Most of the well-established watch houses out there have a core watch or collection in their catalog, something that sells reliably, pops to mind when the brand is mentioned, and in some way even defines the brand’s general values. For UK’s Christopher Ward, the C60 Trident watches are certainly that collection. Over the last decade, the C60 Trident collection has remained and affordable, approachable, and appealing line of dive watches that serve as an independent alternative to more mainstream, Swiss-made brands and watches.

Now in their third iteration, the C60 Tridents have continued to evolve to meet the growing demand by the ever-more-educated watch enthusiast for higher quality, higher-spec watches. In V2, Christopher Ward had introduced an impressive 600m water resistance as the standard (for the mechanical models), and also began working with ceramic bezels. For V3, both features are standard, but now the bezels are also fully-lumed, a 40mm case was added, a new titanium 1000m limited edition tops off the line, and the watch went through a general aesthetic overhaul, particularly on the case. While some of the original DNA is still there, V3 has come a long way from V1.
With that said, one of the most important aspects of the Tridents has remained largely unchanged from the previous version: the price. It’s often just accepted that a new version means a price increase. After all, there is likely new tooling and, as is the case here, higher-end specifications. And there is simply the fact that the cost of materials and manufacturing generally only goes one way. For Christopher Ward to maintain their previous pricing is a bold move that will certainly please their fans and makes the watches all the more compelling.

In this review, I’ll be focusing on the black 40mm C60 Trident Pro as it’s the newest case size and likely to be one of the more popular varieties of the Trident, but I will also take some short detours to the 42mm GMT and the 1000m Elite models. On the bracelet, the C60 Trident Pro is $910 and features a sapphire crystal, ceramic bezel, Sellita SW200-1 automatic movement, and X1-grade Super-LumiNova. The C60 Trident GMT 600 on a “Hybrid” strap is $1,020 and the C60 Trident Elite 1000 is $1,425.



$910




Review: Christopher Ward C60 Trident Pro V3

Case
Stainless Steel

Movement
Sellita SW200

Dial
Gloss Black

Lume
C1 X1 SuperLuminova

Lens
Sapphire

Strap
Bracelet

Water Resistance
600m

Dimensions
40 x 47.5mm

Thickness
13.5mm

Lug Width
20mm

Crown
Screwdown

Warranty
Yes

Price
$910







Case

The most radical departure from the previous Trident incarnations is that of the case design. Building off of the more complex lines of the recent C65s (reviewed here), the new “light-catcher” case is by far the most intricate and well-finished. In fact, it’s up there as one of the better finished and most intriguing cases in recent memory. The previous Trident watches were very appealing, but they were meant to be seen from the top down. The V3 is exciting from every angle.

From above, the silhouette is largely the same as early Tridents, but the addition of pronounced bevels along the lugs tighten things up, giving it a more aggressive and contemporary feel. From the side, things really come to life. The slab walls of brushed metal are gone, giving way to beautifully carved lines where polished and brushed surfaces play back and forth. The bevel along the top of the lugs follows along the upper perimeter of the mid-case, creating an undercut beneath the bezel. This leads to a thick brushed line that, on the crown-side of the case, curves to form guards, and on the opposite side of the case continues uninterrupted. Beneath this band is then a very clever little design trick that I’ve yet to see on another case.
There appears to be a hard break separating the brushed band from another polished region, which is created by an actual undercut that forms a slight lip. The effect is more dramatic than a simple shift from one finish to another, adding a level of complexity that is highly attractive. All of the shifts between polished and brushed surfaces go toward creating lines that help break up the case side, making the watch appear and feel slimmer. Flipping the watch over, you’ll find a deeply stamped solid case-back with wide tool slots, giving it a fully composed look.














I really can’t overstate this—the finishing of the Trident V3 is top-notch. While I don’t have an older version in front of me, based on my memory and rereading of my old reviews, those versions were competent, but not exceptional. They felt like what one might expect from a sub-$1,000 dive watch, and thus were acceptable. The V3 far exceeds expectations. Looking at the vast landscape of Swiss-made divers, these sit right alongside Oris, Baume and Mercier, Longines, and others—all of which are generally several hundred dollars more.
New for the Trident V3 is the 40mm model—sitting between the 38 and 42mm and it’s only available in the three-hand Pro model at the time of writing. A smart addition for Christopher Ward, 40mm divers tend to be in that Goldilocks zone that satisfies many wrists and tastes. Measuring 40mm at the bezel, 47.5mm lug-to-lug, and 13.5mm tall with 20mm lugs, it’s well proportioned and fits great. The clever case design mitigates the height, which is the only number there that could cause concern, though not an unexpected number for a 600m diver.

The bezel on the Trident V3 is unidirectional and features 120 clicks. Nothing new here conceptually, but in talking with the folks behind the brand, I learned that they went through great lengths to work on the feel and sound of the mechanism. To that end, what you get here is a mechanism that is both snappy and precise with no back play or wiggle. Aurally speaking, the snap is notably loud with a crisp pop. Compared to other divers around my desk (there are always a few) it was the loudest and sharpest sounding. If that’s what you’re looking for, the Trident’s got it.



Trident GMT 600
The case of the GMT model is essentially identical to the Pro, but it comes in 42mm and 38mm versions (no 40mm here) and has a 24-hour bezel insert. They did an excellent job on scaling the Trident. At 42 x 49.3 x 14.2mm with 22mm lugs, the 42 case is larger and a bit beefier than the 40, but it doesn’t look or feel oversized at all. The same clever design and finishing tricks are in place, making the watch look deceptively svelte. Given that this watch is a sort of hybrid sport/travel concept, a bi-directional bezel mechanism would have been a nice point of differentiation.
Trident Elite 1000
The Elite model boasts an impressive 1,000m water resistance and is made of grade 2 titanium, so there are larger overall differences in this iteration. The case is based on the 42mm model, but it’s thicker at 15mm. Once again, the design and finishing come into play here, but so does titanium’s lightweight properties, tempering the more massive build. In terms of finishing, the titanium adds another level of appeal to the watch. It’s a bit darker, overall, but still takes to brushing and polishing quite well. They also added some matte-blasted surfaces, which builds on the complexity of the watch and plays off of the more technical expectations of a 1,000m diver.













On the left side of the case, they’ve added an automatic helium escape valve. Though largely unnecessary, HEVs are sort of a convention of high-depth dive watches, so it’s not surprising to find it here. The execution is also quite appealing, as it features a black ring, and “He” text in black on its surface. That said, the “He” is not quite aligned with the horizontal axis of the watch, which is a bit annoying.
Lastly, the coining of the bezel edge is finer on the Elite than the Pro or GMT. It’s not a difference one would notice without both models in front of them, and I’m hard pressed to say which I prefer since both look good. Regarding the bezel, there is a bit of play on the sample, which is unfortunate, and I did find the timbre of the Elite to be different and a bit more hollow sounding than the two steel models.



Dial

If you peruse the various incarnations of Trident watches over the last few years, you can see how all roads have led to the V3 redesign. The markers became rectangular, the waves disappeared, the logo moved to nine, the semi-baroque handset made way for something more modern, and so on. The V3 pulls these elements together with a new hour hand and refined applied markers to create the cleanest and most contemporary version to date. This might seem like an obvious statement, but I think it’s worth pointing out that while, at a glance, the V3 seems like a departure, it’s really an evolution.

The surface is now glossy, resulting in exceptionally deep blacks, rich blues, and crisp printing. The primary index has applied rectangular markers with lume fill; brushed top surfaces; and polished, beveled edges on the side towards the center of the dial. As the angle of the dial changes, the various bevels pop as they reflect light, which has a nice effect and plays off of the increased complexity of the case finishing. They truly “catch light,” which is perhaps a more poetic way of saying “add a little bling” to the watch. Looking at the V2, which had solid blocks, you can clearly see how these new markers built off of the existing design, but give the watch a higher-end look.
On the outer edge of the dial is a minute/seconds track with small lines per minute/second and small blocks at intervals of five, which is a holdover from the previous models and a logical addition. Under the 12:00 marker is the brand’s “twin flag” logo printed in matte black for about as subtle an execution as possible. At 3:00 is an outlined date window showing the black-on-white date disk. This is balanced by the two-line Christopher Ward logo at 9:00, which allows for the use of identical and smaller applied markers on either side—a detail I really appreciate. At 6:00, you’ll find “automatic” and right under that “600m|2000ft” in very small, bright-red text.











The ceramic bezel insert has largely the same markers as before, but rather than paint, they are filled with luminous material. This is a great addition that I imagine a lot of C60 fans and those who are nit-picky about their dive watches will be happy to see. Because they are fully-lumed, the markers are a bit bolder and heavier than before, which adds to the watch’s overall aggressive, sporty feel.
The hour and minute hands used on the Trident V3 are a departure from the previous versions and go a long way toward making it a more contemporary timepiece. For the minute hand, they chose a straight sword that narrows toward the center of the dial, creating a sort of “handle” shape. Along the middle of the hand is a stripe of matte finishing, which adds some appealing dimensionality and detailing to it.

The hour hand is a large arrow that also has a handle-stem. This hand also features a line of matte finishing from one end to the other. I quite like the contrast finishing on the minute hand, but feel that on the hour hand it conflicts with the pointed shape, and might have been better if it didn’t extend all the way to the tip. The second hand is the same trident-backed stick as seen on past Tridents, which is a nice carryover.
The lume on the Tridents is very good, with the bezel, hands, and applied markers all matching and glowing evenly. For V3, they use grade X1 GL C1 Super-LumiNova, which is a newer grade of lume that is supposedly the brightest. Hard to say as the application and design of the watch plays such a large role (thin lines vs thick, printed graphics vs filled appliqués, etc.), but it certainly doesn’t seem to hurt.



Trident GMT 600

The GMT version has a different bezel insert and the addition of a fourth hand on the dial. The bezel insert has been changed from what it was on previous versions, dropping the non-numerical markers from 0-15 and replacing it with numerals from 2 – 22. The change seems small, but it has an impact as the bezel now has a very bold and athletic feel to it.
Trident Elite 1000
For the Elite model,the bezel was modified to give it a more technical look. The blue insert has more markers, including small hash marks around the inner circumference, and numerals at 5, 10, and 15 were added. Most notably, however, orange accents have been added around the lume-triangle at 0/60 and along the inside of the first 15 minutes. The orange is surprisingly bright and vivid, and it glows as well. The additional color adds to the overall complexity of the watch and further pushes the Elite model into a contemporary space.



Movements

Three watches, three movements—sort of. The Trident Pro and the Trident Elite both use Sellita SW200 movements, with the movement in the latter being chronometer certified. This Swiss-made, 25-jewel automatic caliber features a 38hr power reserve, hand-winding, hacking seconds, date, and a frequency of 28,800bph (4hz). The SW200 is an ETA 2824-2 clone and is well-regarded for its reliability. Though hidden behind a thick case-back, both movements feature a customized rotor. Being that the Elite is a chronometer, it has been regulated and certified to -4/+6 seconds, whereas the pro is +/- 20 seconds.

The Trident GMT uses the ETA 2893-2, which is the industry standard for mechanical GMTs at this time. This Swiss-made, 21-jewel automatic movement features a 42hr power reserve, hand-winding, hacking seconds, dual-time function, date, and a frequency of 28,800bph (4hz). The version used in the Trident GMT is elaboré grade.








Straps and Wearability

The Pro and GMT models are available with either a “hybrid” strap or a steel bracelet, while the Elite is only available on the strap. The hybrid strap is a combination of Cordura (nylon fabric) and rubber. Essentially, it’s a strip of Cordura sewn into a molded rubber chassis, giving it the functionality of a rubber strap with a bit of the aesthetic of a two-piece fabric strap. It’s a nice strap with a hearty, rugged feel. It tapers 2mm and features quick-release spring bars. The backing is dramatically molded with a groove pattern that I imagine helps wick away moisture. I found it generally pretty comfortable, more so than straight rubber, though I did occasionally have to take it off to let my wrist breathe.

The bracelet is a three-link oyster-style that tapers 2mm and features double-sided quick-release bars. This makes getting the bracelet on and off easier than if it had traditional spring bars. The clasp is sizable and well-made with a two-button release. It also features a great ratcheting extension function that allows you to micro-adjust the bracelet for a perfect fit. Overall, it’s a decent bracelet that is comfortable to wear. I do have two gripes, however. The first is that it uses a pin-and-collar system, which I find to not be particularly user-friendly, especially with the better option of screw-bars becoming more common (Christopher Ward do offer bracelet sizing before shipping for $10).
The second gripe is aesthetic. Though decent looking, it’s a very plain three-link steel bracelet, which is all the more emphasized by the dramatic lines and finishing of the “light-catcher” case. There are no bevels, no contrast finishing, and it’s a design we’ve all seen countless times. It gets the job done, but there is room for improvement here. That said, a complex bracelet can quickly get blingy, which could backfire, too.



3-link style


ratcheting extension





Straps aside, the 40 and 42mm Trident cases both wear extremely well. Starting with the 40, Christopher Ward have nailed the mid-size modern diver. It’s big enough to have plenty of presence, small enough to suit my 7” wrist and be comfortable all day. The proportions are just right from the bezel width to the lug length. And thanks to the new case design, it wears surprisingly low on the wrist. I have to say it—I’m kind of amazed it took them 10 years to make a 40mm case, but better late than never.
With that said, the 42mm wears pretty damn well, too. It doesn’t feel like a “large” version of the C60, but as a beefier version of the 40. It still sits very well on my wrist, but in all ways it’s just thicker and more robust. As I wrote above, they did a great job with the proportions to make sure everything stayed balanced between the different sizes. So, although it’s bigger, no single detail took the brunt of the scaling. Probably the most notable difference is in the 22mm lug width, which always makes a watch feel bolder than one with 20mm lugs.



40mm Pro


42mm GMT


42mm Elite




Regardless of the size, the C60 Trident V3s look great on the wrist. This is a true contemporary dive watch, which is a nice contrast from the ever-popular, vintage-styled diver (including their own C65). The design is clean and detail oriented, balancing rugged, functional elements with high-end finishing. The aesthetic itself is also quite safe, which I mean in the best sense. This is a watch with wide appeal, and while I’m sure picky folks will find things to criticize, as far as watches with mass market potential go it’s up there as one of the better executed in recent memory. It manages to be safe without being boring, which is a challenge to get right.
Conclusion

Christopher Ward has come a long way since we first started writing about them; probably further than any other brand, with small (sometimes divisive) strides punctuating large ones, like the creation of their in-house movements and complications. While a new version of a core line of watches might not sound like the most exciting development, they really achieved something great with the Trident V3s. They aren’t just new; they are by far the best they’ve ever made, and the first sports watch I’ve seen by them that really puts the brand shoulder-to-shoulder with bigger, more recognized companies.

And that’s not even taking into account the sheer value of the Pro and GMT models. At $795/$910 for the Pro on strap or bracelet, respectively—and with exceptional finishing, top-notch stats, materials, and “Swiss-made” designation for those who care—it really punches well above its weight. The GMT at $1,020/$1,135 is an even better value when compared to other Swiss-made, ETA -powered GMTs.
The Elite model comes in higher at $1,425, which seems like less of a value compared to the other two models, but it’s still a great price for what it is. 1000m divers tend to be bulky, oversized watches that are more about stats than wearability. The Elite is very comfortable and easy to wear thanks to the sizing, case lines, and use of titanium. Considering that it’s a chronometer and a limited edition of 300, the premium makes sense. This is not the mass market model; it’s for dive watch enthusiasts and Christopher Ward collectors.
What’s left to say? The Trident V3s are going to make a lot of wrists very happy. If you’re in the market for a truly solid, modern dive watch with excellent specs, it’s definitely one of the best options out there. Whether you go for 38, 40, or 42 / black, blue, or burgundy / Pro, GMT, or Elite/ you’re likely to be very satisfied. I know in the time they’ve been in the office, I’ve worn the 40mm more than any other watch at my desk and enjoyed every minute of it. Christopher Ward







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