Once the preserve of the higher ends of watchmaking, it seems now everyone is launching in-house movements. Getting in on the act this month is British luxury watch brand Christopher Ward, who revealed its Calibre SH21 to celebrate its 10th anniversary.
You might be thinking why all the fuss, but the fact of the matter is it creating a truly in-house movement costs a fortune, which is why it was usually the preserve of the seriously loaded brands.
The team at Christopher Ward were sensible enough to merge with Synergies Horlogeres, a Swiss movement manufacturer, which would have helped with the cost, but this is still an undertaking to be applauded.
The new Calibre, which takes its name from Synergies Horlogeres’s initials, is also impressive because it takes its inspiration from the car industry’s ‘Baukastensystem’ principle, which, for those of us who don’t speak German, translates as ‘building blocks’. What this means is that, should Christopher Ward want to develop this movement to house complications such as a chronograph, GMT or a moonphase, it can just build them onto this original design. Clever, non?
The SH21 will be available to buy in the new C9 Harrison 5-Day Automatic, a rather handsome devil of a watch. We’ve gone rather weak-kneed over the blue dial version, but it’s also available in white and black dials and either on a leather strap or a bracelet.
Apparently, this move has got a CEO of a major Swiss luxury watch brand a little hot under the collar, a situation that might repeat itself if the rumours surrounding another Brit brand and its forthcoming launch are to be believed.
Looks like Britain might be on the cusp of fully reclaiming its watch-making prowess.
The C9 5-Day Automatic is available from Christopher Ward‘s online store from mid-August.