Another Bel Canto thread: this one's for the non-owners, the unbelievers

Discuss Christopher Ward watches
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Re: Another Bel Canto thread: this one's for the non-owners, the unbelievers

Post by JasperCat »

I've had mine for almost three months now, having been very lucky to receive the serial number I wanted (#66 for my birth year) in an early batch.

I was going to list pro's and con's, but really I don't think this watch can be classified in that way... simply put... to me it's an elegant piece of horological art, with superb engineering and finishing, and a chime complication that is (almost) unique at this price point. I've worn it far more than I thought I would, as part of my rotation and have often found myself swapping to it for the evening.

The chime isn't crazy loud, but it's very audible in a normal room and I can even hear it whilst watching TV. You don't hear every chime, but that's not a fault of the watch, but of our environments. Back in the day (with no TV, iPads/iPhones, music systems etc) and with relatively poor light, a chiming watch/clock had much greater relevance and use. The Bel Canto still brings a smile to my face though every time I hear that delicate chime :D

My wife loves it too... perhaps that's partly due to it arriving in the week between our wedding and honeymoon, but still to this day she admires it, loves the chime and when I've mentioned the furore that's been created around it in the market, she has said plainly "please don't sell this watch". No other watch I own has ever had that effect :shock:

Is it perfect? Not at all... the dial is quite small, but even without my reading glasses I can read the time in reasonable light and besides, it chimes every hour anyway... which is kind of the point. I keep mine on a winder and it runs consistently about 2 secs per day slow, which is fantastic. But TBH, I only ever reset it every few weeks because I don't wear this one for precise timekeeping (I have my Omegas and Breitling for use in the day for that).

Despite the lack of seconds hand, the trick to setting the time precisely is simple... do it on the hour only. Either let it run to the hour, chime and then pull the crown out immediately to set, or just advance the hands until it chimes and keep it precisely at that point and then push the crown in at the correct time. Doing this, the watch is set accurately.

I've got both straps (original blue and camel leather) plus the bracelet, but I much prefer this on the original blue strap, as it really just makes the watch for me. The bracelet is an option I may explore more in the summer weather.

Oh and I have only every turned the chime off once or twice for a few hours, purely to see how that works... it's been wound and chiming 24/7 since I got it :lol:

I think all the other colours are great and I'm very glad that CW are making the Bel Canto available to as many people who want one as possible. I'm super glad to have one of the original blue LEs, but if I hadn't managed to get one, I would have ordered another colour. I also have the C60 Concept, which is probably my personal favourite of all my watches, but this is a (very) close second. It's actually a great shame that the Concept wasn't also offered out to general release too, as I believe that watch is much admired and sought after too :problem:

So, there you have it, my feelings after three months... I still love it, admire it and get enormous delight from both wearing and owning it. In fact it's sitting right now, a few feet from me, safe in the watch winder, happily chiming away every hour... a throwback to the past perhaps, but with modern engineering 8)
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Re: Another Bel Canto thread: this one's for the non-owners, the unbelievers

Post by JasperCat »

Amor Vincit Omnia wrote: Wed Feb 15, 2023 10:12 am ^^^ Thanks so much, Olly! That does seem to suggest that you can set the ting to the precise second.
You absolutely can, and I do that every few weeks... see my recent post on this thread :thumbup:
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Re: Another Bel Canto thread: this one's for the non-owners, the unbelievers

Post by JasperCat »

Richard D wrote: Wed Feb 15, 2023 1:29 pm
Amor Vincit Omnia wrote: Wed Feb 15, 2023 10:12 am ^^^ Thanks so much, Olly! That does seem to suggest that you can set the ting to the precise second.
Might be able to set the precise second but without a second hand it’s hard to measure whether the watch is running + or -.
Actually it's the easiest watch I've got for that.... In fact I've just done it... I heard it chime at 16:00 and then glanced at my computer clock and can immediately see it's now 15 secs slow :thumbup:

Mine runs consistently at -2 secs per/day and I usually reset every couple of weeks :D
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Re: Another Bel Canto thread: this one's for the non-owners, the unbelievers

Post by TheBeatles »

For me, it’s just an overpriced gimmick. Emperors new clothes and all that.

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Re: Another Bel Canto thread: this one's for the non-owners, the unbelievers

Post by JasperCat »

FloridaPhil wrote: Wed Feb 15, 2023 2:13 pm I like the sunburst dial and the colors. Nothing else about the watch appeals to me at all.

Regardless of the technical accomplishment it may represent, I don't get the point of the hourly ding, a complication that was brought over from, and was actually useful in, pocket watches. I don't get the point of small time-telling dials (from any manufacturer that produces them) and I don't get the poor legibility.

In summary, I don't get it.
Arguably, there is little point in any of us owning wrist watches at all... unless we're operating in some remote, rough environment where our phones wouldn't work, we have little (to no) need of a watch at anymore :problem:

However, we still wear them, because we admire them and admire the fantastic engineering that makes these little mechanical marvels operate... the chime is there only because it can be, no other reason... I love it just for that alone :clap:
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Re: Another Bel Canto thread: this one's for the non-owners, the unbelievers

Post by Amor Vincit Omnia »

Richard D wrote: Wed Feb 15, 2023 1:29 pm Might be able to set the precise second but without a second hand it’s hard to measure whether the watch is running + or -.
Actually, that’s probably not such a big deal for a bloke who has been wearing a Meistersinger all week! :lol:
TheBeatles wrote: Wed Feb 15, 2023 5:06 pm For me, it’s just an overpriced gimmick. Emperors new clothes and all that.

Stands back and waits for the response!!
To be fair, Brian, I’ve heard comments of that ilk about Meistersinger as well. To be sure, mine was a bit of a novelty at first and it took some getting used to, but in fact it’s serious watch if you don’t have any particular need for a seconds or minutes hand. So I get what you are saying about a gimmick, but it’s a nice gimmick.

I read somewhere once that if you buy a watch for more than (I think it was) £500 then you’re basically buying jewellery. That’s okay by me.

I don’t have one, I’m contemplating it, I might or I might not, but I do like it.
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Re: Another Bel Canto thread: this one's for the non-owners, the unbelievers

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TheBeatles wrote: Wed Feb 15, 2023 5:06 pm For me, it’s just an overpriced gimmick. Emperors new clothes and all that.

Stands back and waits for the response!!
You're absolutely right, it might indeed be a gimmick, but then all watches are redundant now anyway in this modern world :lol:

However, it's certainly not overpriced... last time I checked, it's the cheapest "Sonnerie au Passage" watch on the market, with the next (from Meistersinger) being based on a similar movement and also made by CW... beyond that, manufactures can name their price :shock:
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Re: Another Bel Canto thread: this one's for the non-owners, the unbelievers

Post by FloridaPhil »

JasperCat wrote: Wed Feb 15, 2023 5:08 pm Arguably, there is little point in any of us owning wrist watches at all... unless we're operating in some remote, rough environment where our phones wouldn't work, we have little (to no) need of a watch at anymore :problem:

However, we still wear them, because we admire them and admire the fantastic engineering that makes these little mechanical marvels operate... the chime is there only because it can be, no other reason... I love it just for that alone :clap:
Not needing a watch is always a pretty weak argument, unless you intend to strap your phone to your wrist and leave it always-on.

Yes, you are right of course. If a ding on the hour rocks your boat then I guess it's a fantastic watch.
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Re: Another Bel Canto thread: this one's for the non-owners, the unbelievers

Post by Amor Vincit Omnia »

^^^ Let’s face it, Phil, an awful lot of people strap phone derivatives onto their wrists these days.
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Re: Another Bel Canto thread: this one's for the non-owners, the unbelievers

Post by FloridaPhil »

Amor Vincit Omnia wrote: Wed Feb 15, 2023 9:56 pm ^^^ Let’s face it, Phil, an awful lot of people strap phone derivatives onto their wrists these days.
Just don't call them watches! LOL
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Re: Another Bel Canto thread: this one's for the non-owners, the unbelievers

Post by Amor Vincit Omnia »

^^^ I was VERY careful not to!
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Re: Another Bel Canto thread: this one's for the non-owners, the unbelievers

Post by JasH »

Amor Vincit Omnia wrote: Wed Feb 15, 2023 9:59 am Question for Bel Canto owners:

Given that there is no seconds hand, obviously you cannot hack the movement and release it at a precise second. If you want to set it at exactly the top of the hour, is there a ting to indicate that it is set precisely? If not, I can only assume that the next ting will take place somewhere within the correct minute or so.

My assumption would be that pulling the crown out to set the hands temporarily deactivates the sound. Is that right?
You can set it precisely enough (given its accuracy) using the chime. But obviously best done on the hour. Mine is running +3.2 secs per day, using the chime to measure it over 5 days. Much better than I expected.

The chime rings very precisely and consistently.

The Chime:

https://youtube.com/shorts/9C6l78tZcps
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Re: Another Bel Canto thread: this one's for the non-owners, the unbelievers

Post by JasH »

Richard D wrote: Wed Feb 15, 2023 1:21 pm IMHO CW have got the hands wrong with the Bel Canto, this thread alone has proved that legibility is an issue.
Legibility is an issue, but as an owner, I can confirm I prefer form over function for Bel Canto. So the silver hands are the right choice here, at least on the blue dial watch.
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Re: Another Bel Canto thread: this one's for the non-owners, the unbelievers

Post by Richard D »

JasH wrote: Wed Feb 15, 2023 10:34 pm Legibility is an issue, but as an owner, I can confirm I prefer form over function for Bel Canto. So the silver hands are the right choice here, at least on the blue dial watch.
Fair point but I still think thought should have gone into the legibility and that comes from an owner too, blue dial.
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Re: Another Bel Canto thread: this one's for the non-owners, the unbelievers

Post by A1soknownas »

I can't see a picture of a Bel Canto and the bird without reminding me of Twitter for some reason.
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