Though I will often take watches off at the office and lay them at my desk while typing on the keyboard, I did not feel any need to do so with The Twelve (36mm). The bracelet didn’t scrape against the desk and the watch remained so light I barely noticed it was there. One thing I did notice and enjoyed was when the light caught the Nordic Blue dial in a way that, due to the length and angle of the indices, formed an optical illusion of a perfect concentric circle. It gave me a newfound appreciation of the symmetry of the 36mm reference and Christopher Ward’s incredible attention to detail. Even the most obsessive… I mean… fastidious enthusiast, would be hard-pressed to find a flaw in this design. I’m normally a fan of numerals of some kind for legibility’s sake, but they just weren’t needed here. The hour hand nearly touched each marker and the minute track was very clear. Both of these things, coupled with the Super LumiNova® on the indices and hands, made it easy to read throughout the night.
Overall, The Twelve would be a great addition to any collector hopping on the integrated sports watch train, or one in the market for a universally flattering fit. Certainly, its build, style, and general quality exceed its price point. Though this piece of advice is more difficult with Christopher Ward than it typically is with other brands whose boutiques are ubiquitous in major cities, this is a watch its intended audience may want to try on in-person before taking the plunge. The 36mm design of The Twelve is absolutely a push in the right direction as the watch world slowly opens its arms to women and begins its flirtation with the more modest sizing of decades past. However, the nature of this particular watch lends itself to a fit that can’t be properly conveyed by the specs alone.
My experience with The Twelve made me appreciate the fact I can love a watch for what it is, even if I don’t have the coveted “aha!” moment the first time on wrist. It was a slow burn, and by the end of my time with both the 36mm and 40mm versions, I could see incorporating these pieces into my current collection if I decided to add an integrated bracelet to the mix.
Having experienced this watch as a companion to my daily routine, I can confidently say that I would leave my Three for $5k nominations untouched. Though I wouldn’t choose an integrated bracelet sports watch as a standalone adventure buddy despite its specs, I think The Twelve is a sensible choice for a collection of any size. There are very few situations it would look out of place, which is part of the core appeal of this style of watch. And for the price point and quality craftsmanship that put Christopher Ward on our collective radar, this integrated bracelet sports watch, specifically, is an excellent choice.
Finally, for those smaller-wristed amongst us debating both sizes, it may come down to just how much attention-grabbing you prefer in your watches. As one gentleman in a watch forum commented on my wrist check of the 40mm, “that looks like Ironman’s blaster thing on you!” This is also now the metric by which I judge wrist presence… trademark pending. If you’re not into that BWE (Big Watch Energy) per se, the 36mm option might be exactly the thing you’re looking for. Your watch-curious friends of all wrist sizes will thank you. Christopher Ward