Chronoswiss Opus Chronograph 2020
The Chronoswiss Opus Chronograph 2020 shares much in common with a former version of the watch, first released in 1995. This year, the Swiss marque has revisited the model, releasing a classically styled version with a traditional silver-toned dial. However, consistent with several of the brand’s recent limited-editions, the Chronoswiss Opus Chronograph 2020 is also available in a bold configuration, encompassing blue and orange hues.
Throughout his career, Pablo Picasso’s life was defined by different periods, including pre 1901, the blue period, the rose period, African-influenced period, Cubism, etc. Similarly, the history of Chronoswiss, the Swiss luxury watch brand, can be categorised as the ‘Lang’ period and the ‘Ebstein’ period, a reference to the firm’s founder and its subsequent, present-day owner.
While several design elements of the Lang era have endured, the Ebstein period has seen the firm play with depths, creating layers of dial detail as well as incorporating interesting dial textures. Perhaps most notably of all, Chronoswiss has wholeheartedly embraced bright colours, imbuing some formerly traditional designs with a bold, youthful vigour.
Recently, the brand from Lucerne unveiled two new models, the contemporary SkelTec, a skeleton watch with a radical appearance that potentially signals ‘a new period’ for the brand, as well as new versions of the Chronoswiss Opus Chronograph. When this latter watch was unveiled in 1995, it was ‘the first serially manufactured, automatic, skeletonised chronograph’. The Chronoswiss Opus Chronograph 2020 looks virtually identical to the 1995 creation, however, close examination reveals some subtle improvements and the overall the execution appears more refined.
The first version of the Chronoswiss Opus Chronograph 2020, a non-limited reference with a silver dial, clearly subscribes to the ‘Lang’ period. The second version, a bolder limited-edition variant encompasses vivid blue and orange hues, clearly belonging to the ‘Ebstein’ period.
Admirers of Picasso’s work may voice a preference for one of his famous ‘periods’, however, regardless of this, there is no escaping the Spanish painter was an accomplished artist. Likewise, irrespective of which period of Chronoswiss’s history you prefer, there is no escaping the brand’s models possess an abundance of style.
Extract from the brand’s press release (September 2020)
The mechanical clarity of the classical Opus Chronograph is achieved by dexterously paring away all superfluous material, leaving nothing but a filigreed skeleton – which functions just as well as when fully fleshed. On the SkelTec, however, Chronoswiss has created the brand-new C.304 movement, where maximum reduction of the entire movement has already been realized on the drawing board. “I would say that the name SkelTec is kind of self-explanatory. Its exclusive 166-part manufacture movement with a power reserve of 48 hours combines Opus’s mechanical spirit with space age technologies. SkelTec takes artisanal, traditional skeletonising to warp speed,” says Head of Design Maik Panziera.
The 2020 version of the exceptionally complex 300-part masterpiece Opus Chronograph – which in 1995 advanced the skeletonising chapter at Chronoswiss – has been thoroughly updated. It now offers a modern geometry with a 41-millimetre case and shorter lugs, hugging the wrist more comfortably.
Thanks to the double anti-reflection treatment of the sapphire crystal, the skeletonising can be admired clearer than ever before. And in line with contemporary user-friendly needs and expectations, the watertightness has been upgraded to 100 metres. There is also a limited edition where the subdials showing date, chronograph hours and minutes and small seconds are blue and orange, adding another verse to this horological opus.