Chronoswiss ReSec Classic CH-8783-BKBR
Unlike many of its siblings, the Chronoswiss ReSec Classic CH-8783-BKBR is not a regulator. Instead, this model features coaxial hour and minute hands, a large date display and a retrograde seconds indication.
The Lucerne-based watch brand, Chronoswiss, is probably the leading purveyor of regulators. Originally used as a point of reference when setting other clocks and watches, the regulator features a dominant minute hand, often with hours and seconds shown on smaller counters. Having worn numerous regulators over the years, I can attest that they often prove intuitive to use and exhibit a notable sense of style.
While I am an avowed fan of regulators, I accept that no brand wants to ignore large market segments or wishes to be described as typecast. However, the Swiss brand does offer other models in its repertoire such as the new Chronoswiss ReSec Classic CH-8783-BKBR which is the focal point of this review.
Suffused with eye-popping shades
In 2012, Oliver Ebstein and his family took over Chronoswiss and Mr Ebstein became the firm’s CEO. Both Ebstein and Maik Panziera, the company’s Head of Design, have imbued the brand’s collection with a sizeable dose of vitality, releasing new models suffused with eye-popping shades.
Recently, while perusing the Swiss company’s website, I noticed a new model with a ‘conventional’ dial, co-axial hour and minute hands and a retrograde seconds display.
The Chronoswiss ReSec Classic CH-8783-BKBR features a black dial enlivened with a guilloché motif. However, what attracted me to the model was the hour track presented in the brightest shade of metallic red you could imagine. I was smitten and duly phoned up the brand’s communications manager to request a sample. As I waxed lyrical about the eye-popping hue, the firm’s representative interjected and explained that in the flesh, the red was actually a restrained reddish brown. Nevertheless, I was still keen to take a closer look.
The Chronoswiss ReSec Classic features a black guilloché motif centre-stage. The shade of black is not a stark hue, but rather a muted, softly-spoken tone. A smooth arc-shaped recess occupies the lower portion of the dial and plays host to the retrograde seconds hand. This display grants a captivating spectacle as the lone hand sweeps left seemingly to its final destination before magically returning to its point of origin and commencing the journey anew. The seconds hand hugs a 30-second track and the function proves effortless to read.
A strength of Chronoswiss is that the design language is consistent. Contemporary Trigono hour and minute hands have been adopted on this model. A design trait of Chronoswiss is the firm repeatedly juxtaposes modern and traditional elements and yet the resultant appearance always proves cohesive. In this instance, the hands converse with the aforementioned reddish brown track. Each hour value is denoted with Roman numerals and the hour track is circular-grained.
Having worn the Chronoswiss ReSec Classic over a number of days, I have grown to appreciate the unusual reddish brown tones of the hour track. Unlike the depiction of the model on the brand’s website, the actual colour could be described as unassuming and discreet. Once again, Maik Panziera has selected a sublime shade imbuing the watch with an elegant mien.
A large date display sits below noon. This employs two discs, one displaying single units and the other displaying the tens. The two sets of values are separated with a slim vertical bar. The finest examples of large date displays create an optical illusion, fooling the wearer into thinking the two discs are positioned at the same level. Irrespective of price, the Chronoswiss ReSec Classic features one of the best large date displays I have seen.
Finally, a black minuterie is positioned beyond the hour track, hugging the interior walls of the case.
The Chronoswiss ReSec Classic is housed in a 41mm stainless steel case. Those readers who are familiar with Chronoswiss watches and share my fondness for the brand’s models will immediately feel at ease with this model. There are several design elements which hark back to the brand’s original case design of 1988. Once again, the onion-shaped crown makes an appearance. It doesn’t impinge on the wrist or impair comfort, however, its design facilitates ease of manipulation.
The bezel is presented in gleaming polished steel which is then framed with a fluted rope-like circlet, again typical of Chronoswiss. The caseband features vertical satin-brush and where it meets the caseback, a further ring of vertical fluting provides the means to delineate both surfaces. An exhibition caseback affords sight of the self-winding movement.
Usually I favour leather straps to bracelets, however, I am enchanted with the 3-rows steel item fitted to the Chronoswiss ReSec Classic. The central section of the bracelet is endowed with a satin finish, whereas the two outer rows are highly polished. The bracelet is equipped with a folding clasp and the links closest to the clasp are secured with substantial screws. The bracelet is held steadfastly to the lugs with the company’s patented screw-in system.
The Chronoswiss C.302 automatic movement is based on the Sellita SW 300-1. Personally, I view this as an attribute. The Swiss movement specialist has been making some incredible movements of late, delivering quality and precision while proving simple to repair/service. Most of all, Sellita has democratised mechanical movements, allowing an increasing number of brands to offer impressive watches at relatively modest prices.
Chronoswiss is known for making refined watches and therefore it comes as no surprise to see the oscillating weight adorned with Côtes de Genève motif and perlage on the automatic device bridge.
The balance has a frequency of 28,800 vph (4Hz) and the movement contains 27 jewels. Assuming the watch is fully wound, it will run autonomously for approximately 42 hours.
I have never made any secret about my fondness for the Swiss marque’s range of regulators, however, the Chronoswiss ReSec Classic shows that when the brand does stray off piste it still has the capacity to create superb timepieces.
The muted black dial with guilloché dial decoration is beautiful. Likewise, the large date display is practical, beautifully proportioned and contributes to the model’s handsome appearance.
It is difficult to resist the charms of the retrograde seconds hand which arcs left, kisses the 30-second mark and then, within the blink of an eye, returns to 0 to commence its arcing journey once more. By equipping this watch with a retrograde seconds, the model imparts meaning with a wonderful sense of theatre. Rest assured the dial’s readability is beyond reproach and makes no concessions to the watch’s notable sense of style.
The onion-shaped crown, caseband fluting, vertical satin brush on the caseband and super-secure screw-in system will be familiar to all disciples of the Lucerne-based brand. Indeed, when appraising these components I cannot help thinking of the idiom, ‘If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’.
Finally, I return to the reddish brown hour track. It is gorgeous, discrete and a worthy hue for an elegant timepiece. Quite simply, you won’t be disappointed. However, having witnessed Maik Panziera creatively suffuse the firm’s regulators with some incredibly vibrant, zestful tones, I hope Chronoswiss showcases its creativity again soon by releasing further ‘animations’ of this wonderful watch.
- Model: Chronoswiss ReSec Classic
- Reference: CH-8753-BKBR
- Case: Stainless steel; diameter 41mm; height 12.7mm; water resistance 10 bar (100 metres); sapphire crystal to the front and exhibition caseback
- Functions: Hours; minutes; retrograde seconds
- Movement: Caliber C.302; automatic movement; frequency 28,800 VpH (4Hz); contains 27 jewels; power reserve = 42 hours (approximately)
- Strap: 3-rows stainless steel bracelet with steel folding clasp.
- Price: €5,700 (RRP as at 13.12.2020)