Chronoswiss Flying Regulator Open Gear
The Chronoswiss Flying Regulator Open Gear Ref. CH-8753-BLBL was released at Baselworld 2018. This watch masterfully plays with differing dial depths and freely discloses parts usually hidden from view.
This detailed review of the Chronoswiss Flying Regulator Open Gear Ref. CH-8753-BLBL includes live images, specification details, video and pricing.
As a young child, I often displayed an unbridled curiosity for anything mechanical. Moreover, I had an innate desire to understand how things worked. Invariably this led to the dismantling of my toys. Regrettably, they seldom went back together and, if they did, there was inevitably a surplus of parts post reassembly.
The naivety and clumsiness of my youth has now gone. With maturity, I have learnt not to meddle, especially when I know my skills will not pass muster. However, I still yearn for knowledge and possess an overwhelming urge to understand the workings of a mechanical object.
This mechanical curiosity comes to the fore with watches. My wife will attest that I spend an inordinate amount of time staring at timepieces with a loupe held to my right eye. Exhibition casebacks indulge my fetish for horological voyeurism. The sight of a pulsing balance spring or a nodding pallet lever confers enchantment and wonder. I also derive much pleasure appraising the finishing of a watch, immersing myself in a world of perlage and blued screws.
Many Chronoswiss models possess an exhibition caseback, sating my fondness for viewing mechanical manoeuvres. Recently, the Maison from Lucerne, now celebrating its 35th anniversary, unveiled a new watch that discloses some components usually hidden from view. With my interest piqued, I requested a press-loan from this high-end brand and a period of association soon ensued.
The Chronoswiss Flying Regulator Open Gear is offered in a choice of dial colours. In addition, the Swiss company also offers the watch in a red gold case and galvanic silver dial ensemble. The sample watch I received was presented in a stainless steel case with a sumptuous galvanic blue dial and it is this version I will focus upon herein.
Regulator watches trace their origins back to regulator clocks. These were used as a point of reference when setting other clocks or watches. It is for this reason that the minute hand dominates the display and the hour hand assumes a deferential role. Chronoswiss is synonymous with regulators. Indeed, just five years after the brand’s inauguration, the company unveiled its first regulator watch. Since this initial foray into regulators, this genre of watch has become a dominant element of the brand’s DNA and the main focus of its product strategy. Quite simply, Chronoswiss is a specialist in this field.
A luminescent leaf-shaped hand dominates the dial. It spans all the other dial components, floating above the chapter ring. Small dots and crisp white markings grace the chapter ring, facilitating read-off.
The hours are presented on a ‘funnel-like display’, retained with blued screws. A small luminescent leaf-shaped hand collaborates with Roman numerals to indicate the prevailing hour. The open aspect of the display allows the wearer to see the silver-toned wheels below. An off-set, intermediate wheel engages with the hour wheel and a small wheel beneath the hour hand. The hour hand and its driving wheel are held in position with an openworked bridge. The bridge is held in place with three blued screws. A further bridge, sharing a similar design, holds the aforementioned intermediate wheel and jewel bearing and is again secured with three blued screws.
The hour display and associated parts are positioned at different heights making it possible to see beneath the floating hour track. The freely disclosed wheels and the different colours employed heighten the visual allure.
A small seconds display is positioned at the base of the dial, above 6 o’clock. Once again, Chronoswiss has adopted a ‘funnel-like’ design. In this instance, the top of the minute track sits beneath the leading edge of the hour track. The minute track is marked with Arabic numerals and short white strokes. A svelte red hand circumscribes the display, succinctly conversing with the wearer and introducing a soupçon of flamboyance to proceedings. At the epicentre of the display is an exposed seconds wheel, reminding the wearer that the watch contains a beating heart.
This dial sidesteps the perfunctory and delivers a fascinating visual spectacle. The multi-layered construction enriches the visual allure. However, despite the abundance of stylish dial detail nothing detracts from the lucid proclamation of time.
The Chronoswiss Flying Regulator Open Gear is instantly recognisable as a child of Lucerne. The bezel and caseback feature a knurled motif and the watch is wound with a prominent onion crown. Vertical brush adorns the caseband, the hour hand is bent by hand and the strap affixes to the watch-head with screw-down strap bars. These design elements are common to several Chronoswiss models.
It is this consistent approach to design and the timeless styling of each component which ensures that Chronoswiss timepieces are instantly recognisable. They invariably offer lasting eye-appeal and I have little doubt that the Chronoswiss Flying Regulator Open Gear will age gracefully.
Measuring 41mm in diameter, this Chronoswiss timepiece is comfortable to wear and should suit a broad array of wearers. The lugs arc downwards, encouraging the strap to envelop the wrist. The watch is supplied with a luxurious hand-sewn alligator strap paired with a steel deployant.
This watch has a restrained character. It does not shout or boast, its conduct is seemly at all times. The case treatment is muted, save for the bezel which is highly polished. This isolated episode of exuberance sits comfortably with the other case components, resulting in a harmonious appearance.
The Chronoswiss Flying Regulator Open Gear is endowed with the Caliber C.299 automatic movement which can be viewed via the exhibition case-back. A blue, openworked oscillating weight sits atop the bridges. These bridges are embellished with perlage. Each pearl is crisp and beautifully defined. One detail I especially like is how the sloping internal walls of the caseback draw the eye towards the movement.
The balance has a frequency of 28,800 VpH (4Hz) and the movement contains 31 jewels. The lone barrel is capable of providing 42 hours of autonomy.
The pièce de résistance of the Chronoswiss Flying Regulator Open Gear is the dial. It indulges the wearer with a mechanical vista encompassing rotating wheels, blued screws and numerous layers. During my brief period of ownership, I spent an inordinate amount of time scrutinising the dial at close quarters.
Beyond the visual allure of the dial, this timepiece proves practical, displaying hours, minutes and seconds with succinctness and efficiency. The leaf-shaped minute hand is exquisitely formed and circumscribes the dial with notable poise. Indeed, gracefulness is omnipresent.
Once again, this timepiece upholds the design codes which have made Chronoswiss a much-admired marque. The vertically brushed caseband, the rope-like knurled motif adjacent the bezel and the wonderfully tactile onion crown are part of the brand’s DNA, differentiating these timepieces from its competitors’s models.
The dial and case are exemplars of refined taste and I doubt they will age with the onset of years.
The Chronoswiss Flying Regulator Open Gear is a wonderful horological composition. It brims with style while remaining practical. This is a watch that invites its wearer to immerse themselves in a dynamic universe where wheels can be observed turning and the hairspring can be seen breathing with life.
- Model: Chronoswiss Flying Regulator Open Gear
- Reference: CH-8753-BLBL
- Case: Stainless steel; diameter 41mm; sapphire crystal to front and caseback; water resistant to 10 ATM (100 metres).
- Functions: Hours, minutes, small seconds.
- Movement: Calibre C.299; automatic movement; frequency 28,800 vph (4Hz); 31 jewels; power reserve = approx. 42 hours
- Strap: Louisiana alligator leather paired with a steel deployant
- Price: CHF 6,490 (RRP as at 24.10.2018)