A new release bound to excite a lot of watch collectors...
Discerning diving watch enthusiasts have long coveted timepieces made with Super Compressor cases, but – for nearly fifty years – these have only existed in the second-hand market. Why? Because the maker of these complex structures was a victim of the Quartz Crisis, which nearly killed off the mechanical wristwatch. With the demise of E. Piquerez S.A., it looked like this most admired of watch cases was consigned to auction houses and vintage watch retailers.
British watch brand Christopher Ward inspired by the request of a customer, the company has used its resources to revive the Super Compressor case – and unlike recent retro reissues from other makers that only look like Super Compressors, the new C65 Super Compressor is the real deal.
Despite being employed by a vast range of manufacturers of sporting timepieces, including IWC, Tissot, Jaeger-LeCoultre, Girard-Perregaux and nearly 100 more, the Super Compressor went out of production and was forgotten by all but the most dedicated of connoisseurs and collectors. Lately, it has been rediscovered, but enthusiasts had only the second-hand option.
Their desire is easy to comprehend: the Super Compressor was a radical design which increased its strength and integrity with depth, becoming even more water-tight, thanks to the technical element which gave it its name. As the diver descended, greater external pressure was exerted on the case back, further compressing the O-ring gasket. This earned Super Compressor watches a rating to 600ft.
Measuring 41mm in diameter, the C65 Super Compressor proudly displays its Sellita SW200 automatic movement, the sapphire case back also affording a view of the 300-micron thick compression spring which gives the case its name. The outer case ring allowing this visibility is coloured orange, a hue which accents the crown for the inner bezel, the triangle at 12 o’clock, the minute hand and the tip of the seconds hand – and is known for providing the greatest legibility under water. Seasoned Super Compressor fans will have much to admire.
Christopher Ward revived the Super Compressor, with total authenticity, in under two years, from the moment in October 2018 when customer Marc Schulteis posited the idea, until production models reached customers’ wrists. Perhaps as noteworthy is the price: a brand-new C65 Super Compressor watch costs £895 on a strap or £1,000 with bracelet – less than one would pay for even a well-worn original.
Case width: 41mm
Movement: Sellita SW200
Functions: hours, minutes, inner rotating bezel
Power reserve: 38 hours
Case: stainless steel
Water-resistance: 150 metres
Dial: Ocean Blue or Black Sand
Strap: Available on leather, rubber or metal bracelets
Price: from £895
Availability: Now via the Christopher Ward website
When this press release arrived in my inbox I was pleasantly surprised. Sometimes press releases can be quite light on real news to share, however, this wasn’t the case for Christopher Ward. The Super Compressor has such an alternative style to conventional diving watches which really makes them stand out from the crowd. This C65 Super Compressor looks to be no different as it looks to have captured the charm of these stylish watches. This slightly different direction from Christopher Ward shows how impactful the words of customers can be so if you have a great idea then let your favourite brand know! An exciting watch from a brand that knows extremely well how to make a cracking watch.