The new Chr.Ward C9 Jumping Hour MKIII features a refreshingly new design. Not just clean and easy to read, it is also extremely refined. Apparently, the guys who designed this beautiful timekeeper were in the proverbial “zone”: they did everything right.
It is always more productive to put things in perspective, so I am going to compare the new MKIII to the 2011 Christopher Ward C9 Harrison Jumping Hour that we have reviewed three years ago, time indeed flies.
The first thing that gets attention is how light the new version is! Influenced by principles of Bauhaus design, the new C9 MKIII features a clean white dial. The spiderweb-style guilloche-like pattern of the 2011 model was completely erased. The minute ring of the original is, too, gone. The move contributed to further lightening up of the timekeeper’s face. Also, it allowed to shrink the gadget’s case without compromising legibility.
Speaking of size, this refreshed version of the 2011 watch became a bit smaller. It is still a tad over 13 millimeters thick, but its diameter has shrunk by three millimeters. The watch now measures 40 mm in diameter without the setting crown.
This puts the gadget closer to the informal “golden standard” set for dressy watches at 38-39 millimeters in diameter. The timepiece now looks a lot better on a wrist of normal proportions taking less space and requiring less attention.
Christopher Ward decided to replace the Arabic numerals on the chapter ring with polished stick-shaped hour markers. Matched by a single needle-shaped minute hand, they make the dial look cleaner and lighter. The black minute hand looks more contrast on the matte-white surface of the dial.
Yes, as you have already noted, there is only one hand on this dial. The other one is replaced with a Jumping Hour indicator that stays at its usual position at 12 o’clock.
The indicator’s aperture is now a bit larger to accommodate larger Arabic numerals. For the sake of legibility, the pretentious Roman numerals were replaced with something more familiar to our eyes.
According to their press release, the “jumping hour” complication is still produced by the same Johannes Jahnke. Still in his early thirties, the young German entrepreneur has earned a reputation of a talented watchmaker and a skilled engineer.
The self-winding mechanism that powers the watch is called Caliber JJ01. It’s a combination of an ETA 2824-2 base and an add-on module that is responsible for this beautiful complication.
Availability and Price
Christopher Ward has recently started to crawl gently its way up the price ladder to a higher (and thus more expensive) market niche. Surprisingly enough, this new Chr. Ward C9 Jumping Hour MKIII is still relatively affordable.
If you live somewhere in EU, the company will charge you just £995 (around 1350 Euro) plus shipping expenses. If you happen to live in some other place, they will subtract the British VAT from the final price, so that the wristwatch will be even less expensive.
The technology used in this watch may be not as groundbreaking as the one that drives the revolutionary A. Lange & Sohne Zeitwerk. Still, even as it is, the “Jumping Hours” complication is usually available only to a lot more expensive devices from established brands. A watch with such a nice complication that costs less than €1500 is more than a bargain: it is almost a steal.
The Chr.Ward C9 Jumping Hour MKIII is already available for pre-order. We expect the first bunch of them to be delivered sometime mid-March 2015.
See also: Chr.Ward C900 Worldtimer GMT
Photos: Chr. Ward
WWR preliminary verdict
Build quality: 5/5
Value for money: 4.5/5
Chr.Ward C9 Jumping Hour MKIII 40mm watch specification
Price: £995 (incl. VAT)
Movement: Automatic, Caliber JJ01 (base ETA 2824-2, Jumping Hour module by Johannes Jahnke), Swiss Made
Number of jewels: 25
Movement frequency: 28,800 vph
Power reserve: 38 hours
Movement decoration: Oscillating weight adorned with “Cotes de Geneve” pattern
Functions: Jumping hours, minutes
Case material: Stainless steel
Bezel material: Matches case
Crown material: Matches case
Case shape: Round
Bezel shape: Round
Case size: 40.00 mm
Case height: 13.30 mm
Lug width: 20 mm
Hour markers: Stick-shaped
Hands: Single black minute hand
Water resistance: 50 meters
Strap: Embossed alligator pattern Italian leather strap with Bader deployment clasp
Crystal: Sapphire, antireflective
Case back: Transparent