Christopher Ward shows that it’s hip to be square! [Video]

February 2016

The London-based brand has added a new look to its repertoire. The C5 Malvern Slimline Square is the latest offering from the direct to consumer brand; a modest and elegant timepiece that also just happens to be the thinnest watch produced by the company to date.

I’ve always been a fan of square faced watches. It’s something I picked up from my grandfather, who also had an affection for an understated and slim watch with a square dial. He inspired me to make one of my first vintage purchases, a late 1960s model Rado dress watch with a blue square dial. And when I saw Christopher Ward’s new C5 Malvern Automatic – the brand’s first square model – it reminded me of my own appreciation for the shape and style.

Christopher Ward shows that it's hip to be square!

The brand has shown its willingness to grow this line, adding a lot more options to their previous C5 Malvern Slimline, which was released in 2014. That model, however, featured the typical round dial. This edition is all about the 90 degree angles on the dial, making a case that it really is hip to be square.

With these types of watches, it’s all about getting the proportions right, as Mike France, co-founder of the brand, explains:

“The square format has long been a design classic that presents a particularly strong challenge to the watch designer to get it exactly right. With the right proportions it is a shape that can be used to blend retro elements with a contemporary tone to create a truly standout design. However, for a square watch to achieve that unique balance between classic and contemporary, modern yet retro, the proportions have to be absolutely spot on - and I think we really hit that mark with this design.”

Christopher Ward shows that it's hip to be square!

Square dials are sometimes overlooked by watch aficionados, but the C5 Malvern Slimline Square is priced well below the $1,000 mark, making it a versatile option for any enthusiast on a limited budget. That’s especially true for those that want a practical design that also projects a blend of discreet old-school style with a dynamic modern edge.

At a vintage feeling 37mm, the C5 Malvern Slimline Square has been purposefully proportioned to sit perfectly on almost every size of wrist. And with a modest height of only 8.25mm, it will slide elegantly under the most sharply tailored shirt or blouse cuff. The first two dial options offer a sunray effect one-piece dial in blue, or a classic matt white. The leather strap option helps the classical character of the watch, but it’s also available in a fine-knit Milanese bracelet, that provides a more modern take on the brand’s Malvern collection.

Christopher Ward shows that it's hip to be square!

The watch is powered by a Sellita 210-1 movement, housed in a newly re-engineered case, with the Côtes de Genève finish on the bridge further enhancing the pleasure of viewing the power unit through the transparent case-back. Apparently the brand’s New Year’s resolution was to get slim, because this watch is the brand’s thinnest ever mechanical model to date.

Christopher Ward shows that it's hip to be square!

Although they rarely stand out (which sometimes is a good thing) I’ve always considered a square dial as the ideal dress option. Modest, handsome, and usually relatively affordable – even for mechanical models – every collection should have at least one square option. The C5 Malvern Slimline Square is a perfect choice in that respect, maxing out at no more than £475 for the most expensive model.

Technical specs:

  • Hand-wound mechanical movement with Côtes de Genève finish
  • 42-hour power reserve
  • Surgical grade stainless steel case and crown
  • Anti-reflective sapphire crystal
  • Diamond-polished, dual faceted nickel minute and hour hands
  • Size: 37 x 37 mm
  • Height: 8.25 mm
  • Vibrations: 28,800 vph
  • Water Resistance: 3 ATM / 30 metres