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British Watchmakers’ Day visitors get chance to buy sold-out Bel Canto watches from Christopher Ward

Award-winning chiming timepiece will be one of the hottest watches on sale at the March event.

Christopher Ward’s Bel Canto hourly chiming watch has been so successful that the mere opportunity to see one in the wild is a big draw for the British Watchmakers’ Day in March.

The Bel Canto launched last year and became the first timepiece made by a British business to win the Petite Aiguille Award at the 2023 Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève.

The award is for commercial watches costing between CHF 4,000 and 10,000. Bel Canto watches are made in four colours with a choice of straps or steel bracelets retailing for £3,195 to £3,530.

Christopher Ward and its managing director Mike France have been instrumental in the development of the Alliance of British Watch and Clockmakers, which is organising the British Watchmakers’ Day.

The one day event takes place at Lindley Hall in London on March 9 and will showcase watches from over 40 brands, many of which are making unique watches that can only be bought at the show.

Christopher Ward C1 Bel Canto

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Christopher Ward is making ten new Bel Canto minute repeaters for the fair.

They will be promoted at the Watchmakers’ Day via a raffle. Winners of the raffle will have the opportunity to purchase and take home their Bel Canto on the same day.

This is the only chance to take ownership of a Bel Canto this side of summer.

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Bel Cantos have a Union Jack finish on their base plates.

The watches are offered online at Christopher Ward’s ecommerce site, but customer can only pay a deposit for pieces that will be delivered in July.

All profits from the sale of the watches will be donated directly to The Alliance of British Watch and Clockmakers.

Christopher Ward is making the offer as part of its promotion and support of the Alliance and the British Watchmakers’ Day.

Roger Smith Series One

Roger smith series 1

Roger Smith, another co-founder and chairman of the Alliance, is making a unique Series One watch for the event.

“I wanted to make clear just how much this event means to me and that’s why I’ve committed to build one of my own watches especially for the event,” Mr Smith says.

It is the second time Roger Smith has made a watch to support the Alliance.

A unique and unworn Roger Smith Series 1 watch sold for £660,000 in November 2022 after being auctioned to raise money for a fund to support watchmakers in the UK.

The one-off watch was sold online by A Collected Man, a London-based specialist in the trade of rare watches, with 20% of the proceeds donated to the Alliance of British Watch and Clock Makers.

Duckworth Prestex

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Duckworth Prestex special watches for the British Watchmakers’ Day.

Duckworth Prestex is making 10 watches one-of-one watches in the same cushion-shaped case of its Rivington and Verimatic lines.

Priced at £950 each, they use mechanical Miyota 9039 automatic movements.

Each of the 10 watches has a dial carrying the name British Watch & Clock Makers.

The company’s founder Neil Duckworth came up with the design after noticing that British Watch & Clock Makers is comprised of 24 letters, which he has arranged in two concentric circles of 12 that double up as hour markers.

“The result is surprisingly neat and symmetrical. At first glance, it’s not immediately obvious that there is anything different to this watch, as the human eye is used to seeing numbers or Roman numerals – and that is what the brain is expecting. But only on further inspection does the true nature of the hour markers become apparent,” Mr Duckworth explains.

All watch businesses at the British Watchmakers’ Day have been encouraged to create one-off watches for the event.

WatchPro is an official media partner of the event and will be revealing these special editions as they are revealed.

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