In a world where faux patina and retro-inspired dive watches are becoming trendier by the day, Christopher Ward delivers a competitively priced, modern dive watch with their C60 Trident 600 Pro.
Many long-standing watch manufacturers have a tried and true flagship design that is instantly recognizable and nearly synonymous with the brand itself. With Rolex, it’s the Submariner. With Omega, it’s the Seamaster. While Christopher Ward isn’t quite as established as the heaviest hitters just yet, a decade in watch manufacturing definitely categorizes CW outside of ‘microbrand’ territory, and their flagship model, the Trident Pro, is the watch we’re going to be reviewing today.
The current C60, in particular, is the third generation of the lineup, with the additions of a fully lumed bezel, and an impressive 600m water resistance. This is the blue-dial, 40mm variation featuring a Selita 200-1 movement, sapphire crystal, ceramic bezel, and X1-Grade Superluminova. This model also includes a stainless-steel quick-adjust bracelet and has an MSRP of $1,015.
C60 Trident 600 Pro Specifications
- Diameter: 40mm
- Thickness: 12.95mm
- Lug-to-lug: 47.56mm
- Lug width: 20mm
- Movement: Sellita SW200-1 Automatic
- Power-reserve: Approx. 38 hours
- Brushed and polished-marine grade stainless steel case
- Dial: Blue
- Case Material: Stainless steel
- Bezel: Unidirectional zirconia (ZrO²) ceramic bezel
- Crystal: Anti-reflective coated sapphire crystal
- Super-LumiNova® Grade X1 GL C1 hands, indexes and bezel
- Marine-grade stainless steel bracelet with micro-adjustable ratchet clasp and quick-release system for easy changing
A Case That’s Built for Curves and Comfort
Upon initial inspection, it’s easy to see why Christopher Ward has such a strong following. From a top-down view, the case of the watch isn’t overly impressive, with thin lugs that are almost overpowered by the glossy ceramic bezel and dial. When you begin to look at the watch at different angles, however, the attention to detail in the scalloped edges and thin contrasting bevels of the watch’s case begin to reveal themselves.
The top of the case is brushed and met with a thin, polished bevel at the lug that widens toward the crown, forming a compact crown guard that then transitions back to the brushed side of the case. The side of the case then slopes downward, with yet another polished bevel, this time even sleeker than before, curving inward, giving the illusion that the watch is a bit more compact than it is, all while catching light expressively.
The stainless steel case back is polished, with 6 slits along the edge, which I can only imagine is intended for comfort by providing a small air channel to help prevent the buildup of heat or moisture. Otherwise, it may simply make it easy for someone with a case back opener to open the watch without damage. Proudly engraved in the center of the case back is Christopher Ward’s trident logo, brand, and model name.
The crown at 3:00 is signed with the new CW flag logo and is machined substantially well. The crown is a bit thicker than I would have expected in both overall size and individual grooves on the crown itself, which makes for a very comfortable and easy crown operation. The crown has alternating polished and brushed surfaces, once again, adding another layer of light play to this already very dynamic case.
Throughout the entirety of the watch, the polished and brushed finishes are done exceptionally well. It’s obvious Christopher Ward has spent great attention to ensuring the watch looks as great from afar as it does up close, and I’d argue, side-by-side, the level of quality of the finish would easily go toe-to-toe with any other watch in this ~$1,000 price range.
The bezel on the Trident Pro is a unidirectional bezel that has 120 clicks and possibly one of the most precise bezel actions I’ve seen. Each click is precise and has almost quite literally no back play. The bezel is thin, but machined with deep enough grooves to allow the wearer to gain a substantial grip when operating the bezel, even when your hands are wet. Finally, the Trident Pro has a sapphire crystal with AR coating that just barely stands above the sloped bezel insert.
Dial & Design
The first thing that immediately strikes me about the blue Trident Pro’s dial is the glossiness, resulting in a rich, almost royal blue color, and a sheen that barely matches that of the shiny ceramic bezel insert.
Paired with the applied hour markers, brushed on the sides, and polished toward the center, the watch has many different facets to catch the light at different angles. The hour markers, hands, and ceramic bezel are all filled with the same grade X1 GL C1 Superluminova that has a unique blue-green tint and is extremely bright, though its hard to tell if its effectiveness is due to the quality of the lume that is applied, or the boldness of the application on the thick hour markers and hands. Either way, in practical use, it works very well in aiding legibility in even the darkest of low-light conditions and has quite amazing staying power.
The semi-baroque handset is just as well-finished as the hour markers, brushed at the base, and polished toward their tips. The second hand is counter-balanced with the CW signature trident design, and is a very cool detail that is closely associated with this model.
The crystal is a sapphire crystal with a touch of anti-reflective coating on the underside which is just enough to help cut through some of the glares and reflections, although you’ll occasionally still get glares under certain light conditions, common amongst many dark dial watches.
Ultimately, the glossiness of the dial and bezel, crisply painted details, and a healthy combination of brushed and polished surfaces create an ultra-modern appearance that simply catches and reflects light beautifully.
Balancing Logos and Dial Symmetry
Taking a look at the finer details of the Trident Pro C60’s dial, we have quite an interesting balance of elements, some of which are the discussion of much debate. At 12:00, we have a new-ish Christopher Ward flag logo that is embossed ever so subtly and completely disappears under certain lighting conditions. This is a bit abnormal, as typically 12:00 is where you’d see a primary brand logo and/or name proudly displayed. Instead, the Christopher Ward brand name is painted in white at 9:00.
At 3:00, we have a black date wheel, and at 6:00 we have ‘Automatic, 600m | 2000ft.’ painted on to denote the automatic movement and water resistance of the watch.
I can see what CW was going for here with this slightly unusual asymmetrical design. By creating a disappearing logo element at 12:00, in theory, the elements at 3, 6, and 9 would create their own balance, though I think this design just barely misses the mark. The white painted text at 6 and 9 pairs well, but clashes with the black date wheel at 3.
Selita SW200-1 Movement
The Trident C60 Pro houses a Selita SW200-1 movement, a 26 jewel clone of the Swiss ETA 2824 entry-level workhorse. The SW200-1 features hacking, hand-winding, and a beat rate of 28,800 BPH (4hz). Its accuracy is rated between -20/+20 per day on paper, but is more commonly reported in real-life usage to sit within -4/+8 per day. Ultimately, this is a fantastic entry-level movement that is known for its reliability and often, accuracy.
The one, minor downside of the SW200-1 is its slightly below average 38-hour power reserve, meaning just 2 days off the wrist will halt the watch’s mainspring and necessitate another wind.
Stainless Steel Bracelet with Dive-Style Micro adjust
The included 20mm bracelet has a brushed finish that is consistent with the top and sides of the case. I feel as if the bracelet is ever so slightly too large for a watch with only a 40mm diameter, and the center links are especially so – intentionally widened to encompass most of the width of the bracelet, sandwiched by two thinner pieces on either side. The bracelet thickness, however, is slightly alleviated by tapering to 18mm, toward the clasp.
Speaking of which, the brushed, button-deployed dive clasp is engraved with the same Christopher Ward flag logo that is also displayed at 12:00 on the dial. The clasp features a unique quick-adjust mechanism that allows you to adjust the micro-adjustments of the bracelet size on the fly, using nothing but your thumb. A tool-less micro adjust is a very convenient feature to have, as it allows you to constantly adjust your fit for comfort throughout the day as your wrist may expand.
The micro-adjust itself requires a bit of know-how and finesse to operate and can be made smaller by simply pushing the clasp in. Making the clasp larger is slightly more difficult, but can be done by sliding the tab on the inside of the clasp toward 6:00 while pulling the clasp away from the links of the bracelet opposing it.
The clasp, like the rest of the watch, is machined precisely, with a very satisfying and tactile click demonstrating a sense of security when it’s locked on the wrist. The push-button deployment action is smooth and effortless, and the curve of the clasp contours around the wrist comfortably.
Wearability and On-Wrist
While elements like the male end links on the bracelet, and a slightly oversized crown would, in theory, pair to make this watch wear just a tad larger than its 40mm diameter would suggest, I would argue that it actually wears more like a 39mm diver.
This is largely in part due to the sleek curves of the downward sloping bezel and case, along with the overall negligible difference between the bezel insert and the case itself, which diminishes the visual weight of the piece just a bit. Regardless, with a conservative lug-to-lug of just under 47.56mm, this watch would fit exceptionally well on a wide variety of wrists and fits on my 7″ wrist with room to spare.
Alternatives to the Christopher Ward C60
Christopher Ward C60 38mm & 42mm & CW C65
The obvious alternatives to the 40mm Trident C60 are the other CW watches, including the C60 in either 38mm or 42mm. Christopher ward also features a few C65 models which are a bit more vintage-inspired, though likely not what’s on your radar if you’re looking for a sleek and modern watch like the C60.
The Oris Aquis is a similarly modern-looking dive watch that exudes a feeling of luxury while undercutting the more expensive luxury brands (Rolex, Omega, etc.) flagship pieces. Although the Oris Aquis is possibly one of the most comparable to the C60, build-quality-wise, it often costs a bit more, coming in closer to $1,500.
The Oris 65 uses the same Selita SW200 movement as the Christopher Ward C60. It only has a 100m water resistance rating, however, and is much lighter, and less substantial feeling. The Oris 65 also tends to be a bit more retro-inspired, closer to CW’s C65 models.
Tissot Seastar 1000 Powermatic 80
The Tissot Seastar 1000 is a sub $1,000 dive watch with similar design elements to that of the CW C60, with its ultra-modern ceramic bezel insert and ultimately stylistic take on a traditional dive watch design.
Seiko Prospex SPB143
When it comes to value dive watches under $1,000, the Christopher Ward C60 has few true dollar-for-dollar competitors. The Seiko SPB143 is an equally stylish and well-built dive watch for the cost, although design elements like its stainless steel bezel insert (vs. the C60’s ceramic), more geometric case shape, and heavy reliance on a primarily brushed finish make the SPB143 look a bit more tool watch than the CW C60.
The Reymond Weil Freelancer Diver
The Reymond Weil Freelancer is a surprisingly great dive watch that comes in at around $1,000. Unfortunately, it’s only available in 42mm, making it just too big for some collectors’ preferences, while the C60 has the option of 38mm, 40mm, or 42mm models to choose from.
For someone looking for a luxury-feeling, modern dive watch with a ~$1,000 budget, it’s hard to top the Christopher Ward C60 Trident 600. With its luxurious finish of brushed and polished surfaces that reflect light as if it’s a piece of jewelry as much as it is a competent dive watch, the competition for the Christopher Ward Trident Pro C60 is slim.
The Christopher Ward C60 Trident 600 is available here.