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Christopher Ward The Twelve (36) Watch Review

Christopher Ward The Twelve 36mm

If you pay even the smallest bit of attention to the watchmaking landscape here in the UK then you’ll already be familiar with Christopher Ward’s The Twelve, their retro 1970s style integrated bracelet sports watch. Less than six months later they’ve launched a new edition of the watch 36mm, called, you guessed it, The Twelve (36). There are four colourways being launched at this size and I have two of them here in front of me, so let’s get hands on and see how they stack up.

Christopher Ward The Twelve 36mm

Considering that the original The Twelve was 40mm, jumping down to 36mm is quite a shock. It feels significantly lighter and smaller on the wrist. Which is perhaps exacerbated by the fact I recently had the chance to try on the 35mm Tissot PRX and that felt bigger. Although, the pronounced crown guards of The Twelve do make it look broader and the integrated bracelet hides the relatively short lug-to-lug.

Christopher Ward The Twelve 36mm

The argument will definitely be made by some quarters that they’re very feminine. On balance I’d agree with that when it comes to my personal tastes and certain colourways. The Alta White edition with rose gold coloured hands and hour markers doesn’t really suit me and the second version I have here is a touch too light. It’s a cool mint green colour called the Frosted Lichen edition and it’s a colour exclusive to the 36 whereas the other three (the two not here being dark and light blue) are variations on the existing 40mm collection.

Christopher Ward The Twelve 36mm

At least the Lichen is the first Twelve that really makes the textured pattern of the dial work in its favour. The pattern itself consists of a repeating cross shape inspired by the Christopher Ward logo and it’s been scaled down to fit the new size, meaning at a distance or certain angles it almost looks like a Clous de Paris hobnail. Combine that with the green shade and it almost looks like the surface of its namesake, lichen. Of course, get a macro lens on it and it’ll still look like a skate park for ants. Just a smaller species.

Christopher Ward The Twelve 36mm

Taking it off and flipping it over reveals the movement through the sapphire crystal exhibition caseback. It’s the Sellita SW 200-1 with 38-hour power reserve featuring a custom CW rotor, it’s the same calibre as used in the steel 40mm models so no surprises here. While I’m looking at the caseback I also see that the watch has a 100m water resistance rating which leans into the idea of it being a watch you can wear on all occasions no matter the activity.

Christopher Ward The Twelve 36mm

Both versions I have here are presented on stainless steel bracelets although they are available on alternative rubber straps. On bracelet the Christopher Ward The Twelve (36) is priced at £1,050 while the rubber is more accessible at £850. The ultimate question then, is would you buy a Twelve (36) or the original 40mm? Only you know which your preference is but for me, I’m kind of sad that there’s not a 38mm version to split the difference.

Price & Specs:

  • Model: Christopher Ward The Twelve (36)
  • Case/dial: 36mm diameter x 9.95mm thickness, stainless steel case with Glacier Blue, Nordic Blue, Alta White or Frosted Lichen textured dial
  • Water resistance: 100m (10 bar)
  • Movement: Sellita calibre SW200-1, automatic, 26 jewels
  • Frequency: 28,800 vph (4 Hz)
  • Power reserve: 38h
  • Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds
  • Strap: Rubber or stainless steel bracelet
  • Price/availability: £850 (rubber strap) or £1,050 (steel bracelet)

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About the author

Michael Sonsino

As Digital Editor for Oracle Time, Michael needs an eye for detail, which makes it a good thing that his twin joys in life are miniatures and watches. He's a lifelong fan of fine timepieces, especially those of a more historic nature - if it has a twist of Art Deco, all the better. Recent purchase: Seiko Prospex 1959 Alpinist Modern Re-Interpretation. Grail watch: Vacheron Constantin Historiques American 1921.