The regulator is one of the things that hails back to the start of watch making, alongside historical items like pocket watches. It’s nothing new that mechanical watches can be seen as something of an anachronism these days, but a big part of the reason they remain so successful is the “soul” that draws us in. There are other other types of movements (or devices, for that matter) that simply do a better job when it comes to accuracy and robustness, but for me, it’s the fascination of the tiny, purpose-built machine working away to give me information on demand. The regulator stands as a testament to watchmaking, and Chronoswiss has always made sure to keep true to the type, with their latest, the Chronoswiss Sirius Flying Regulator, refreshing the design.
Regulator watches are funny things. While they had their place mostly in the ateliers of days gone by, used for regulating the watches being worked on, the basic premise works well in a modern setting on your wrist. A large central minute hand gives you the minutes at a glance, while smaller dials for hours and seconds stand in the background until you actually need to know that information. That, of course, is the basic design we have with the Chronoswiss Sirius Flying Regulator, with the brand’s C.122 movement doing the heavy lifting. Chronoswiss has kept an eye on the regulator watch ever since their beginning, so how did they refresh this design?
Perhaps the case? Well, no, not here – the Chronoswiss Sirius Flying Regulator keeps the case to something that fits in with the rest of their lineup, with its coin-edge sides and onion crown. Perhaps the overall layout? Well, no the very concept of a regulator sort of dictates how things are positioned. That leaves us, then, with the dial itself. While we at times will point out smaller details that add dimensionality to a dial, the Chronoswiss Sirius Flying Regulator really does take things in a very three-dimensional direction. At the lowest level, you have a guilloche dial, which in and of itself gives some subtle dimensionality. Then, floated over that, which is where I am guessing the flying part of the name comes from, you have the rest of the dial.
In some ways, the upper deck of the Chronoswiss Sirius Flying Regulator is almost like a skeletonized dial, just with the ability to see more dial instead of a movement through the cutouts. The upper deck consists of the chapter ring, where the minutes are indicated, as well as the registers for the two sub-dials, which have the hours up top and seconds below. With the hands needing to be slightly above those surfaces and the minute hand needing to clear them all, one concern might be the overall height of the watch. Thankfully, that should not be an issue with the Chronoswiss Sirius Flying Regulator, as its overall case height is noted as being a mere 12mm. No, it will not win awards for thinness, but considering all the layers and the space needed for an automatic rotor, that height is no small feat.
In total, there will be six different variations of the Chronoswiss Sirius Flying Regulator released. At the top end of the range, there is an 18ct red gold case with either a silver or black dial, a DLC-coated steel case with a black or blue dial and the entry-level model in a steel case with blue or silver dial. At this point, only the base model in steel has an announced price, at 6,810 CHF. All of these are interesting options in their own right. While I cannot deny the appeal of a black dial paired with a red gold case, the winner here for me is the galvanic blue dial in the steel case. This just speaks to me of an everyday practicality, which really is what a regulator watch can, and should, be viewed as. The design may not be for everyone, but this is what I would consider an ambitious way to refresh a rather venerable style. chronoswiss.com
Tech Specs from Chronoswiss
- Solid red gold or stainless steel case, satin finish and polished, bezel with side knurling and curved, non-reflecting sapphire crystal, screw-down case back with satin finish and flat sapphire crystal, onion crown, water resistance up to 3 bar, strap holders screwed down with patented Autobloc system
- Ø 40 mm, height 12 mm
The case features a polished bezel whereas the side of this case features two bits of coined edging. The lugs are hardy and feature protruding side screws like most Chronoswiss’ Timemaster pieces. The watch showcases a sapphire display back in addition to an AR coated sapphire crystal over the dial. Overall, I think that the case design is highly successful and provides visual interest together with traditional design.Chronoswiss appears to imply that the layout of the dial on the movement is meant to evoke an image of a butterfly. I guess that’s the case but I do not believe the blossom analogy is crucial to justify its appearances – it is quite nice enough on its own. The watch dial is solid silver which has been engraved with a number of designs and textures. The look is not overdone at all and the dial is still very legible. This Chronoswiss made certain to include the name of the brand and the version on the dial. How many watches do you consider that even have the title of the design contained on it anywhere?The use of blued-steel palms is a proper to coordinate with the topic of the watch. The minute and hour hands are “pomme” style and two other types of hands are used for the retrograde and subdials. Again, more kudos to Chronoswiss to get a good-looking dial layout with all the ideal elements being taken under consideration. Legibility and beauty are taken into account with the only compromise being the lack of lume.
- Chronoswiss manufacture calibre C.122
- Diameter: Ø 26.80 mm / Ø 26.40 mm (11 ¾´´)
- Height: 5.30 mm
- Jewels: 30
- Balance: Glucydur, three-legged
- Balance Spring: Nivarox I
- Fine adjustment: Index via eccentric cam Shock protection Incabloc
- Stroke rate: 3 Hz., 21,600 A/h (oscillations)
- Power reserve: Approx. 45 hours
- Finish: Rhodinised or gold-plated, skeletonised rotor with Geneva Stripes, ball bearing mounted; circular-grained plate; bridges with Geneva Stripes and circular-grained offsets; gold-plated engraving and jewel settings; polished lever, escape wheel and screws
- Dial: Guilloche base with “flying” sub-dial floating above screwed plinths, galvanised in different colour combinations
- Handset: Shape Poire Losange; curved and either thermally blued, gold-plated or lacquered depending on the model
- Strap: Louisiana alligator leather or embossed calfskin