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Christopher Ward

The best value mechanical watch in the world
The Pilot Watch Magazine
Christopher Ward
08 December 2023

Premium watches at incomparably affordable prices

Christopher Ward is a British watch manufacturer based in London. The brand was founded in 2004 by friends Peter Ellis, Mike France – and of course Chris Ward. The company is particularly well known for being the first watch manufacturer to sell its timepieces exclusively directly through its own online store, without any other distribution network.

Three men in a boat found a premium watch manufactory. What sounds like the first sentence of a bad joke is the beginning of a very successful British premium watch brand. According to the narrative, the company’s story begins in May 2004, when Peter, Mike and Chris take a leisurely boat ride on the Thames River. All three dream of a career change, all three are fascinated by watchmaking, and all three have contacts in the luxury watch industry through a friend.

So it is not surprising that the three quickly find their new field of activity, namely the founding of their own, a British watch label. Their idea is to sell premium automatic timepieces at incomparably low prices to a wide audience. Their brand name: Christopher Ward – it is the name in their round whose sound seems to them the most English.

We named our brand Christopher Ward – it seemed to be the most typical English name of the three of us.

Mike France

A simple and ingenious strategy

To realize their idea, the three friends rely on a simple as well as ingenious strategy. Peter, Mike and Chris are the first watch brand ever to sell their timepieces exclusively via their own website, they calculate with a significantly lower margin than their competitors and they avoid costly advertising with stars and starlets.

The plan works. The first timepieces of the Christopher Ward brand appear as early as mid-2005. The watches with the English-sounding name are designed on the island, and production then takes place in Switzerland. After a hesitant start, sales increase. Watches from Christopher Ward are ordered in ever greater numbers around the globe. Not only the price, but also the design and the quality convince the community of watch lovers. A trade journal even headlines: Christopher Ward – The cheapest mechanical watch in the world.

Designed in England, made in Switzerland, worn worldwide

Since 2008, Christopher Ward has been cooperating with the exclusive Swiss watch manufacturer Synergies Horlogères in Biel. Both companies benefit so much from their collaboration that they officially merge in 2014. In the same year, Christopher Ward presents an in-house developed movement to the amazed professional world. The sensation is perfect – it is the first commercially viable mechanical movement from a British watch brand in over 50 years.

And Christopher Ward’s expansion continues to this day. New models from modern to retro, new innovations and new technologies – including, of course, timepieces for pilots – continue to delight fans of the brand, true to the motto of the three friends Peter, Mike and Chris: to make beautiful and high-quality timepieces accessible to as many people as possible.

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