Chronoswiss Regulator Classic Carbon Racer
The Chronoswiss Regulator Classic Carbon Racer was unveiled earlier this year, stunning both the world of motorsport and horology in equal measure. Steve Ashby takes this incredible feat of watchmaking for a test drive.
When it comes to the material aspects of life, I can generally divide most things into one of three categories: things I don’t like; things that I like and, finally, things that I’m head over heels in love with. Not many things find themselves in this latter category, but there are a few attributes which are certain to guarantee inclusion.
I make no secret of my fondness for unusual watches and those which emulate car instruments certainly pique my interest. When this design influence is executed poorly it can look awful, but when it is done with sensitivity and skill, the resultant appearance can prove spectacular.
There are also certain types of watch that grab my attention, which stand out from the crowd and elicit admiring glances. Certainly, one of my favourites horological genres is the Regulator.
Embracing both of these desires, it was inevitable that I would fall in love with the Chronoswiss Regulator Classic Carbon Racer the moment I saw it.
Chronoswiss is primarily known for making regulator watches. With a regulator, the hours, minutes and seconds are each presented individually. The regulator clock was originally used as a point of reference when setting other clocks and timepieces. Today, several brands, including Chronoswiss, offer a miniaturised wristworn regulator.
The worlds of watchmaking and motorsport have embraced each other on countless occasions and I suspect there will be further liaisons in the future. Over the years I have witnessed various watches trying to emulate the appearance of a speedometer and some have done it well. However, few examples have caught my attention in quite the same way as the Chronoswiss Regulator Classic Carbon Racer.
Doffing its hat to the world of motorsport, the main dial has been crafted from carbon. It gloriously shimmers as it catches the light from any and every angle. Two subdials, positioned at 6 and 12 o’clock, display the running seconds and hours, respectively. Both of these subdials are embellished with guilloche detailing. Furthermore, the small seconds indication incorporates a skeletonised window, providing a glimpse into the inner workings of the timepiece.
Chronoswiss has equipped this model with its ‘new shape ‘Trigano’ hands’, a style it has employed on several of its more recent models. The hands are rhodium-plated and inlaid with Super-LumiNova. Thin Arabic numbers have been used to identify the hours, accented by a red marker between 7 and 9 o’clock, resembling a fuel gauge. All elements replicate the look and feel of a sports car’s dashboard instruments. The dial is enriched with a red seconds hand and prominent chapter ring, adding a dramatic splash of colour to complete the octane-inspired look.
While the Chronoswiss Regulator Classic Carbon Racer has a sporty dial, the case and bracelet exhibit an elegant mien. The piece has been encased in steel and endowed with the brand’s trademark features, including – but not limited to – a semi-fluted ‘coin-edge’ bezel and screw-in lugs. The steel bracelet perpetuates the firm’s iconic look with links that have been brushed along the centre and polished on the outer edges. Of course, no Chronoswiss would be complete without the brand’s characteristic onion crown.
In my opinion, what really sets this timepiece apart from competing models that have tried to capture the speedometer look is the lone hand arcing around the dial. By using one hand and dial/subdial to impart information the watch compartmentalises each indication, underscoring the automotive character of the watch and, more pertinently, aiding interpretation.
Aesthetics aside, the movement itself is also worthy of podium glory. The Chronoswiss Regulator Classic Carbon Racer is equipped with the brand’s C.295 automatic calibre. The balance staff is protected by an Incabloc shock protection system and the 27 jewel movement has a frequency of 4 Hz (28,800 A/h). The watch will run autonomously for 42 hours.
The bridges and plates are decorated with perlage and the rhodium-plated rotor is adorned with Côtes de Genève finishing. The movement can be seen in all its glory through a screw-down sapphire crystal caseback.
By now, I probably don’t need to say much more to convey my genuine fondness for this watch. Chronoswiss has always been one of my favourite independent brands, making distinctive models that stand out from the crowd. This watch, in particular, is certainly one of the brand’s finest models, successfully encompassing motorsport inspired details, while delivering superb readability.
The watch is available for just £4,200 – a modest price considering the model’s exquisite dial detail and attractively appointed movement. While technically this is not a ‘limited edition’, Chronoswiss only produce a few thousand watches per year, hence availability will be limited by virtue of its production capacity. Indeed, Chronoswiss ownership bestows individuality and a wonderful degree of exclusivity.
- Model: Chronoswiss Regulator Classic Carbon Racer
- Reference: CH-8773-CARE
- Case: Stainless steel; diameter 41mm; height 12.7mm; water resistance 10 bar (100 metres); sapphire crystals to the front and back
- Functions: Hours; minutes; small seconds;
- Movement: Caliber C.295; automatic regulator movement; frequency 28,800 VpH (4Hz); contains 27 jewels; power reserve 42 hours
- Strap: Stainless steel bracelet with folding clasp.
- Price: £4,200 (RRP as at 16.12.2019)
The press sample was kindly provided by https://www.jurawatches.co.uk