Inspired by the Cockpit c11 MSL Automatic Watch Review


Black manta

The designers have stated that up to forty different iterations were considered along the path to developing the very unique C11 MSL Automatic watch and the goal was to design a timepiece that closely resembled the appearance of an altimeter in an aircraft. The square shape of the watch is borrowed from this aircraft inspiration, as are many of the subtle details that you’ll only really appreciate once you have the watch in your hands to thoroughly look over.


The Christopher Ward C11 MSL Mk1 Automatic is available in six variations. These are:

C11-Auto-KKK Black case, black face and black strap
C11-Auto-KKT with Brown strap
C11-Auto-KKVK  all black except the numerals and indices which are half gold
C11-Auto-KKVT similar as above except brown strap
C11-Auto-SKT  this is the most popular among all the MSL models
C11-Auto-SKK all black except the case, numerals and indices


Handling the watch for the first time, one immediately takes note of the high build quality. The body is made of 316L surgical grade stainless steel. The black colour is achieved with a coating of PVD. The hour, minute and second hands have been carefully sized and their design works well, with the second hand being just slightly shorter than the minute hand and the photo-luminescent SuperLumiNova coating allows luminosity in the dark.
A much appreciated feature of the C11 MSL Automatic is the anti-reflective coating which helps to stop uncomfortable glare occurring. You will immediately notice the absence of any minute markings on the watch face. The result is a sleeker and cleaner appearance that makes it easier to read the time quickly. The number and five minute markings are large and contrasting enough to be easily read from a distance. The dial size is 32.5mm so is considered quite large. Despite this, it is a lightweight watch, coming in at 108g including the strap. The genuine Italian leather strap with the words Christopher Ward, and their logo, embossed on the underside. The watch is rated as being water resistant to a depth of 100 metres although it is not considered a diving watch specifically.
On close inspection of the watch you will quickly notice even the smallest aspects have been tended to carefully and thoroughly to ensure maximum quality. Everything from the brushed and polished buckle (a part that lower quality watch manufacturers often go cheap on), to the top quality scratch-resistant Sapphire crystal, and the brushed and polished curved case finishing; you can simply tell that the C11 MSL has been created with no detail left to spare. It simply oozes quality well beyond its very modest price tag.

This is a unique watch that has obviously been inspired heavily by the cockpit in jet aircraft and this has been pulled off marvelously. It is exceptionally well built, with every detail taken care of and then some. The finishing of the case is world class, while its design makes it suited to virtually all occasions besides the most formal black tie affair. At a fraction of the price of the heavily marketed Swiss brands, the C11 MSL Mk1 Automatic from Christopher Ward is more than worthy of your consideration.

Christopher Ward is a small watchmaker based in the UK that creates high quality watches for men and women which are only available for purchase on the Christopher Ward website. Christopher Ward watches are assembled in Switzerland and are equal in quality to some of the more highly marketed Swiss watch brands, but without the exorbitant price tags. A C11 MSL Automatic watch costs under £500, whereas you would expect to pay a considerably higher multiple of that for a similarly built watch from other more well known Swiss watch makers.


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