One nice Saturday afternoon in ’92, when cell phones were as large as size 8.5 wingtips, I was walking down the avenue window shopping at the numerous fine watch shops. After staring at many screens of all from ho-hum to exceptional timepieces, it occurred. I saw IT! An opinion unlike anything I’d ever seen. A watch so unique and magnificent I understood my will power was fast being rendered useless. Demolished. And all that separated me from this sexy horological monster was a pane of grease-smeared glass. Apparently, others as hopelessly smitten had pushed their foreheads against this window, eyes bulging, mouths agape. (I believe you get the point: I sort of liked the thing.) To create a long, dull story short, I ran panting to the shop, along with the sales person who approached me probably thought I was having a coronary event or needed a men’s room badly. In a minute, I had been holding it. Fondling it. Perhaps I was hearing things, but I could’ve sworn she said, “Do you take this opinion to be………. .” I stuttered, “I do!” Seeing it was a Chronoswiss, and understanding that they specialized in luxury mechanicals, I realised that the price would be a deal breaker. Nevertheless, it was amazingly reasonable, all things considered. So out came my wallet, off came my Submariner, and that I began a relationship that has blossomed over the years.
While regulator watches used to be something of a rarity, we are now seeing more of them appear. These are the watches based on clocks watchmakers used in the past, with a rather prominent minute hand that was easily seen, allowing the watchmaker to regulate whatever was on their workbench against this standard reference. Having this implemented in a watch can make some sense, as the minutes are generally the first thing we look for. Combining a jump-hour complication into the mix gives us the new-release Chronoswiss Artist Régulateur Jumping Hour watch.
Chronoswiss is a brand we do not hear too much about, but they have been quietly producing rather nice (and competent) luxury watches since 1983. This latest one, the Chronoswiss Artist Régulateur Jumping Hour, is part of the Artist series. While a lot of attention could be given to the complications in the movement, there is very much an aesthetic focus here as well. On the dial, we have a combination of guilloche and enameling, which is not something I believe I have seen before. Here, in the blue iteration, it gives very much the feeling of rippling water, with the sterling silver dials (which also have a guilloche pattern on them) looking like stones that are causing those ripples. In the photos, this is a rather beguiling effect, and one would hope that it is all the more impressive when seen in person.
The flip side of the watch also gives a show (or so we’re told, as no photos were provided) as the bridges of the C.283 automatic movement in the Chronoswiss Artist Régulateur Jumping Hour have been beveled and spent some time at the guilloche machine as well. This movement provides a 42-hour power reserve while driving the jumping hour, off-center minutes, and the sub-seconds. All tucked into a 40mm case that is under 10mm thick, the Chronoswiss Artist Régulateur Jumping Hour certainly seems like a dressier piece to accompany you on a night out on the town.
The version of the Chronoswiss Artist Régulateur Jumping Hour that we have focused on here has a polished steel case, and carries a price tag of €12,600 (currently about $13,900). If you prefer, you could instead opt for a case made of 18k red gold with the enameled dial in white; pricing for that version is €22,650 (about $24,900). While this may be an interesting palette in and of itself, for me, the real star is that blue, rippling-water dial. While Chronoswiss may not be on everyone’s radar, they should be if you consider yourself a connoisseur of luxury watches, as they offer up something different than you might see from other brands. chronoswiss.com