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If there’s one thing that Christopher Ward champions beyond proving that well-made, well-designed watches don’t have to cost the earth, it’s ensuring the next generation who design, build and maintain these exquisite pieces of engineering receive the nurturing and support they need.

Alexander’s award-winning table clock & separate wristwatch project

One important way CW displays its support of grassroots British watchmaking talent is through its relationship with the Horology BA (Hons) course at Birmingham City University, the only degree course of its kind in the UK. Since 2014, this partnership has ranged from supplying old movements for the students to practice on through to hosting individuals for hands-on work experience; meanwhile, last month saw co-founder Chris Ward and Technical and QC Manager Andrew Henry make the trip up to BCU’s School of Jewellery to attend its annual awards evening, with Chris presenting the prestigious Technical Achievement award to one worthy winner.

This year’s award recipient, Alexander Goodwin, produced a table clock based on Galileo’s Escapement, during which he resolved several technical and design issues. That Alexander was picked for the Technical Achievement award from a number of students gives an inkling of the horological pedigree being developed throughout its workshops. The course’s purpose, after all, is to train and create employable students in horology, and is specifically tailored to meet the growing global demand for watchmakers and clockmakers who are qualified to the industry standard.

Chris Ward [right] shares a celebratory handshake with Alexander Goodwin

As a co-founder of a brand that is proud of its English roots, and conscious of the part British watchmakers have had in the development of such a delicate and detailed technology, Chris recognises the importance of keeping this precise art alive. “As a British brand, I believe it is important for us to help nurture British watchmaking talent in any way we can. Every year, I’m always incredibly impressed with the standard of work produced by BCU’s students and I’m sure that this year’s winner, Alexander Goodwin, has a bright future ahead of him.” And for Alexander, what better way is there – beyond the recognition of his peers and superiors – to celebrate an award than being presented with a brand new C60 Trident Pro 600 by CW himself?

Jeremy Hobbins, Head of Horology at BCU’s School of Jewellery, was reflective after the event. “I’m very grateful to Chris Ward for his continued support of our students. It is always a pleasure when he and Andrew Henry join our annual Industry Awards to celebrate the work of BCU Horology students and there is no doubt that having such generous support is a fantastic motivator for our students and that this year’s recipient, Alex Goodwin, is a very worthy winner of the “Christopher Ward” prize.”

We’re already looking forward to next year.

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