Earlier this month, CW co-founder Chris Ward visited Thrill on the Hill, an event organised by our partners at the Morgan Motor Company to commemorate the fifty-year anniversary of their popular Plus 8 car. So what makes the CW + Morgan relationship such a good one?
The association between watches and motorsport has been around for almost 100 years. Aston Martin had their dashboards designed and peppered with Jaeger-LeCoultre’s instrumentation close to a century ago and in the decades that have followed many collaborations have come to the fore. In Italy, Ferrari have teamed up with Panerai; in Germany, Mercedes and IWC; and in Britain, Morgan and Christopher Ward have formed a partnership.
At the announcement in 2016, MD of the Morgan Motor Company, Steve Morris said “This partnership is founded on a shared passion for craftsmanship, watches and automobiles”, and recently I had the chance to join Steve and his team for a celebration of a special anniversary and to see that passion in the metal.
On the 11th August, Morgan threw the doors of their famous factory and grounds open to Morgan owners, enthusiasts and the general public alike for ‘Thrill on the Hill’, a special event to celebrate the legendary Plus 8’s 50th anniversary. Morgan had also specially commissioned the building of fifty Plus 8 50th Anniversary Edition cars, one of which was on show at their Malvern factory. It provided the perfect photo opportunity for Steve and me to showcase the car alongside the C1 Morgan Plus 8 Limited Edition, a watch designed between our senior designer Adrian Buchmann and his counterpart at Morgan, Head of Design Jon Wells. Adrian and Jon’s approach was a novel one, with the watch’s dial and car’s dashboard designed together at the same time, with the Morgan’s dashboard decorations matching the watch’s dial. With one of these watches supplied with each of the fifty cars created, the Plus 8 project showed the collaboration and detail of our partnership at its best.
The Christopher Ward area in the Morgan shop was very busy throughout the day with plenty of interest from the visiting crowds, some of whom were familiar with the Morgan collaboration watches and some who were seeing them for the first time. It was great to see a number of guests proudly sporting their Morgan x CW watches purchased over the last few years of the partnership.
Thrill on the Hill also gave us the perfect opportunity to show off the latest addition to the Morgan Collection, the C3 Morgan Chronograph; we’ve introduced the C3 to make the British design principles found at the heart of our two companies, along with the Swiss expertise of our Biel-based atelier, accessible to all.
While other brands continue to speak of their technological advancements and throw marketing millions at their tie-ups to create synergies in the minds of their prospective customers, our partnership takes a different approach. Both Steve at Morgan and myself are more than content to continue hand-crafting cars and wristwatches for those who appreciate the quintessentially English traits of eccentricity and ingenuity. That’s why we call it a very British partnership!