The latest creation from British watch brand Christopher Ward pays tribute to one of the most important millstones in the evolution of modern diving watches. As the name suggests, the new C65 watch model revisits Super Compressors, a group of highly water-resistant wristwatches originated in the late 1950s.
These timepieces, now a highly sought after among wristwatch aficionados, feature a special Super Compressor watchcases invented by the legendary Swiss watch case manufacture Ervin Piquerez S.A.
Patented in 1956, the Super Compressor watch cases became an instant success and many Swiss watchmakers including some big brands like IWC, Tissot, Jaeger-LeCoultre and Girard Perregaux used them for manufacturing extremely water-proof wristwatches and diving timepieces.
The era between the late 1950s and the early 1970s was the golden period of Super Compressor dive watches. The twin crowns – first on for the time-setting and second one for operating the inner rotating bezel – represent a major design feature of the Super Compressor dive watches.
However, the popularity of Super Compressor watches did not help the Ervin Piquerez S.A. company to survive the 1970s quartz crisis. Ervin Piquerez SA, which was one of the two big watch-case manufactures based in Bassecourt in the canton of Jura in Switzerland, is no more in business today.
As the Super Compressor styled watches are making a return, Christopher Ward, the first modern UK manufacture to develop an all-new movement in the 21st century, has decided to pay tribute to the iconic family of watches by creation the C65 Super Compressor watch.
British watch brand Christopher Ward has the ability to produce sport watches which represent both innovation and value for money. To add to its portfolio, inspired by the request of a customer in October 2018, the company has used its resources to revive the Super Compressor case. Most importantly, unlike recent retro reissues from other makers that only look like Super Compressors, the new C65 Super Compressor is a real deal.
The Super Compressor was a radical design which increased its strength and integrity with depth, becoming even more water-tight, thanks to the technical element which gave it its name. As the diver descended, greater external pressure was exerted on the caseback, further compressing the O-ring gasket. This system ensures impressive water resistant properties for a Super Compressor watch.
Christopher Ward has “reverse engineered” the design from an original, opting for the most distinctive format, with two crowns, with one for time-setting and winding, the other for the rotating inner bezel. The resultant timepiece is the first new, true Super Compressor-cased watch in nearly a half-century.
Measuring 41mm in diameter, the C65 Super Compressor proudly displays its Sellita SW200 automatic movement, the sapphire caseback also affording a view of the 300-micron thick compression spring which gives the case its name.
The outer case ring allowing this visibility is coloured orange, a hue which accents the crown for the inner bezel, the triangle at 12 o’clock, the minute hand and the tip of the seconds hand – and is known for providing the greatest legibility under water. The Super-LumiNova® (Grade X1 GL C1) embedded hands and indexes ensure dial visibility in the dark.
The C65 Super Compressor watch has a water resistance of 150 meters. It comes with an option of leather strap, rubber strap or stainless steel bracelet.
And as expected, the brand maintains an affordable price range: C65 Super Compressor watch costs £895 on a strap or £1,000 with bracelet.
Model: C65 Super Compressor
Glass: Sapphire crystal
Screw-down exhibition caseback with aluminium anodised compression ring and divers helmet stamp
Unique engraved serial number
Strap width: 22mm
Lug to lug: 47.12mm
Bezel diameter: 39mm
Screw-down stamped crown with sandblasted lower area and polished top
Screw-down crosshatched crown with anodised aluminium outer ring
Water resistance: 15 ATM (150 metres)
Calibre: Sellita SW200
26 jewel self-winding mechanical movement
38-hour power reserve
Movement Crown: Screw-down (4 o’clock)
Vibrations: 28’800 per hour (4 Hz)
Time tolerance: -20/+20 seconds per day
Movement diameter: 25.60mm
Movement height: 4.60mm
Twin-flag engraving over ‘Colimaçoné’ finish on the rotor
Dial colour: Ocean Blue or Black Sand
Internal rotating bezel (120 clicks) with matte white, chamfered edge
Top-brushed indexes with diamond polished facets
Signature Trident counter-balance on seconds hand
Super-LumiNova® Grade X1 GL C1 hands and indexes
Lume: Super-LumiNova® Grade X1 GL C1
Eco-friendly luxury presentation case and owner’s handbook