As we celebrate our 10th anniversary at Christopher Ward it may well not surprise you that we are actually looking forward rather than back! This summer sees three significant announcements that are vivid indicators of our ambitions for the next ten years.
The exciting launch of our first in-house movement, Calibre SH21, and the arrival of the stunning C9 Harrison 5-Day Automatic (the first model to house Calibre SH21) inevitably dominate our news – but there is also an absolutely crucial development in our business structure that not only underpins both those new launches but also creates a solid foundation for our future growth.
The long-standing association between Christopher Ward and our highly skilled Swiss production partner Synergies Horlogères has been expanded and formallised through a merger of our two companies, creating a new shared company – Christopher Ward London Holdings.
Announced on 2 July 2014, the merger allows us to become masters of our own destiny by creating a truly vertical watch brand where the customer is in direct contact with the supply chain, including the watchmaker. It also means we have under one umbrella some of the finest watchmaking talent in the industry which will help fuel the continuation of innovative timepieces for which we have become reowned.
Calibre SH21 is just the first of the in-house movements to be created by this new company and will, in time, be joined by a number of other complications, all of which will also give the Christopher Ward brand increasing insulation from the COMCO decision to allow ETA ot to have to supply movements to 3rd parties by 2019/20.
Synergies Horlogères is led by Jörg Bader – you’ll recognise his name as the creator of the innovative Bader Buckle, of course – but his true genius is in his in-depth knowledge of the Swiss watchmaking industry, gained through a 30-year career. Jörg has been a vital support for our production in the Biel workshops for many years and his expertise will continue to help drive our business, not least through his visionary role in developing Calibre SH21.
Our merger also consolidates our relationship with a name even more familiar to you – the master watchmaker Johannes Jahnke. Already a legend among CW fans for his extraordinary creations – the JJ Calibres – Johannes conceived and developed SH21. Given free rein to create his masterpiece, Johannnes began with a blank sheet of A4 and the vision he shared with Jörg and us to create an ultra-reliable, precision movement to ultimately match the industry’s most respected movements. Time will tell, as ever, but Calibre SH21 is a truly extraordinary first step into our second decade.