In these times of uncertainty, it is nice to see a small company setting itself the goal of establishing their brand identity through a new trademark and logo. UK-based, Swiss watch manufacturer, Christopher Ward, has just done that. I was lucky enough, together with several other watch enthusiasts, to be invited to a pre-launch online session with Mike France, one of the co-founders of the company, to see the new Aquitaine watch collection that was launched 21.4.2022.
The watch brand came about as an idea between three friends in 2004, Mike France, Peter Ellis, and Chris Ward, who then went on the establish the company in 2005 as an online-only watch brand. In those days the company used the name Christopher Ward to represent the English heritage of the brand. The name has appeared in various incarnations on the watches since then, written in different ways, different fonts, and even in different positions on the dial. Just over five years ago, the company finally introduced a “logo” in the form of twin flags that appeared on the dial, crown, and case-back of watches, in most cases along with the name “Christopher Ward”. The twin flags represent the English and Swiss heritage of the brand. With the new Aquitaine collection, as Mike explained, they had a “Swoosh Only moment”, that all new watches will only feature the twin flags logo. As it has now been over five years in accepted use and has become well-established as the logo of the brand, this is a major milestone for Christopher Ward, as it is in the journey of any brand.
The new Aquitaine collection is certainly eye catching, with the new domed sapphire bezel, boxed sapphire crystal, those stunning vibrant colour schemes, and a variety of strap options. In a great size of 41mm, it fits nicely between standard dress watch sizes of around 39mm and regular dive watch sizes of around 43mm. As this is meant to be a “retro styled diver”, some would argue that the size should be around 38-39mm, and I might agree, but looking at the way the bezel rises up and the applied indices set well inside the chapter ring, I think that the size might actually wear small.
More information, specifications and images of the new Aquitaine collection, will be published in a later review or check the website www.christopherward.co.uk. I can say now, if anyone wants to surprise me with one of these, my favourite is the GMT, with the white sand dial and blue sapphire bezel, paired with the steel bracelet – it is simply stunning, hint, hint!
In today’s global and online environment, establishing your brand identity is no easy thing. Brand copying, inappropriate use of brand logos, names, or trademark infringements, is a common occurrence and trying to bring claims against someone in another region of the world is no easy thing, especially if your brand is somewhat new. Having an established identity with names, logos, and trademarks that are readily recognized as belonging to your brand is often the way in which brands normally establish themselves. Good luck to Christopher Ward in this new and established phase of their journey, and we wish them all success for the future and for the new Aquitaine collection.