Admittedly, chime watches are superfluous. During past eras, clocks that gonged every hour were useful so that we didn’t lose track of the day when we’d be working or doing household chores. However, in today’s world where we’re gazing at devices and screens that tell the time all day, the concept of a timepiece that audibly checks in with us is typically moot.
This very novelty is part of the reason why chime watches are towards the top of a watchmaker’s line-up in terms of price. Likewise, the movements aren’t easy to manufacture in a practical way. For Christopher Ward’s first passing-hour complication, the C1 Bel Canto, the British company ensures that its new watch is also fairly accessible, with a sub-$4,000 pricetag.
Three years in the making, the new in-house movement notifies the wearer at the top of each hour in the key of D when the hammer strikes the steel spring. If that weren’t special enough, the 41mm titanium case houses a sunray-finished blue dial that displays the actual time via a floating subdial. Underneath, the chiming mechanism can be seen in all its glory in the shape of a songbird.
Limited to just 300 pieces, the C1 Bel Canto is available now for pre-order for $3,595 from Christopher Ward’s website.