After getting my Christopher Ward C6 Kingfisher I further explored the Christopher Ward watch collection and discovered a limited edition watch – The Malvern Aviator. This was based on the 1936 Aviator watch by IWC, so this hook worked for me with my love of all things to do with aviation – no doubt started by my fervent reading of Biggles as a youngster. The next hook was having “Malvern” in its name – well I live there – so that was that and a Malvern Aviator was ordered. This comes with a Swiss ETA 2824-2 automatic movement which has been beautifully dressed and is stunning to view via the rear view case. This watch is a quiet delight and gets a lot of wrist time, especially being so clear and easy to read.
Limited to an edition of 1936 watches to mark the 70th anniversary of the first wrist watch designed for aviators – this timepiece has already achieved legendary status among Christopher Ward afficianados.
In the early days of flying, aviation pioneers like Charles Lindbergh, Louis Bleriot and Oskar Bider kept track of time using pocket stop watches and a fair amount of improvisation. It wasn’t until 1936 that IWC of Schaffhausen in Switzerland developed the first wristwatch specially made for pilots. It had a black dial and high contrast luminous hands for ease of reading and incorporated an inlaid arrow at the 12 0’clock position. It’s also worth pointing out that the Spitfire propeller was the inspiration for the shape of the hands on the Malvern Aviator!
So here are my thoughts on this watch. First, I love the brushed finish on the metal case which dresses down the case nicely. Secondly, the watch face is clinically clear and the fineness of the watch hands suggests a pinpoint accuracy. I love my Breitling Navitimer for its sheer busyness but this I love for its sheer simplicity – a very easy face to read. Thirdly, I first bought it with a black leather strap and loved the whole look of the watch and strap but when I added a brown CWL strap it was like getting a whole new watch again and I have stuck with this combination ever since. Again I think the black face with brown strap hints at a more practical look and gets it further away from being a dressy watch. Fourthly the display back allows you to see the ETA 2824-2 movement which has been beautifully dressed and it is a delight to watch the movement in action when I take the watch off my wrist. The watch has all the hallmarks of an expensive watch but at a bread and butter price point and it gets a lot of wrist time because it looks good, works well, is very accurate yet can take a knock or two.
Finally, as I said reviewing my CWL Kingfisher, the packaging is also first class. A lovely display box adds to the quality feel of the product and a hand signed letter from Mr. Ward himself is a nice touch. Quite simply this watch hooked me as surely as Biggles caught the bad guys.
- Swiss made
- Limited edition of 1936 pieces
- 25/26 Jewel customised automatic movement
- Incabloc anti-shock system
- 38 Hour power reserve
- Precision etched 2-piece dial
- Screw-in crown and back plate
- Anti-reflective sapphire crystal
- Hand finished case with exhibition back
- Italian Leather strap with easy opening butterfly clasp
- Premium Louisiana alligator upgrade available
- Diameter: 38mm > Height: 10.8mm > Weight: 140g
- Calibre: ETA 2824-2 / Sellita SW200-1
- Strap: Leather Strap – width 18mm
- Vibrations: 28800 per hour