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I’m delighted to be the first to receive the new Christopher Ward C5 Malvern Automatic Mk III for review. The C5 is their longest serving model; and there’s no doubts why – it has consistently been an excellent Swiss Made auto at a reasonable price. The Mk III introduces the new logo situated at 9, and also the brand new case shape.

I haven’t had the watch for too long, so here are my brief thoughts.

The specs

The dial

The dial is available in either a pleasant domed opaline finish or an eye catching sunburst effect. This is the blue sunburst model, which is a deep and luxurious tone.

The dial features well made applied baton hour markers. These are flawless in execution and provide lovely reflections – but be aware that every other hour doesn’t have one. This is a design feature – it’s the same on all of the new Malvern range; but I’m a little confused as to why this is the case. I’d much prefer applied hour markers at every hour.

At the base of the hour markers is a thin channel, which breaks up the simplistic dial nicely in a classy and subtle way.

The pitched hands are a mixture of brushed and polished, which reflect light in a variety of ways; and in this case are a steel colour to provide good legibility against the blue dial.

The left alighted Christopher Ward logo is printed at 9 in a crisp fashion. All printing is in white, so as to offer good readability.

The date window has an interesting make-up; with slight cambers at the top and bottom which introduces the main dial level to the date wheel window itself.

The case

The C5 auto Mk III utilises the new Malvern style case. It’s very fluid and features “light catcher lines” which create a slimmer profile.

It’s fully polished; a fusion of smart and classy.

The push-down crown has good grip, making it easy to use. It has the twin flag motif deeply and accurately engraved on the end.

Sitting on top of the case is a double domed sapphire crystal. I’ve found it to be quite reflective though – I think the AR coating could be a bit better.

The exhibition caseback does a great job of exhibiting the movement, with various details surrounding the crystal. Interestingly it’s push-on rather than screw-in.

The case overall is the star of the show, creating a positive impression at every angle.

The strap

As is always the case, the Christopher Ward strap is made of very good quality leather. It measures 20mm wide at the lugs, reducing to 18mm at the buckle. The size is perfect for the case.

Underneath the strap is a deep stamp of the twin flag pattern, which is a really nice touch.

The strap includes quick release pins, which in my opinion should be on every strap out there – they’re so easy to use and makes changing straps a real doddle.

The polished tang buckle has the left aligned Christopher Ward logo deeply engraved to the left side. It’s nicely machined and finished, and the logo works really well on the top bar.

The movement

The movement is the Sellita SW200-1; and it’s actually the only option provided (in the past all CW autos also have the ETA 2824-2 as an option). For me, this is the better choice – it’s practically the same movement, but it’s made on newer machinery and includes an extra jewel. Christopher Ward himself prefers them due to these reasons, so who am I to doubt.

The twin-flag engraving over “Colimaçoné” finish on rotor is stunning and really makes it stand out. The rotor also has the Christopher Ward logo deeply engraved arching around the outer edge.

Using my Lepsi Watch Scope, I measured the accuracy to be 10 seconds a day out. Of course, were not expecting COSC specs, but hopefully the watches that go out will be slightly more regulated.

Final comments

Whilst the Christopher Ward C5 Automatic Mk III doesn’t provide the same “bang for your buck” as the past models have due to the gradual price rise, there’s no doubt that it’s still a great watch for the money. £500 for a Swiss Made auto is pretty normal, so this watch doesn’t really give you that feeling of incredible value.

However, the build quality is top notch – the new case is delightful, and the custom rotor on the movement is stunning too. The dial design is spot on (as long as you can look past the lack of applied markers at every other hour) and it’s executed to perfection.

When you consider the C5 auto Mk III comes with a 5 year warranty too makes it a very tempting proposition. If you go for it, you won’t be disappointed.


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View comments 3


  1. Patrick G.

    Thanks for the reviews. I discovered so many brands and learned about watches in the process. Between this C5 and the CW C3 Malvern Chronograph MKIII watch, which one would you choose? I prefer automatic, but the C3 Chronograph looks nice.

    1. Joshua Clare-Flagg

      I’d go for the automatic 😉

  2. Ted

    Hi Joshua,

    I was stunned after reading your article and look at those pictures. I’m decided to get one. However, I’m not sure which color strap is featured here? Have you seen the brown color strap? Black and Brown, which one match with the blue face better? Appreciate your input.

    Once again, thanks for the great review!

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