Christopher Ward C9 Jumping Hour Watch Review (with video)


Here is my hands-on review of the Christopher Ward C9 Jumping Hour Watch, including a 1-minute video of the watch in action.  Christopher Ward is an entry-level British luxury watch brand which specializes in both mechanical and quartz watches. All its timepieces are designed in the UK and manufactured in Biel, Switzerland.  The aim for Christopher Ward is simple and not unlike that of Frederique Constant: to put well made and designed watches within the reach of more than just deep-pocketed watch buyers and elite collectors.

For a watch that sells at a shade under $1,400 US, I was thoroughly impressed.  See what you think.

Christopher Ward C9 Jumping Hour Watch

Price as pictured: $1360 (other options available — see below)

43mm x 13.3mm steel case, automatic mechanical JJ01 jumping hour caliber (bespoke modification of ETA 2824 by Johannes Jahnke)


The origins of the Jumping Hour (or Jump Hour) watch have been traced to French and Swiss Pocket watches and clocks from as far back as the 1830s and 1840s.   The great Swiss-based Austrian watchmaker Joseph Pallweber did exemplary work with Jumping Hour pocket watch models for IWC in the 1880s and so is regarded by some as the father of the digital watch. Despite the modern connection with electronic displays, the general definition of a digital watch is on that displays time in the form of numbers, rather than by  dial and hands.  So a Jumping Hour watch can be seen as a fascinating hybrid of analogue and digital.  The analogue minute hand passes round the dial and gives the impetus for the “jump” of the hour numeral, which brings in the digital element.  The prominent digit in the hour window and the position of the minute hand enable one to tell time very quickly and easily.


The modified automatic mechanical ETA 2894-2 caliber in this watch is the work of Johannes Jahnke.  Championed by Marco Heyne of Lange & Heyne (Germany), Johannes finished his first watch in 2006 with the support of Lange & Heyne.  In 2008, Jahnke was asked by join Jörge Bader, Christopher Ward’s Swiss partner.  Working out of Biel, Switzerland, Jahnke went on to produce this jump hour caliber, as well as a mono-pusher chronograph design for Christopher Ward as well.

The caliber is nicely though modestly finished, as to be expected at this price point.


Speaking of the inspiration to create a jumping hour movement, Johannes said this:

The Jumping Hour is a mixture between turning and moving parts and this makes it interesting for us.  There are a lot of complications with wheels and gears, but not so many with moving levers and cams.  It is closer to the kinematik of a chronograph than of a moon phase or a power reserve.  We have seen a lot of Jumping Hours in the past but only in the higher price ranges.  There is no “affordable” Jumping Hour movement around.  The Jumping Hours has, until now, been the reserve of luxury brands because it needs mainly expensive parts for an understated look.


Regarding pricing:

C9 Jumping Hour Mk III on leather strap (choice of color) £995/$1360/€1340.  A limited edition C9 Jumping Hour Mk III with leather strap and 18ct Gold Bezel sells at: £1795/$2460/€2420.  Steel bracelet also available, just add ~$150.


Official details / “buy now” info is available here on the Christopher Ward website>>>

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