OceanicTime Archives


WILLIAM WOODS Valiant Collection [Inspired by British FIREFIGHTERS]

Taking its name from the founder’s late grandfather who bravely served in the British Fire Service for 25 years and who is paid tribute to with –

the brand’s logo, a representation of a 1920's British fireman’s helmet, William Wood is a young British, sustainable watch brand that up-cycles old rescue-services’ materials.

This is their debut diver’s watch, the Valiant Collection, a 41mm, Stainless steel automatic dive watch available with a choice of either a Swiss ETA 2824 or Japanese Seiko NH35 automatic movement.

In addition to one or two up-cycled features the Valiant collection is literally brimming with Fire-service inspired details.

For starters the collection offers 5 color variants named: Red Watch, Yellow Watch, Blue Watch, White Watch, Rose Watch and Black Watch - as in a firefighter’s watch i.e. those hours when they are on active duty.

It’s just a small detail but the double markers at 12 o’clock on the dial recall the markings a Crew Manager would have on his or her uniform collar while the counter-weight of the seconds hand is reminiscent of the chime from an old fire engine bell.

The beautiful checkered markings printed around the perimeter of the dial are the same markings found on the side of a British fire engine.

Diver’s features include: a unidirectional diver’s bezel, Super-LumiNova, a screw-down case-back and crown, a 100 meters of water-resistance and a double domed Sapphire crystal with blue-tinted AR.

The crown boasts a special insert made from a 1920’s British brass firefighter’s helmet. All of the casting and craftsmanship was carried out in the heart of London’s prestigious Hatton Garden, jewelry district.

The crown insert is finished with a William Wood firefighter helmet logo engraving.

Something that William Woods are particularly proud of is the fact that they have created a unique strap that uses cast offs from old Angus Duraline British fire hose rubber.

Fire hose rubber is designed to be one of the most durable materials that there is which can withstand extreme conditions.

WW have a 70mm roll of Angus Duraline fire hose which has provided over 10 years of service to the UK Fire & Rescue community.

The straps are available in either red or yellow – and apparently you can still smell the smokiness in the rubber!

A Limited Edition of 250 pieces, each watch comes with a unique engraving between 1 - 250 on its case-back.

The watches of the William Woods Valiant Collection are available for PRE-ORDER with delivery in May of this year. MSRP is 499GBP (NH35) 699GBP (ETA).

Thoughts? This is such a nice way to honor all those brave firefighters who willingly lay down their lives to keep us safe.

While the watch itself is a little generic – albeit in a classic style, it is however packed with tons of thoughtful details that make for a good-looking timepiece.

I love the up-cycling elements in particular the yellow fire hose strap. The choice of movements is welcomed, too. Oh, and another 10atm next time, please! ;)

Follow the link embedded, below for a full list of specifications etc.



Christopher Ward C60 Elite GMT 1000

Christopher Ward is more productive than a spring bunny; we’ve seen a whole litter of new CWs released in the past couple of months –

here’s another which is based on the British brand’s contemporary, high-end diver, the C60 Elite - stay tuned for one more, soon.

Introducing the new C60 Elite GMT 1000, a professional dive watch with a 1000m water-resistant case made from Grade 2 Titanium.

The watch is available with a choice of either a Grade 2 Titanium bracelet or CW’s Hybrid rubber/textile strap that comes in either black textile with red contrasting rubber, or blue with orange.

Designed to be easily worn over neoprene the bracelet features CW’s intuitive quick-release system. On the bracelet the watch weighs just 133g or 77g without.

In addition to 100atm, the C60 Elite comes with a built-in automatic Helium Release Valve as well as a unidirectional diver’s bezel with a brushed or polished Zirconia Ceramic inlay.

The dial is covered with a 3.8mm anti-reflective Sapphire crystal while the screw-down exhibition case-back has a 3.4mm crystal affording a view of the CW custom rotor beneath.

In addition to the day date window at 3 o'clock on the glossy black or blue dial, the watch has the Trident 3's redesigned handset.

These, along with the bezel, have been filled with Swiss Super-LumiNova Grade X1 GL C1 - the best possible lume available, say CW.

Power comes from a Swiss made Sellita SW220 movement, an automatic caliber with 38-hours of power-reserve and a built-in shock system.

Each SW220 has also been certified by the (COSC) Swiss organization Contrôle Officiel Suisse des Chronomètres.

It has an accuracy of just -4/+6 seconds per day, putting the Elite 1000 in the top 6% of all Swiss-made watches for accuracy.

The Christopher Ward C60 Elite GMT 1000 has an MSRP of approx. 1’935UD on its bracelet or 1’680USD on the Hybrid strap. Both are available from early April 2020.

Thoughts? CW only started life in 2004. While I found their earlier models to be a little generic and perhaps unexciting, the brand’s own design language and point of view are more apparent these days;

their current line up offers a diverse range of good looking models. I am particularly fond of the vintage-style C65 models, but this is very nice, too.

It has been interesting to CW continue to grow and evolve as a brand. I look forward to seeing what the future holds.

But what do you think – could a Christopher Ward go head to head against an Oris or even a Tudor???


BREITLING Top Time Limited Edition ZORRO DIAL

Here’s a quick question for you - would you rather read about a mediocre diver’s watch or a lovely sports watch with a “Zorro dial”, a model of which was once worn by James Bond?

Perhaps I’ll post that diver another day, then.

Yes, Zorro and James Bond in one watch! The Zorro reference is an easy one – we’ll get to that in a moment –

but did you know that James Bond played by Sean Connery wore a Q Branch-modified, Breitling Top Time / Geiger-Counter in the 1965 Thunderball film?

Now, you can also get a retro Breitling Top Time LE dating back to 1965.

It won’t be able to detect radioactive emissions but it does comes with one of the most recognizable dials ever made, referred to as the “Zorro dial” by collectors.

The OG Top Time was launched by Breitling in the 1960s as a sports watch for “young and active professionals” kinda’ like us. There were several variants. Some later ones had really funky cases.

The 2020 Breitling Top Time offers a modern interpretation in a 41mm Stainless steel case with a dial that features an old school, decimal scale allowing for base 100 format measurements -

as well as those iconic black segments that surround the chrono counters between 2 and 4hr and 8 and 10hr recalling the famous Zorro mask.

The 30m water-resistant case houses a COSC-certified Breitling Caliber B23 chronograph movement and is limited to 2000 pieces.

The Breitling Top Time LE is presented on a brown Nubuck strap with a Stainless steel pin buckle. It has an MSRP of USD 4’990USD.


Christopher Ward C65 GMT WORLDTIMER

Diving world-timers are a little like London buses … you wait ages for one, then two come along together!

It was only a week or so ago that we looked at Ball’s Engineer Master II Diver WORLDTIME, now here’s another model belonging to that rare sub-category of dive watches, world-timers.

Inspired by the emergence of long-distance air travel during the 60s, the new C65 GMT Worldtimer harkens back to those pioneering early days of sport-diving and supersonic travel.

It is also the first CW to feature both a GMT and world-timer function, giving the brand’s classic diver the ultimate tool aesthetic.

Surrounding its yellow and white framed black dial is an eye-catching world-timer bezel.

From London to S. Georgia (the British Overseas Territory in the southern Atlantic Ocean, that is not the south of the Peach State!) and everything in-between –

the C65 also connects its wearer with 24 of the World’s cities. These can be read in conjunction with a prominent yellow arrow-head GMT hand.

The watch’s 42mm (43mm inlc. bezel.) case is water-resistant to 150m and comes with a screw-down crown and case-back and a domed Sapphire crystal.

Housed inside is a Sellita SW330 automatic movement with dual-time functionality allowing for the time to be told in two simultaneous time-zones.

From fully wound, the SW330 provides 42hrs of autonomy, while vibrating at a rate of eight times per second (28,800 times an hour).

MSRP in the UK is just shy of a thousand pounds.

Thoughts? The nerd appeal has been fully dialed upped on this C65. While it remains faithful to the vintage diving genre, it has plenty of geeky charm with the inclusion of the world-time bezel;

I don’t need one, but I kinda’ want one. This or the BALL???


BALL WATCH Engineer Hydrocarbon ORIGINAL

Celebrating 15 years of their most rugged and iconic collection, could this be Ball’s answer to the modern-day Fifty Fathoms?

It certainly has the look and feel of a neo-classic diver but like any Ball timepiece you don’t need to scratch too far beneath the surface before you uncover an innovation or two.

In this instance, one of the Engine Hydrocarbon Original’s neat tricks is a disappearing act – you could say the art of illumination without illumination!

Ball has stealthily hidden what are considered by some (me) as ugly or at best clunky, Tritium Gas Tubes beneath the EH Original’s dial –

giving you all the benefits of their cutting-edge Swiss luminescent technology while retaining the look and feel of a classic diver’s face which they have covered with a domed Sapphire crystal.

In addition to the micro gas tubes integrated underneath the dial, Ball’s famous luminosity can also be found below a tough Sapphire crystal bezel inlay.

With graduated markings that track up to 60 minutes, the unidirectional bezel also features special indentations that allow it to be easily used with bare hands or diving gloves.

As well as its 30 micro gas tubes, special crown protection and water-resistance of up to 200 meters, the 40mm Engineer Hydrocarbon Original –

is anti-magnetic to 80,000 A/m, shock resistance to 7,500Gs and boasts a patented buckle that can withstand 1,400 newtons of force.

Power comes from an automatic caliber BALL RR1102-CSL, a certified chronometer by the COSC – Official Swiss Chronometer Testing Institute.

Inside the movement itself, is Ball’s patented SpringSEAL® system that safeguards the regulator assembly and ensures it does not change position upon impact –

while a patented SpringLOCK® system covers the hairspring and limits the unfurling of the coils in order to prevent twisting upon impact.

The exacting precision is safeguarded further by Ball’s patented Amortiser® anti-shock system that surrounds the movement and absorbs any knocks and bumps from the rigors of an active life.

Thoughts? Besides an extra 2mm, I wish they’d had the balls to leave the day /date off! I have mocked up an unofficial no date variant. What do you think . . . sexy!?

MSRP in the US is approx. 3’100USD.