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INTRODUCING: Christopher Ward The Twelve X, With a Price Tag That’s Pretty Unbeatable

The Christopher Ward The Twelve X in titanium case.

Skeleton movement, enhanced luminescence, and titanium case, all for approximately S$7,000.

When Christopher Ward announced a new version of its Twelve model, we quickly paid attention. The British watchmaker has a habit of stumping its competition not simply with well-priced offerings but with quality and performance that hit well above its weight category. The Bel Canto is an excellent example. Although it is an hourly chime that’s relatively simple to develop, it demonstrates the rapid gains a young watchmaker can achieve today while keeping prices very accessible.

The Christopher Ward The Twelve X in titanium case and rubber strap.
The Christopher Ward The Twelve X in titanium with rubber strap.

The latter point is particularly relevant this year when one of the most prominent watchmakers introduced a CHF30,000 full gold watch. There is nothing wrong with that, and while CHF30,000 for a full gold model is a steal for many collectors, coming from a brand with a vision dedicated to value watchmaking feels like it’s breaking the spirit of that vision.

A closeup of the dial reveals the SH21 movement with its twin barrels.
A closeup of the dial reveals the SH21 movement with its twin barrels.

Ward is sticking to its guns (at least, according to its story) that it will never price its products more than thrice their production costs. It’s hard to tell whether The Twelve X costs more than S$2,400 to produce – there are too many variables to account for. But what we can affirm is that this is a watch that definitely looks like it costs more than S$7,000 – way more.

The Christopher Ward The Twelve X is relatively slim at just over 12mm in thickness.
The Christopher Ward The Twelve X is relatively slim at just over 12mm in thickness.

Some quick specs: The Twelve X is a 41mm watch with a duodecagonal bezel housed in a combination of grades 2 and 5 titanium. The case middle is in brushed grade 2, while the bezel, caseback, and crown protectors are in grade 5 and feature a mix of finishes, including polished, brushed, and sandblasted. The watch is powered by the brand’s in-house SH21 chronometer-standard calibre, which is also fully skeletonised to maximise the view of the movement on both sides of the watch. Box sapphire crystals protect the movement while giving a full view of its finishing and operation.

The view of the movement through the caseback reveals the skeletonised winding rotor as well.
The view of the movement through the caseback reveals the skeletonised winding rotor as well.

The watch also features a titanium integrated bracelet with an innovative easy-adjustment mechanism, something we’re beginning to see recently in higher-end watchmaking. The minute ring and marker at 12 o’clock, as well as the hands, are coated with Globolight or Super-LumiNova X1 BL C1 to maximise visibility in the dark. Twin barrels ensure a power reserve of 120 hours. It’s also available with a rubber strap. The watch is water resistant to 100m; feel free to take this lightweight watch swimming or diving.

The Twelve X marks 20 years since Christopher Ward’s founding and demonstrates that it is possible for quality watchmaking to exist without exorbitant pricing. More importantly, it really highlights how the watchmaker has stepped up from being a startup to an established English watchmaker. If you’re looking for a good buy in 2024, it’s definitely worth considering The Twelve X.

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Editor

Darren has been writing about, and admiring the craft of watchmaking for over a dozen years. He considers himself lucky to live in a golden age of horology, and firmly believes that the most difficult watches to design are the simplest and the most intriguing to discover.


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