To celebrate the 250th anniversary of the world’s first precision timepiece, John Harrison’s H4 Marine Chronometer, Christopher Ward has launched the C9 Harrison range of three watches inspired by the watchmaker who cracked ‘the Longitude Problem’.
Up until 1760, many lives were being lost at sea because ships were unable to navigate accurately. The losses were so great that Parliament passed The Longitude Act in 1714 in order to set up an award of £20,000 (equivalent to about £3 million today) to anyone who could come up with a solution. While the position of the sun, moon and stars allowed ships to plot their position relatively accurately when travelling north or south, it was impossible for them to navigate with any certainty when sailing east or west because of the earth’s rotation. The only way for a ship’s position to be calculated correctly was to know the time to within a few seconds – even a small discrepancy could lead to ship being several miles off course. Harrison’s H4 Marine Chronometer was the first timepiece that made that possible.
Christopher Ward’s subtle English styling is apparent in all three watches in the range. The C9 Harrison Automatic (£299) features an ETA 2842-2 movement, while the, the C9 Harrison GMT Automatic (£450) offers dual time functionality with its extra hand and an ETA 2893-2 movement.
The C9 Harrison Chronograph Limited Edition has been restricted to a total of 250 pieces worldwide – just one for each year since Harrison’s breakthrough. At £750 the watch will be the most expensive men’s watch ever made by Christopher Ward however still promises to sell out extremely quickly as its rarity will inevitably mean that it will be hugely collectible. Other features of the C9 Harrison range include exhibition backs, côte de Genève rotors and blue screws.
Suggested retail price
C9 Harrison Automatic (C9 – Auto – SST): £299
C9 Harrison GMT Automatic (C9 – GMT – SST): £450
C9 Harrison Chronograph Limited Edition (C9 – Chrono – SKT): £750