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Thread: Chris Ward steps aside at Christopher Ward

  1. #1
    Master Alansmithee's Avatar
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    Chris Ward steps aside at Christopher Ward

    Just seen this on the CW forum:

    "As the Christopher Ward brand moves forward into the new decade with more optimism than ever, it’s tinged with more than a little sadness that it will be without Chris himself.

    For, after nearly 16 years, Chris has now left the business and will no longer be involved on an ongoing basis.

    Of course, as a co-founder and the man whose name adorns the dial, he will always be part of the history of the brand but as many people inside CW know, his involvement with the business has declined significantly in recent years and it seemed right for everyone, including Chris, that this was the moment to formally step aside.

    Peter and I will miss seeing him on a daily basis although we certainly won’t miss the smug look on his face as his beloved Liverpool Football Club chalk up yet another win on their way to the title. We’re hoping to be together at the Everton v Liverpool derby game in March when I am confident the blues will take the three points!

    So, we thank Chris for the last 16 years, the ups, the downs, the football banter and the laughs (mainly the laughs!) and we wish him every future success in whatever he chooses to do next as well as reminding him to not become a stranger to his many friends at CW.

    Mike France

    CEO & co-founder

  2. #2
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    That will lead to intersting times at CW. A brand I followed a lot in the last few years but I haven't bought any of their watches in the last 3 or so years now. Good luck to Chris for the future of course.

  3. #3
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    It'll be like Taggart when he was no longer in it.

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  4. #4
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    NOW maybe they will put the logo back at 9!!!

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by redmonaco View Post
    NOW maybe they will put the logo back at 9!!!
    Was waiting for someone to say that. Saved me saying it myself!

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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by stefmcd View Post
    It'll be like Taggart when he was no longer in it.
    ...or like Bremont watches when there was never anyone called Bremont involved? Oops sorry, wrong thread!

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by redmonaco View Post
    NOW maybe they will put the logo back at 9!!!
    Back at 9? I wasn't aware it had moved from that position since CWL took the decision to move it from 12 and put it at 9.

  8. #8
    Craftsman Templogin's Avatar
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    As the Christopher Ward brand moves forward into the new decade with more optimism than ever
    The marketing department have missed the opportunity here to add the words thrusting, and sunlit uplands. Slackers.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by jmarchitect View Post
    Back at 9? I wasn't aware it had moved from that position since CWL took the decision to move it from 12 and put it at 9.
    Oops, how confusing...

    I meant at 12 😏

  10. #10
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    I always thought Christopher Ward was a terrible name for a watch brand. So many watch brands have simple 5 letter names that are timeless

    Rolex
    Omega
    Seiko
    Nomos
    Tudor
    Casio
    Timex

    If I was starting a watch company, it would have a simple non personal name.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bruno View Post
    I always thought Christopher Ward was a terrible name for a watch brand. So many watch brands have simple 5 letter names that are timeless

    Rolex
    Omega
    Seiko
    Nomos
    Tudor
    Casio
    Timex

    If I was starting a watch company, it would have a simple non personal name.
    Yes, a terrible name. No wonder they became such a successful British microbrand.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by hafle View Post
    Yes, a terrible name. No wonder they became such a successful British microbrand.
    I'd say Despite of...

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by hafle View Post
    Yes, a terrible name. No wonder they became such a successful British microbrand.
    Define successful.

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Bruno View Post
    I always thought Christopher Ward was a terrible name for a watch brand. So many watch brands have simple 5 letter names that are timeless

    Rolex
    Omega
    Seiko
    Nomos
    Tudor
    Casio
    Timex

    .
    Patek Philippe
    Audemars Piguet
    Vacheron Constantin
    Lange Sohne
    Girard Perregaux
    Moser Cie
    Laurent Ferrier

  15. #15
    Grand Master number2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hafle View Post
    Yes, a terrible name. No wonder they became such a successful British microbrand.
    There I was thinking that 'heavily discounting' had played a part.
    "Once is happenstance. Twice is coincidence. The third time it's enemy action."

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by stefmcd View Post
    It'll be like Taggart when he was no longer in it.

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    Is it just me, or as a fellow Scot do you always put on an even more Scottish accent when saying “there’s been a murder”?

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alasdairmc View Post
    Is it just me, or as a fellow Scot do you always put on an even more Scottish accent when saying “there’s been a murder”?
    I'm not a Scot and I always put on a very heavy accent when I say it!!!

  18. #18
    Craftsman Templogin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by redmonaco View Post
    I'm not a Scot and I always put on a very heavy accent when I say it!!!
    Ditto, although in the voice of Dr Findlay's Janet, for some odd reason.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alasdairmc View Post
    Is it just me, or as a fellow Scot do you always put on an even more Scottish accent when saying “there’s been a murder”?
    Gotta roll those r's

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  20. #20
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    Could never get past the name on the dial or the massive price drops. Really like a couple of the watches though, and that moon one they did recently looked very nice I think.

  21. #21
    Craftsman boris9's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bruno View Post
    If I was starting a watch company, it would have a simple non personal name.
    Perhaps you should have a crack at it?



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  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by number2 View Post
    There I was thinking that 'heavily discounting' had played a part.
    They don’t have a sale this year. Maybe it was strategy to establish the brand?


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  23. #23
    Never really liked their aesthetic but they've come a long way, constantly changing and seem to be going strong. We have to admire that, especially from a British brand and I wish them success. A little Q/A with Chris Ward that some may enjoy - https://www.thenakedwatchmaker.com/people-chris-ward

  24. #24
    Master petethegeek's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Templogin View Post
    Ditto, although in the voice of Dr Findlay's Janet, for some odd reason.
    Now that does bring back memories. Unfortunately I couldn't find a clip of her answering the phone, "Arden Hoouse".


  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rodder View Post
    They don’t have a sale this year. Maybe it was strategy to establish the brand?


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    We've travelled this road before,
    For many - me included the CW branding and logo has been a total turn off, many companies for example
    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Longines
    And
    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rolex
    Chose not to plaster the company owners name across the dial favouring a snappier title and logo, even our modest Smiths brand is both historic and comes complete with an excellent logo,
    "Once is happenstance. Twice is coincidence. The third time it's enemy action."

  26. #26
    Quote Originally Posted by number2 View Post
    We've travelled this road before,
    For many - me included the CW branding and logo has been a total turn off, many companies for example
    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Longines
    And
    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rolex
    Chose not to plaster the company owners name across the dial favouring a snappier title and logo, even our modest Smiths brand is both historic and comes complete with an excellent logo,
    I think there is a trade off between wanting to be proud with your creations and putting your name on the watch and going with creating a brand with a distinct name. I do admire the former philosophy more, but admittedly it doesn't always work.

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by boris9 View Post
    Perhaps you should have a crack at it?



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    I think Christopher Ward do a better job than I ever could. When I first got into watches I bought two from Christopher Ward which I still have. Well made watches and good prices. With their aggressive sales why would you ever pay full price. Just having ‘Ward’ on the watch dial would be an improvement.

  28. #28
    Craftsman earlofsodbury's Avatar
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    Another British company that no matter what they'll do will never be good enough for some.

    My wife bought me a "Bluebird" quartz chrono for my 50th, it cost what most microbrands charge for a Chinese NH35 and is absolutely beautifully put together, right down to the nicest crown I have on any watch - complete with 2-tone enamel bluebird motif. I have plenty of pricier watches, but none I value more than this. How they do it for the money beats me.

    Doubt it'll be the last CW I'll own. Best of luck to 'em.

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by number2 View Post
    We've travelled this road before,
    For many - me included the CW branding and logo has been a total turn off, many companies for example
    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Longines
    And
    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rolex
    Chose not to plaster the company owners name across the dial favouring a snappier title and logo, even our modest Smiths brand is both historic and comes complete with an excellent logo,
    I don’t like the brand either. I simply noted they don’t seem to have a sale this year.

    I do like their new moon phase which is around £1500 and it it was reduced to circa £1000 I may be interested.


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  30. #30
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    I actually like all the CW watches I've handled which admittedly isn't many-they seem very well built and the ones I've tried are comfortable too. I really don't like companies who change their logos though, it just smacks of no staying power.

    Irrational I know but it really turns me off.

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by number2 View Post
    We've travelled this road before,
    For many - me included the CW branding and logo has been a total turn off, many companies for example
    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Longines
    And
    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rolex
    Chose not to plaster the company owners name across the dial favouring a snappier title and logo, even our modest Smiths brand is both historic and comes complete with an excellent logo,
    It's probably just me but I think the Smiths logo looks like a pair of breasts!

  32. #32
    So much snobbery around this brand. I love the look of this but not a fan of blue dials - hopefully they’ll do a black one and I’ll buy it. In house five day movement and beautifully finished case for under 2k.

    https://www.christopherward.co.uk/c6...iver-sh21-le-3

    I’ll be watching with interest - hopefully they’ll develop the SH21 movement and make some other designs with it. Ideally hand wound, display back, slightly smaller and in black. Please!
    Last edited by ped; 4th January 2020 at 16:38.

  33. #33
    Grand Master number2's Avatar
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    The CW logo and name has been a bone of contention for many for sometime, I'd have bought one of these had it not been for the logo, as for the quality and customer service I've only heard good things.
    "Once is happenstance. Twice is coincidence. The third time it's enemy action."

  34. #34
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    Customer service was great a few years ago. But as reports on the forum and FB page go it has really gone downhill in the recent years. Especially since CW's wife left the team. Maybe that will improve going forward.

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  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by earlofsodbury View Post
    Another British company that no matter what they'll do will never be good enough for some.

    My wife bought me a "Bluebird" quartz chrono for my 50th, it cost what most microbrands charge for a Chinese NH35 and is absolutely beautifully put together, right down to the nicest crown I have on any watch - complete with 2-tone enamel bluebird motif. I have plenty of pricier watches, but none I value more than this. How they do it for the money beats me.

    Doubt it'll be the last CW I'll own. Best of luck to 'em.

    Its nothing to do with where the company is located, its the fact that they massively devalue their own watches. a 1k watch on the site will be 500 - 700 quid in a fathers day sale, almost guaranteed. Along with it being a kick in the face of anyone who paid full price, the willingness to cut 30-50% of their watches speaks volumes to what the company really thinks they are worth. Take that 1k watch that everyone knows can be had new for 500 quid, resale is now in the toilet completely.

    Build quality & design are generally good, nothing wrong there at all, but price slashing tactics give a real shopping channel vibe and in my head at least, removes the company from a set of reputable companies who stand behind their product, and moves it into the set of companies who dont care about the product and its all about the sale.

  36. #36
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    Chris Ward steps aside at Christopher Ward

    Quote Originally Posted by Bruno View Post
    I always thought Christopher Ward was a terrible name for a watch brand. So many watch brands have simple 5 letter names that are timeless

    Rolex
    Omega
    Seiko
    Nomos
    Tudor
    Casio
    Timex

    If I was starting a watch company, it would have a simple non personal name.
    I’ve always thought just “Ward” would do fine...





    Sent from my iPhone using TZ-UK mobile app

  37. #37
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    Trading under the founders name has always struck me as a bit of an ego trip.

  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by Montello View Post
    Trading under the founders name has always struck me as a bit of an ego trip.
    I think, for any company looking to move from designer watches to a more a level of prestige, the name is almost irrelevant, as long as the values embodied by the company are admired by the majority of customers.
    As mentioned previously in the thread, there are lots of high end companies with both human names and brand names. What matters at this level is usually some form of history, a unique selling point, a perceived commitment to quality and willingness to stand behind the value they and their customers place on their products.

    While CW do make quality watches, they dont really have heritage, are willing to slash prices at a whim, devaluing their product & dont have anything particularly unique to them (IMO)

  39. #39
    Master
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    It is certainly a tall order to establish a new luxury watch brand.

    Which is the youngest brand to have cracked it?

  40. #40
    Grand Master Saint-Just's Avatar
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    De Bethune? MB&F?
    The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it.

  41. #41
    Master Alansmithee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Montello View Post
    Trading under the founders name has always struck me as a bit of an ego trip.
    My mate Olly Mega is reading this with interest - was looking to launch early this year.
    Last edited by Alansmithee; 4th January 2020 at 19:25.

  42. #42
    Quote Originally Posted by Wilson_smyth View Post
    ...dont have anything particularly unique to them (IMO)
    How many companies have their own in house movement in that price range? Surely that makes them about as unique as you can get? (I don't own one but have been tempted!)

  43. #43
    Craftsman earlofsodbury's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wilson_smyth View Post
    Its nothing to do with where the company is located, its the fact that they massively devalue their own watches. a 1k watch on the site will be 500 - 700 quid in a fathers day sale, almost guaranteed. Along with it being a kick in the face of anyone who paid full price, the willingness to cut 30-50% of their watches speaks volumes to what the company really thinks they are worth. Take that 1k watch that everyone knows can be had new for 500 quid, resale is now in the toilet completely.

    Build quality & design are generally good, nothing wrong there at all, but price slashing tactics give a real shopping channel vibe and in my head at least, removes the company from a set of reputable companies who stand behind their product, and moves it into the set of companies who dont care about the product and its all about the sale.
    They've certainly acquired a bit of a DFS aura, but what's a company to do if some designs don't sell as well as planned? It's hardly unique to them either - some of the established names do it. The main difference has been CW keeping their retail activity in-house, so less opportunity to slip watches out of the back door via a dealer network.

    All that said, they're no longer advertising sale items at-all, so the criticism is somewhat dated.

  44. #44
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    I don't know where the company is going, but I have one watch from them, and another one on it's way. I am yet to find to find a watch at this price point (even the full RRP) with similar quality. The case polishing is much nicer (to me of course) than any Oris I've seen. And Oris is double the price most of the time. I also like the fact it's an UK brand. It'll remind me of all the good things that I love about this country when I'm no longer a resident (near future).

  45. #45
    Quote Originally Posted by Montello View Post
    It is certainly a tall order to establish a new luxury watch brand.

    Which is the youngest brand to have cracked it?
    Richard Mille? I’m thinking of a brand that carries weight with ‘civilians’ (tongue in cheek I promise)... Whatever Ming’s/Akrivia’s merits, they’re not going to be bought by someone without a pre-existing interest.

  46. #46
    Just had an email with priority access to the 50% sale so looks like it’s still very much part of the business plan.

  47. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by earlofsodbury View Post
    They've certainly acquired a bit of a DFS aura, but what's a company to do if some designs don't sell as well as planned? It's hardly unique to them either - some of the established names do it. The main difference has been CW keeping their retail activity in-house, so less opportunity to slip watches out of the back door via a dealer network.

    All that said, they're no longer advertising sale items at-all, so the criticism is somewhat dated.
    Sale on!!! Up to 60% off so order your sofa err watch now...

  48. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by redmonaco View Post
    Sale on!!! Up to 60% off so order your sofa err watch now...
    I still prefer this to Richemont destroying watches not to sell them cheaper.

  49. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by PawG View Post
    I also like the fact it's an UK brand. It'll remind me of all the good things that I love about this country when I'm no longer a resident (near future).
    I hope you like Switzerland as well, as by it's own admission it's Anglo-Swiss. that's what the two flags 'symbol' is all about.

    The in house movement came courtesy of the merger with the Swiss company that had already created it. Jorg Bader, of said merged company is the largest single shareholder in the Holding company (although the total value of the other two partners eclipse that total), or he was until they recently secured funding and two new directors came on board. No idea of the current situation.

  50. #50
    Master village's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MrBanks View Post
    Define successful.
    Lets see....

    A quick Google reveals that,according to an interview with co-founder Mike France inOctober 2018(Source: USA.WatchPro.Com)

    - initial seed capital £50k
    - first year of trading they sold 500 watches
    - within 12 years they have increased to a staff of 40 and an annual turnover of $10m
    - they have their own watch making facility in Biel and an in house movement.

    That seems reasonably successful to me. Of course, the irrational view that some on here have of CW will blinker them to any success the company achieve. They are not for everyone but obviously they are successful.....

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