“Nereus” - a review of the C63 Sealander GMT

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Amor Vincit Omnia
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“Nereus” - a review of the C63 Sealander GMT

Post by Amor Vincit Omnia »

As the sharp-eyed among you will have noticed, I have recently acquired a black dialled C63 Sealander GMT. My earlier C60 GMT was known as Poseidon, the God of the Sea. This one is Nereus, another journey into the strange world of prehistoric Greek mythology! Also known as the Old Man of the Sea, Nereus was a child of two original primordial personifications, who pre-dated the Olympian Deities. His parents were Pontus (the Sea) and Gaia (the Earth). Sea and Land…Sealander, geddit?


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As well as reviewing this rather lovely watch, I would like to fill you in on the thinking behind it. Are you sitting comfortably?

Background: this is the difficult bit. You may remember that in the spring of 2020 I bought my Meistersinger Metris with a view to using it as a one-watch solution for laid-back holidays. It’s a lovely watch but I’ve had a few problems bonding with it. They started during the autumn and winter when I was feeling a bit claustrophobic; I wasn’t working much (I was semi-retired) and there wasn’t much opportunity to go anywhere or do anything. I had really enjoyed wearing the Meistersinger during the summer but as the winter drew on it became more and more difficult to wear it. I couldn’t see time passing, which sounds as though it should be a positive thing, but it wasn’t because time was hanging very heavy. For a while I wasn’t in a very good place in terms of mental health, though I was very well supported by some wonderful people throughout a difficult time. But for some reason I associate this watch with that unpleasant period and I can’t shake it off. I have tried quite a few times but I’m still not completely comfortable with it.

Phew! Glad I got that off my chest. But seriously, one thing I have learned this year is that if you’re not OK you need to talk about it. Working a 50% timetable between February and July really helped, and I feel much happier about retirement now that I can begin to get out and pursue my travel writing interests, play golf, and do various other things. I’m OK now, and in a much better place. On to the GMT…

When the time came to break the bonds a little and tentatively book a holiday abroad, I found my resolve (to take just the MS) beginning to weaken. I had looked with interest at the C63 releases and had stated that I might wait for a blue Elite, if that should come about. But the more I looked at it the more I became attracted to the black GMT, and decided to avail myself of the opportunity to acquire one.

Packing and Presentation: I hadn’t really had much opportunity to look at the new style of packaging, but I have to say that I’m impressed. The box exudes quality in a way that the previous iterations didn’t always achieve. The watch seemed to be much better protected than before, when I remember stories of loose pillows within the box. I also like the long and narrow booklet and the guarantee card. Well done, CW.

Case: The CW Lightcatcher case is nothing new now. It has been around in some form on most of the CW watches for quite a while. The combination of brushed surfaces and shiny bevelled edges really is rather scintillating. With an overall height of a little under 12 mm this is not a tall watch. It does perhaps appear a little taller than it is simply because the case is relatively small at 39 mm and the fixed bezel slopes up quite sharply from the case to the flat sapphire crystal. However, the convex nature of the exhibition case back and the relatively small size mean that it sits quite nicely between the wrist bones. Well, it does for me anyway. The exhibition window in the case back is of a good size and gives a decent view of the movement at work (more of which later).The relatively thin 24h bezel makes for a good-sized dial (33 mm) compared with similar sized dive watches.


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The relatively short lug-to-lug length (under 46 mm) makes the watch an excellent fit for my 7.25” wrist. Overall diameter including crown is 42.5 mm and I like the way that the fairly minimal crown guards and integrated lugs flow from the side of the case…very organic! Unlike some earlier CWs, the crown does not look overly chunky, it screws down positively, and the twin-flag motif is picked out nicely against the white on top of the crown. (It was chafing from the crown on the back of my hand that prompted me to sell my earlier 43 mm C60 GMT.)

Dial: as I keep on saying, clarity and legibility are the key factors on what is undoubtedly the primary interface between watch and user. This one has it in spades. From being a one-time hater of black dials, I have become very attached to the black dial and white hand combination. Think “Speedmaster Moonwatch”. As I mentioned, the dial on this one is a great size – it’s not huge, but neither is it trying to hide away in the middle of a huge chunky case and extra wide bezels.

Adrian Buchmann advised looking at these dials under a loupe, and I can see why! Bâton indices are my favourites, along with Cartier‘s oversized Roman numerals! The polished edges of these bâtons really pick up the light beautifully and the glossy dial adds the impression of depth. This is further emphasised by the vertical nature of the rehaut (and remember, you need that because you’ve got four hands on the stack!) The small numbers and tiny orange markers on the minute track are an attractive feature.

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I am aware that the functioning of a GMT hand is still a mystery to some. Forgive me if you know this, but I’ll try to explain. The GMT is essentially a 24 hour hand rotating within a 12 hour dial, hence the external 24-hour bezel. It completes one full rotation every 24 hours, and is therefore locked into a 2:1 orbital cycle with the hour hand. Each minute marker on the chapter ring indicates 24 minutes on the GMT hand. Let’s assume that the GMT is showing 0600 (irrespective of the time on the watch hands). The orange hand will be pointing directly at 3 o’clock, and over the next two hours should point to the consecutive minute markers at the following times: 0624; 0648; 0712; 0736. There has been occasional talk of GMT hands being slightly out of alignment with the previous movement. This one hits all the markers spot-on.

Generally, I like the newer version of the Trident hands. The only weakness for me is the slightly ungainly extension of the hour and minute hands beyond the arbour; not the tidiest counterbalance. Nothing major, I can live with it. The orange tip to the classic Trident seconds hand is a lovely touch, though I think a touch of lume would have been better. The GMT hand is brilliant; I prefer this to the shorter Rolex version with the long needle point, or the long, thin hand with a tiny arrowhead that you get on some GMTs. Being painted black for half its length, in certain light conditions it seems to float over the dial – a terrific effect. With its black background and frameless window, the date is subtle but easily visible. Finally, though I have had no issue with the word mark at 9, it sits very well here centred at 12, and the white and orange text below falls nicely short of being an essay.

The lume is much the best on any CW I’ve had. Really bright and blue at first, it stays readable pretty much all night.

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The movement: when the watch was first introduced, attention was drawn to the improved version of the SW330 movement. I was rather hoping that it would be what I call a “true” or “traveller’s” GMT, with independently adjustable hour hand. However, there is a considerable cost implication for that kind of movement. One day, maybe? As with its predecessor, this one has the GMT hand adjustable in one-hour increments, which is absolutely fine if you are going to fly to a different time zone and stay there for a period of time, as many of us do on holiday. It winds very smoothly, and the rotor moves quite freely. I haven’t tested the 56-hour claim for PR yet, but I will allow it to run down at some point. Setting the time and date is effortless, and the GMT hand advances smartly and positively with no noticeable wobble. Initial timekeeping has been excellent. It was spot on this morning 72 hours after being set.

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As I mentioned, the movement is visible through the case back. Sellita is known for its functional “workhorse” movements, and this one is hardly a riot of lavish decoration, although the Twin Flag motif is used extensively on the rotor. I will be looking at the dial most of the time, so it’s not an issue.

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I ordered this on the black/orange #tide strap. It felt a bit stiff at first but is quickly becoming more supple. I expected it to be much thinner, like a NATO, but it has more of the thickness of a leather strap. After a couple of days I added the black/orange hybrid, by way of a change. The bracelet won’t be available for a while but we shall see. I might just use the straps; I like them both very much.


Future prospects: well, this one is coming to the Greek islands (touch wood) on my first trip for 21 months. So what of the MeisterSinger, originally slated for this trip? It’s a lovely watch, I really like it and I would like to find a niche for it in the collection. In fact, I might even compromise my one-watch principles for this holiday and take them both…do a “Village” on the flight! And how about the Ulysse Nardin, the rather classy “true” GMT? Well, it was never intended for this trip but I’m pretty sure that it will be coming to Cyprus at Christmas. I’m also eyeing up a bucket-list item for early next year (Nile cruise) and I think the UN will certainly fulfil its destiny as a classy traveller among the temples and pyramids!

My conclusions: I’m going to stick my neck out here and say that I think this is the best CW watch I have owned.

I can’t say that it is CW‘s best ever watch, because I haven’t experienced most of them, except fleetingly in Declan‘s Room of Wonders, or on display or adorning another person’s wrist at a GTG. There may well be other worthy and viable candidates for that accolade for all sorts of reasons. However, I think that the C63 range in general has to be right up there.

So why do I rate this one so highly? I think the main reason is that it does what it does incredibly well, and looks pretty amazing into the bargain. It’s a perfect size (for me), highly legible, very wearable in both casual and more formal settings, and my particular one seems to be both precise and accurate. Apart from the slightly ungainly counterbalances on the hands and the rather sparse decoration on the movement (both of which I can easily live with) I can’t think of anything I would change. Harking back to Lindsey’s thread earlier this year on what makes a “one-watch”, this probably comes as close as anything, because it’s so versatile. And (again sticking my neck out) can you think of any other watch with this quality and these specifications for under £800?

You will have gathered by now that I like this watch; let’s leave it there. In the deathless prose of Portius Porcus, Esq., “That’s all, folks!” Thanks for reading.

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Steve
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Re: “Nereus” - a review of the C63 Sealander GMT

Post by jkbarnes »

You had me at…
Amor Vincit Omnia wrote: Sat Sep 11, 2021 7:32 pm This one is Nereus…His parents were Pontus (the Sea) and Gaia (the Earth). Sea and Land…Sealander, geddit?
Outstanding review, Steve! This is a beautiful watch, worthy of being in anyone’s collection. I hope it brings you great joy on your trip.

And I agree 100% with the need to talk about it when not feeling OK. It’s been nothing but positive for me to open up with someone and discover I’m never alone with what I’m feeling or experiencing.
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Re: “Nereus” - a review of the C63 Sealander GMT

Post by H0rati0 »

Nice review Steve. I have to say I do like these Sealanders, particularly the GMTs - and that's before considering the very inviting price.

However, I can really only justify one GMT, so despite the temptation I shall stick with my UN :wink:

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Re: “Nereus” - a review of the C63 Sealander GMT

Post by StrapMeister »

That's a terrific review Steve :thumbup:
Initially the size @39mm had put me off, however, having read your review, it's now a case of paying a visit to CW HQ to try one on.
(albeit I have the C60 Anthropocene GMT on the radar)
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Re: “Nereus” - a review of the C63 Sealander GMT

Post by gannet »

Great review thanks for taking the time.

It does look great :D
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Re: “Nereus” - a review of the C63 Sealander GMT

Post by missF »

A great review - thanks for putting it together.
You’ve hinted before about your tricky relationship with your Meistersinger, and filled in the blanks here. It’s really interesting, and I think I feel the same about a need for a second hand so I can be sure that time is passing. Sometimes in hard times time bends and slows, and it’s reassuring to know that time is still passing.
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Re: “Nereus” - a review of the C63 Sealander GMT

Post by Kip »

Exceptional review Steve. Very well put together.

I must admit that the C63's are tempting me again and this review isn't helping! :lol:

I am so happy that you are enjoying your new acquisition.
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Re: “Nereus” - a review of the C63 Sealander GMT

Post by MiniMpi »

A brilliant review of your C63 GMT Steve :clap: :thumbup:

I have been considering the C63 GMT since just before they were released and had come to the conclusion that the black dial GMT was the one to go for.
The size is all that is holding me back on one, even though it looks great on your wrist I must say.
My recent addition of the C60 Sapphire at 40mm is just about the smallest I'd prefer to go and even that one is borderline to be honest.
I figure I need to physically have a C63 GMT in my hands to decide.

Excellent photos as always my friend, it looks incredible and will be a great watch for your upcoming trip to Greece 8)
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Re: “Nereus” - a review of the C63 Sealander GMT

Post by nbg »

A splendid review of a great looking watch Steve. :thumbup:

Certainly one of CWs best and I have the feeling that if I went for one (black version) it would end up being worn more than any other of my CWs.

The dimensions look perfect, other than for anyone with a monster sized wrist and the increased power reserve compared with the usual GMT movement used by CW also add to the package.

Price point seems spot on - would be a waste of money doing a COSC version.

What is the length of each strap part for the Tide and Hybrid, as I can only see reference to 124mm for the long part mentioned on the website? Thanks.

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Re: “Nereus” - a review of the C63 Sealander GMT

Post by Amor Vincit Omnia »

nbg wrote: Sun Sep 12, 2021 8:37 am What is the length of each strap part for the Tide and Hybrid, as I can only see reference to 124mm for the long part mentioned on the website? Thanks.
Here you go, Neil. Hybrid is 124/80 (lug to tip and excluding buckle); Tide is 122/80

262D8A0A-8476-42D3-8E32-EBD8CB70CF4A.jpeg
nbg wrote: Sun Sep 12, 2021 8:37 am Price point seems spot on - would be a waste of money doing a COSC version.
A piece of paper to say the timekeeping is accurate would be slightly superfluous with this one at the moment! Four days and hasn’t budged. 8)

2F63E0EA-4A65-4328-8DE5-99CBD5940873.jpeg
MiniMpi wrote: Sun Sep 12, 2021 7:35 am The size is all that is holding me back on one, even though it looks great on your wrist I must say.
My recent addition of the C60 Sapphire at 40mm is just about the smallest I'd prefer to go and even that one is borderline to be honest.
I figure I need to physically have a C63 GMT in my hands to decide.
That is obviously something I can’t help with, Ferg. All I can say is that the combination of vital statistics makes it pretty much perfect for me.
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Re: “Nereus” - a review of the C63 Sealander GMT

Post by nbg »

^^^ thanks Steve.

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Re: “Nereus” - a review of the C63 Sealander GMT

Post by richtea »

Good review Steve with a few little things in there i wasnt actually aware of :thumbup:

Like others the 39mm size is still a bit of a "thing" for me ... im sort of on the border at 40mm these days tbh

However yet again i see this watch on a wrist slightly larger than my own and it seems to look fine

At some point this could be the first time i ever do the 60/60 thing with CW :D
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Re: “Nereus” - a review of the C63 Sealander GMT

Post by downer »

Great review, Steve - and an excellent acquisition. Seems like the perfect watch for a gold case/brown strap/white dial kind of chap. :D

Seriously though, it's an ideal travel watch and could easily be a "one watch" solution for most "normal" people.

Congrats, and I hope to see pictures of it in many far-flung locations over the coming years.
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Re: “Nereus” - a review of the C63 Sealander GMT

Post by Amor Vincit Omnia »

downer wrote: Sun Sep 12, 2021 11:30 am Great review, Steve - and an excellent acquisition. Seems like the perfect watch for a gold case/brown strap/white dial kind of chap. :D
Thanks, Richard. I hardly ever wear those these days – maybe stick one on for a couple of hours on a quiet evening.
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Re: “Nereus” - a review of the C63 Sealander GMT

Post by Noush »

Nice review Steve....but of course it is! :) And thanks for the effort you put into compiling it.

I have the white dial of this and I have to say your views very much align with mine. It is a genuinely great watch - mine is about +5sec/day - good enough!
I'll add something:
As some will be aware, I have a kinda-sorta parallel watch collection where some are robust enough/suitable to go to work with the steel-capped boots on, and others are for "leisure duties".
This one is the only watch with a foot in both camps. It's robust and practical enough for the workplace grind, and just a joy to wear away from the place, getting picked out from amongst the BB58, Big Eye and the like. Simply because I like it so much.
For a skinnier wrist like mine the size is also perfect.
A "one watch"? Well "never!" of course but also "absolutely!"
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