UK-based Christopher Ward are launching a special version of their C70 Brooklands Chronograph. This special series celebrates Britain’s original Grand Prix, which led to the creation of the Formula 1 Championship. The watch is equipped with a Swiss ETA quartz calibre that underwent control and certification by the Contrôle Officiel Suisse des Chronomètres.
«The striking design of the Brooklands (Great Britain), the Cunningham Stripe (USA), the Rosso Corsa (Italy), the Grande Epreuve (France), the Ascari (Belgium) and the Silver Arrow (Germany) reflects the chassis colours of each nation’s racing colours – with the year of victory, the race track and the name of the winning driver engraved on the reverse of the case.»
We’ve published a page explaining the interest in Chronometer-certified watches throughout history. The ETA calibre used in the C70 Brooklands special edition splits time into tens of seconds. It also benefits from thermo-compensation, a technology mastered by the Swatch Group movement factories in the 1990’s. As a consequence, it is far more accurate that your average quartz watch.
Quartz watches split time by exploiting the electromechanical phenomenon known as Piezoelectricity. When a continuous electrical current runs through it, the quartz crystal starts resonating at a constant frequency. Crystal oscillators for watches are manufactured to vibrate at 215Hz (32,768 Hz), a frequency that will then be halved 16 consecutive times by a processor to obtain the second (unit of time).
The problem with quartz crystals is that they are easily affected by temperature: they tend to vibrate faster in heat and slower in cold. As a consequence, quartz watch can have between -10 to +15 sec. variations per month. Bearing in mind that mechanical watches can variate by -10 to + 15 sec. per day, the quartz oscillator is still far more accurate than the anchor escapement found in mechanical watches.
The solution ETA engineers found was to add a thermometer that constantly feeds information to the processor, allowing it to compensate for errors caused by temperature. As a consequence, movements using this technology can be accurate to -10 to +15 sec. per year.
This move by Christopher Ward to use a super-accurate quartz movement and to get it certified shows their commitment to using the best movements make for their timepieces.