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Hi all, I'm sorry if I'm asking something that has already been answered before. I'm doing some research before I buy my first 'proper watch'. I want a dive watch, with a bracelet, automatic movement and I don't want to spend more than £1000. I appreciate I'm entering a very saturated market.
The brand that stands out to me in terms of aesthetics is Christopher Ward. I specifically like the C60 Trident Pro MK3, or the C65 Trident Automatic. I had basically narrowed my search down to those 2. However, I then started reading some posts on the CW forum and noticed there's lots of people complaining about terrible customer service and faults with their watches. This, along with the fact they're a relatively new company, has left me hesitating as to whether I should buy one. Are these valid concerns or am I worrying too much? In terms of style and aesthetics, the C60 MK3 is the best looking dive watch under £1000 I have found. I have found a couple of Longines that I really like, but I don't love. And there's a Hamilton Khaki Scuba automatic that I also really like. But, again, I don't love it as much as the CW C60. That said, buying a Hamilton or a Longines would give me more peace of mind, given that they're established, trustworthy brands.
So what do you think? Should I have any worries with Christopher Ward, or should I play it safe and go with a Hamilton or Longines (or any other brand for that matter)

Thanks for any feedback. Really appreciated.
 

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I have owned C60 Trident Pro Vintage 38mm for a whole year, and I can assure you this watch offer so much for it's price. Also suffered outrageously bad customer service! Operators lied to me with no hesitation! But after all, I am waiting to see when their next big clearance will be to buy new watch from them. By my opinion Trident MK3 is absolute beauty. Especially with 40mm case.

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I have very positive expirience with CW second hand.

My watch is very solid, keeping good time and easy on eyes.

IMHO aesthetically CW Trident is very close runner with Longines Hydroconquest and much nicer than Hamilton Scuba King.

From movement point of view you have Sellita vs ETA which is very similar movements.



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Have a look on Trustpilot where Christopher Ward have over 5,500 reviews with 81% at 5* Excellent.

Less than 10% are below 3* Average.

For the most part complaints seem to focus on the mechanism which, except their in-house SH21, is a bought in calibre used by many other brands. Complaints around the mechanism could therefore apply equally to any other watch brand using Sellita or ETA calibres - i.e.: almost everyone!

You also need to consider that this is an online brand with customers more likely to vent their spleen online whereas conventional retail brands allow their AD to take the flak on their behalf.

Personally I've owned around 6 of their watches and have found both the quality and customer service to be excellent.


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I've had a MkII C60 Trident for almost 2 years. It's been my daily wearer in that time and has hardly ever been off the wrist long enough to run out of power reserve and stop running. No issues or complaints with the build or quality of the watch. A well-made watch, particularly for the selling price. Accuracy has been fine, but not remarkable. Liked it enough that I bought another. I ordered a new MkIII C60 earlier this month. So far, so good with that watch. Very impressed with the quality and finish so far. Feels about a half step nicer than my MkII in terms of overall finishing and details. The only negative experience I had with the second purchasing experience was that there was some kind of weird glitch with their online ordering system where I received an error message indicating that the order didn't go through and I didn't receive an order confirmation email, but my PayPal account was billed and I saw a new order appear in my CW account history. I sent an email to CW Customer Service asking for confirmation that the order had gone through and it took them 3 business days to get back to me, which seems a bit slow to answer a simple question. Then again, I ordered on the Sunday before a Monday bank holiday, so they were probably a bit backed up with inquiries when they got into the office Tuesday. But slow responses from CW do seem to be the #1 complaint on the CW Forums. A sign that they are perhaps under-staffed.

CW has been growing very rapidly the past few years, selling more and more watches each year (I believe I heard they've been growing at a rate of around 20% per year for the past couple of years, which is huge). They have historically had very good and personalized customer service, but the sudden influx in complaints of slow responses and slow turn-around times does lead me to wonder if their customer service department, both in terms of staffing and in terms of operating procedures and systems, hasn't kept pace with the growth in sales to be able to keep up with an increased volume of returns, inquiries, service requests, warranty repairs, etc. All companies will have some quality slips. I'm not sure that, as a percentage of watches sold, CWs are more troublesome than any other brand in their price segment or are faulty at any higher rate than in the past. However, if their defect rate is constant, but sales have doubled, then the volume of repairs will double and you need the staff, processes, and systems in place to manage that increased volume.

I think it's also important to consider the vocal minority. People are more apt to complain vocally when they've had a bad experience than give praise for a generally good or satisfactory one. We expect good customer experiences, so unless the experience goes way above and beyond, you tend not to hear as much from generally satisfied customers as you do from those who had experiences they were in any way shape or form unhappy with (ranging from minor annoyances like slow delivery times to major issues like shoddy product). That said, I've read some of the recent complaints and horror stories on the CW forums and there is one that sticks out as truly, unbelievably bad and after some months it seems it still hasn't been resolved. That said, I've encountered some pretty horrible stories from much bigger and more established brand names. It's never acceptable, but I don't think anyone is totally immune. Most other product or service issues seem like they were resolved satisfactorily, although perhaps not as expediently as the customer had hoped.

That said, Hamilton and Longines are both great brands. Both part of the giant Swatch Group, so they have a huge network of dealers and service centers around the globe. Certainly not a bad choice.
 

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Agreed.

I currently own two CW's and am considering a third and I currently have 3 Hamilton's and I had a Hydroconquest, (and I miss it and want to get one again).

I had some trouble with my first CW and they responded so quickly and completely, it was staggering and this from the UK to the States. Note that they have an all inclusive 5 year warranty and a generous return privilege if you need. Where else can you find that???

As mentioned above, they use the same movement brand that Longines and Hamilton do and add the Sellita, which is basically an ETA clone. Any applicable issues to CW movements in the watches that you are looking at would be applicable to Longines and Hamilton, among loads of other brands that use these movements.

The CW's have terrific quality, especially at their price point. My CW's are finished just about as well as the Longines and better than the Hamilton's. What they are doing currently, punches well above their price points.

At this point, to me this is not a quality issue, nor a customer service issue. I say buy the watch that you like and don't worry about anything else.


Have a look on Trustpilot where Christopher Ward have over 5,500 reviews with 81% at 5* Excellent.

Less than 10% are below 3* Average.

For the most part complaints seem to focus on the mechanism which, except their in-house SH21, is a bought in calibre used by many other brands. Complaints around the mechanism could therefore apply equally to any other watch brand using Sellita or ETA calibres - i.e.: almost everyone!

You also need to consider that this is an online brand with customers more likely to vent their spleen online whereas conventional retail brands allow their AD to take the flak on their behalf.

Personally I've owned around 6 of their watches and have found both the quality and customer service to be excellent.


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I have had my C65 for about 6 months, and am very happy with the quality and performance so far. I have not yet reached the point to have it serviced, but their protection program sounds reasonable from what I can tell.
 

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Have a look on Trustpilot where Christopher Ward have over 5,500 reviews with 81% at 5* Excellent.

Less than 10% are below 3* Average.

For the most part complaints seem to focus on the mechanism which, except their in-house SH21, is a bought in calibre used by many other brands. Complaints around the mechanism could therefore apply equally to any other watch brand using Sellita or ETA calibres - i.e.: almost everyone!

You also need to consider that this is an online brand with customers more likely to vent their spleen online whereas conventional retail brands allow their AD to take the flak on their behalf.

Personally I've owned around 6 of their watches and have found both the quality and customer service to be excellent.


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I hadn't looked through their TrustPilot scores until now. Filtered it to just 1 and 2-star reviews to see what the main complaints were. Some of the negative reviews make me glad I don't work in customer service.

Seems like the complaints mostly focus on:
-Slow responses/call-backs from customer service
-Slow turn around times for watches sent in for service or repair (which is an industry-wide issue, lots of people with everything from Rolex to Seiko saying it takes months to get watches back from service or repair, so complaints of watches being out for repair for 3-4 months sounds par for the course).

The first 1-star I came across was a chap who had a list of grievances. Firstly, they smacked their watch into a doorframe and broke one of the movement mounting screws. Their first complaint was that the screw broke in the first place. Their next complaint was that it took 3 months to get it fixed. Their third complaint was that "I've agreed to pay £30 to get it fixed, but I was sent an invoice for £90". Not sure if that 30 BPS was what CW actually negotiated with them or just the number they told CW they'd be willing to pay, but they then went on to say that the repair should have been free of charge in the first place because the customer was "open and honest with them" about how the watch was damaged in the first place. Their final complaint was that, when they bought the watch, it didn't ship on the original promise date. The buyer was promised a small/partial refund on shipping to make up for this but supposedly never got it. This got a 1-star rating and an experience described as "abysmal". If the CS folks could write reviews, I'm guessing their experience with this prima donna would be described as "abysmal".

The next ridiculous negative review was from someone who was told their watch would ship on 6/14 but actually shipped 6/20. This person complained of being maliciously mislead by the CS team regarding the delivery date and then complained that the email they wrote to the head of CS to complain of this and to demand explanation and compensation for the "inconvenience" of having to wait a few extra days was not immediately answered. Note that they did not indicate that they had paid any extra for any kind of expedited shipping which might warrant a refund of some sort. This got them a 2-star review.

Another 2-star was from someone who ordered a watch but was then immediately notified that it was out of stock and might take a few weeks to get in. They were then told a day or so later that the watch had come into stock earlier than anticipated and a week after ordering, they had their watch in their possession. How is this a negative experience? Sounds to me like the sales team exceeded expectations by delivering earlier than they had originally promised.
 

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The next ridiculous negative review was from someone who was told their watch would ship on 6/14 but actually shipped 6/20. This person complained of being maliciously mislead by the CS team regarding the delivery date and then complained that the email they wrote to the head of CS to complain of this and to demand explanation and compensation for the "inconvenience" of having to wait a few extra days was not immediately answered. Note that they did not indicate that they had paid any extra for any kind of expedited shipping which might warrant a refund of some sort.
This ridiculous review is made by me. And if you read it carefully, you can see delivery date was 14.05, but got received almost moth after that date. Firstly they answered me that no-one knows where the watch is, and they will claim an investigation by Royal mail, which finally appears to be lie. No investigation ever made! I can't complain about delivery delayed by third party, my complain is about they lied me and don't protect me as a customer. Note that me not being sender of the parcel, cannot make a complaint.

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This ridiculous review is made by me. And if you read it carefully, you can see delivery date was 14.05, but got received almost moth after that date. Firstly they answered me that no-one knows where the watch is, and they will claim an investigation by Royal mail, which finally appears to be lie. No investigation ever made! I can't complain about delivery delayed by third party, my complain is about they lied me and don't protect me as a customer. Note that me not being sender of the parcel, cannot make a complaint.

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This is yours?

https://www.trustpilot.com/users/5d124c24059235817874ade4

Because that one is very specific about the watch shipping out June 20 instead of the promised June 14 (even says "6 days later"), not the watch showing up a month late.
 

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This is yours?

https://www.trustpilot.com/users/5d124c24059235817874ade4

Because that one is very specific about the watch shipping out June 20 instead of the promised June 14 (even says "6 days later"), not the watch showing up a month late.
Oh sorry, not me. I've got similar issues, so I've got confused. I gave them one star for my issue. Please excuse me!

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Oh sorry, not me. I've got similar issues, so I've got confused. I gave them one star for my issue. Please excuse me!

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The watch not showing up a month after they said they shipped it, and then saying it must have been lost in transit when it became apparent that they never sent it at all is far more worthy of a complaint than a watch shipping less than a week later than initially anticipated. FWIW, the response to my inquiry over whether my order had actually been received or not said that my watch was on track to be shipped out by Friday, 5/31 (I received the email on 5/30). My watch actually shipped 6/3. Can't say I was too bent out of shape over it. A little disappointing that I had to wait a few extra days, but the thought of writing a complaint and demanding explanations and compensation never crossed my mind, especially as I didn't pay extra for expedited delivery. That's really the most ridiculous part of that particular complaint.
 

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The watch not showing up a month after they said they shipped it, and then saying it must have been lost in transit when it became apparent that they never sent it at all is far more worthy of a complaint than a watch shipping less than a week later than initially anticipated. FWIW, the response to my inquiry over whether my order had actually been received or not said that my watch was on track to be shipped out by Friday, 5/31 (I received the email on 5/30). My watch actually shipped 6/3. Can't say I was too bent out of shape over it. A little disappointing that I had to wait a few extra days, but the thought of writing a complaint and demanding explanations and compensation never crossed my mind, especially as I didn't pay extra for expedited delivery. That's really the most ridiculous part of that particular complaint.
https://r.tapatalk.com/shareLink?url=https://forums.watchuseek.com/showthread.php?t=4951303&share_tid=4951303&share_fid=13788&share_type=t

This is my story. As far I can see, you have been participated. :)

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