Chronoswiss has been manufacturing regulator wristwatches since 1987 and this ‘complication’ (or at least this specific display) has become a genuine trademark for the Lucerne-based manufacturer. A couple of years ago, Chronoswiss presented a modern 3D take on this traditional display with the Flying Regulator Open Gear. Today we are going hands-on with a bold yellow / black hand guilloché dial limited edition of the model.
Short History of regulators and Chronoswiss
In the past, watch workshops or observatories were equipped with precision master clocks, known as regulators. Their characteristic display with separate time indications (the minute hand usually taking centre stage) was designed for precision time reading. With reference to their display, the term ‘regulator’ refers to dials with separate time registers, in general, a central minute hand with hours and seconds positioned in subsidiary registers.
Chronoswiss was founded by Gerd R. Lange in München, Germany, in 1983. Four years later, the company produced its first regulator piece and became well known for the style. Chronoswiss was relocated to Lucerne, Switzerland, in 2012 following an acquisition by Oliver Ebstein, but the design language and soul of the company never changed. While Chronoswiss also produces traditional watches with central hands (Sirius and Time Master ranges), it’s the regulator models that truly differentiate the company.
The Flying Regulator Open Gear Yellow GuillochÉ
The first thing to catch your eye with this 35-piece limited edition of the Flying Regulator Open Gear is its bright yellow black dial and its compelling three-dimensional display. Built on two levels, the dial consists of a beautiful yellow-lacquered hand-guilloché base. It is fitted with screwed-on skeletonized train wheel bridges and raised hours and seconds rings.
A plate applied at 3 o’clock bears the caption ‘Atelier Lucerne’ followed by the watch’s individual limited edition number. Altogether, this creates a striking sense of depth and the ‘regulator’ display seems to be floating above the dial. The hours and minutes are indicated by so-called ‘trigono’ hands with Super-LumiNova inlays. The small seconds are displayed with a three-tipped hand that animates this three-dimensional dial in an original way.
The Chronoswiss Flying Regulator Open Gear is presented in the brand’s signature cylinder-like case with its knurled bezel and large onion crown. A 16-piece construction, it is fashioned out of steel. It is nicely finished with alternating polished and brushed surfaces. The lugs are straight and rather long, thus the watch wears slightly bigger than the 41mm diameter would suggest. The screw-down caseback is fitted with a sapphire crystal and the water-resistance is rated 100m.
The watch is powered by the automatic Chronoswiss calibre C. 299. If it is based on the ETA 2895 (the small second version of the precise and reliable ETA 2892), but substantially modified with an in-house regulator module. Fitted with 31 jewels, it beats at 28,800vph with a 42-hour power reserve. The stop-seconds mechanism allows you to set the precise time with ease. It is visible via the exhibition caseback with its blackened skeletonized rotor.
The Chronoswiss Flying Regulator Open Gear is worn on a hand-sewn black Hornback alligator leather strap. It is attached to the watch with screws and it is closed by a folding buckle. The watch I had for review was brand new so the strap was a tad stiff – horn-back alligator has a unique visual character but is stiffer than other alligator skins. This shouldn’t be an issue after bending and wearing the strap a couple of times. On the wrist, the watch has a strong presence and is surely polarizing with its original 3D display and bright colours. Naturally, whether you would want to wear a colourful watch or not is down to your personal preference, but this Chronoswiss limited edition is beautifully crafted – and in any case, it is also available in more consensual editions.
Availability & price
Released as a series of 35 pieces, the Chronoswiss Flying Regulator Open Gear Yellow Guilloché (Ref. CH-8753-YEBK) retails for CHF 8,800 or EUR 8,900. For more information and online orders, please visit the brand’s webshop here: chronoswiss.com.