There’s a lot of innovation going on at Christopher Ward these days. They’ve just announced a mechanical chronograph and now a new mechanical diver, the Tri-Tech Diver Elite pictured at right. Available in yellow, blue or black dial, this PVD-based beauty sports:
- Sellita SW200 movement (a Swiss clone of the ETA 2824-2).
- Helium release valve for you saturation divers out there.
- PVD-coated stainless steel case.
- Tritium lights, dual color, on hands, indices, and bezel. (Pictures after the break).
- Rubber strap.
- 43mm by 13mm, 90-170g (which implies a bracelet in the offing).
- Knurled screw-down crown.
- Water resistant to 500m (1600ft).
- 4.5mm thick convex sapphire crystal with anti-reflective coating.
- Serial-numbered screw-in caseback.
- Non-EC price of 343UKP, or $558 (395UKP in EC).
Read on for more pictures and discussion.
The full lineup has some compelling choices. The green on black is novel, but the blue dial really has my number. All have a black rubber strap, and all look pretty darn awesome in my opinion.
Here’s a picture showing the tritium illumination. The tubes on the left are meant, I assume, to show how the material is vitrified into glass tubes. (There’s more information and links about the technology on this review of the Luminox.)
The black/green looks pretty bold up close:
The movement is a Sellita SW200, which is an interesting story in its own right. The ETA 2824 and 2892, as used in zillions of watches, are now becoming subject to sales restrictions by the parent conglomerate which has caused supply problems at independent brands like Christopher Ward. However, the designs are from the 1960s and therefore no longer copyrighted; Sellita and others can now sell exact copies to whomever wants them. Sorted, as they might say. It should be just as reliable and repairable as an ETA-branded 2824.
These are pre-announced; according to PR, the first 150 come out between mid-September and October, followed by general availability. If you pre-order, you can reserve your choice of serial number.
As is often the case with Christopher Ward, the price represents an excellent value indeed, and we hope to get one for review.
By Paul Hubbard