C20 LIDO AUTOMATIC

SLIP THIS ELEGANT BABY ON YOUR WRIST AND YOU CAN IMAGE YOU ARE AN ADVERTISING HOT-SHOT AMONG THE MAD MEN OF MADISON AVENUE OR ARE HANGING OUT IN LAS VEGAS WITH SINATRA AND THE REST OF THE RAT PACK.

There’s an unashamedly 1960s retro feel about this versatile watch, which is great for everyday wear, but also looks slick enough to be worn for special occasions.

The original C2 Lido was introduced in 2008. Having been developed through the CW Forum (see page 23 of this issue for more on the CWF), the first Automatic Lido appeared as a limited edition of only 100 pieces. The C20 Lido under review here appeared in the main range in 2010.

There is an economy of style about this timepiece that gives it an aura of restrained masculinity. The 40mm case itself is particularly impressive as it appears as though it is milled from a single piece of steel. The clean and functional dial is enhanced with a subtle guilloche design in the centre, which catches the light through the anti-reflective crystal.

Through the exhibition panel on the back plate the excellent Eta 2836-2 calibre automatic movement (which controls Day/Date functions) can be viewed.

The steel bracelet option is a strong contender for many customers, but a calf leather strap in tan or black gives the C20 Lido a more dressed-up attitude. It is a watch, however, whose cool good looks are especially enhanced by an upgrade to a Louisiana alligator strap. Ask yourself, which would Frank have preferred?

C90 Power reserve

TAKING A NEW LOOK AT THIS HANDSOME TIMEPIECE MAKES ONE WONDER WHY IT’S NOT BETTER KNOWN AMONG THE CHRISTOPHER WARD FAN CLUB. WHETHER WITH A WHITE DIAL OR A BLACK DIAL, IT’S A LOVELY EXAMPLE OF UNDERSTATED DESIGN.

Having started life in 2009 as the C90 Becketts — named after the legendary corner at Silverstone — the watch was renamed in 2010 after CW discovered that use of the name was protected. In this elegantly retro incarnation, the C90 is currently Christopher Ward’s first power reserve watch, courtesy of the complex 24-jewel Valgranges Eta A07.161 automatic movement. The power reserve function of the movement was specifically customised for this watch by Eta.

The 45-hour power reserve meter is a dominant feature of the multi-layered dial, which is very strong on legibility. It’s another big watch in all senses, with a 43mm diameter hand-polished surgical-grade stainless steel case that is water-resistant to 5 ATM (50m). It has all the usual CW attention to detail, such as raised and polished indices, SuperLuminova™ stripes on the minute and hour hands, a see-through back plate and a superbly profiled adjustable Italian leather strap with an easy-opening butterfly clasp.

Christopher Ward has built up a reputation for fine motor-racing-inspired watches. The often-overlooked C90 Power Reserve deserves a place very near the front of the grid.

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