Christopher Ward (watchmaker)

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Christopher Ward (London) Limited
Industry Luxury Watchmaking
Founded 2004 (2004), England
Founder Mike France, Peter Ellis, and Christopher Ward
Headquarters Maidenhead, Berkshire, United Kingdom
Products Wrist watches
Website www.christopherward.co.uk

Christopher Ward (London), founded by Chris Ward, Mike France and Peter Ellis in 2004, is a British luxury watch company. It was the first on-line only watch retailer selling timepieces direct to the consumer.[1]

Christopher Ward watches are designed in England and manufactured in Switzerland.[2]

In 2015, The Sunday Times ranked Christopher Ward as 77th in the SME Export Track 100;[3] the only watch company on the list.

History[edit]

Christopher Ward was founded by Chris Ward, Mike France and Peter Ellis on a boat on the river Thames in 2004.[4]

In 2005, Christopher Ward released their first watch which created a whole new model for the watchmaking industry. When influential watch bloggers wrote about their watches on TimeZone, Christopher Ward were being discussed more than Rolex in December 2005.[4]

The company was announced as the official timing partner of the Bluebird speed record team in 2012.[5]

For the company’s 10th anniversary in 2014, it merged with Swiss manufacturing partners Synergies Horlogères SA to create Christopher Ward London Holdings Ltd.[6] This culminated in the launch of Christopher Ward’s first in-house movement, Calibre SH21, in July 2014.[7] Conceived and designed over the past four years by Christopher Ward’s watchmaker, Johannes Jahnke, the SH21 is entirely Swiss-made by some craftsmen.[8] This release is said to be “probably the most important development by a British watch brand in the past 50 years.”[8]

Christopher Ward London was the only watch company to rank in The Sunday Times SME Export Track 100, ranking 77th in 2015.[3]

Unique Business Model[edit]

From its launch in 2004, the company was established as the world’s first exclusively online luxury watch brand. Christopher Ward cut out the middleman by selling directly to customers.[9] By cutting out traditional marketing and distribution costs, Christopher Ward watches are sold with lower margins for a more transparent price.[1] The brand’s combined emphasis on technical quality and value included the early advertising phrase, ‘the cheapest most expensive watches in the world.’[10]

Showrooms[edit]

Christopher Ward watches are only available online, via telephone and from the company’s two showrooms. The UK showroom can be found in Maidenhead, Berkshire and the USA showroom is in Nashua, New Hampshire (but closed in March 2016).[11]

The CW Challenger Programme[edit]

Whilst Christopher Ward do not sponsor celebrities and sports teams, the company has set up the Christopher Ward Challenger programme to support young talent with world class potential.

The programme started when a team of recent graduates asked for help with their plan to climb a new peak in Tajikistan. The peak has been named after the company and is now known as Mount Christopher Ward.[12]

Since then, the Challenger programme has been expanded and now includes; Amber Hill, Britain’s youngest and highest performing talent in women’s clay-shooting (‘skeet’), European champion 2015;[13] Sam Brearey, GB yachtsman and Fireball class world champion Will Satch[14] Olympic medallist GB rower; Samantha Kinghorn, Paralympic athlete in the T35 class; and filmmaker Chris Loizou.[15]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b British Watchmaker Launches Movement Against Swiss Monopoly, The Telegraph, 2014.
  2. ^ English Design Meets Swiss Mechanics, Noah Williams, 2015.
  3. ^ a b The SME Export Track 100, The Sunday Times, 2015.
  4. ^ a b Small Business Spotlight Christopher Ward, The Guardian, 2013
  5. ^ Partner with Bluebird, The Watch Review Site, 2012
  6. ^ Time Flies for Christopher Ward, Time Flies for Christopher Ward, 2014
  7. ^ GQ Magazine, GQ, 2014
  8. ^ a b New State Independence, Robb Report, 2014
  9. ^ CW Rolex of the Internet, Pocket Lint, 2014
  10. ^ Path To Success, Sales Initiative, 2012
  11. ^ Retail showroom in America, Forbes, 2014
  12. ^ Mountain named after Christopher Ward, Watch Pro, 2013
  13. ^ Amber Hill, Kavanagh Communications, 2014
  14. ^ Will Satch, Kavanagh Communications, 2015
  15. ^ Chris Loizou, imdb, 2015

External links[edit]