If Richard Mille and Hublot had a developmentally disabled child, it would be Cvstos. I kid! The Swiss brand never fails to amuse me. Especially the “V” style “U” in their name. I must admit though that the V looks better in writing. “Custos” just looks odd. Some of their designs I like, some I don’t. This Challenge-R 50 Chronograph watch has some things to admire, and areas to make fun of. What is interesting is that most of these watches are available for half price online.

The Cvstos Challenge-R (get it, “challenger”) 50 Chronograph watch is nice overall. Perhaps not their most inspired design, but has enough technical looking sportiness to not horrendously insult anyone who wears it. The 45mm wide titanium case has a nice mix of brushed and polished surfaces, and enough design elements that work in other watches are adopted here so that ti doesn’t look too bad. Really the main problem with the watch is the price and the hands. Those tiny, tiny little hands. Why do they look so lilliputian?  Why would they do this to the poor dial? Though if you look at the bottom image of the watch on a bracelet, looks like the brand started to get the message about the hands as they look a bit larger. Or am I just seeing things?

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I am guessing that the movement is a modified Swiss ETA Valjoux 7750. Here they have it with a power reserve indicator. They call it their caliber 577. Attached to it they have a special palladium alloy and titanium automatic rotor. It would be wrong to call the dial skeletonized – because it isn’t really. Or is it? There is a back plate in either black or silver, and skeletonized elements over it. The result is OK, nothing sublime, but less than boring. To be people like me used to seeing much more sophisticated stuff, it isn’t that specials, but to people newer in the watch world, Cvstos watches probably look really cool.

For me, they have much stronger offerings than the Challenge-R 50 Chrono watch. But this is a more basic model for them, and I like the round case. There are good elements here, but not enough for the over $20,000 retail price. Better that it goes for closer to $10,000 online?  A bargain at what price? Check out this Cvstos Challenge-R 50 Chrono watch available on James List here.

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