The Christopher Ward C1 Bel Canto is back – and looking better than ever

This chiming timepiece is back – and at less than £3,000 it is a bargain

The Christopher Ward C1 Bel Canto in Purple.
(Image credit: Christopher Ward)

When it comes to affordable watches, Christopher Ward are one of the most well respected names in the game. Offering everything from simple three-hand dive watches to stunning moonphase models, the Christopher Ward brand has gone from strength to strength.

The crowning glory, though, is the Christopher Ward C1 Bel Canto. Released in November last year, the Bel Canto represented the brands' take on a Sonnerie Au Passage complication – that's a chiming watch to you or I. Back then, the Bel Canto was limited to just 300 pieces, and those 300 sold out pretty much instantly.

Now, the model is back in a range of new colours. You'll need to pay £1,000 to secure one, and, crucially, these models are not a limited edition. You can head over to the Christopher Ward website (opens in new tab) to put a deposit on one of the new Bel Canto models, which are expected for the end of October 2023. 

The new models come in four colours: Nero (black), Cielo (light blue), Viola (purple) and Rosa (salmon). Each can be paired with a titanium bracelet, or a choice of two Vacona leather straps, with one matching the dial and the other complementing it. My personal favourite is the Viola on the purple strap – it's a perfectly measured take on a truly outlandish watch.

The FS01 movement here is an in-house design based on an SW200-1, with over 60 components added to get the signature chime on each hour. That means you'll get a respectable 38 hour power reserve and 30m of water resistance. A pusher at the four o'clock position enables you to mute the chime, and is indicated by the red hand on the face.

The case is made from grade five titanium and is 41mm across. A lug-to-lug width of 48mm should make this a comfortable wear for most people, and a 13mm case height will ensure it can slip under all but the tightest of cuffs.

Let's be honest though – you aren't buying a purple watch with a built-in chiming hour indicator to have it sit discreetly beneath a dress cuff. These are loud – visually, and audibly – and will suit those looking to make an impact. You definitely could get away with it in a formal capacity, but it would be far more at home in a more casual, playful setting.

Perhaps the sweetest bit of all is the price. Models on the strap will set you back £2,995 while opting for the bracelet will cost £3,305.

Sam Cross
Staff Writer

Online news writer at T3.com, Sam has five years of experience in online and print journalism, with work featured in publications like Metro and Last Word on Sports. After years writing about music and football, Sam now turns his hand to bringing you news about new phones, smart home products, smart watches, laptops and TVs. Sam is a longtime fan and user of Apple products, including iPhones, MacBooks and Apple Watches.He’s also T3’s resident football expert, bringing you everything you need to know about the big games, including how to watch them. In his spare time, Sam is a keen guitarist, watch lover and (very) amateur golfer.