Christopher Ward is on a bit of a roll, releasing interesting new watches that push the brand’s boundaries. While I am a big fan of the C65 Dune series, it is one of Christopher Ward’s more functional tool-watch lines. But another side of the brand is a lot more experimental, a good example being the chiming C1 Bel Canto. Similarly, the new C1 Moonphase introduces a new aesthetic for Christopher Ward. While a watch with a moonphase indicator is not necessarily new in the catalog, the materials and the design of the new C1 Moonphase are. This particular piece marks CW’s venture into minimalism and comes with a gorgeous aventurine dial.

Christopher Ward is rapidly expanding its horizons. Though it built its reputation by creating tool watches that offer exceptional value for money, the brand is far from a one-trick pony. In 2019, we saw the C60 Apex Limited Edition, which was followed by the C60 Concept in 2021. And then there was the Bel Canto, which was announced last year, as well as the stunning Alliance 01 Jump-Hour Limited Edition collab with Fears. All of these pieces show a different, more daring, and progressive side to Christopher Ward, and the new C1 Moonphase slots right in among them.

Christopher Ward C1 Moonphase

The story of the Christopher Ward C1 Moonphase

We have seen timepieces with moonphase indicators from Christopher Ward before. The first was 2015’s C9 Moonphase, after which came the C1 Moonglow in 2019. That model is still part of the collection and features two massive glowing moons beneath a tinted sapphire dial. Especially in the dark, the visual spectacle is rather striking. But for the new C1 Moonphase, Christopher Ward decided to make the visuals a lot simpler. Well, “minimalist” might be a better description because nothing about the new timepiece is actually simple.

Christopher Ward C1 Moonphase

The new C1 Moonphase houses a beautiful aventurine dial. As most of you will know, aventurine dials look like the starry night sky, making them perfect for moonphase watches. Essentially, aventurine is glass infused with reflective flakes of copper oxide, creating that special effect. Every piece of aventurine is unique, which brings a special quality to each C1 Moonphase dial. To ensure that it can shine in all its glory, it is stripped of any conventional markers and indices. Even the logo has been left off the dial.

Christopher Ward C1 Moonphase close-up

A stripped dial with a lot of detail

It leaves an expanse of aventurine graced by a faceted, polished handset and an oversized moonphase display. In comparison to the C1 Moonglow, the moon you see on this new C1 Moonphase is 25% bigger. Two of them (with one always hidden) inhabit an aventurine disc and are made from Globolight, a mix of ceramic and Super-LumiNova that can be carved into any desired shape. After carving the right size, Christopher Ward covers each moon with a four-color print of the real Moon. The result is a more accurate and three-dimensional look than the C1 Moonglow. Additionally, in the dark, the moon glows a bright white, making it even more realistic and creating a truly special moonphase watch.

The special dial sits in a 40.5mm stainless steel case that is 13.3mm thick, 47.9mm from lug to lug, and water resistant to 3 ATM. Along the case band, we find a horizontally brushed finish and a polished bevel, while the bezel above it shows a flat, polished side and a brushed, sloped top surface. While the case shape is not necessarily special or overly intricate, it does complement the eye-catching dial quite well. Lastly, topping the case is a box-shaped sapphire crystal with an antireflective coating on both sides.

Christopher Ward C1 Moonphase close-up

The C1 Moonphase comes with a new bracelet

At first, I had to get used to the combination of the dial and case shape. The case looked a bit common at first glance compared to the extraordinary dial. Maybe that’s because we often see aventurine dials with more intricate case designs. Fairly soon, though, I started appreciating the watch for what it is — a vehicle for a glorious dial with a stunning moonphase display.

On top of that, the watch comes on the visually extravagant five-row Consort bracelet. According to Christopher Ward, this is its most jewelry-like bracelet design. It consists of 127 individual links and more than 200 separate parts altogether. The bracelet is slim with a 3mm profile and a butterfly clasp.

I have to give it to Christopher Ward. Despite its thinness, the bracelet feels very well made. The overall design and mix of polished and brushed links are not necessarily my favorite, but it wears like a charm and feels super qualitative. If you prefer a more classic look, the watch is also available with a smooth blue leather strap.

The Christopher Ward Calibre JJ04

The C1 Moonphase is powered by the brand’s Calibre JJ04, which is visible through the sapphire window on the case back. The automatic movement is based on the Sellita SW200-1 and features the in-house-developed JJ04 moonphase module. The module links the moon to the hour hand, ensuring that both are in perpetual motion. As a result, the phases of the moon are displayed via one smooth movement rather than incremental clicks. If you always keep the watch wound, theoretically, it will accurately display the phases of our Moon for 128 years. You will probably have to get the watch serviced before then, but it’s a neat thought nonetheless.

Christopher Ward C1 Moonphase lume shot

Christopher Ward chose the Elaboré finish of the SW200-1, which also features the brand’s twin flag logo as a pattern on the rotor. The 26-jewel movement operates at 28,800vph and has a 38-hour power reserve. Regarding accuracy, this caliber has a tolerance of ±20 seconds per day.

Christopher Ward C1 Moonphase on wrist

Wearing the Christopher Ward C1 Moonphase

On the wrist, I found that the C1 Moonphase wears very well. The case size and the construction of the bracelet make for a comfortable combination on the wrist. But mostly, they are a canvas for the standout dial. I have to say that I was intrigued by how the dial was cut and how the moons are representative of the real Moon. It is a very detailed dial that looks simple from a distance but reveals its intricacies once you get closer.

Christopher Ward C1 Moonphase on wrist

Even with no indices, reading the time felt natural. The high-polished, faceted hands either contrast the dial or blend in with it depending on how the light hits them. The previous two pictures above show that perfectly. As far as the bracelet goes, as I said, it’s not my favorite design, and I would probably opt for the leather strap. I am not very conservative when it comes to watch designs, but I feel that a leather strap would simply complement this watch better.

Final thoughts on the Christopher Ward C1 Moonphase

Overall, I had fun spending some time with the new Christopher Ward C1 Moonphase. It is a great example of the British brand’s multifaceted approach to watches. While I will stick to the tool watches in the catalog as they are where my heart is, I love that Christopher Ward is constantly pushing the envelope in developing new pieces. This is especially clear if you realize that the new C1 Moonphase can be yours for €2,655 on the bracelet or €2,495 on the leather strap.

Before experiencing this new C1 Moonphase, if you had told me that you could buy a watch with an aventurine dial and an in-house moonphase module for less than €3K, I would have laughed at you. But once again, Christopher Ward shows that special watches do not have to cost an arm and a leg. And I can only take my hat off for that. It means that people who do not wish to spend exuberant amounts of money can still buy a watch with a romantic complication and a unique dial. That makes this new C1 Moonphase a special offering in more ways than one.

For more information on the C1 Moonphase, visit the official Christopher Ward website. And as always, let us know what you think of this release in the comments.

Watch specifications

C1 Moonphase
Blue aventurine with Globolight moons
Case Material
Stainless steel
Case Dimensions
40.5mm (diameter) × 47.9mm (lug-to-lug) × 13.3mm (thickness)
Box-shaped sapphire with antireflective coating on both sides
Case Back
Stainless steel with sapphire display
Christopher Ward Calibre JJ04 — Sellita SW200-1 base with JJ04 moonphase module, 28,800vph frequency, 38-hour power reserve, 26 jewels
Water Resistance
Stainless steel five-row bracelet with butterfly clasp or blue leather strap
Time (hours, minutes, central seconds) and moon phases
€2,655 (bracelet) / €2,495 (leather strap)