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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

 

De Bethune marks the tenth anniversary of its DB28 by re-interpreting the 43mm titanium-cased, top-crown watch in three extra-thin versions. All three timepieces re-imagine the DB28 in slightly different ways, but all utilize a new, thinner case with newly designed – but still floating – lugs.  

One of the three celebratory DB28XP debuts flouts a highly polished example of the new ultra-thin case with the prominent De Bethune delta mainplate, one presents a De Bethune Starry Sky design on its dial and the third is equipped with a De Bethune ultra-light tourbillon set in a stunning hand-engraved “barley grain” guilloche pattern.

The Ultra-Thin DB28XP

To create this ultra-thin (measuring 7.2mm compared to 9.3mm in previous models) evolution of the DB28, De Bethune re-designed the case, lugs and the case band, adding a more pronounced curvature.

New finishing needed to reflect the new, thinner profile, according to De Bethune, which is why the new model features highly polished titanium bridges and satin-finished bevels, a visual treat that enhances the thinness of the new watch. Likewise, De Bethune mirror-finishes the emblematic delta-shaped mainplate and with its dial offers a modern take on traditional guilloche technique.

The new ultra-thin titanium case on two of the new watches measures 7.2mm compared to 9.3mm in previous models.

De Bethune of course fits the watch with its own balance-spring with a flat terminal curve, silicon escape wheel and De Bethune triple pare-chute shock-absorbing system. De Bethune has also increased the efficiency (by twenty percent) of its self-regulating twin-barrels to ensure that the hand-wound movement delivers a full six days of power reserve.

DB28XP Starry Sky

Here, De Bethune creates its first-ever blued Microlight dial, comprised of a blue titanium base with applied microgrooves, to deliver a celestial dial show. Those ‘stars’ on the dial are actually white gold pins placed with precision and as requested by the customer.

As you may know, De Bethune allows the customer to select a date, hour and location so that it can create a night sky exactly as desired by the watch’s owner.

The DB28XP Starry Sky features the hour circle in silver, the minutes in Arabic numerals, the De Bethune signature at 12 o’clock and rose gold hands designed especially for the new watch.

DB28XP Tourbillon

With this third interpretation of the DB28 theme, De Bethune rearranges the movement’s architecture by placing an exceedingly lightweight (0.18 grams-which De Bethune calls “the lightest ever”) 30-second, 36,000-bph tourbillon at 6 o’clock. De Bethune notes that the dial of the DB28 Digitale inspired the new design.

Offering hour, minute and seconds indications, the DB28XP Tourbillon’s white dial with silver reflections is stunning indeed. It provides an enthralling hand-engraved “barley grain” guilloche pattern, highlighted by a blued hour circle with polished marker dots.

If you can bear to turn the watch to its caseback, there’s another reward to viewing the DB28XP Tourbillon: a representation of our solar system that references the Aiguille d’Or – the highest distinction of the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève (GPHG) – awarded to the first DB28. The position of the planets is that of the evening sky over Geneva when the prize was presented on November 19, 2011.

The position of the planets is that of the evening sky over Geneva when the GPHG prize was presented to the first DB28 on November 19, 2011.

Prices:

DB28XPTIS1, Polished Titanium:  $79,900

DB28XPTIS3v2, Titanium Starry Sky: $79,900

DB28XPTTIS1, Tourbillon with Titanium Barleycorn motif:  $198,000