For those of us less interested in the Frederique Constant watch her are however some interesting insights into the Christopher Ward offering.
The C9 Moonphase is the latest in C. Ward’s flagship C9 series, and another in-house complication solution by horological wunderkind Johannes Jahnke, the movement designer behind such previous efforts as the C900 Worldtimer, the C9 Jumping Hour and the C9 5-Day Automatic.The C9 Moonphase, however, represents a significant step forward for C. Ward, with Jahnke’s moonphase module (on top of a ETA 2836-2 base instead of their bespoke SH21, in a surprising move that probably has to do with reducing cost and overall movement thickness) promising both smooth movement as opposed to the more usual daily jump in most moonphase complications, as well as an accuracy of within 1 day for every 128 years of running.
Supporting these bold claims is an even bolder design, one that is sure to be a major talking-point for the watch. Between the FC and the C. Ward, the C9 Moonphase is definitely the more daring in terms of style and in my opinion can be both a blessing and a curse. Instead of the more usual route Frederique Constant have taken with a small moonphase dial at 6, C. Ward have made a point of making the moon the centerpiece of the dial, and at more that half the area of the dial (22 millimeters wide!) it certainly is, shining brilliantly in nickel plate above a star-field of midnight blue and a guillochéd section meant to evoke the rolling tides of the lunar cycle.
The handset is polished needles taken straight from the rest of the C9 line, and the indices are slim applied rectangles with applied Roman numerals at 12, 3, and 9. The date window sits below the level of the main dial at 6 o’clock, and is kept unobtrusive with a dial-color wheel. The overall effect here is multi-layered, with the moon, the guillotined “tide”, the main dial, and the date window all sitting at different levels. The case is a bit more traditional, with simple flat sides and gently tapered lugs although the pillbox crown is a bit larger than you might expect. There’s no doubt it’s a striking design, and in certain dial and strap combinations, especially the midnight blue-on-blue, I find it incredibly attractive. I can definitely see this one being a divisive piece, however. The C9 Moonphase also offers a 38 hour reserve and a tentative starting price of £1295, or just over $2k when it goes on preorder this November.