Lucerne-based Chronoswiss has long been credited with bringing the regulator dial — a design inspired by 19th-century clocks used by watchmakers to regulate their watches’ timekeeping — into modern vogue. Thus it is appropriate not only that the regulator style dominates the brand’s current collection, but also that this year’s headliners from Baselworld 2018, a pair of limited editions celebrating both the brand’s founding and the release of its first Régulateur timepiece, offer an intriguing new twist on the historical regulator design. Here’s what you need to know about the Chronoswiss Sirius Flying Regulator Open Gear.
The watch, Chronoswiss says, commemorates 35 years since German watchmaker Gerd-Rüdiger Lang founded the company in Munich in 1983, as well as 30 years since the release of the regulator model that defined the brand in 1988. It is available in two executions, both limited to 35 pieces: in a stainless steel case with a silver-colored dial and blue outer ring, and in a rose-gold case with a blue dial and silver outer ring. On that outer ring is a minutes scale with the number “35” printed in red, standing out against the other numerals on the scale (white in the steel version, black in the rose gold). The “Open Gear” moniker comes from the model’s partially openworked dial design, with front-mounted, skeletonized train wheel bridges, held by blued screws, supporting similarly skeletonized gears that are visible through the funneled subdials (hours at 12 o’clock, small seconds at 6 o’clock, in the classical regulator configuration, swept over by a large, central minutes hand). Combining skeletonization with a regulator design is a rarity in the watch world; I can’t offhand think of any brand other than Chronoswiss that has dabbled in it.
The dial’s visible bridges have been delicately angled and polished; the dial itself consists of two levels, the lower one galvanized and embellished with a hand-guillochéd pattern created by a historical rose engine, the upper one comprising the two funneled subdials and screwed bridges. The feuille hands are thermally blued and polished on the steel model and rhodium-plated and diamond-cut on the rose gold model; both have Super-LumiNova inserts. A tiny plaque with the limited edition number and “Atelier Lucerne” has been hand-applied to each dial.
The complex, 16-part case measures 46 mm in diameter and 13.85 mm thick and features Chronoswiss’s emblematic onion crown and knurling on the case flanks, as well as the curving lugs that are screwed to the strap in the brand’s patented Autobloc system. Sapphire crystals cover the front and back of the timepiece. Inside the case is the Chronoswiss Caliber C.299, with automatic winding, a stop-seconds function, and a 42-hour power reserve. Its notable haute horlogerie adornments include a skeletonized, rhodium-plated rotor with a cotes de Geneve finish; polishing on the pallet lever, escape wheel and screws; and perlage on the bridges and plates.
Both versions of the Sirius Flying Regulator Open Gear are mounted on blue, hand-stitched Louisiana alligator straps. Prices have been set at 7,880 Swiss francs for the steel model, and 16,400 Swiss francs for the rose-gold.
Want more Chronoswiss? Click here for my review of the Sirius Flying Grand Regulator with a steel case and blue guilloché dial.