When the original 6 C70 watches were launched I wanted to collect them but never got them all. Later a few more were added to the C70 range and so I have the C70 DBR1, The C70 Monaco, The C70 IT Rosso Corsa, The C70 US Cunningham and the C70 D-Type. Clearly, I love this range and these four are arguably the best yet. For me though, the Red one is like my Rosso Corsa, The British one is like my DBR1, the French one is like my D-Type, so the obvious choice is the Belgian beauty. Guess I better start saving. Below is the press release from Christopher Ward about these gorgeous new watches.
THE CHRISTOPHER WARD MOTORSPORT COLLECTION EXPANDS – CELEBRATING THE FIRST DRIVERS TO REACH THE CHEQUERED FLAG
Motor racing heritage is full of extraordinary stories, but the pioneering Grand Prix races of the early 20th century rank among the most exhilarating and courageous in the sport’s history. Christopher Ward mark this unique period by expanding their Motorsport collection with 4 new COSC-certified chronometers designed to celebrate the winning drivers from the inaugural Grand Prix races in France (1906), Italy (1921), Belgium (1925) and Great Britain (1926). The design of these proud additions to Christopher Ward’s Motorsport range places powerful emphasis on the drivers and their stories. A series of design details highlight the skill and achievements of these drivers and share the fascinating stories behind each race. In addition, the new models also carry a number of technical advances too.
For the first time in the C70 family, all the new models are COSC-certified chronometers and the back-plate of each watch has also been re-modelled to incorporate, beneath museum-grade sapphire crystal, a ceramic flag of the relevant host nation, alongside the race date. In addition, each watch case features a recessed plate on the side – a device that has proven hugely successful with the recent C70 D-Type 3527GT releases – displaying the names of the driver/s of each race alongside their winning times.
Mike France, co-founder of Christopher Ward, welcomes the new launches: “These are incredibly beautiful and evocative models that carry so many wonderful details – it’s a real pleasure to take time to examine each watch and discover the unique story that each of the four models carries. The designs express real dynamism, not only through their technical qualities – including COSC-certified accuracy – but also through the quality of the flag colours used on the front and back of each model. Best of all, they share the incredible stories of courage and skill behind four of the most influential and enduring Grand Prix performances ever seen.”
The four models are offered on a premium quality Italian leather strap including Bader deployment or with a stainless steel bracelet option. Each of the four Grand prix models is available in a Limited Edition of only 500 pieces worldwide and this chronometer is certain to become a sought-after collector’s piece.
C70 BELGIAN GP 1925 CHRONOMETER
C70 FRENCH GP 1906 CHRONOMETER
C70 BRITISH GP 1926 CHRONOMETER
C70 ITALIAN GP 1921 CHRONOMETER
From £599.00 – Pre-order for mid-April. The full range can be viewed at www.christopherward.co.uk
From Szisz’s 1906 win near Le Mans in the world’s first Grand Prix to Brooklands 1926, from Goux’s stunning Italian victory in the mighty 3Litre Ballot to the tragic story of the legendary Ascari, this new collection evokes the inspirational heritage of Grand Prix racing.
The stories behind the dials:
C70 British GP 1926 Chronometer
Undoubtedly to the chagrin of the embryonic British racing industry, two Frenchmen, Robert Senechal and Louis Wagner, drove their equally French Delage 155 to victory in the first ever British Grand Prix. On an overcast day at the famous Brooklands track in Surrey, the Delage was brought home in a time of 4 hours and 56 seconds; a time that is etched onto a plate on the case side of this stunning chronometer. Although the victory was a French one, the British Racing Green colours of this watch, including a ceramic Union Flag beneath museum-grade sapphire crystal on the back of the case, signify the importance of the event (and venue) that was the birthplace of British motorsport and aviation.
C70 Italian GP 1921 Chronometer
On 4th September 1921, at Brescia, Frenchman Jules Goux drove his 3 Litre Ballot to victory at the first ever Italian Grand Prix. The car, commissioned by Edouard Ballot was a technological advancement designed specifically to win Grand Prix races – aiding Goux to the flag in a time of 3 hours, 35 minutes, 9 seconds. The C70 Italian GP 1921 Chronometer is another technical advance and celebrates the remarkable blend of man and machine that sparked the Italian flame of passion for motor racing, with the Italian flag resplendent in ceramic on the case back.
C70 French GP 1906 Chronometer
Covering a juddering 769 miles on a specially created but poor quality circuit near Le Mans, the inaugural French Grand Prix was designed to produce a French winner. A Renault 90CV was first past the flag (black, not chequered) but the winning driver was Hungarian, Ferenc Szisz. The pitted road was hazardous and the innovation of Michelin detachable rims was a factor but Szisz was a clear and deserving winner (his 45,000 Francs prize the equivalent of £325,000 today).
His name and winning time of 12 hours, 14 minutes and 7 seconds, are proudly displayed on a recessed plate on the case of this stunning chronometer. The French, however, inevitably get the last word; the Tricolor is elegantly displayed in ceramic beneath museum-grade sapphire crystal on the case back.
C70 Belgian GP 1925 Chronometer
The name ‘Ascari’ is synonymous with motor racing and carries huge poignancy. Italian driver, Antonio Ascari, father of twice world champion Alberto Ascari, guided his Alfa Romeo P2 to a famous victory at the inaugural Belgian Grand Prix at Spa Francorchamps on June 28th 1925. Four weeks later he was dead – fatally injured during the 23rd lap of the French Grand Prix at Montlery on 26th July (Alberto too died aged 36, in 1955, also in a race crash).
Remembered as a driver for his daring skilfulness behind the wheel, Ascari won the race in a time of 6:42:57; a time faithfully recorded alongside the great driver’s name on a recessed plate on the case. The yellow, red and black of the Belgian flag are strikingly used on the dial and hands and in tricolour form in ceramic beneath museum-grade sapphire crystal on the case-back.
The C70 GP Chronometer Limited Edition:
• Swiss made chronometer
• Special limited edition of only 500 pieces worldwide
• 27 jewel Swiss quartz movement and COSC Certification
• Chronograph dials with split minutes/seconds/ 1/10th seconds
• Convex sapphire crystal
• Multi-layered precision dial
• Marine-grade stainless steel case with screw-in crown
• “Winning Race Time Plate” on case side
• Back-plate includes ceramic disc of host nation set under museum-grade sapphire crystal
• Individual serial number
• Premium quality Italian leather strap, including Bader deployment
• Unique engraved individual serial number
• Deluxe box and owner’s handbook.
• Diameter: 42mm
• Height: 11.8mm
• Weight: 87g
• Calibre: ETA 251.264 COSC
• Case: 316L stainless steel
• Water resistance: 10ATM
• Strap: 22mm Italian leather