Ever since I first laid hands on a Christopher Ward watch (one the early Tridents), they’ve hit that sort of sweet spot for hitting solid design and materials, coming in at affordable pricepoints. The last few years, they’ve definitely been spreading their watchmaking wings, and have been expanding into more of the luxury realm – while still offering a design more affordably than other brands. The latest to come from that mold is the Christopher Ward C1 Bel Canto.

When a watch brand tackles a new complication, it’s either to demonstrate some very technically complex watchmaking, or it’s to add in some additional utility (such as a chronograph or GMT). Well, what if you could do both? That’s the direction you head when you start talking about a mechanical watch making some noise. And that’s what the Christopher Ward C1 Bel Canto does – it chimes on the hour.

Sure, digital watches have done that for decades now, but it’s definitely more of a rarity with a mechanical watch. You’ve got concerns with the acoustics the case offers, what sort of tone you can actually make at that scale, and then make the whole thing look nice. I mean, why build in the tiny hammers if you can’t show them off? They’ve done all of that here.

We also really like the fact that this movement started life as another in the catalog. Trying to figure out how to get something to chime on the hour (and yes, you can turn it off if you want), they realized their jumping-hour movement could be a good place to start. Toss in another 50 components or so, and then you get the movement that drives the watch.

While an hour chime is additional utility, it’s definitely one that’s more in the whimsical realm. That said, we are smitten. It’s just fun seeing Christopher Ward step out in this direction, and we can’t wait to see this particular platform grow. If you’d like to get one of the 300 being made in this first run, you’ll be putting $3,595 down on the barrel. Definitely high-end for the CW lineup, but an absolute steal when you compare other current-model chimers. Check it out over at christopherward.com

Tech Specs from Christopher Ward

  • Size: 41mm
  • Dial Colour: Rhodium
  • Platine Colour: Azzuro blue
  • Case Material: Grade 5 Titanium
  • Height: 13.0mm
  • Lug-to-Lug: 48.0mm
  • Case Weight: 53g
  • Water Resistance: 3 ATM (30m)
  • Movement: Calibre FS01
  • Power Reserve: 38 hours
  • No of Jewels: 29
  • Complication Type: Passing chime
  • Vibrations: 28,800 p/hr (4Hz)
  • Timing Tolerance: +/-20 sec p/day
  • Lume: SLNC1X1BL
  • Strap Size: 22mm
  • Strap Material: Italian leather and Titanium bracelet
  • Leather Strap Colour: blue or camel

Features

  • Swiss made
  • Limited Edition of 300 pieces
  • Self-winding 29 jewel movement with FS01 module that chimes on the hour
  • Floating time display with fully visible mechanism
  • Hand finished bridges, gong and hammer
  • On/Off pusher at 4 o’clock with red on/off indicator
  • 38-hour power reserve
  • Brushed and polished case in titanium grade 5
  • Deep stamped caseback with soundwave motif
  • Push-down crown with twin flag motif
  • Anti-reflective domed sapphire crystal
  • Raised and polished indexes
  • Eco-friendly luxury presentation case and owner’s handbook

By Patrick Kansa

A big data developer and leader with a penchant for gadgets, books, watches and beverages. You can find my work on WristWatchReview, Knapsack.News, and Slushpile. If you're on Twitter and/or Instagram, you'll find me there as @PatrickWatches.

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