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Chronoswiss offers multiple shades of black on a new model within its Open Gear ReSec regulator collection. The Lucerne-based independent watchmaker combines a range of technical finishing techniques to create interesting optical effects on the dark new Open Gear ReSec Black Ice.

The new Chronoswiss Open Gear ReSec Black Ice.

The 44mm watch, with a now familiar multi-layer regulator dial, onion crown and fluted bezel, operates on two levels. On one level is the plate for the bridges, screws and wheels. A second, upper level features screwed-on skeletonized train wheel bridges and a fascinating funnel-shaped hour display.

Named for its premier function (ReSec stands for Retrograde Seconds), the watch’s jumping seconds hand operates in a half-circle, leaping from the thirty seconds position back to start its arc to complete counting each minute. The fan-shaped bridge holding the 30-second retrograde function defines the lower half of the dial.

With its all-black canvas, the Open Gear ReSec Black Ice allows all the luminous hour and minute markers to shine especially clearly. Luminous hands rotate over what appears to be coarse, shiny black sand.  

Chronoswiss explains that this eye-catching dial effect requires “heavy metal industrial operations” involving structure-cutting laser beams and a heavy pressure stamping procedure before the solid metal is dunked into a galvanic bath.

“This watch is like fifty shades of black, and the different blacks really contrast each other thanks to the different structures, finishes and coatings,” says Chronoswiss designer Maik Panziera. “Some surfaces are much darker than others; despite the monochrome palette they almost appear like different colors.”

The primary technique Chronoswiss uses here is DLC coating, found on the black matte case and the polished screws securing the bridges. The bridge holding the 30-second retrograde function is sandblasted with a black galvanization. And the subtle contrasts between these two finishes nicely enhance the Black Ice’s multi-level effect.

Chronoswiss also took time to ensure that the back of the watch matched the front. Thus, the rotor of the automatic C.301 movement, visible through the clear caseback, is galvanized black, then skeletonized and finally finished with côtes de Genève.

The rotor of the automatic C.301 movement, visible through the clear caseback, is galvanized black and skeletonized.

As a bonus, Chronoswiss offers the new watch attached to a hand-stitched neoprene strap with a leather base. Chronoswiss will make fifty examples of the Open Gear ReSec Black Ice. Price: $10,600.

 

Among its many 2021 debuts, Chronoswiss launches a royal blue version of its SkelTec model, a manual-wind watch with eye-catching contemporary openwork design and coloring that the Lucerne-based watchmaker initially debuted in 2020.

The latest Chronoswiss SkelTec features a blued case and inner minutes track.

From its skeletonized lugs to a star-shaped mainspring barrel, the Chronoswiss SkelTec exposes its components, including the balance wheel, barrel, winding gears and gear train, with a decidedly contemporary flair. Even the bezel on the 45mm case serves up an updated version of the classic Chronoswiss fluted case.

This latest version, called SkelTec Azur, lays out its inner self in a new deep blue framework.

Chronoswiss head of design Maik Panziera explains that the watchmaker created this intense blue case and interior minutes track through the use of chemical vapor deposition (CVD), a modern finishing technique that effectively replaces traditional mineral-based techniques.

The blued 51-part case frames a 166-part hand-wound Chronoswiss C. 304 movement built with an X-shaped monobloc construction that aligns the primary timekeeping components along a vertical axis.

Note that the minutes track, essentially what little exists of a dial, is held in place by four small triangular bridges at the 11, 1, 5 and 7 positions. Chronoswiss then attaches a black central X underneath the nicely contrasting white lacquered hour and minute hands, which are filled with green SuperLuminova.  

Chronoswiss contrasts the watch’s blue and black color scheme with a rhodium-plated star-shaped mainspring top, moving wheels and pivoting pins.

If its more traditional décor you seek, turn the watch over.  There, through the screwed-down case back with sapphire crystal, you will see a classic mainspring barrel back with a satin-brushed finish and chamfered, polished angles.

Chronoswiss is offering the SkelTec Azur as a limited edition of fifty, each equipped with a calfskin and textile strap specially made for the SkelTec collection. Price: $22,400.

 

Specifications: Chronoswiss SkelTec Azur (Ref. CH-3718-BKBLB)

Movement: Manufacture caliber C.304, hand-wound, skeletonized, 166 components, open balance wheel, skeletonized spring barrel, 28,800 vph frequency, 48-hour power reserve.

Case: 45mm by 7.5mm steel with 51 parts, middle part DLC-coated stainless steel, sand blasted matt finish; bezel, screws and back ring stainless steel with blue CVD-coating; bezel polished with double anti-reflective sapphire crystal, screw-down case back with satin finish and sapphire crystal; onion crown; water resistance up to 50 meters, screw-in lugs with patented Autobloc system.

Dial: Skeletonized, matt blue CVD coating, Skeletonized hands with lacquered, SuperLuminova inlays.

Strap: Custom-made calfskin and textile.  

Price: $22,400.

Chronoswiss refreshes the skeletonized Opus Chronograph, one of the Lucerne-based watchmaker’s best-known watches, with new colors and finishes. The new version, dubbed Opus Chronograph Flag due to its red, white and blue colors, spotlights recent technical upgrades that include stronger water resistance, shorter lugs and superior anti-glare treatment.

The new Chronoswiss Opus Chronograph Flag.

First seen in 1995, the Opus Chronograph quickly became a favorite of skeleton watch fans. Chronoswiss notes that it was among the first watchmakers to utilize the then-new pantograph technique for cutting skeleton components when it created the watch’s signature mix of finely cut, filigreed bridges topped with clearly marked subdial perimeters.

The pantograph technique requires the manufacturer to create an oversized depiction of the movement. Then, computer–assisted machinery follows a steel finger along the pattern while a mechanical arm guides the tool that mills the movement’s components, essentially skeletonizing them.

Underneath the newest Opus Chronograph’s blue and white subdial perimeters you’ll see the eye-catching blackened, galvanic-finished bridges of the Chronoswiss Caliber C.741S movement, which Chronoswiss creates using an ETA Valjoux 7750 base. The chronograph hands (center seconds, 30-minute counter and 12-hour counter) are red.

As noted, this newest Opus, which initially debuted last year, allows the wearer to view the skeletonizing clearer than before now that the watch’s curved sapphire crystal is treated with anti-reflection treatment on both sides.

Chronoswiss finishes with watch with a satin-brushed case band, polished lugs and the knurled bezel and large onion crown well known to the brand’s fans. Water resistance has also been improved, and now protects to 100 meters. Price: $11,400.

 

Specifications: Chronoswiss Opus Chronograph Flag

Movement: Automatic Chronoswiss Caliber C.741S from ETA Valjoux 7750 base, skeletonized and CVD-plated blue rotor with Côtes de Genève, ball bearings; polished pallet lever, escape wheel and screws, 28,800 vph, 46-hour power reserve, skeletonized bridges and base plate with perlage, galvanic black color.

Dial: Skeletonized, galvanic blue and silver, sweep hours and minutes, seconds, analogue date, red sweep chronograph seconds, 30-minute counter and 12-hour counter. Hands are lacquered and curved with minute hand bent by hand.

Case: 41mm by 14.8mm 23-piece solid-stainless steel with satin finish and polished, bezel with partial knurling and curved, double coated anti-reflective sapphire crystal, screw-down case back with satin finish and sapphire crystal, onion crown, water resistance to 100 meters, screw-in lugs with patented Autobloc system.

Bracelet:  Louisiana alligator leather, hand-sewn with folding clasp.  

Price: $11,400

 

Chronoswiss whets a chocolate-lover’s appetite with the latest edition of its Open Gear ReSec, a watch that boasts an interesting retrograde seconds display within an already unusual skeletonized regulator dial layout.

The new Chronoswiss Open Gear ReSec Chocolate

Not only does the Lucerne-based watchmaker dip the watch’s 44mm steel case in a chocolate-colored PVD coating, but it then sprinkles the ‘dial’ with a chili-colored textured red varnish – enhancing its attraction to the horological taste buds.   

Unlike previous iterations of this Chronoswiss best seller, the new Open Gear ReSec Chocolate minimizes distractions with only a very small set of numbers on the dial at the retrograde seconds display. Hours and minutes are displayed more simply with (luminous) markers.

As Maik Panziera, Chronoswiss head of design, explains, the tasty chili and cranberry red dial is actually the watch’s mainplate. “The fine-grained, powdery appearance is achieved by sandblasting a red varnish mixed with a see-through pigment.”

Retrograde display

Named for its premier function (ReSec stands for Retrograde Seconds), the watch’s jumping seconds hand operates in a half-circle, leaping from the thirty seconds position back to start its arc to complete counting each minute.

Chronoswiss places blackened bridges on the dial around the namesake retrograde seconds display. These bridges, which stand out clearly amid the chili red color, support the automatic Chronoswiss caliber C. 301 skeletonized open gear train wheels, which power the regulator hands. In regulator style (where minutes are the focus) the large minute hand circumnavigates the dial while the smaller hour hand is positioned at the 12 o’clock position.

In addition to the regulator layout, the Open Gear ReSec Chocolate features all the expected Chronoswiss design codes, including a three-dimensional dial, onion crown and fluted bezel.

The caseback dispays the Chronoswiss Caliber C.301 automatic movement with skeletonized black rotor with Côtes de Genève finish.

For collectors not sold on this latest horological nugget from Chronoswiss, the watchmaker adds another tasty bonus: Every customer who buys this watch, and also registers for the Chronoswiss three-year international warranty, will also receive a one-year (quarterly) chocolate subscription from Max Chocolatier, the Lucerne shop that inspired the watchmaker’s latest design. Price: $9,900.

 

Specifications: Chronoswiss Open Gear ReSec  Chocolate

Case: 44mm x 13.35mm 17-piece stainless steel case with brown PVD coating and satin finish. Bezel sand-blasted matte with partial knurling and curved, double-coated anti-reflective sapphire crystal, screw-down case back with satin finish and sapphire crystal, onion crown, water resistance up to 100 meters, strap holders screwed down with patented Autobloc system.

Movement: Chronoswiss caliber C. 301, automatic, with stop seconds, skeletonized and galvanic-black-plated with Côtes de Genève and ball bearing, polished pallet lever, escape wheel and screws; bridges and plates with perlage.

Dial: Elaborate 42-part construction on two levels: bottom level red varnish, upper level featuring screwed-on skeletonized train wheel bridges and funnel-like construction for hour display, as well as a retrograde seconds display and cylinder-shaped SuperLuminova indexes. Off-center hours at 12, central minutes, retrograde seconds at 6.

Strap: Calf leather, hand-sewn.

The Open Gear ReSec Chocolate is limited to fifty timepieces. Price: $9,900.

Few watch functions are as dramatic as a jumping hand. Chronoswiss takes full advantage of its twice-per-minute jumping hand by placing it just above the 6 o’clock spot on the new, metallic blue and gold Open Gear ReSec, a new 44mm regulator watch.

 

The watch is a new limited-edition model within the Lucerne-based watchmaker’s existing Open Gear ReSec collection. Named for its premier function (ReSec stands for Retrograde Seconds, the more technical name for the over-active hand), the watch gleams with a particularly rich blue 44mm CVD-coated case accented by gold hands and markers. Chronoswiss wisely mounts its gold-colored jumping hand on a nicely hand-finished straight-grained bridge with smartly polished edges. The jumping hand itself operates in a half-circle, leaping from the thirty seconds position back to start its arc to complete counting each minute.

As Maik Panziera, Chronoswiss Head of Design, explains in a press release: “This ‘jump back in time’ takes a millisecond, and the precision of the watch is well within ±5 seconds per day.” He adds that the invention of the retrograde display dates from 17th- century pocket watches.

To add even more visual punch, Chronoswiss has finished the bridges that hold the retrograde complication in place with three different finishes: sandblasted matte, chamfered edges and polished surfaces.

And there’s more to treat the eye. Chronoswiss contrasts the dial’s metallic blue sheen with easy-to-read luminous hands framed in gold plate, including the large minute hand that circumnavigates the dial and the smaller hour hand at the 12 o’clock position. Chronoswiss then adds hour indexes made of white cylinder-shaped blocks of SuperLuminova to ensure visibility.

Chronoswiss has skeletonized a few of the gears visible through the hours subdial.

To add texture to the already multi-layer dial, Chronoswiss has skeletonized a few of the gears visible through the hours subdial. On the exterior, Chronoswiss also mixes it up with matte-finished, channeled case-sides, a shiny bezel and polished lugs.

The caseback dispays the Chronoswiss Caliber C.301 automatic movement with skeletonized blue rotor with Côtes de Genève finish.

All told, there’s a lot to please a collector searching for a distinctively finished watch that won’t hide on the wrist. The bonus here is that Chronoswiss adds two unusual functions: a regulator dial featuring a time-honored, action-packed retrograde seconds hand.

Price: $9,900 (limited edition of fifty).

Specifications: Chronoswiss Open Gear ReSec

Limited Edition of 50 (Reference:CH-6926-BLGO)

Dial: Off-center hours at 12, central minutes, retrograde seconds at 6.  Elaborate 42-part construction on two levels: bottom level hand- guillochéd, upper level featuring screwed-on skeletonized train wheel bridges and funnel-like construction for hour display, as well as a retrograde seconds display and cylinder shape SuperLuminova indexes, ‘Trigono’-shape hands, red gold-plated and polished with SuperLuminova inlays and tips.

Case: 44mm by 13.35mm solid 17-piece stainless steel case with blue CVD coating, with satin finish and polished, bezel with partial knurling and curved, double coated anti-reflective sapphire crystal, screw-down case back with satin finish and sapphire crystal, onion crown, water resistance to 100 meters, strap holders screwed down with patented Autobloc system

Movement: Chronoswiss caliber C. 301, automatic, with stop seconds and 42-hour power reserve, skeletonized blue rotor with Côtes de Genève and ball bearing; polished pallet lever, escape wheel and screws; bridges and plates with perlage

 Strap: Hornback crocodile leather, hand-sewn

 

A steely galvanized blue emanates from the dial, hands and case and even the onion crown on a new 41mm steel watch.

The prominent minute hand and separate hour and seconds subdials on a regulator watch can resemble an automotive dashboard, particularly when placed on sporty watches, according to Chronoswiss. But while this modern marketing comparison does correctly reference the regulator’s historical role as a highly visible set of precision dials, not unlike a racecar dashboard, it suffers a bit in historical context. 

There were of course no cars when regulator dials were used as time-setting and adjustment references for the watchmakers in horological ateliers two centuries ago. But I understand the comparison, especially given this Lucerne-based watchmaker’s decades-long effort to pitch the regulator dial’s legibility. 

Last year’s Regulator Classic Carbon Racer is possibly the clearest example of how well Chronoswiss has been remaking regulator dials for the modern era. On that watch, the dial’s carbon mesh and its speedometer font successfully deliver a sporty regulator layout, complete with a racecar wheel rim seconds subdial. 

The newest Chronoswiss Regulator bathes the brand’s Classic design in blue, specifically a steely galvanized blue, which emanates from the dial, hands and case and even the onion crown of the 41mm steel watch. Even the luminosity is blue as the hour and minute hands and the index dots are painted with an ‘intense blue’ SuperLuminova hue. 

Dubbed the Regulator Classic Blue Steel, the watch retains all the regulator necessities, with a prominent central minutes hand and smaller hours and seconds subdials above and below the center. Dial finishing includes guilloché on the hour subdial and a brighter shade of lacquer for the hands.  

Also note the skeletonized small second display (at 6 o’clock) that offers the wearer a glimpse of the Chronoswiss caliber C. 295, automatic movement from the dial. Of course, the movement is also visible through the sapphire caseback, a wristwatch feature Chronoswiss pioneered in the 1980s. 

Beyond the case and dial, the Regulator Classic Blue Steel also demonstrates its blue demeanor with a hand-stitched alligator strap colored with layers of dark blue and black. 

Price: $4,950.


Specifications:
Chronoswiss
Regulator Classic Blue Steel 

Movement: Chronoswiss caliber C. 295 (ETA-based with Chronoswiss regulator mechanism), automatic, with stop seconds, engraved, rhodium-plated rotor, with Côtes de Genève and ball bearing; polished pallet lever, escape wheel and screws; bridges and plates with perlage 

Case: 41mm by 12.7 mm stainless steel with blue coating PVD, with satin finish and polished bezel with partial knurling and curved, double coated anti- reflective sapphire crystal, screw-down case back with satin finish and sapphire crystal, onion crown, water resistance up to 100 meters, strap holders screwed down with patented Autobloc system 

Dial: Galvanic blue, scales with circular-graining, interior of hour display with guilloché details, skeletonized small seconds display. Hands are Trigono shaped and lacquered; SuperLuminova inlays 

Strap: Louisiana alligator leather, hand-sewn and dyed by hand