Off the Cuff: Christopher Ward C63 Sealander

Every year or even six months, Christopher Ward comes up with a new range of watches that seems better than the previous one. At least that’s how I felt when the brand released the C63 Sealander collection last year. The Sealander range comes in three genres of watches: the Automatic, the Elite, and the GMT. The Automatic is the everyday type of watch while the GMT is, as its names indicate, more of a traveler type of watch while the Elite is for athletes who like precision. I owned a GMT for a while and thought it was a great watch. I had one quibble with it which we will also find in the Automatic we are reviewing today.

Christopher Ward C63 Sealander Automatic Watch Review
Christopher Ward C63 Sealander @mainspring.watch

The Automatic is a good example of a great everyday type of watch that I’m glad Christopher Ward released. Before the Sealander Automatic, the brand didn’t offer many options for a fixed-bezel everyday sports watch with reasonable dimensions (under 40mm.) So, with great proportions, a solid movement, and good finish, the Automatic is a solid contender for a one-watch collection timepiece. Let’s find out why.

Christopher Ward C63 Sealander Automatic Watch Review
Powered by the Sellita SW200-1 @mainspring.watch

I’d venture to say that one of the key reasons for the Sealander range’s success is the dimensions of the watches. In the case of Automatic, the diameter comes in at 39mm, the lug-to-lug distance at 45.8mm, and the thickness at 11.25mm. The Auto is powered by the Sellita SW200-1 which beats at 28,800 BPH (4Hz) and offers 38 hours of power reserve. The crystal is a flat piece of sapphire with anti-reflective coating, revealing underneath a beautiful white lacquered dial. The indices are applied and filled with heaps of X1 Super-LumiNova which glows blue (I found that good lume to be a trademark of the brand). 

Christopher Ward C63 Sealander Automatic Watch Review
X1 Super-LumiNova @mainspring.watch

With 150 meters of water resistance, a date at the 6 o’clock position, and a clear dial layout, the Automatic calls for adventure and it can handle it. Christopher Ward timepieces are known for being well-made and the Automatic does feel solid in the hand and on the wrist. The trademarked Christopher Ward Light-catcher case comes with an elegant mix of fine brushing on the case sides, top of the lugs and bezel, and highly polished chamfers on the bezel, lugs, and the edges of the case back. This alternative finish gives the Automatic an air of refinement in the world of explore-style watches. 


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SPECS

Case316L Stainless Steel
39mm Diameter
45.8mm Lug to Lug
11.25mm Thick
20mm Lug Width
Screwed Crown & Caseback
150m Water Resistance
Dial & CrystalFlat Sapphire /w AR
Top-brushed indexes
/w diamond polished facets
Lacquer Dial
X1 BL C1 Super-LumiNova
MovementSellita SW200-1
28 800bpm
26 Jewels
38-Hour Power Reserve
StrapStainless Steel /w Milled Clasp

Christopher Ward C63 Sealander


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Christopher Ward C63 Sealander Automatic Watch Review
Built for exploration @mainspring.watch

Of Interest

On its website, Christopher Ward markets the Automatic as an explorer-type of watch, as we just called it. The brand really wanted to offer an option to those looking for a robust everyday watch that can look as good while hiking in the jungle as it can at an office meeting. The proportions help in defining this mixed role and so do the specifications. More than any other specs, it is the fact that the Automatic has a screw-down crown and case back that make the Auto a true adventure watch. 

Christopher Ward C63 Sealander Automatic Watch Review
GADA contender @mainspring.watch

There are many brands that claim to make these types of watches but lack one or two key features. This is very personal but I feel that an explorer-type watch must have some decent water resistance (at least 100 meters,) a screw-down crown and case back to protect the movement from dust and humidity, as well as a legible dial. The Automatic provides all of these key features in a neat case size and is powered by a reliable movement—which, by the way, we can admire via the see-through case back. 

Christopher Ward C63 Sealander Automatic Watch Review
Discreet proportions @mainspring.watch

The competition for sub-$1,000 sports watches is not that tough, but should the situation change, I’d bet that the Automatic will always remain a solid choice. Although it is not the best on the market, the finish on CW watches is superior to most watches at this price point, and what demarcates a Christopher Ward from many other brands is its value-to-specifications ratio. Earlier I mentioned the superb case dimensions which help in making the Automatic a great everyday watch. In addition to that, the watch also has elegant curves and some sharp angles which gives it an air of modernity. 

Christopher Ward C63 Sealander Automatic Watch Review
Black Vintage Oak Leather @mainspring.watch

Quibbles

I have two quibbles. The first is the bracelet, and although we were loaned an Automatic that came on a nice leather strap, I know by experience that the bracelet leaves something to be desired: the clasp is quite long and the links are thicker than they should be, giving the overall watch head + bracelet combo too much wrist presence. I do appreciate the fact that Christopher Ward makes good bracelets with tool-less micro-adjustment clasps; however for $200, they could put screws instead of pins and collars and downsize the clasp. 

The second quibble is about the hands and markers design. Although they are typical Christopher Ward, we’ve seen the pointy handset and oblong markers on one too many CW models and it would have been nice if the brand would have innovated a little bit. The most recent Christopher Ward collection, the Aquitaine, does come with a refreshed dial design which is welcomed change. And guess what? The Aquitaine’s bracelet also comes with screwed links. Maybe future versions of the Sealander bracelets will come with screws too. 

I don’t like to be negative and nitpick watches, so it’s nice to see Christopher Ward listened to the fans’ feedback and made the aforementioned changes. 

Christopher Ward C63 Sealander Automatic Watch Review
Mix of polished and brushed surfaces @mainspring.watch

Final Thoughts

Options for robust everyday watches have increased in the past few years. Some brands revive historic models while independent brands like Christopher Ward work hard to innovate. The Sealander range provides watch collectors and fans of the brand with three types of watches to enjoy. As you already know, I thoroughly enjoyed the GMT version and this Automatic version is just more of my cup of tea. I have an obsessive dedication to finding the perfect go-anywhere-do-anything, and I wouldn’t hesitate adding the Sealander Automatic to the roster. 

The Christopher Ward C63 Sealander retails for $895USD. For more information, please visit the brand website.

Christopher Ward C63 Sealander Automatic Watch Review
Christopher Ward C63 Sealander @mainspring.watch

Vincent Deschamps is a museum professional, originally from France, with more than 10 years experience as a researcher, producing visitor experiences for national and international organizations. He is also the founder of mainspring.watch. You can follow Vincent on Instagram.


Off The Cuff articles are full-length, hands-on reviews of the watch in question and represent the opinion of the author only. All photos are original, unless specified otherwise. If you would like to have your watch reviewed on this site, contact us here.

Please understand that using any links to products on this site might result in us making money.

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