Regulator dial timepieces are a rare breed, ostensibly designed for maximum readability of the minutes at a glance but often acting as a display of a brand’s movement-making prowess. Few companies have embraced the style as thoroughly or as expertly as Chronoswiss, which, since 1988, has built the core of its brand ethos around the unusual style. For its latest iteration on the theme, Chronoswiss has taken the classic regulator style to the track for the Regulator Classic Carbon Racer.
The 41 millimeter stainless steel case of the Regulator Classic Carbon Racer is pure classic Chronoswiss, with its elegantly simple lines, knurled case sides, oversized onion crown, and distinctive narrow lugs with a dramatic downward curve. This continuity helps to preserve the brand’s distinctive DNA while other elements of the design experiment with drastically new styles. Around back, a screw-down caseback with a sapphire display window offers a glimpse into the manufacture caliber C.295 movement, while helping to ensure 100 meters of water resistance.
If the case of the Regulator Classic Carbon Racer is tasked with maintaining the legacy Chronoswiss regulator look, the dial is where this piece is allowed to come into its own. The main dial surface is polished carbon fiber, a material more commonly found in the body panels and aerodynamic elements of high-performance race cars than watches. Combined with the blazing red minutes track, the sporting spirit of the Regulator Carbon Classic Racer is obvious from the first glance. Adding to this is the shape of the central regulator minutes hand, a long lumed wedge reminiscent of a tachometer needle in a sports car. At 12 o’clock sits the hours subdial, with sporty oversized numerals and even a redline from seven to nine, harkening back to automotive gauges as well. Apart from the numerals and the stocky triangular hours hand, this hours subdial is also a showcase for more signature Chronoswiss finishing as the main surface of the subdial is etched with finely executed radial guilloché. Below this at 6 o’clock is the seconds subdial, with a simple red stick hand and minute radial snailing around the inner track. Along with this, the subdial has been partially skeletonized for an open heart effect, showcasing the gear train in motion.
The engine behind this racing-inspired piece is the in-house Chronoswiss caliber C.295 automatic movement. In addition to high-tech advancements such as a balance spring made from Chronoswiss’ proprietary Nivarox 1 material, this movement is finely decorated with a rhodium-plated engraved winding rotor with Côtes de Genève finishing, polished pallet lever, escape wheel, and screws, along with perlage finishing on all bridges and movement plates. The caliber C.295 offers a 28,800 bph beat rate and a power reserve of 42 hours.
Chronoswiss offers the Regulator Classic Carbon Racer on your choice of an oyster style bracelet or a black rubber strap. Both play up the sportier aspect of the watch well, with the bracelet featuring broad center links that help to increase the visual mass of the piece on the wrist. The rubber, on the other hand, is a clean and easy everyday wear option proudly stamped with the brand’s emblem. While neither immediately visually reads “motorsports” as vividly as the dial, both effectively dress down a case design that could easily skew more formal.
While regulators are far from the first watch that comes to mind when discussing motorsports, Chronoswiss has managed to reasonably capture the racing spirit with the Regulator Classic Carbon Racer while expanding their core lineup into some truly different territory. The watch is available now on the brand’s website at a retail price of $4,750.