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Chronoswiss Regulator Classic Watch Review

Chronoswiss Regulator Classic Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

Regulator-style watches are a delicacy of timepiece face design that have nothing to do with mere design fancy. My experience talking about regulator timepieces with fellow collectors is that many people simply do not know why the dial has the minutes, seconds, and hours separated on their own dials. There is a traditional reason for that, and I’ll get back to regulator watches in a second. First, let me introduce the Chronoswiss Regulator Classic, which is one of a slew of regulator-style timepieces Chronoswiss has produced over the years. Today I review the reference CH-8773-SI Regulator Classic in its 41mm-wide form with a silver-tone dial and matching steel bracelet.

Chronoswiss is not alone in producing regulator-style watch dials today, and many brands, at one time or other, have played with noteworthy regulator pieces ranging from a Patek Philippe perpetual calendar to an Oris diver. The Chronoswiss Regulator Classic is a more formal-style of watch but in a sportier case that has 100 meters of water resistance. Chronoswiss also produces a smaller variant of the same watch in a 37mm-wide case, along with a few different dial colors. I opted to evaluate this silver-dialed model given that I believed it was the most legible. It is.

Chronoswiss Regulator Classic Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

Chronoswiss Regulator Classic Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

The flame-blued hands contrast very well against the traditional “Breguet-style” dial and are also painted with lume in their center. The dial has a few levels and finishes and ends up looking both classy and utilitarian. Regulator-style dials, for the most part, use the main dial in order to indicate the minutes, with smaller subdials to indicate the hours and seconds. Why this is relates to the history of regulator clocks, which were never actually meant for the wrist. Regulators came in a variety of styles but were supposed to be very accurate, as well as accordingly precise to read.

The term “regulator” comes from the notion that these very accurate clocks were used to regulate other devices — including less accurate clocks. In an era of mechanical timekeeping, when people needed to know the exact time or elapsing of time, they also needed to keep their timepieces “well-regulated” or, rather, adjusted for peak operational performance. To determine what time to set a watch at or to even determine if your watch is off, you need a reference clock, which the regulator also served as. Thus, a regulator clock would have served a crucial role in a variety of scientific, industrial, and navigational applications prior to the proliferation of cheap, high accuracy timekeepers in more modern times.

Chronoswiss Regulator Classic Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

Chronoswiss Regulator Classic Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

Many (but not all) regulator clocks used this particular arrangement of hands on account of the fact that people viewing them from afar were apparently the most interested in knowing the current minutes. Most people still prefer the traditional watch dial layout, which places three hands in a centrally mounted position, but as I said above, regulator-style displays are a delicacy enjoyed by many timepiece enthusiasts.

Chronoswiss currently produces mostly regulator-style dial watches and has made the particular instrument layout a key part of its brand identity these days. Something like the Regulator Classic is among its most well-rounded products when it comes to price, general versatility, and design. The said design is actually a merger of traditional regulator-style clock elements with a vintage aviator-inspired case. The steel case’s coined bezel and caseback, large onion-style crown, and large form of lugs are all elements of early pilot watches. Chronoswiss merges this with an elegant bracelet that mirrors all the curves on the case with slightly rounded links. The bracelet closes with a butterfly-style deployant clasp, and among the links is a half-link that allows for the bracelet to be sized more precisely for your wrist.

Chronoswiss Regulator Classic Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

Chronoswiss Regulator Classic Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

To achieve the regulator-style display, Chronoswiss uses a base Swiss Made ETA 2895-2 automatic movement with a module it collectively calls its calibre C. 295. The movement operates at 4Hz with 42 hours of power reserve and can be viewed through the sapphire crystal caseback on the rear of the watch. The C. 295 movement offers the hours, minutes, and seconds. Other Chronoswiss models can have more features, but the elegance of this time-only design is noteworthy.

At 12.7mm-thick and 41mm in diameter, the case has a roughly 51mm lug-to-lug distance, given their protruding style. Chronoswiss makes a pretty nice watch with the Regulator Classic, which nods to various important eras in timekeeping history and offers a formal watch style without a too-familiar look. Conservative people seeking a design that is nevertheless a bit eccentric are strongly encouraged to consider something like the Regulator Classic — especially since it can work so well as a daily watch. The easiest complaint to make about the watch is that, while not terribly common, regulator watches are available from other brands (certainly some of which are cheaper) and that Chronoswiss — while being a clearly respectable brand – hasn’t built enough of a personality around itself or its particular flavor of regulators.

Chronoswiss Regulator Classic Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

Wearing a regulator watch can be fun, and for those who take to their flavor of telling the time, they become an integral part of a collector’s personality. Chronoswiss’ offerings aren’t the cheapest out there, but as I said above, the company does indeed make a competent timepiece. Plus, the Regulator Classic is near entry-level for the brand. Price for this reference CH-8773-SI Chronoswiss Regulator Classic watch is $4,750 USD. Learn more at the Chronoswiss website here.

Necessary Data
>Brand: Chronoswiss
>Model: Regulator Classic (reference CH-8773-SI as tested)
>Price: $4,750 USD
>Size: 41mm-wide, 12.7mm-thick, and ~51mm lug-to-lug distance
>When reviewer would personally wear it: As a slightly unconventional daily wear or formal watch that has a bit of macho appeal to it, given the sportier proportions.
>Friend we’d recommend it to first: Timepiece-lover taken by the design of regulator style dials and could use a nice dressy steel-tone timepiece in their collection.
>Best characteristic of watch: New design refines the case and overall wearing experience as compared to many more historic Chronoswiss watches in a number of key ways. Good build quality and attractive execution of regulator-style dial in modern luxury watch form.
>Worst characteristic of watch: Dial is a bit simple compared to other more intricate Chronoswiss models. Watch lacks a coherent marketing personality or reason for having been designed aside from aesthetic virtues and brand product themes. Arguably expensive.

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  • Poisson

    I quite like this, but I’d probably go for a slightly smaller version.

    Given that the raison d’être of the regulator is to provide a super-accurate reference for lesser timepieces, I would like to see what the accuracy of this watch is. I don’t see any reference to COSC or other chronometer testing, so I have to assume it’s not really that good. Pity.

    • Dwebber18

      This was my thought as well. I’d expect some sort of standard or enhanced accuracy for a regulator watch. I have 1 watch with a modified 2892 which this movement is based on. It’s accurate enough not to annoy me in regular use but it’s the least accurate watch I have despite being the newest and I don’t set other watches off that one.

  • SuperStrapper

    This to me is a really disjointed watch. This brand comes up frequently around here, look at some of the other recent releases: they excel at more polarising takes on the regulator format while still retaining a lot of classic wristwatch etiquette. This watch is like someone asked them to do a Regulateur Mall Watch. Designed by a committee. Right out of the gate the bracelet is way off. I’m sure the quality is fine but the style is a miss, and I just don’t think this is a bracelet watch period. The dial is nice but i wonder if it needs to be seen in person, as a lot of the details and textures are getting lost in photographic translation; overall it looks a bit flat. The handset is well sized but again a miss in style for the watch. They’re too strong and sporty and i don’t think they need any lume at all, but certainly not this much. More detailed blued hands or even black polished ones would have been better suited.
    I really enjoy a good regulator watch but I’m not on board here.

  • Jon Heinz

    If I were a dressy watch kinda guy, this would be at or near the top of a very short list. I’ve always liked their regulateurs.

  • Konstantin Karpina

    There are 4 different text fonts on the dial. What a way to ruin an otherwise great looking watch 🙁

    • hatster

      Have to agree. Lose the Roman numerals for a simple start to continuity. That would go a long way to making all the dials appear less disjointed.

  • mach2guy

    Though my looks may deceive, I was born well after the Roman Empire and don’t need or like the Roman numerals on the hour display. Analog woks just fine.

  • Raymond Wilkie

    It’s a bit all over the shop. I dont like the lugs and the attachment to the coin bezel.

  • Sheez Gagoo

    Really nice

  • Pete Yo

    not a good looking watch. Plus even the crown is ugly. I can tell I’m not alone as (I hate that when I see a big onion crown and I think of Raymond) Raymond Wilkie has a soft spot for big crowns and he did not even mention it.

  • Gokart Mozart

    As people have said a bit of a mish mash that doesn’t quite work.

    The main thing is get rid of the bracelet and the hands and lume. Give it dark blued steel hands may be in a lance/sword style but in a discreet way.

  • Gokart Mozart

    Much better!

  • Poisson

    Yes, that is gorgeous. But it’s very traditional and if ChronoSwiss only produce watches like this they will get stuck in a rut and become irrelevant. Breguet could (just) get away with it, but this is not Breguet. CS need to experiment with different styles within the overall regulator genre to keep the game moving forward. Hence the bracelet, different style hands etc. Even Breguet do non-traditional things to keep their lineup fresh.

    So the fact that ChronoSwiss have tried something different is to be applauded, even if the end result is not to everybody’s taste.

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