Chronoswiss is close to having a status like that of the largest and most popular luxury watchmaking brands and groups to people within the industry and those who regularly wear watches. Whether a watch collector or a regular customer, Chronoswiss is guaranteed to be one of the first brands to get considered. This is owed to the simplicity of their collections that either exude traditional class or general appeal, or both. This can be obviously observed from their Sirius and Timemaster collections that are best described as classic and sporty.
The brand is known for their Regulator watches but beyond the actual product, they’re not privy about their workshops and are actually generous of their knowledge of the craft. The brand is committed to transparency without fear of exposing trade secrets because it already holds a place of continuous relevance in the watchmaking business.
Risk and gumption in the midst of the quartz crisis
The quartz crisis in the ‘80s is not really a crisis for Chronoswiss, having been established in the early part of the decade. If anything, the brand can be credited to have contributed to the revival of the mechanical watch industry amidst the rise and popularity of cheap quartz materials.
It was formed from the humble beginning of Gerd Lang’s repair business in his own basement. Even with an extensive background working for Heuer, for the film Le Mans, being an official timekeeper for the Formula One races and the Summer Olympics in 1980, starting from the bottom made the brand rise much higher in the industry.
Other factors include the personal touch of the in-house manufacture and production, the fancy engraved details, and the world-first display-case back that showcases the mechanism inside the watches. The visible complications somehow look beautiful even with the complex assembly of components. The professional look from it wins over the complicated appearance.
Specializing on the regulator
One thing that Chronoswiss has perfected is the Regulator watch. It’s very traditional in terms of mechanical design and has had an important function for people’s everyday lives. It was used by those who needed to measure time professionally, like the railway system centuries ago where the people-in-charge had to precisely note the trains’ departure and arrival times. Today, it’s used directly in the watchmaking process to exactly set the accurate time on newly-manufactured watches.
Chronoswiss’ Regulator watches feature some signature dial specifications. The dial is usually composed of three separate registers indicating the hours, minutes, and seconds. The main and larger hand at the center of the dial tells the minute more clearly from afar.
The Régulateur is a hand-wound wristwatch that has the specs of a regulator dial, and it’s the first to be serially produced. The watch itself has the signature Chronoswiss case to complement. It’s made with sapphire backs, screwed lugs for the straps, and the screwed coin bezels on the edge. Since this was a watch made for sporty functions, it has the typical onion-shaped crown that’s large enough to allow wounding even with gloves on. Other notable Regulator watches from Chronoswiss are the Flying Regulator, which was awarded by GQ Time and Uhrenmagazin, and the Régulateur Automatique, which incorporated the C.122 movement.
For the 30th anniversary of Chronoswiss and the 25th of the Régulateur back in 2013, the brand even released the Régulateur 30, an updated version that was first presented at Baselworld. It used the typical regulator dial appearance with traditional guilloche patterns in a limited edition consisting of just 130 pieces with rose-gold cases and 300 pieces with stainless steel cases.
Moving forward the independent path
When Gerd Lang retired in 2012, Chronoswiss was passed on to the couple, Oliver and Eva Ebstein. This is not to stun the development of the brand. Lang still acts as a consultant for the brand’s new designs, but the decision is to continue on its personal and passionate ethos through keeping with an independent and family setup for the ownership. The brand is now based in Lucerne in Switzerland, but it’s kept manufacturing activities in Germany.
Chronoswiss shows that the traditional way of winning people over in a business that’s hard to break into works even at a time that doesn’t guarantee success. Thanks to Chronoswiss, mechanical watchmaking is still alive and thriving in today’s market. The mono-pusher Chronoscope, the first automatic watch with a regulator dial, was even updated and upgraded in 2009. We can’t see a reason why the brand would not go on to have a 40th or 50th year in the future because their innovative yet simplistic designs are something to look out for every new release.
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