Dive watches are probably the most popular style of watches of all time. Their versatility, ruggedness and, in some cases, elegance has meant that they can not only be the only watch you may ever need but a watch that can serve you for suits as well as jeans and a t-shirt.
Whilst brands like Rolex and Omega are the brands in the 'luxury' tier if you want a Diver, affordable alternatives are no doubt equally as popular. Whilst the Oris and Tag Heuers of the world may be familiar names to you, neither of their offerings gets close in terms of the bang for buck that I am going to speak about today. I have had this watch for nearly three months now for review, and I have absolutely loved my time with it. So, without further ado, let us take a look at the C60 Trident Pro 600 from Christopher Ward.
The first thing that struck me when this turned up in the post was the packaging. Luxury brands by their very nature can afford themselves very high-quality packaging for the most part. Smaller brands who are trying to rub shoulders sometimes struggle to deliver a high-quality watch and high-quality packaging in the same offering. Christopher Ward has managed to achieve both. The box itself is robust, very sleek, and minimal, and in terms of size is a complete goldilocks porridge scenario. It is big enough that it feels imposing and substantive in the hand, but it isn't so big that you could live in it like an Omega Speedmaster box. Furthermore, it comes with a hand-signed card from Mike France himself, which is a great touch, and a branded cloth for putting your watch on to change the strap and to remove dust from the watch. The whole unboxing experience gets the good impressions off to a very good start indeed.
The packaging really is exceptional...
The watch itself is currently in its third iteration. This MK3 Trident comes with two main upgrades which are now standard features. First of all, a whopping 600m water resistance, which puts many luxury Swiss brands to shame, as well as the upgrade to a lumed ceramic bezel. It is worth noting that whilst these were both features of the previous MK2, they were only being experimented with. Offering them as a standard elevates this watch to a whole new level.
Considering the price of £845, and having not held a Trident Pro or Christopher Ward before this review piece for that matter, the quality of the case is something else. My sounding board for this comparison was to compare it to my personal Rolex Submariner Ref. 114060. I know the price differential is over £5,500, you may think this is a futile or even frankly stupid comparison. But hear me out. What we have here are two similarly styled dive watches (one potentially derivative of the other) both of which come in on similar bracelets, both with lumed ceramic bezels and substantial water resistance. The reason for comparing the two is that I am blown away by the quality of the case finishing of the Trident Pro compared to a significantly higher but comparable watch. Whilst my beloved 'ol' reliable' comes with relatively slab-sided sides, with no bevelling and a high polish, the finishing of the case on the Trident for the cost is mind-blowing. Upon first taking the watch out of the box the word that popped into my head was striking. The case features gorgeous sculpted edges, sharp bevels, and perfectly contrasted high polish and brushed surfaces. These details help give the Trident Pro a surprisingly sleek presence on the wrist, given the 13.5mm thickness.
Outside of the superb case finishing, the other telltale signs of a quality watch are all there. The bezel is 120 click and unidirectional. The play between clicks usually found on the likes of SKX's and the like are all but non-existent. It is crisp and sharp and also aligns perfectly. Attention to detail is something else that you certainly get for your £845 smackeroonies. Furthermore, the oyster-style bracelet is comfortable and, has a subtle taper which; whilst it could be more for me personally, is perfectly adequate. One of the big considerations with any dive watch is practicality. Outside of water resistance this normally manifests itself in the ability to extend the size of the bracelet to sit on the outside of a wetsuit. Christopher Ward has ticked this box with an incredibly quick to operate and robust micro-adjustment, giving another link's worth of room.
The other thing that is worth mentioning, as it did warrant a certain level of criticism a few years ago, is the logo change that Christopher Ward has undergone. For some context, below are the old logo that was seen on the MK1's, and in the middle is the newly updated logo that is featured on the MK2 &3. Whilst a relatively subtle upgrade and a definite modernisation, the splitting of the text and logo across the dial did warrant some flack. Whilst on the surface I like the modern text and addition of the logo, I think for dial symmetry my suggestion on the far right would have given the dial a more clean look.
The original logo on the left, the new one in the middle, and my suggestion on the right...
As I mentioned this was met with frankly unnecessary hysteria. People basically had written off the brand because of this relatively minor change, something which I find utterly ridiculous. I will admit to being a fan of the original logo, but even so, dismissing the best dive watch in its price range based on something so minor does seem somewhat persnickety if you ask me. One thing I will say about the logo change is it is near on impossible to catch the logo below the 12. It is the same issue as trying to catch the engraved Rolex coronet that sits in the crystal above the 6 o'clock marker. In all honesty, it sits in a very odd middle ground for me, I think that it either should have been made prominent or left off entirely. But as I said, this is persnickety to the extreme, and the merits of the watch are so plentiful that this does not detract from my love of this watch even slightly. I had a lot of fun with this watch, and as you can see below it photographs brilliantly...
Photo Credit: Yours Truly...
This watch is an absolute home run. I appreciate that this is a very affordable price range, with a lot of very worthy contenders. But if you are for whatever reason not a fan of the offerings from Seiko, Oris, etc, please at least give this watch the consideration it deserves. It is fairly illustrative that since having this watch and plastering it all over our Instagram, we have had one person who now is going to buy one, and another chap who has fallen for Christopher Ward as a brand and has picked up the more vintage-inspired C65 Trident! This watch and this brand are brilliant, and we cannot wait to pick up another piece for review and be able to sing their highly deserved praises.
Please follow this link to check out Christopher Ward and discover their amazing range of watches for yourselves.
Editor & Co-Founder