Christopher Ward C11 MSL Automatic Vintage – ‘Hands on’
Written By D.Constant
We got a pleasant surprise one morning when whilst sitting at our desk working away on our computer a knock on the door, we both look at each other thinking I’m not expecting anything, you… yes on that particular day there were two of us in the office. So off I go to the door and to my surprise it was a Christopher Ward Box, when you see one of those without even opening it your eyes have to light up…
Post man said another watch? which one is this then? to my surprise again as I’ve never actually managed to get a word out of him before.
My reply was Hope so… And Not a clue whats in the box but I’m sure it will be good as its from Christopher Ward.
He said “yeah they are some nice watches I’ve got the C5 Malvern” showing me his wrist with a smile on his face
I’m sure you don’t want to know the extent of the conversation, but lets just say the postie is a watch man and I have found a friend for life I think oh and not to mention my post will never go missing again…
On Opening the package, we were presented with the usual top quality packaging and watch box, which wouldn’t go amiss from anyone’s bedside table or dresser and what do we see but the new C11 MSL Automatic Vintage, CW knew our feelings on the C11 MSL Black Manta, which we reviewed a few months ago, so I assume they thought we would appreciate seeing the newest addition to the family and they were right any delivery from Christopher Ward is always received with open arms at The Watch Review Site, shame we have to send them back after a few weeks.
So on to the C11 MSL Automatic – Vintage Edition by Christopher Ward, at first glance its basically the C11 MSL Automatic Black Manta which we reviewed in depth here. The version we received was the one with the brown strap, The biggest difference between the two watches is the lumin coating on the hands, indices and markers.
Christopher Ward state the following with regards to the design and inspiration behind the C11 MSL Vintage “The vintage edition of the much-heralded C11 adds a new dimension to this modern classic CW design and was inspired by the courage and determination of the American test pilots of the post-war era who paved the way for the 1960s space programme.”
This new old radium superluminova coating forms a very light brown, vintage appearance and this is has been applied to the indices, markers, numerals and the tips of the hands, This off sets very well against the black PVD case and black dial. I must say that I personally prefer the Black Manta with its high white lumin, but that is a totally individual opinion. The new Lumin gives a new dimension to the watch and gives the C11 MSL Vintage a distinctive look.
I have to add here looking at the Chr.Ward website the colour of the lumin does not come out in the photo’s its a deeper cream edging brown. hopefully its clearer in our photographs, they may not be as professional and as good as the ones from CW’s Website but hopefully they do a job.
Whilst we are talking about the look of the C11 MSL Vintage, this new addition to the C11 aviation range has the new Christopher Ward London Watches Logo in letters i.e. CHR.WARD LONDON with no Logo. I actually prefer the new style which I know is a no no for a lot of Christopher Ward fans, but given time I’m sure they will get used to this new modern look of the logo.
Christopher Ward have added a new watch to an already great range and have given the customer something else to think about when purchasing a C11 MSL, the case is still extremely sharp and in my opinion quiet unique in its octagonal-ish shape and round dial. we still see the Automatic (which is the only type Christopher Ward have manufactured in the Vintage) with a Sellita SW200-1 calibre at its heart. As with all Christopher Ward Watches the movement is Swiss made.
Another difference, albeit very small is the hand finished case and case back on the C11 MSL Vintage Automatic Watch with unique engraved serial number, I am sure the others didn’t have this, but if they did sorry… the hand finished bit that is.
As we stated before there is no chronograph in the vintage C11 but it does come with two strap options, both triple thickness Italian leather 22mm straps, one in brown and the other in black. Also the straps have a quick release clip too, great for changing straps easily and without the need of any tools.
As this is a hands on review we have to have the obligatory wrist shot or two, and can only but reiterate that the fit of the C11 MSL is very comfortable and its 42mm case does not look overly large or out of place on my slight wrists, The strap is comfortable and the watch has a distinctly nice weight and feel to it.
Technical Details – Christopher Ward C11 MSL Vintage Automatic
Case: 316l Surgical Grade Steel coated with Black PVD, hand finished
Diameter: 42mm, Height: 10.7mm, Weight: 108g
Movement: Sellita SW200-1 Automatic, with manual winding option
Power reserve: 38 hours
Frequency: 28800 per hour
Water Resistance: 100m/10atm
Black date calendar
Anti-reflective museum grade sapphire crystal
Hands and Markers Old Rodium Luminous hands and Indexes Superluminova
Case Back: Hand Polished Screw-in back plate
Strap: 22mm Italian leather strap in black or brown
Buckle: Black PVD