The British watchmaker Christopher Ward, a brand that offers watches that are not only well designed, but are also affordable and reliable (a rare mix in this segment), has finally started taking pre-orders for its new Chr. Ward C8 Regulator watch that was first announced back in June as “C800” model. Featuring an aviator-style design, which is very similar to their recently announced Chr. Ward Typhoon chronograph, the watch offers an extremely legible and surprisingly well-balanced dial layout.
Although the face of the timekeeper doesn’t look as fascinating as that of their Christopher Ward C9 Harrison Jumping Hour watch that was released back in 2011, it is the most attractive-looking model in their whole line of aviator watches.
Probably influenced by the last year’s Bell & Ross Vintage WW2 Regulateur Heritage model, the new C8 Regulator still offers a look, which is not only more legible, but also more modern, since the shape of the hands is clearly inspired by instrument gauges used in Cold War-era combat planes.
Available both in brushed stainless steel and in black PVD steel, the watch is powered by a slightly modified version of the legendary Unitas 6498 caliber. Measuring almost 37 millimeters in diameter, the movement looks like a perfect choice for this slightly oversized 44 mm watch filling its spacious body from side to side and allowing for a very thin bezel of the screw-down transparent case back cover.
While the calibers that power watches in this price range (they offer the version in plain steel for just $1375) often feature only basic finish, this one comes in a more elaborated version featuring sun-burst decoration on gears, polished screw-heads and the signature horizontal Geneva stripes pattern, which is usually associated with movements made in Switzerland.
The vintage-look brown leather strap that comes with this model, too, looks very well-chosen, especially when combined with the C8 Regulator in plain steel and a classic bomber jacket.
All in all, I am pretty happy both for the British brand and their numerous fans: although there will be a number of Chr. Ward die hards that may not be particularly happy with the fact that the company gradually climbs the price ladder edging closer and closer to the ‘premium’ territory, even they must admit that the value of their watches actually increases a lot faster than the recommended street price. From where I sit, this gorgeous C8 Regulator is one of the best timekeepers in its class that you can find in the sub-$1500 range.
WWR preliminary verdict:
Build quality: 4/5
Value for money: 4/5
Photos: Christopher Watch
Chr. Ward C8 Regulator Pilot watch specification
Price: $1375 in stainless steel / $1425 in black PVD steel
Movement: Manual, caliber Unitas 6498, Swiss Made
Number of jewels: 17
Movement frequency: 18,000 vph
Power reserve: 40 hours
Movement decoration: Decorated with Geneva stripes, sunburst gears, polished screws
Functions: Hours, minutes, small seconds
Case material: Stainless steel / black PVD steel
Bezel material: Matches case
Crown material: Matches case
Case shape: Round
Bezel shape: Round
Case size: 44.00 mm
Case height: 11.00 mm
Lug width: 22.00 mm
Hour markers: Luminous, beige
Water resistance: 50 meters
Strap: Vintage brown leather strap with Bader deployment clasp
Crystal: Sapphire, antireflective
Case back: Transparent