Lucerne-based independent atelier Chronoswiss has built its reputation on its distinctive and unorthodox regulator models. The brand has interpreted a wide array of different watchmaking niches in a regulator style over the years, and 2020 marks the 20th anniversary of its first tourbillon equipped regulator model. To celebrate, Chronoswiss has revisited the regulator tourbillon concept with an eye catching limited edition model. The limited edition Chronoswiss Open Gear Tourbillon showcases its complex escapement dramatically with a vibrant monochrome blue colorway.
The 44mm stainless steel case of the Chronoswiss Open Gear Tourbillon follows the signature Chronoswiss case design formula, with long slim downward angled lugs, a coin edged central case, and a massive onion crown at 3 o’clock. While a seemingly elemental design, the case hides a surprising amount of complexity, with a 17 part construction. Of course, the most visually arresting part of the case is the vibrant electric blue CVD coating, giving the overall design a remarkably uniform look in initial images. Water resistance is a solid 100 meters, despite the multipart case construction and sapphire display caseback.
While it’s true that nearly everything on the Chronoswiss Open Gear Tourbillon is blue, it would be disingenuous to say every components uses the same color. The dial uses 10 different shades of blue throughout its complex 42 part construction, allowing each facet of the gullioché, Côtes de Genève, and brushed surfaces to stand out vividly. The dial layout itself is traditional Chronoswiss, with a prominent 12 o’clock hours subdial raised above the main dial surface on an exposed bridge both to showcase some of the gear train within, and to create a natural visual highlight. While the hours subdial takes up the highest visual layer of the dial, the lowest layer at 6 o’clock is reserved for the Open Gear Tourbillon’s real visual centerpiece. The flying tourbillon escapement at 6 o’clock is rendered entirely in silver tone so as not to disrupt the cool blue tones of the rest of the watch, while the extra wide skeleton window provides a glimpse of the rest of the movement surrounding the escapement. The Open Gear Tourbillon is well lumed, with wide baby blue fills of Super-LumiNova on both the hours and central minutes hands, along with solid applied lume indices on the outer minutes track and the hours subdial.
Even the manufacture C.303 handwound flying tourbillon regulator movement inside the Chronoswiss Open Gear Tourbillon receives a blue CVD treatment, with the skeletonized plates and bridges appearing in radially brushed blue. This dramatic colored finish allows for a stark contrast with the C.303’s gear train and mainspring barrel, allowing for a remarkably cohesive view through the caseback. In terms of performance, the C.303 offers a hefty 60 hour power reserve at a 28,800 bph beat rate. To complete the all blue look of the Open Gear Tourbillon, Chronoswiss pairs the watch with a highly textured hornback crocodile leather strap in bright royal blue.
While the blue on blue colorway may prove divisive among enthusiasts, the Chronoswiss Open Gear Tourbillon stands as a dramatic and audacious tribute to 20 years of Chronoswiss tourbillon regulator designs. Only 15 examples of the limited edition Chronoswiss Open Gear Tourbillon will be made, available now through authorized dealers at an MSRP of $39,000. For more details, please visit the brand’s website.