CHRISTOPHER WARD CALIBRE SH21
British watch brand Christopher Ward has always been known as an industry disruptor – the company’s initial goal was to play havoc with the traditional model and cause a revolution in the industry. The aim was to create and provide “the cheapest most expensive watches in the world.”
Established in 2004 and launching their first watch in June 2005, the brand has subsequently released a multitude of watches in various types, from dress and dive to motorsport and aviation, utilising movements from manufacturers such as ETA, Sellita and Ronda. It was long thought that this type of affiliation would continue and external movements would be bought in, and the watches assembled in Switzerland to exacting standards, to provide a value-based mechanical watch to compare with others in the market that do not produce their own movements. Even with the changes to the supply chain being brought about by the Swatch group, it was still a simple deduction to think that the brand would move away from ETA and focus on Sellita or even Soprod.
However, Christopher Ward had showed some movements away from this standard by working with Johannes Jahnke at Synergies Horlogeres to develop calibres on top of base movements, such as the brilliant jumping hour modification of the ETA 2824-2 automatic movement for the C9 Harrison Jumping Hour.
Now in its tenth year and following four years of development Christopher Ward has released the Calibre SH21 – an in-house movement entirely designed and assembled by the brand. The calibre was released at the same time as the news that Christopher Ward has merged with their long time supplier, the Swiss movement manufacturer Synergies Horologères, founded by industry veteran Jörg Bader seven years ago.
The Johannes Jahnke designed SH21 is a self-winding calibre that features a 120-hour, or 5-day, power reserve. The movement has been developed with forward planning, so that in time it might carry modules that will give a watch GMT, chronograph, power reserve and perhaps jumping hour functions.
A remarkable achievement for such a young firm and made even more remarkable by the price a watch this calibre is within reach. The C9 Harrison 5 Day Automatic is priced at €1,875.