The release of the third generation of Malverns is a milestone for Christopher Ward. Here co-founders Mike France and Chris Ward join CW Senior Designer Adrian Buchmann to talk about this very special release…
Hi guys. You’re releasing the the third generation C3 and C5 Malverns. There’s a lot of history there…
Mike France: Absolutely, the Malvern Automatic and Chronograph were our first watches and set the tone for everything that followed. As we’ve launched many models since, they’re not quite as important, but they’re still great entry-level timepieces. And they’ve got a big place in our hearts – that’s why we’re so proud of the latest incarnations.
What was your inspiration?
Adrian Buchmann: The new designs came naturally from what we’d done with the C1 Grand Malvern. The main idea was to apply this new aesthetic to the rest of the range, particularly the contrast between soft and dynamic lines, and the play of the light captured on the case.
And what about that case? It’s getting a lot of love…
MF: We changed manufacturer to improve the quality: now the level of detailing in the design is hugely advanced. The new Malvern case has the same design DNA as our premium C1 Grand Malvern but is simpler and therefore cheaper to manufacture. But it’s still a step-change, in terms of looks and quality, from the Mark II case.
Chris Ward: It’s instantly recognizable as a Malvern but is so much more refined. I can’t stop looking at it!
How did the development of the watches go?
AB: We spent about six months in development but this doesn’t count the time we spent prior to that during the redefinition of the company’s design DNA.
What are the main differences between the two Malvern models?
MF: The C3 Chronograph is a quartz watch, the C5 is mechanical. This time around we’re saying goodbye to our old friend, the C5 Quartz. It seems people either want to trade-up to our C5 Automatic or go for the sportier chronograph movement of the C3. Sales of the C5 Quartz have been in decline for a while and now is the right time to move on. Fond memories though!
So you’re a big fan?
CW: I certainly am. The quality and work that goes into each watch is hugely impressive. There’s greater attention-to-detail and a definitive CW look is emerging. And the finishing is out of this world.
MF: I’d agree with Chris. Adrian’s designed two superior watches in every facet and yet they’re still clearly Malverns. And within the budget of most people.
AB: I used to work for watch brands that charged up to a million euros for their timepieces. They were great projects, but designing watches that people around me can afford makes me even prouder.
What type of customers are you targeting with the new Malverns?
MF: The C3 appeals particularly to people who want a classic looking watch with a sportier edge (after all, the original was based on the dashboard of an Aston Martin) while the C5 has a particular following among people who want to step up to a superior mechanical watch. We’re not suggesting they’re the finest watches in the world – at the end of the day we sell many finer – but what I absolutely know, is there are no finer watches at these prices anywhere in the world. And that’s the Malvern difference.