When you're looking to buy a new watch, there are a myriad of factors which will be important. Size and design are fairly obvious examples – it has to fit and look nice – but you'll also want to be aware of things like water resistance and strap options.
Well, for the last week, I've been using the Christopher Ward C60 Pro 300 Bronze. It's a relatively recent release from the brand, which instantly won me over when I saw the press images. But would it keep me enthralled even after the honeymoon period had worn off? Well, let's dig in and find out.
As you may have guessed from the name, this watch features a Bronze case. That's a very en vogue trend right now, with a host of brands opting to use the material for parts of their collection.
On the Christopher Ward, the back plate remains stainless steel. That's a great choice – Bronze left in contact with your skin can cause you to start turning green like Bruce Banner in a bad mood. I've had no issues with that here, though.
The dial is a gorgeous chocolate brown, which bursts out to black at the edges of the dial. Simple, bar hour markers adorn the outer edge, with a rose gold hue and SuperLumiNova for glow in the dark fun. That colour scheme is replicated on the hands, while the iconic Twin Flags logo is applied in the same rose gold colour.
At the 6'oclock position, you'll find a date window which is colour matched to the dial. That looks great, making everything appear seamless. Above that, you'll find white dial text confirming the 300m water resistance (1,000 feet, in old money) and the chronometer certification of the movement.
All of that goodness on the dial is surrounded by a unidirectional rotating bezel. That's got a ceramic inlay for easy reading, and is the same bronze material as the rest of the case.
The movement is arguably one of the best things this watch has going for it. Chronometer certification isn't an easy thing to attain – these movements must consistently operate within the range of -4/+6 seconds per day. It's really noticeable in use – my daily driver is far less tolerant and I'll often spot it out by a minute or two after a few weeks on the wrist. You'll also get a 38 hour power reserve, and a 4Hz beat rate for gorgeous, sweeping seconds.
In terms of size, the C60 Pro 300 is much more wearable than it may seem. It's a 42mm case diameter, with a 49.3mm lug-to-lug. That should dwarf my little wrists, but it really doesn't, wearing much closer to a 40/41mm.
That's partly thanks to the strap. My review unit features the distressed vintage oak leather – really, the only option I think you should be considering – which falls straight down from the case sides. If it sat on a metal bracelet, the wearing experience might be totally different.
It's also thanks to the case depth. That sits at 11.5mm and really does defy belief. It hardly protrudes off your wrist at all, and lends a really dressy edge to the whole thing.
What's the Christopher Ward C60 Pro 300 Bronze like to wear?
I'll be honest with you – I'm trying really hard not to turn this entire thing into a soppy love letter. Because since the moment I pulled this watch from its eco-friendly presentation box, I've been smitten.
I've always been a sucker for a brown dial, gold toned watch – ever since I saw a picture of Thierry Henry wearing a Rolex Daytona in the same colourway. It's just effortlessly classy.
That's exactly the experience I've had with this watch. It just feels spectacularly high-end – every time I wear it, I want to dress up in a nice dinner jacket and talk about the stock market... you know, whatever those fancy people do.
It's one of those watches that really does just stop you in your tracks. Every once in a while, you'll catch a glimpse of it and have no choice but to stop and admire it.
In fact, I actually think Christopher Ward may have created the ultimate office watch. Thanks to recent changes in fashion, dive watches are now acceptable office attire. You'll see swathes of people online who pair their finest suit with a Rolex Submariner or a GMT-Master.
That doesn't mean you can't class it up a bit though. The hybrid of diver aesthetic and rustic chic distressed leather is an absolute knockout here. Like McDonalds fries in a McFlurry, it shouldn't work, but it just does.
Look, I'm not saying it's totally flawless. The Bronze case means that every time you touch it, your hands will smell like pennies for a while. And while that dive watch/dress watch combo can work, it still does feel confused. It's not the full blown identity crisis I thought it would be, but it's certainly part-way there.
But I can forgive all of that. Because as soon as I put it on in the morning, I feel stylish and confident. And there's not much more you could ask of a watch than that.
Is the Christopher Ward C60 Pro 300 Bronze worth the money?
The Christopher Ward C60 Pro 300 Bronze will set you back £1,060. You'll pay a hair less for some of the other strap options, but it's a negligible difference.
At that price, I think this represents one of the best value-for-money offerings on the market right now. You're getting a chronometer-grade movement – rare in this price range, regardless – with 300m of water resistance and a quirky case material.
As if the specs weren't enough, you're also getting one of the best looking timepieces I've ever seen. I'm fortunate to try a lot of different watches in this job, but I've never had the love at first sight feeling quite like I have with this.
You will have to make sure it's the right product for you, though. The Bronze case and distressed leather will both tarnish as you use them. That's part of the charm of having watches like this – it sort of lives alongside you. But if you're someone who will stress out over every scratch and blemish, it's probably not for you.
It's also worth paying attention to the colour palette of your wardrobe. The brown-gold hues that adorn this watch are stunning, but they're going to pair best with yellows, browns and blues. If your wardrobe is more vibrant – or entirely grayscale – it might not work in the same way.
But if you're still reading this far, I suspect that's not the case. If it's not, then I'd thoroughly recommend buying this. I promise, you won't be disappointed.