The limited edition 2014 Chr. Ward C70 3527 GT (ref. C70-3527GT-SRK) was inspired (and also heavily influenced) by chronographs that were selling back in the 1960s and, perhaps, 1970s. Cheerful (and even playful), it features the signature exaggerated minute track designed to look like gauges on a sports car’s instrument panel, and a contrast color scheme for its busy dial, but is powered by a way more precise thermo-compensated quartz movement. Designed and manufactured by ETA, it surpasses any “normal” quartz caliber by an order of magnitude when it comes to the tiny amount of time it gains or loses during a whole year of operation.
As their C7 Italian Racing Red Chronometer that the British brand has introduced earlier this year, the new model is powered by the same ETA 251.233 Thermoline thermo-compensated quartz movement. Offering a high level of accuracy, the mechanism is officially rated as a chronometer by the Swiss-based COSC certification authority. Similar mechanisms are used in much more expensive Breitling SuperQuartz chronographs, so you get the idea how good they are.
Featuring the same stainless steel body 42 millimeters in diameter, the watch still looks different from the older model.
The first thing that you will notice is, of course, the dial with its characteristic Arabic numeral “12”, which is printed in bold black over a bright yellow circle. While the red background of the dial probably refers to the color vintage Ferrari sports cars are usually associated with, the yellow circle with a black numeral is a sort of nod to the Italian brand’s famous coat of arms with its black prancing horse painted over a yellow shield.
The setting crown and chronograph push-pieces, too, make a bit better impression with their more refined shapes. However, while the crown on the C7 IRRC was notched allowing for a comfortable grip, the same part on this watch is polished defying the laws of ergonomics. I suspect that correcting the time on this piece may be a bit problematic, and some people (especially frequent travelers that have to adjust their watches for new time zones more than once in a month) may actually find this design highly annoying.
Well, at least there is a thick layer of icing on this steel cake. As you can see on the photos, the back of the timepiece features a sapphire crystal (a rare thing for quartz-powered devices, to say the least). Although the cutout in the solid back doesn’t allow you to see the movement that animates the C70 3527 GT, it nevertheless gives you a much more rewarding experience. Securely protected from dust and humidity, a piece of exterior paneling from the seventh 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO sports car is placed behind the “museum-grade” crystal.
Although owning the whole thing would probably be great, you must understand that a real thing usually sells at auctions at around €50M, so with the price of the chronometer set at just £2150, the extra premium that Chr. Ward charges you with this limited edition model is quite generous. The fact that the gadget is limited to just 100 numbered pieces may help, too.
Photos: Chr. Ward
Build quality: 4/5
Value for money: 3/5
Chr. Ward C70 3527 GT Limited Edition Chronometer (Ref. C70-3527GT-SRK) specification
Price: £2150 (Non-EC Price £1791.67)
Movement: Quartz, caliber ETA 251.233 Thermoline, thermo-compensated, COSC-certified chronometer, Swiss Made
Number of jewels: 27
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, date, chronograph
Case: Stainless steel
Size: 42.00 mm
Case height: 13.50 mm
Lug width: 22.00 mm
Hour markers: Luminous
Water resistance: 100 meters
Strap: Black Italian leather strap including red leather lining and Bader deployment clasp
Crystal: Sapphire, convex
Back: Sapphire (shows an original piece of exterior paneling from the seventh 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO)