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Chronographes - Chronographs with added extra

Chronographes Chronographs with added extra

Is there anything to add to a complication that has reached the peak of perfection? Yes, say a handful of younger brands that are putting their twist on the chronograph

A modern conversation about the chronograph will generally elicit only one question: horizontal or vertical clutch? The answer, more often than not, will be “vertical”, in line with the ubiquitous 7750 and so that collectors can have the pleasure of seeing a column wheel in action.

A brand will, occasionally, break the mould. Louis Moinet, for example, whose Memoris displays the entire chronograph complication on the dial side.

Chronographs with added extra

Memoris © Louis Moinet

Or De Bethune’s DB28 Maxichrono with its centrally mounted hands and patented clutch mechanism. Not forgetting the quiet revolution that is the AgenGraph, a “doughnut” movement also with central hands that is found, among others, at Singer.

Chronographs with added extra

DB28 Maxichrono © De Bethune

But these are collector’s watches, reserved for fans of niche brands and limited editions with sufficient financial means. Where does this leave the ordinary watch enthusiast? Which chronographs scratch an itch without emptying a bank account?

Norqain: a personalised chrono for under €2,700

Norqain may be but a child (the brand launched in 2018), it is no stranger to the chronograph – if only because it has Teddy Schneider, ex-CEO and owner of Breitling, on its team. Beyond technical or historical considerations, Norqain was quick to see how collectors would want a reasonably priced watch which they could also personalise. The Adventure collection includes models with two complications (Chrono Day/Date) at unbeatable prices (from €2,610) with the possibility of adding a personal engraving on a steel plate, affixed to the case side. Customers can configure their message quickly and easily online to make their chrono truly unique.

Chrono : demandez-lui en plus !

© Norqain

Raymond Weil: a rock star chrono

Not many brands boast a licencing agreement with the Hendrix estate. Raymond Weil is one – after tie-ins with AC/DC and Marshall. The resulting 42mm Freelancer Jimi Hendrix Limited Edition (500 pieces) is replete with references to the guitar legend: indexes that mimic the pickups on his Stratocaster, six strings engraved on the dial, blue accents representing the outfit Hendrix wore at Woodstock, his portrait on the case back and his “music is my religion” quote around the inner bezel. All this plus day and date apertures for a whisker over €3,000. The watch comes packaged in a fringed box, another nod to Hendrix’s Woodstock performance.

Chrono : demandez-lui en plus !

Freelancer Jimi Hendrix Limited Edition © Raymond Weil

Rebellion: a chrono on steroids

True to form, Rebellion’s Predator chronograph unleashes a radical design in combinations of steel, ceramic, gold or titanium. Released as a 100-piece limited edition, it is powered by a movement from Concepto. With its pumped-up 48mm case and honeycomb dial, the Predator is only for those who can handle an extreme chrono on their wrist.

Chrono : demandez-lui en plus !

Predator © Rebellion

Piaget: an extra-thin chrono

While Bulgari may have reshuffled the deck with its Octo Finissimo, it was preceded in the ultra-thin arena by Piaget. In 2015 the Altiplano Chronograph introduced the “aesthetic complication” of ultra-thinness to the chrono. A lesson in sobriety with all the attributes of an Haute Horlogerie timepiece, its wafer-thin movement measures just 4.65mm high.

Chrono : demandez-lui en plus !

Altiplano Chrono © Piaget

Ralph Lauren: the chrono nobody else has

A Ralph Lauren watch is already a rarity – a Ralph Lauren chronograph even more so. A collector of classic cars, Mr Ralph Lauren was inspired by elements from his 1938 Bugatti Type 57SC Atlantic Coupe for this watch whose amboyna burl bezel references the wood of the Bugatti’s steering wheel. Revolutionary? Hardly… but, being almost impossible to find, infinitely more sought-after than many others of its kind.

Chrono : demandez-lui en plus !

Lecture 1 Comment(s)

8 June 2021
Michael Aubury
A modern style watches showing the the Craftsmanship and design of raymond weil .

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