Christopher Ward's been turning out very keenly priced watches for years now to great acclaim, not least from us, but with the C65 Trident Diver it's made perhaps its most appealing piece to date.
Self-consciously 60s-influenced, it's obviously meant to summon up images of Sean Connery punching male Russians and bedding female ones, whilst wearing an immaculate suit and driving an Aston. All at once.
I've been wearing one for the last week, and let me tell you, I am digging it, daddio. However, despite its Bond-like good looks the new C65 doesn't cost a lot of Moneypenny.
Available with a choice of equally buff blue or black faces, on a leather or rubber strap (no bracelet option here), the C65 Trident Diver straddles the line between diving and dress watches. It's deceptively thin and works equally well with a well-cut suit, 60s-style knitwear or, to be honest, a hoodie.
Everyone is different of course, but for my reasonably butch wrists the 41mm casing is 'just right'. Previous watches in the Trident line have been too shouty for me, at 43mm, or too small at 38mm.
Christopher Ward has dipped a toe in this diving/dress pool before, with last year's C65 Trident Vintage. That was a very attractive watch, actually, and probably more authentically 60s-ish with its 38mm case and impeccably minimalist styling.
The C65 Trident Diver is a lot more 'gadgety', with all manner of different finishes and details. Most prominently, there's a uni-directional dive-time bezel so you can time your dive and not get the bends.
I'd imagine the ratio of men buying dive watches to those actually going diving in them is something like 1,000,000:1. However, I have found that the way it subtly hints that I might, at any moment, don Scuba gear and infiltrate a villain's secret island lair, in order to karate chop henchmen in matching jumpsuits, has made me seem much more sexy and mysterious to my friends and acquaintances.
It's also waterproof to 150m or 15 ATM.
Details? The C65 Trident Diver has them in spades, or 'spadesh' as Sean Connery would say. There's Christopher Ward's "Colimaçoné" finish – a sort of twisting, sunray graining, with the Ward twin-flag logo etched into it. That is found on the movement. So in other words, you will never see it. But good to know it's there, right?
There's a double embossed logo at 12 o'clock. There's a beautifully machined trident counterweight on the second hand. The pull-out crown is neatly etched and embossed. The baton hands are filled with 'Old radium Luminova' – the vintage luminescence! Although happily, not so vintage that it causes cancer. Always a plus.
The overall visual result of all this effort is a watch that looks great at a glance, from a distance, and then has a lot to obsessively pore over when you're up close.
Arguably the face has one detail too many, in fact – I'd have been happier losing the Christopher Ward text logo at 9 o'clock… although maybe adding a date window at 3 o'clock would be nice. It's hard to know when to stop when designing a watch face, I guess.
That's nitpicking a bit though when you consider the price. It's £695 yet looks and feels like watches priced over £1000. It's more like a "Bond watch", in the way Ian Fleming wrote that character, than the Omega ones that Daniel Craig actually wears.
In summary, then: nice watch. I actually have one of Christopher Ward's first key watches, the Malvern Automatic Mk I and in terms of style, finish and cachet this is a world away, despite the Malvern only being about 10 years old.
Even by this brand's standards, the Trident Diver is an awful lot of watch for just shy of 700 quid.
Christopher Ward C65 Trident Diver: full spec
• Price £695 / $795
• Case 41mm (height 11.55mm, lug to lug: 47.1mm), brushed and polished marine-grade 316L Stainless Steel with “Glass box” sapphire crystal
• Strap 22mm in vintage oak leather in camel or black and rubber strap in blue or black
• Movement Sellita SW210, Swiss made, 19 jewel hand-wound movement with 42-hour power reserve
• Water Resistance 15 ATM (150 metres)
• Weight 65g
• Vibrations 28,800 per hour (4 Hz)
• Timing tolerance +15/-15 seconds per day
• Unique engraved serial number
• And best of all… Luxurious presentation case and owner’s handbook