The C1 Bel Canto is a watch that demonstrates Christopher Ward’s ambition and commitment to bringing haute horlogerie to as many people as possible. The Bel Canto features what’s called a passing chime, or Sonnerie au Passage complication, which translates as ‘Passage of Time’.
The key to the Bel Canto is FS01, a new chiming module named after current technical director Frank Stelzer. Ten years ago, CW’s first master watchmaker, Johannes Jahnke, designed JJ01. This was a module created to offer the most accurate jumping-hour function possible. Johannes achieved this by spreading the load evenly over an entire hour. This success became one of the starting points for Bel Canto’s FS01. In 2019, Frank began developing the hour-long charge and hour jump from JJ01 into a passing chime complication. Eventually, this led to the creation of 50 new components.
CW intended to create a watch that looked as beautiful as it sounded. This presented a challenge to designer Will Brackfield in achieving visual balance across the entire face. This was achieved by hiding minor components behind the platine to highlight the main striking components and spectacular sunray finish, applied to the platine through positive coating.
Once FS01’s design was perfected, it required a finish reflective of its class. CW couldn’t create such supreme finishing alone, so the Bel Canto is also a tribute to many brilliant suppliers and partners, all noted specialists in their fields. Perhaps the most famous is Armin Strom, maker of high-end open worked watches, which contributed the platine, but Chronode (the bridges, hammer and gong) and “Viquodeco” (the special wheels required) were also crucial suppliers.
Launched on the 1st of November 2022, this limited edition Azzuro Blue iteration broke company records, selling out in a matter of hours.