20th December 2012 by CW 2012: THE TIME OF OUR LIVES There was a lot to feel proud about in 2012. 2012 has been a remarkable year in so many ways – the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, the Olympics, the Paralympics and a certain Bradley Wiggins in yellow on the Champs-Élysées. But the past twelve months have also been unforgettable for an English watchmaker called Christopher Ward… A record breaking year It was an Olympic Games of fantastic world records for Great Britain and outstanding achievements at the London 2012 Olympics with Mo Farah’s double win, Bradley Wiggins’ reaching a total of 7 Olympic medals and becoming the first cyclist to win an Olympic gold medal and the Tour de France in the same year, Andy Murray and his 3 set win against Roger Federer and Jessica Ennis with her heptathlon gold. At Christopher Ward, we have had our own involvement with world records this year when we became the official timing partner for the Bluebird team in August as they bid to create new world records for battery operated vehicles. For us it’s a brilliant partnership between two innovative companies that champion British design and technology and we will be releasing a series of Bluebird watches to celebrate this partnership next year. The drivers will all wear the watches on their runs and the team at Bluebird is hoping that a Christopher Ward timepiece will be incorporated into the dashboard of their new-generation electric racing car. Part of the proceeds from the sale of these watches will go to the Bluebird team to help with the development of their projects. You can read more about our partnership in the Bluebird – A Record Breaking Heritage blog. Straight out of the blocks 2012 has seen several new product launches with the introduction of the iPhone 5, and iPads 3 and 4 from Apple, and the launch of EE the first 4G network in October. The big launch for us at Christopher Ward this year was the launch of the C900 Single Pusher Chronograph, an exciting and unique timepiece brought together by young watch genius, Johannes Janke, and 84-year old watch guru, Jean Fillon. This watch represents the pinnacle of our watch making achievements to date – a beautifully understated, classic looking chronograph powered by its own, exclusive, monopusher movement. You can read more about this unique watch in Worn & Wound’s review blog where they called it our “most important watch to-date”. The British are coming! 2012 has been a great year for British music, film, and literature taking major awards. Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy won Outstanding British Film and Best Adapted Screenplay at the BAFTAS and the 23rd official Bond film, Skyfall, released in October is the biggest grossing British film ever, taking a stunning £94.3million ($152million) in its first 40 days. In books, British author Hilary Mantel won the Man Booker Prize for the 2nd time in October and became the first ever author to win with a sequel. In music, established British acts such as Mumford & Sons, Adele and Calvin Harris have seen their overseas profile rise dramatically this year. 2012 has been a good year for new talent with British band Alt-J winning the Mercury Music Prize and acts like Lianne La Havas and Ben Howard emerging. The comeback of one of the all time British bands, The Rolling Stones, has also contributed to a year of brilliant British music. At Christopher Ward, we were very proud to have our C9 Harrison Jumping Hour short-listed for the 00/24 Best Watch of 2012 under Euro €3000. It was fantastic to be recognized as a leading player, especially as the awards ceremony was held in the UK for the first time at The British Film Institute in Piccadilly. Breathtaking women 2012 has been a year of women achieving in sport, music, literature, art and business and becoming more prominent in the press. Yet despite progress in so many areas, there are still very few companies that produce automatic watches for women. At Christopher Ward, we like to innovate and we know that women want more than just aesthetics, they care about the technology and functionality of their watches as well as the looks. We recognized this with the launch of the Belisama Automatic Collection this autumn. Our first mechanical watch for women has taken our women’s range into a new league that is only populated by the very best of watchmakers. Hello world In the year of social media where Facebook and Twitter users have reached over 33 million in the UK (54% of the population), Twitter and Pinterest has taken the world by storm, we launched the new CWORLD blog in August and it’s going from strength to strength. We would love to know what you think of it and what you would like us to write about, so please let us know in the comments below. 2013 – watch this space! Christopher Ward is growing fast – we have welcomed 5 new members to our team this year covering ecommerce, design, finance and customer service. There are now 16 of us based in Maidenhead and we hope to add further to that number in 2013 as the business continues to grow. Our product range has grown this year too, we introduced 7 completely new men’s watch designs this year and 4 new women’s, making a total of 103 exciting new Christopher Ward watches in 2012. Our global reach has also spread this year and we can now be found in 86 countries across the globe with Cambodia, Columbia, Vietnam and Barbados among our new customers. For 2013, we have an equally extensive new product development programme, including the much anticipated release of our first Bluebird watch as their Official time Keeper. Keep an eye out for that in the late spring as well as for autumn 2013 what we believe will be a completely new movement development that nobody has ever manufactured previously. We can’t say any more at this stage as it’s all top secret but, as we say, watch this space! It’s been a great 2012 and thank you all for supporting us throughout. Let’s all look forward to what 2013 is going to bring.