2023 has been a good year for watch fans so far, with a number of hot launches from LVMH Watch Week and now a stunning new collection from Christopher Ward.
The new three-watch range is called Dune – named, not after the Frank Herbert book series, but after the Aquitaine’s Dune du Pilat, the tallest sand dune in Europe. The watches pair Christoper Ward's elegant 'light-catcher' case with the rugged do-anything ability of a field watch.
The watches retain the box crystal of 2022’s Aquitaine range, but lose its rotating bezel, delivering a case width of 38mm (which is the current trend in watch design).
The collection includes the C65 Dune Automatic (available in four colours), C65 Dune GMT (a limited edition of 200) and the gorgeous C65 Dune Bronze – two colours, and the only chronometer of the trio.
It’s easy to spot the field-watch DNA here, with Christopher Ward taking inspiration from rugged outdoor timepieces designed with one purpose: to reliably tell the time in tough conditions.
All three watches in the collection are water-resistant to 150m.
Christopher Ward is keen to point out that while the Dune series speaks of outdoor adventure, it’s a civilian piece. There’s no military matte-black or khaki here, instead, there are subtle glittering details and more polished metal than you can shake a stick at.
One key element is the box-crystal, adding a vintage look that has become so popular in recent years.
I must say it's a very elegant combination of design codes and brings to mind watches like the Tudor Black Bay 36, Rolex Oyster Perpetual, and Omega Seamaster Aquaterra.
Turn the watch over and you'll find an exhibition case back showcasing the elaboré-finished rotor embellished with the twin-flags pattern. This sets it apart from other field watches in Christopher Ward's range, which feature less decoration and have a more utilitarian design.
Okay, so let's look at the watches in more detail, starting with the entry-level C65 Dune Automatic.
This 38mm three-hand model boasts a lume-heavy dial available in four colours, Black Sand, Marine Blue, Beachgrass and White Sand. The first three (all with a ‘sunray’ texture) are polished so they shimmer in the light, while the White Sand dial boasts a subtle matte finish.
I think the White Sand dial really stands out here.
Despite being the most affordable watch in the collection, it still features the box-sapphire crystal, exhibition caseback, and water-resistance to 150m. It's powered by a Sellita SW200-1 movement.
The only chronometer in the Dune series, the C65 Dune Bronze, powered by the Sellita SW200 COSC, is particularly suited to this popular alloys. Famously, bronze changes as you wear it, developing a unique protective patina through its exposure to the air.
The C65 Dune Bronze is available with a Marine Blue or Beachgrass dial and there’s a new bronze bracelet to go with it, too.
Only previously offered with the Sandhurst Series 2, this is Christoper Ward’s first-ever bronze bracelet, complete with a micro-adjustable clasp and increased taper.
Finally, you have the C65 Dune GMT LE. This 200-piece limited edition is a field watch designed for travellers and explorers alike.
As a GMT, the Dune lets you monitor two time zones at once, but instead of the traditional outer bezel, it has a raised interior bezel printed with 24-hour numerals.
By lining up the fourth ‘GMT’ hand, you can align your watch to your chosen international location.
In terms of power, the watch uses Sellita’s SW330-2 GMT movement, which delivers an extended 56-hour power reserve.
All watches are available now from Christopher Ward's website (opens in new tab).