By our newest Challenger, explorer and ultra-runner Jamie Maddison 

Who am I and why am I writing this to you on the Christopher Ward blog? Well, my name is Jamie and I’m an explorer of Central Asia. That’s a bit of an odd thing to call yourself—an explorer—in this day and age when everything’s supposedly already been discovered, but it’s really the best way to sum up my passion and interest for a part of the world not so many of us have ever heard of let alone been to.  

Photo credit: Matt Traver

Over the past decade, I have been lucky enough to live and adventure with eagle hunters in Western Mongolia, ride horses 800 miles across Kazakhstan, work with nomads on the border of Afghanistan, run with camel herders in Uzbekistan, find ancient artefacts in the high mountains of Tajikistan, fall off several galloping horses, and even had a case of frost-related nerve damage, as well as being exposed to who knows what on an abandoned experimental Soviet weapons testing facility.

In the beginning, I wanted to do these journeys for fame and fortune, and to make a name. But as I grafted and grunted my way through many months in the middle of the Central Asian steppe I realised that the value of such journeys came more from what these eccentric acts could teach me about myself: how to make do; how to work hard when you don’t want to; how to challenge yourself; how to keep disciplined under the harshest of conditions; how to adapt and be agile.

Most of all, it taught me the importance of raw passion, grit and being the honest underdog in this modern age of big budgets and even bigger egos.

Photo credit: Matt Traver

I’m sure that I do not have to tell you that Christopher Ward also champion these values and so when I approached them asking for help with my latest plan, a 100 mile ultramarathon across the Saryesik-Atyrau Desert in Kazakhstan, they couldn’t have been more supportive. Through the Christopher Ward Challenger Programme, they’re enabling me to make what could be the first on-foot crossing the desert, certainly the first to run across it.

The expedition leaves in September and I will be providing regular updates before then as to my planning, training, and also interesting facts and information about expedition timekeeping. As with anything related to discovery and exploration, the most important part will always lie in the information, the story, you are able to share with others.

I hope you enjoy reading mine.

Jamie Maddison is a Christopher Ward Challenger and wears a C60 Trident COSC 600. To find out more about the Challenger programme, click here 

Choosing a partner for the weekend
Some watches have that certain something that makes you fall for them immediately. And the C3 Malvern Chronograph Mk III has it – whatever it is – in spades. From the beautifully spaced Opalin dial to those speared hands, this is a watch that whispers ‘class’. And for a weekend away in the Lisbon it’s the perfect choice.

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First impressions
Like every Christopher Watch, the C3 Malvern Chronograph Mk III is beautifully packaged when it arrives. There’s something breathtaking about unwrapping a watch for the first time: it’s like Christmas when you were a kid, but without the Superman pyjamas and pine needles in your feet. I’ve chosen the version with the white dial as I prefer the clarity a lighter face gives, plus it looks incredibly classy with the oak-leather strap.

On the wrist
The Malvern goes on as we leave for the airport and, as is always the case with a new watch, commands my attention immediately. It feels light, and thanks to Adrian Buchmann’s sleek 39mm case, slips unobtrusively under my jacket sleeve. Sunlight bounces beautifully off the dial, and with those speared blued hands providing a strong contrast, telling the time – and ultimately that’s its primary role – is instant and easy.

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Features
Over the next few days – and combatting weather that seems to have been imported from the west of Scotland – I get to know the C3 Malvern intimately. It’s such an easy watch to wear, and looks great in both formal and casual environments. But there’s a lot more to it than that; thanks to the Ronda 3520.D quartz movement there’s some serious horological power here, too.

As befitting a watch that’s been influenced by the dashboard of Aston Martin cars, timing functionality plays a big part in its appeal. The Ronda 3520.D is the first quartz chronograph movement to enable counters at 6, and 12 o’clock positions, which on the C3 means the bottom dial looks after the seconds, while the top one is a dual function chronograph. This lets you time anything between 1/10th of a second to 12 hours – ideal for both timing the gaps between trains from Gatwick (too long) and your breakfast boiled egg.

There’s also a date window at 3 o’clock, while the Christopher Ward logo sits at 9 o’clock: all in all it’s a beautifully balanced piece of work.

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Final thoughts
I didn’t need much convincing with the C3 Malvern Chronograph Mk III: I’ve liked it since it first appeared. But what made me love it was wearing it for four days in Lisbon. It looked great with both a sweatshirt and T-shirt, and never let me down once. The only thing it didn’t do was improve the weather, but I understand that function’s coming in the Mk IV version.

A beautiful, practical watch: and at only £350, buying one’s a no-brainer.

Find out more about the C3 Malvern Chronograph Mk III here.