothing better. Adrian: For me, hand-wound is about pausing, and taking the time to see the time. It’s a minute or two when you focus on your watch. Everything goes so fast these days that we’re all multitasking constantly, which increases the appeal of deliberately taking on some slow activities too, just to balance everything up.
They risked ‘the deepest of the deep’ and encountered a world, said ‘Buzz’ Aldrin, of ‘magnificent desolation’. He and Neil Armstrong were the first men to walk on the moon, and stayed there for almost a day The Eagle – a tiny lunar landing spacecraft, and the pinnacle of the terrifyingly complex and dangerous Apollo 11 mission to put the first men on the moon – landed at 20:17:40 UTC on Sunday July 20, 1969 with about 25 seconds of fuel left, following a bit of last minute manoeuvring to avoid the boulder-strewn area they’d initially aimed for. Its occupants – mission commander Neil Armstrong and pilot ‘Buzz’ Aldrin – waited six hours in their Lunar Module after landing, but instead of sleeping as planned they spent ages preparing for EVA (Extravehicular Activity), with Aldrin, a Presbyterian Church elder, also finding time for a quick, quiet communion. Then, finally, Armstrong climbed down a ladder and stepped onto the surface, Aldrin joining him
20 minutes later. They spent two and a quarter hours bouncing around, taking photographs and collecting soil and moon rock, the black-and-white TV images of them doing so watched by at least 600 million back on earth. Their outfits – or Portable Life Support Systems – were bulky, making squeezing out of Eagle’s hatch tricky, but once they were on the grey, slightly slippery surface dust they could really start to take advantage of the lower lunar gravity, with two-footed kangaroo hops and a sort of loping becoming the best methods of getting around. The furthest they got from Eagle was 60m, Armstrong reaching the rim of the Little West Crater in the Sea of Tranquility. On their return, Aldrin entered Eagle first, Armstrong joining after, the
pair ditching their PLSS backpacks, lunar overshoes, an empty Hasselblad camera and other bits of kit to lighten the load, also leaving behind their American flag, a gold olive branch, and a silicon message disk containing friendly greetings from 73 world leaders and four US Presidents, before finally settling down for a snooze. Seven hours later they were awakened for the first stage of their journey home, abandoning the bottom half of Eagle as the Assent Stage rocketed off the surface to rejoin their mother ship, knocking over the flag – a mere 8m distant – in the process. There were to be five further successful Apollo moon missions in the three years that followed, most of them planting their flags much further away…
As a new Lunar Year begins, the new moon welcomes another year of good fortune and prosperity. The grace of our lunar neighbour is beautifully captured in the C1 Grand Malvern Moonphase, a dress watch of distinctive British elegance whose Calibre JJ04 modification displays the path of the moon across the sky. Befitting a watch built to the highest specification at our atelier in Switzerland, the passage of the moon is accurate to one day every 128 years. Do your research.
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The C65 Trident Automatic; read all about it on page 12