Eventually, all small-independent watchmaker roads lead to GMT watches. And sometimes, the roads are rugged and sandy, like the Dune du Pilat in Aquitaine, after which the watches are named. Europe’s tallest sand dune inspires this Christopher Ward collection with warm color palettes, adventurous styling, and specifications well-suited to a rough environment. The new Christopher Ward C65 Dune GMT is familiar and has modern specifications. For instance, the unguarded crown nods to a more vintage era, while the box sapphire and the faux patina luminescent markers double down on this vibe.

The box sapphire distorts the hour markers, making them dance a little when the watch is manipulated at an angle. But this watch isn’t just a 1960s-inspired sports/field watch. The light-catcher case, with its sleek lines and chamfered edges, is a modern detail that will initially catch the eye of any passerby, and then the harmony of the refined dial will invite them in further.

Powered by the Swiss-made Sellita SW330-2, you’ll get 56 hours of power reserve, all in a slim package that allows the watch to be only 11.9mm in height. For a GMT watch, that is fantastic. The GMT hand will track a second time zone against the interior 24-hour scale, but you cannot jump the local hour hand like a “traveler” GMT. This watch is a “caller” GMT, which could be forgiven at this price point. Flip the watch over, and you will see the beautifully decorated rotor with the twin flags.

The watch is water resistant to 150m, which blows many other field watches out of the water (where they belong), and the timekeeping accuracy is- 20/+20 seconds per day. A perfectly color-matched date wheel ties the dial together with the diamond-polished indices and brushed hands. The 38mm case diameter and 43.7mm lug-to-lug length ensure this watch will be agreeable with most wrists, so that leaves one question … do you want it on the quick-release Bader bracelet or the 20mm canvas or leather strap?

The font and spacing of “D U N E” GMT on the Christopher Ward website seem coincidentally cheeky with recent box office hits. However, the only thing this watch possibly shares with the current sci-fi movie is the warm, desert color palette. The khaki green 24-hour ring and GMT hand pop against the white sand dial, with the creamy, fauxtina luminescence tying both colors together. The execution of the dial is excellent down to the truncated hour marker at six below the date window. There is something wonderfully hipster about this watch (I thought that before watching Christopher Ward’s video of a flannel-wearing filmmaker sporting it on Dune du Pilat with a beanie that didn’t cover their ears).

The C65 Dune GMT is available now for $1,165 on a canvas strap, $1,180 on a leather strap, and $1,365 on a bracelet. It occupies a sensible space not yet filled by Christopher Ward. The Dune collection is their vintage-inspired, non-diver sports collection, and this is their GMT. The 38mm case diameter was not yet part of The Sealander line (their other non-diver sport watch collection), which will be good for sales and the consumer. A watch lover can have Sealanders and Dunes in their collection without it feeling redundant or that they bought the same thing twice. If Christopher Ward continues releasing watches under the Dune line, I look forward to seeing more warm and pastel colors. The colors on the dial took what was just an added complication to the Dune line and made it a very fun release.

Christopher Ward

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