There's a definite trend among the best watches at the moment. As the classic designs of the 70s and 80s experience a return to form, many manufacturers are jumping on the bandwagon for integrated bracelet steel sports watches.
This design, popularised by legendary manufacturer Gerald Genta, is best seen on watches like the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak and the Patek Philippe Nautilus. Those watches regularly sell for five- or six-figure sums, though – not exactly small change for most of us!
Thankfully, a wealth of more affordable brands have taken note, offering similar designs without the eye-watering price tag. The Tissot PRX is one notable example, drawing on a similarly historic design from their own back catalogue. And recently, we saw the release of the Christopher Ward The Twelve.
It's been a triumph. The Twelve is designed from the ground up to pay homage to those historic designs without being too derivative. It works, too. You definitely see the inspiration, but it stops short of being a direct rip-off – and you get the fantastic Christopher Ward quality which, in my opinion, is still totally unparalleled in the circa £1,000 price bracket.
Now, there's even better news for fans, as Christopher Ward has confirmed that a 36mm variant of The Twelve is coming later this year. The announcement was quietly made on an Instagram post over the weekend, which addressed some key questions surrounding The Twelve. The new variant will sit alongside the current 40mm model.
It's great news for watch fans. While these designs are staunchly on-trend right now, they aren't without issues. The design of the integrated bracelet means that these watches tend to wear larger than others of a similar size. That's fine for some, but those with slimmer wrists can find themselves unable to enjoy the same pieces.
A 36mm variant sounds like a perfect option to counteract that. At the moment, nothing more has been announced – there's no information on pricing, or whether both the steel and titanium variants will appear in the smaller size. For now, then, it's just a case of looking forward and waiting.