Chronoswiss Pacific Watches Hands-on Hands-On

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Inside the Chronoswiss Pacific watches are ETA 2892 automatics for its three-hand versions and ETA Valjoux 7750 automatics for the chronographs. The watches come in slick looking black straps with fun contrast stitching or metallic bracelets (which are… interesting to say the least). Prices start at about $3,800. Aside from the Balance Chronograph, this was the coolest Chronoswiss watch that I saw at Baselworld 2011. No official details yet, therefore I will have to infer a bit of the specs. One of the things you may notice is that not a lot of watches have this specific big day and power publication design. For a moment I believed that Chronoswiss was modifying a foundation ETA movement, but then I realized that they were using something more standard.A few years ago ETA released the 2896 automatic movement. All these are still uncommon to find in watches, but it’s a cool motion. Chronoswiss was not the only brand I discovered with this movement this season, Bell & Ross also has a brand new BR01 with all the 2896 automatic.More and more I am becoming a huge fan of this Chronoswiss Timemaster collection. The bold aviator appears are classic and masculine. Very brightly colored, but in a good way. Many men can pull off this look in my opinion. The normal Timemaster case is 44mm wide, and here in 2 endings. First is polished and brushed steel, but there’s also (I am pretty sure) a DLC black coated edition. If not DLC afterward PVD. While the instance is 44mm, the large onion style crown sticks out a few more millimeters.One of the very best design features on the dial is that the layout of this power reserve indicator. These generally appear like half circles or are fa-shaped. This appearance never seems to look great on a dial. What Chronoswiss did is give it an almost circular look by stretching it as much as possible and incorporating text around the borders. This gives it a more equilibrium look that does not leave strange shapes on the dial.

Chronoswiss Pacific Watches Hands-on Hands-On

In late 2010 Chronoswiss announced a new collection of watches called the Pacific. The family stylistically was a very different animal for the brand, and was seen as a unique attempt to capture the vintage watch loving market, from a brand already known for their vintage style watches. The result was a sort of futuristic 1960s mod design that felt both retro and contemporary at the same time. I was fascinated by the multi-level dial, and the bright areas of color.

I was finally able to get some hands-on time with a few of the Chronoswiss Pacific watches – that come in both three-hand and chronograph styles. The cases are polished and in steel. Size is 43mm wide and the lugs are long and typical of the brand. I don’t think we see enough polished watches these days. There seems to be a preference among many people for brushed or satinized case finishes, but don’t underestimate the power of a nice polished case. Breitling knows what I am talking about.

Chronoswiss Pacific Watches Hands-on Hands-On

Chronoswiss Pacific Watches Hands-on Hands-On

Speaking of Breitling, the three-hand Pacific reminds me just a bit of Breitling’s new Transocean Automatic. Probably because they are thematically similar pieces (and have the same case size and movement). Though I think that most people will groove best with the chronograph. The various colors and hands, and all the design makes these the most distinctive of the collection. For both the three-hand and chronograph models, Chronoswiss will offer the dials in both a black and silver tone (though I believe the actual dial itself is made out of sterling silver.

As you can see while the case is relatively simple, other elements of the watch have a more complex look. This includes the chronograph pushers as well as the dial. The best watches often choose either a complex case or complex dial – both can leave a watch looking too boring or alternatively too busy and cluttered. Though there are of course plenty of exceptions.

Chronoswiss Pacific Watches Hands-on Hands-On

Chronoswiss Pacific Watches Hands-on Hands-On

Here Chronoswiss was wise to use prominent applied hour markers and (close to) properly sized hands. These are nice watches first and foremost because they are legible. The chronograph model uses a unique style that I think is simple enough to appeal to a lot of people. Props on the legible hour and minute counters mixed with the minimalist subsidiary seconds dial for the time. I like how the minute track for the main time reminds me a bit of blank sheet music (because they were thinking of the musical “Pacific” I bet).

Inside the Chronoswiss Pacific watches are ETA 2892 automatics for the three-hand models and ETA Valjoux 7750 automatics for the chronographs. The watches come in slick looking black straps with fun contrast stitching or metal bracelets (which are… interesting to say the least). Prices start at about $3,800.

Chronoswiss Timemaster Chrono GMT Limited Edition Watch Watch Releases

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Chronoswiss Timemaster Chrono GMT Limited Edition Watch Watch Releases

Chronoswiss is likely a brand that doesn’t need much introduction, even though we don’t hear much about them.  I’ve reviewed some of their collection in the past, and they are well thought out pieces with impeccable construction and high-quality materials.  Their latest model, a special edition to commemorate a trans-global adventure, follows that same path.

This new model in question is the Timemaster Chrono GMT S-Ray 007 (product page), created especially for Iren Dornier, a pilot and adventurer who’s embarking on an around-the-world trip in an amphibious plane to raise awareness (and funds) for a charitable project.  While much of the Timemaster line already hews closely to a vintage aviation aesthetic, the input of Dornier has created a model that looks to draw even more inspiration from aviation.

Chronoswiss Timemaster Chrono GMT Limited Edition Watch Watch Releases

For starters, the dial was designed to resemble an artificial horizon, with a midline separating the gray and black halves of the dial.  This is set within a 44mm (16.5mm thick) DLC-coated case, which further helps the dial stand out visually.  Pair that with the red accents (and GMT hand) and bright white lume-filled hands, and you have the recipe for an extremely readable watch – even for all of the functions built-in courtesy of the movement.

That movement is a Caliber C.754 automatic (based off of the ETA 7750), which itself offers a 46 hour power reserve, a skeletonized rotor, and decorative finishes including polishing, Perlage, and Côtes de Genève.  This movement enables the watch to have three of the most useful (in my opinion) complications, which are a date display, true GMT tracking, and a chronograph.

This is complemented with the classically inspired blue steel hands, especially the miniature Breguet hands in the time register. The centre seconds hand swoops down in its tip. The attention to detail, every detail, is superb. In reality, every millimeter of it’s covered with great little information. The crown is a large, readily graspable onion style; the chronograph buttons have been machined on top with a non-slip surface; the coin edge bezel adds a bit of zing to the dial; the sapphire crystal is lightly domed, also, get this, the mineral crystal onto the back can also be softly domed. This provides an enticing fresh spin to the term, double-domed. There’s nothing early 90’s about it. The design is equally as fresh and relevant now as it was back then. I guess you can say the exact same thing about many true classics.The heart that beats within is a tastefully decorated ETA 7750 foundation, a movement the majority of us know well and admire. But they can’t deny its absolute reliability and durability. It’s proudly stood the test of time since its debut on July 1, 1974. When you look at the watch, you’d swear it was 40 or maybe 42mm. But it’s actually 38mm: my perfect size. And thanks to its moderate height of 11mm and down-slanting lugs, it matches close and comfortably into the wrist and does not snag on top cuffs. The lugs, using their handy screw bars, accept 20mm straps, which might be the most plentiful on the industry. The watch came with a heavily cushioned black ostrich strap which I wore out in about four decades.

Chronoswiss Timemaster Chrono GMT Limited Edition Watch Watch Releases

Chronoswiss Timemaster Chrono GMT Limited Edition Watch Watch Releases

Another interesting variation is found on the strap.  While a rubber strap (complete with DLC-coated steel tang buckle) on a sporty model such as this isn’t anything new, how it’s mounted to the case does indeed appear to be of interest.  While the PR text of “an innovative spring bar that connects directly to the case” isn’t the most descriptive, the pictures paint a fuller idea.  In essence, while it looks like you have a traditional drilled lug, the rubber strap runs fully to the case, without gap.  Just something that gives a more refined look to the piece.

I haven’t been able to track down any information regarding pricing, but given that this is a 180 piece limited edition, and the fact that others in this family start just under $6,500, it’s a safe bet that this special edition will land in the four- to five-figure range (though you do get an amphibious plane model along with your display case).  A watch for everyone?  Likely not.  It is, however, a great example of clean utility put together with a handful of useful (as in a daily basis) functions, and something you could use as a design to weigh other models against.  chronoswiss.com