The new Christopher Ward C8 Pilot Mark II Vintage is infused with the spirit of the iconic IWC B-Uhren watches used by pilots and navigators in World War II. The design shares many of the characteristics of the watches commissioned by the Luftwaffe, and then the RAF, which were worn over thick flying suits and had large faces to provide maximum visibility. In the cramped, cold and extremely noisy environment of a fighter plane’s cockpit, such a watch was a godsend.
The design of the Christopher Ward C8 Pilot Mark II Vintage owes a great deal to the members of the independent Christopher Ward forum. Customers, fans and watch enthusiasts – particularly those that collect aviation watches – championed the retro design and asked for wider luminous hands so they were more clearly visible at night.
The beige coloured luminous paint on the hands and indexes recalls the colour of many World War II uniforms – adding to the sense of nostalgia that the watch evokes. It even has a soft-iron anti-magnetic cage inside the outer case to protect the movement from interference which occasionally resulted in potentially fatal navigational and timekeeping errors for wartime pilots.
The watch shares the same automatic movement – the famous ETA 2824-2 – as the C8 Pilot Mark I and its balance wheel can be seen on the reverse of the case through an exhibition window. The result is a watch that combines an outstanding contemporary specification with a design that captures a period in history when clarity, simplicity and accuracy were absolutely critical.