A few weeks ago I was planning a trip to Paris and London. I'm a big fan of Christopher Ward watches so I figured I would try to visit them while in England. I hit them up on Twitter asking if a visit was possible and they gave me an email address to write and make an appointment. It was all set, 11am Friday with Declan. Getting to the showroom from London was pretty simple. An easy train ride to Maidenhead and short walk to the building. A lady answered the door, I said I had an appointment, and she directed me to the front room where another customer was already waiting. It turns out he was picking up a watch that he got repaired and soon left. A few minuted later Declan came out and introduced himself. He then left to grab 4 display boxes filled with pretty much every Christopher Ward watch.
I really wanted to see the new C9 5 Day Harrison with the in house SH21 movement. Declan brought out all 3 styles of the watch. I was afraid it was going to be too big for my wrist but it really wasn't an issue. The version of the C9 5 Day I really liked was the white face with blue hands. Unfortunately I own a white C5 Malvern and the C9 didn't look different enough for me to justify the purchase. I know the movement is completely different and the C9 5 Day is a bit larger but they just looked too similar. The blue and grey faces of the C9 aren't the easiest to read with the mirrored hands and weren't my favorites. I know the SH21 movement was designed with flexibility and extendability and Declan said they will be coming out with a smaller watch. Hopefully they will add different complications and change the styling a bit.
Just because the C9 5 Day didn't work out for me doesn't mean I didn't find anything. I've been intrigued by the C9 Jumping Hour watch ever since I first saw it. Again, I was worried that it would be too big but it fit great. I found that having the ability to try on all of the watches was really helpful. I had read that Christopher Ward was coming out with an Arabic numeral version of the Jumping Hour and Declan was kind enough to show me a prototype. I thought I was going to like it more but I found the numbers to be a bit too cartoonish and liked the roman numeral version much better. Along with the new C9 5 Day the company came out with a new single fold buckle. Declan offered to put a strap with the new buckle on the Jumping Hour for me. He also offered me the new strap and buckle for my C5. I really thought about because the double fold buckle on my C5 is a bit tough to use but I decided to hold off. In the end I got the stainless C9 Jumping Hour with the new buckle and my wife got a black Trident Pro on a bracelet. We were so excited about our purchases that we carried the out of the store and Declan offered to mail the boxes back to the states so we wouldn't have to carry them ourselves.
Overall the customer service was fantastic. It's a shame I won't be able to visit very often since it's 5500 miles away. Declan was extremely helpful and offered to show me watches that weren't quite released yet and many different watch and band combinations. I also didn't feel pressured at all during the visit. Although the boxes were mailed to my house, Declan brought them out so we could see then new design. He also said there will be new watch winders coming out soon which is something I will definitely check out. If you are a fan of Christopher Ward watches or watches in general and are near the London area, I highly recommend making an appointment with Christopher Ward and visiting the showroom. Thanks so much to Declan and the entire crew over at Christopher Ward.