March 15, 2023
Tool watches can come in many different forms, and while we typically think of the burly divers and various other timepieces designed for rugged use, any watch specifically created to perform a functional task (beyond just telling the time) is technically also considered a tool watch. To kick off its new La Fabrique collection, which is a lineup dedicated to heritage pieces and tribute editions, Angelus has teamed up with Massena LAB to resurrect the brand’s famous vintage medial chronograph. Produced as a limited edition of just 99 examples, the inaugeral model from the new La Fabrique collection is the Angelus Chronographe Médical x Massena LAB, which is a purpose-built doctor’s watch that pays tribute to one of the brand’s most important chronographs from the 1960s.
Crafted from 316L stainless steel, the case of the Angelus Chronographe Médical x Massena LAB (ref. 0CHAS.A01A.V010S) measures 39mm in diameter by 9.22mm-thick, and although it offers much of the same overall appearance as the original Angelus Medical chronograph from the 1960s, it does offer a few modern updates. Just like the original, a signed winding crown sits at 3 o’clock, while a single pump-style pusher for the chronograph protrudes from the case next to it at the 2 o’clock location.
With that in mind, the screw-down caseback on the new Chronographe Médical x Massena LAB now features a sapphire display window, and fitted to the opposite side of the case is a box-shaped sapphire crystal with anti-reflective treatment on both sides. Additionally, one of the most notable aesthetic departures is that the crystal no longer features the large arc-shaped magnifying bubble over the pulsations scale, and it instead now features a completely flat upper surface.
Fitted to the lugs of the Angelus Chronographe Médical x Massena LAB is a two-piece leather strap that is made from hand-stitched golden brown Novonappa calfskin and completed by a signed stainless steel pin buckle. Water resistance for the Chronographe Médical x Massena LAB comes in at a fairly standard 30 meters to protect against hand-washing and incidental contact, and while there is a case to be made that more water resistance would be useful for true medical professionals, it’s important to remember that this is a limited edition mechanical chronograph that pays tribute to a historic model from Angelus’ archives, rather than a timepiece that is actually designed for high-intensity use inside modern medical settings.
While the externals of the Angelus Chronographe Médical x Massena LAB offer a few notable updates and departures compared to the vintage original, the dial of the watch is a fairly faithful recreation, right down to the red, black, and green text that is used for the pulsometer scale located on the upper right-hand corner of the display. Additionally, set against a domed silver surface with black printing is a red asthmometer scale (which is used to record a patient’s respiratory rate), along with applied rhodium-plated hour markers and small dots placed at their periphery in green-glowing Swiss Super-LumiNova.
Despite the fact that the Angelus Chronographe Médical x Massena LAB is a chronograph, it only has a single sub-dial at the 9 o’clock location that serves as the running seconds for the time, with the two central dauphine hands with luminous inlays dedicated to the hours and minutes. As the original model from the 1960s was purpose-built for doctors who would be using its pulsometer and asthmometer capabilities, the entire dial layout is specifically intended to help promote the legibility of these two medical-oriented sales. Therefore, the entire monopusher chronograph functionality of the watch consists of just the single centrally-mounted seconds hand, and since measuring elapsed time is not this watch’s primary function, it is only capable of tracking durations up to 60 seconds in length.
Powering the new Angelus Chronographe Médical x Massena LAB is the brand’s Caliber A5000 manual-wind chronograph movement. Running at a frequency of 21,600vph (3 Hz) with a power reserve of approximately 42 hours, the Angelus Cal. A5000 is a 23-jewel integrated chronograph movement that operates with a column wheel and horizontal clutch. Featuring palladium-finished plates and bridges, and decorated with perlage, polished chamfers, and Geneva stripes, the Angelus A5000 notably is a manual-wind monopusher chronograph (despite its simplified dial-side display), and it sits fully visible through the anti-reflective sapphire display window in the caseback.
Just like pretty much all Massena collaboration pieces, the new Angelus Chronographe Médical x Massena LAB will be offered as a limited edition, and production of this particular timepiece will be limited to just 99 examples. Additionally, with an official retail price of $19,900 USD, the modern Angelus Chronographe Médical x Massena LAB certainly isn’t intended to be a more affordable alternative to the vintage examples, but rather a premium and modernized rendition of one of Angelus’ most distinct and recognizable watches. Furthermore, as the new Chronographe Médical is just the inaugural model from the brand’s new La Fabrique collection, it is safe to assume that Angelus will be releasing other watches in the future that also pay tribute to some of the most famous and defining designs from its archives. For more information on the Angelus Chronographe Médical x Massena LAB, please visit the brand’s website.