With a name like Moonglow, you’re probably expecting two things: a moonphase and lashings of lume, and guess what? You’d be right on both counts. This latest release from the ever-accessible Christopher Ward switches up the often formal-looking moonphase complication with a new contemporary, multi-layered interpretation.
At the centre of the dial, two lume-covered twin moons are set on a rotating disc complete with lume-covered stars. Thankfully they’ve avoided using aventurine; lovely as the glass is it’s becoming a bit passé. As the lunar phases wax and wane the realistically depicted moons disappear behind a semi-transparent layer, just visible but obviously not in play.
Around the central lunar motif are the lume-covered hour markers. They’re surprisingly small for a watch of this size but because of that leave all the talking to the moon phase. Then you have the date indicator on the outer ring of the dial which is, of course, covered in lume – it’s almost like there’s a theme here – where a red rotating indicator highlights the correct date.
Christopher Ward and logos have a complex history so it’s worth taking a quick aside to look at the one here. Personally, I’m a fan given the more contemporary nature of the watch. If it were on anything else… well, I’m not so sure.
Measuring 40.55 in diameter, 13.3mm tall and a 48.5mm lug to lug, the case a great size. In fact it makes for a versatile business-casual watch and, thanks to the scalloped underside and alternately brushed and polished finishes, it’s as well built as it is sized, retro and shapely.
It’s available on leather but the one we have here is on the Milanese strap which is incredibly comfortable as these straps tend to be. It’s well put together too, with seventies-style links adding to the retro flair of the case. On the rear, you have an open caseback giving you a glimpse at Christopher Ward’s solid jj04 calibre. It’s not exactly finished to a haute horology standard – the kind of hand-finishing that requires is well out of Christopher Ward’s self-imposed price bracket – but it’s still a decent window into their brand of watchmaking.
Overall I really like the resulting watch. The case shape they have borrowed from the dressy Malvern range is a real winner, the Moonglow manages to combine retro elements with the contemporary elegance of the moonphase complication, and who doesn’t like a good splash of lume?
That said, it’s not all (reflected) sunshine and rainbows. The rid-tipped second hand and date indicator should also be lume-coated; it just seems odd at this point that they’re not. I’d also like a little more colour introduced on the dial somewhere as it is a little monochromatic for my taste, and the smoked layer on the dial would benefit from being darker, giving more contrast to the phases of the moon.
Those are the only qualms I have with this piece, and with a beyond-reasonable price of £1,695 on leather or £1,725 it’s a well-priced, unique looking watch. Of course purists will always debate the obsolete nature of the moonphase complication but when it looks this good, who cares?
Price & Specs:
Model Name: Christopher Ward C1 Moonglow
Case/Dial: 40.5mm diameter x 12.35mm height, stainless steel
Water Resistance: 30 meters (3 bar)
Movement: Calibre ETA 2836 with ‘JJ04’ module, self-winding
Frequency: 28,800 vph (4 Hz)
Power Reserve: 38h
Strap: Milanese mesh stainless steel bracelet or Cordovan strap
More details at Christopher Ward’s website.