This Watch Uses Water Pressure to Dive Deeper

A new affordable diver from Christopher Ward resurrects the technology behind the Super Compressor case.

christopher ward c65 super compressor
Christopher Ward

With its captivating retro look, the Super Compressor style of dive watch has seen renewed popularity in recent years — but in most cases, it's just that: a style. A set of dual crowns and inner rotating bezel are enough for most manufacturers to recall the Super Compressor, but British watchmaker Christopher Ward is unusual in presenting its new C65 dive watch with a mechanism that, like the originals of the 1960s, is meant to use water pressure itself to tighten the seals as the diver goes deeper.

"Super Compressor" describes a type of watch case that was used by multiple brands, equipped with a spring at its case back. As water pressure builds up, this spring tightens and its water resistance actually increases. It's a clever and elegant design, but it's not the preferred method for ensuring water resistance in modern dive watches today — a combination of screw-down crowns, gaskets and modern crystals is enough to do the trick.

christopher ward c65 super compressor
Christopher Ward

That's why it's interesting for Christopher Ward to not only offer the style but the technology of the Super Compressor in a modern watch — and to do so at a characteristically reasonable price. What's perhaps coolest about the C65 is that through a wide exhibition case back window you can see not only the Sellita SW200 automatic movement but the compressor system itself, highlighted in orange.

So how deep can the C65 Super Compressor go? It's rated to 150m, which is surely sufficient for most recreational diving and water-related activities. Like other Super Compressor dive watches, the rotating bezel is placed beneath the crystal and turned via the crown at 2 o'clock.

Housed in a 41mm-wide steel case, the Christopher Ward C65 Super Compressor comes in two dial color options of dark brown and vibrant blue, each with sporty orange highlights and a range of strap options. Get it on a strap for $1,025 or on a steel bracelet for $1,145 directly from the brand.

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