Christopher Ward C65 Dune Automatic Review
The Christopher Ward C65 Dune Automatic represents the British-Swiss brand's fresh take on an age-old watch style - field watches.
They've always carried a very traditional look to them that makes them a favourite of those wanting a go-anywhere, do-anything sort of watch.
This latest entry from Christopher Ward looks to offer an intriguing proposition for those wanting a watch for just about any occasion, and at £760, it makes for a great value option in its price bracket.
Christopher Ward C65 Dune Automatic Design - Retro looks with a classy and understated finish
I should say before going any further that it's possible to get the C65 Dune Automatic in a number of different colour dial and strap combinations. There are four dial colours - Marine Blue, White Sand, Beachgrass (which is a dark green), and the Black Sand colour I've got here. As for straps, it can come on the brand's Bader bracelet, a Green Vintage Oak Leather strap (only available with the White Sand and Beachgrass dials), a Camel Canvas Webbing Strap and the Camel Vintage Oak Leather strap I've got here. Each of these vary in price between £750 on the canvas strap, £760 on the leather, and then a jump up to £915 on the bracelet. The configuration I've got is firmly in the middle of that.
The C65 Dune Automatic is an excellent looking watch, especially with the contrast afforded by the sunray black dial and the polished stainless steel case that catches the light supremely well. Christopher Ward has such faith in that, as the case is called a 'Lightcatcher', and it certainly is one.
The 38mm case size is ideal for my wrist, and means the C65 Dune Automatic is able to offer some solid proportions on a variety of wrist sizes. It's a nice happy medium size between some of the smaller watches in my collection, such as my 32mm Hamilton Ventura and the larger Christopher Ward C1 Moonglow I had a couple of months ago. The 43.6mm lug to lug is a little short compared to other watches I've used, but I quite like its more petite proportions.
The dial itself on first glance may not be that exciting, with tan-coloured markers, sword and dagger hands, and the small twin-flags logo Christopher Ward has begun to use. However, the devil is in the details; dig deeper, and you'll find there's a lot more to this dial than initially meets the eye. There is a slight sunray effect to the Black Sand colour I've got here, which gives it this nice sheen when it catches the light, while it is offset by the tan-coloured round markers, which give it the look of a well-worn, patinaed vintage piece. That move is deliberate, and in a way emphasises the C65 Dune Automatic's rugged nature.
What's more, the Christopher Ward logo is slightly raised, with a brushed finish, and is applied. It looks excellent, as does the small text at six o'clock, with the red contrast for 'Automatic', and the small date wheel that matches the dial nicely. That red 'Automatic' lettering immediately warranted a comparison to a Rolex Submariner 1680, complete with red text. While I've never thought of Christopher Ward as a homage brand, it's more of a pleasant nod to desirable watches of the past.
The Camel Vintage Oak Leather strap present on my sample also aids in emphasising the rugged nature of the C65 Dune Automatic, and it's a smooth feeling strap that aids in justifying the C65 Dune Automatic's price point well,. If you do want to change it out, though, it is a quick-release option. What's more, with 20mm lugs, you'll be sure to find plenty of other options.
The C65 Dune Automatic's crown is both grippy and screw-down, too. It isn't the largest, continuing the smaller proportions of the watch, but is still grippy. There is also a boxed sapphire crystal which brings both the benefit of excellent, retro-inspired looks, as well as providing glass that is virtually unscratchable.
The reverse of the case is home to an exhibition caseback where you can see the elaboré-finished rotor, complete with Christopher Ward text, as well as the movement whirring away. It's a nice touch, even if it's perhaps a little unnecessary.
Christopher Ward C65 Dune Automatic Performance and Wearability - Great proportions, and supremely comfortable
The C65 Dune Automatic's slightly shorter lug-to-lug and 38mm case diameter made it an especially comfortable wear on my wrist, especially when paired with the excellent leather strap on offer. For the few weeks I had it available, it became my go-to piece for virtually any occasion.
It works well when paired with a range of casual and more relaxed wear, especially in these warmer summer months. With that being said, it could easily be paired with jackets for more of a formal occasion, or when the weather gets a little colder.
The 85g weight, strap included, means it isn't too heavy on the wrist, but there's enough heft present to remind you that this is a quality timepiece. A thickness of 11.7mm means this is slender enough to fit under any cuffs or jackets, and doesn't feel obtuse on the wrist, either.
Inside, the C65 Dune Automatic opts for a tried-and-tested Swiss made Sellita SW200-1 calibre. It provides some reasonable accuracy with a tolerance of +/- 20 seconds per day, while its second-hand offers a decent sweep. It hits the markers with solid accuracy, while its lollipop shape offers a nice contrast to the sword and dagger handset. 38 hours of power reserve is decent, too, meaning you should be able to take it off for a day or so, and come back to it, and the C65 Dune Automatic's movement will keep on ticking. That's handy if you swap out your watches every day, and don't want the hassle of consistently rewinding one.
The C65 Dune Automatic also provides 150m of water resistance, which means you can take it into the water and engage in some underwater activities without worrying. Just don't go down too far - you'll want to look for a dedicated dive watch for this purpose.
The Christopher Ward C65 Dune Automatic is a fantastic do-anything watch that's available for what is a solid price. It offers some of the best case-finishing in this price bracket, while its sunray black dial is understated but brings out the best in the way this piece looks. Its proportions for my wrist are marvellous, and it's one of the most comfortable watches I've worn in a long time on the leather strap. The Sellita movement inside is reasonably accurate and offers a good power reserve, too. If you're after a classy, but understated watch for virtually any occasion, the C65 Dune Automatic should definitely be on your radar.
Rating: 4.5/5 You can purchase the C65 Dune Automatic for £760 from Christopher Ward here. Christopher Ward provided a sample for this review.
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