Based on the Christopher Ward C8 Flyer, their new C8 UTC Worldtimer is a pilot-style twin-crown sport watch with a world time bezel and an aviation-inspired dial design. For both travelers and those who work on international projects, a world timer can be a very handy complication. With the ability to display the time in any standard UTC timezone, the Christopher Ward C8 UTC Worldtimer offers a casual and travel-ready Swiss-powered design at an accessible price point.
Measuring 44mm wide with a steel case in either a brushed finish or black DLC, the Christopher Ward C8 UTC Worldtimer has a sapphire crystal and measures 53.2mm lug to lug and 11.5mm thick. Weight, presumably without a strap, is 88g and water resistance is 50m. Like nearly all pilot’s watches, the Christopher Ward C8 UTC Worldtimer’s design is inspired by the aviation gauges in planes. In addition to its gauge-like display, the crowns and solid case back are inspired by turbines and wind tunnels, with the twin crowns looking especially cool to my eyes.
The Christopher Ward C8 UTC Worldtimer’s functionality will take some explaining, as not all world timers offer the same functionality. A true world timer, like the IWC Big Pilot Worldtimer, can show the time in all displayed time zones (usually 24, sometimes more) simultaneously. Generally, this is done by having the movement rotate a 24-hour scale which can be set to show your local time and thus synchronize with all of the other time zones on the watch. The Christopher Ward C8 UTC Worldtimer is more of a passive world timer, as it shows two time zones at once while offering a simple and fast method of selecting a different time zone.
Like the Bremont ALT1-WT, the Christopher Ward C8 UTC Worldtimer uses an ETA movement that offers an independently adjustable 24-hour hand – in this case, an ETA 2893-2. To use the world time functionality of the Christopher Ward C8 UTC Worldtimer, you set the UTC hand to show UTC 0 time (aka GMT time) and then use the second crown to rotate the city dial so that your desired timezone/city is at 12 o’clock. You can now read the indicated city’s time via the 24-hour scale and the UTC hand. So, in the below press image, the world time is set to London and the time there is 10:08. To see a new timezone, just rotate the city bezel and place the new city at 12.
As mentioned, Christopher Ward has opted to use the rather excellent ETA 2893-2 movement, which offers a date, an adjustable 24-hour hand, and a power reserve of 42 hours. There aren’t many off-the-shelf GMT movement options available today, but thankfully the 2893 is a reliable, hard-working, and user-friendly movement with a long history of use in many applications.
The dial, which is black/white for the brushed steel Christopher Ward C8 UTC Worldtimer and black/tan for the DLC version, is a luminous two layer design using stencil markers for all but the 3, 6, 9, and 12, which are applied and rendered with a gun metal finish. The dials are a matte textured black that looks excellent in the provided macro photos and the GMT hand sports a long red arrow head design that is mirrored in the 24-hour marking for the world time display.
While the 44mm sizing is a bit big for my tastes, I really like what Christopher Ward has done with the Christopher Ward C8 UTC Worldtimer to set it apart from your garden variety Big Pilot-esque watches. The mix of small details, from the sandwich dial, to the skeleton hands and the eye-catching crowns, make for a watch that stands out among a litany of pilot’s watches on the market today. Being a Christopher Ward, the price point is also rather enticing, with the steel version pre-ordering for US$1,350 and the DLC version claiming US$1,420, with your choice of a few different leather strap options. Availability is slated for mid-October, which gives you enough time to book some plane tickets and get an appropriate time zone-jumping adventure penciled in to your fall calendar. christopherward.com