A 50-piece limited edition motorsport watch engineered to mark the fifth anniversary of our in-house movement Calibre SH21's first prototype, the C7 Apex is not a normal Christopher Ward release. Bold and futuristic, its stripped back aesthetic gives a hand-wound version of our in-house chronometer the celebratory showcase it deserves.
In this 50-piece limited edition, Christopher Ward has discovered its apex; not just the pinnacle of its design and engineering capabilities, but a motorsport watch that leads the competition through genuine innovation and spectacle.
Housed within our motorsport collection's four-piece case design - constructed from sandblasted and matte finished steel, with a grey DLC (diamond-like carbon) coated steel band around its centre - it's about the only recognisable element the Apex shares with the remainder of the CW Collection. For the Apex's dial is a fusion of texture, depth, shadow and colour that channels an aesthetic similar to that of a concept car. Stripped back, but not minimalist; there is a wealth of detailing to admire. Most notable is a red skeletonised bridge - the Apex's power reserve hand is mounted on here -while adjacent is a raised speedometer-influenced indicator finished in a combination of red, black and steel detailing.
Elsewhere, a ruthenium-coated plate has been cut away to reveal glimpses of the movement underneath - most prominently in its centre, where Calibre SH21's hour wheel is wholly visible for the first time. Ruthenium, a rare element found in the platinum group of the periodic table, provided just the right brushed look required to compliment the remainder of the dial. Both the Apex's hands and a recessed outer ring have been filled with white SuperLumiNova®; in the case of the latter, intersecting five-minute markers ensure ease of reading in low-light conditions, their polished surfaces bearing a strong similarity to a car's alloy wheels.
There has never been a CW like this before; and for the fifth anniversary of our ground-breaking in-house movement, that's exactly what Calibre SH21 deserves.
Although creating a chronometer-certified movement with a 120 hour power reserve is a fantastic achievement in itself, the arrival of Calibre SH21's first physical prototype represented so much more than that. In an industry where ETA was slowly restricting the supply of movements to anyone outside of its inner circle, a small British brand wasn't supposed to be able to manufacture its own in-house calibre. Yet, in that moment, Christopher Ward had become the master of its own destiny.
In the five years that have since passed, Calibre SH21's decoration has been tailored on multiple occasions to reflect the watches it has appeared in. In the case of the futuristic Apex, it becomes clear that this hand-wound version of SH21, like any concept car, has been built to showcase the possibility of what there is to come. But beyond aesthetics, it's the approach to design that sets the Apex apart: as its movement and dial were planned in unison, it shares the same red bridge (two this time, one for each of Calibre SH21's barrels); the same vertically brushed ruthenium; and, much like the minute wheel visible through the dial, both of SH21's mainsprings have been revealed.
And while most of the focus has been on SH21's aesthetic makeover, let's reaffirm the figures that caused such incredulity when our in-house chronometer was first unveiled: tested in a variety of positions and temperatures by the Geneva-based Contrôle Officiel Suisse des Chronomètres, the C7 Apex Limited Edition sits in the top 6% of all Swiss-made watches for accuracy, while its 120-hour power reserve ensures you can take off the C7 Apex on Friday evening and still have a couple of days' chronometer-certified timekeeping left come Monday. With its refined bridge and exposed internal workings, Calibre SH21 is engineering at its most beautiful.
- Diameter: 42mm
- Height: 13.15mm
- Weight: 71g
- Calibre: Calibre SH21 - hand-wound with power reserve complication
- Case: 316L stainless steel
- Water resistance: 10 ATM (100 metres)
- Frequency: 28,800 per hour
- Timing tolerance: -4/+6 seconds per day
- Dial colours: Grey/Ruthenium/Red
- Lume: SuperLumiNova® SLN-T-C1
- Strap width: 22mm
- Strap colour: Black/red
- Lug to Lug: 48.2mm
- Limited Edition of 50 pieces
- Swiss made
- 33 jewel hand-wound chronometer with power reserve complication
- 120 hour power reserve
- Hour, minute, central seconds, date
- Grey diamond-like-carbon (DLC)-coated & sandblasted marine-grade stainless steel four-piece case
- Semi-open dial with circular brushed Ruthenium ring, engraved Ruthenium plate and red anodised aluminium bridge
- Bevelled matte black outer ring with grey minute markers, intersected with polished and bevelled rhodium five-minute markers
- Lower ring area filled with T-C1 SuperLumiNova® (blue emission)
- Matte black power reserve indicator ring with red numerals and circular brushed ruthenium outer ring
- Altimeter-inspired date wheel
- Push-down crown with twin flag engraving
- Anti-reflective domed sapphire crystal
- Multi-faceted hour and minute hands filled with SuperLumiNova®
- Exhibition backplate with unique engraved serial number
Edited by Frank Wulfers