The vintage-inspired design trend has shown no signs of slowing so far in 2021, with a bevy of new releases from major brands aiming to reconnect with beloved back-catalog icons. Swiss independent marque Delma is no exception, and as part of its 2021 novelties, the brand has announced a limited-run series influenced by its seminal 1946 Midland chronograph line. The new limited-edition Delma Heritage Chronograph series takes the intricate chronograph aesthetic of the ‘40s in a bolder, more monolithic direction in three distinct colorways.
Despite drawing its inspiration from a chronograph design from 1946, Delma opts to size the stainless steel cases of the Heritage Chronograph line at a hefty, modern 43mm. The case geometry itself, however, is elegantly simple and period correct. The rounded narrow bezel, slender tapering lugs, and piston pushers all sport a fully polished finish for a slightly dressier vintage look, but this narrow bezel arrangement may potentially make the watch wear larger than the dimensions suggest on the wrist. Thickness is a substantial 15.7mm in total, including a domed sapphire crystal and sapphire display caseback. Delma offers this design in three unique finishes. The polished stainless steel model is undoubtedly the sportiest and most modern of the trio, while the warm luxe look of the yellow-gold PVD model feels bright and impactful in initial images. The rose-gold PVD model, on the other hand, looks to soften some of the edges of the large case for a mellower overall presence. All three models offer a solid 100 meters of water resistance.
Where Delma splits the cases of the Heritage Chronograph line into a trio of distinctive looks, the series is split between two dial options. Both options draw heavily from Delma’s 1946 original, featuring a pleasantly intricate set of concentric tachymeter, telemeter, and minutes rings surrounding a set of printed Arabic numerals that handsomely strike a chord between rounded and blocky elements. The chronograph subdials are oversized and airy, with period touches like the extended 3, 6, and 9 hashes on the chronograph minutes scale that originally were used to time calls on pay phones. The tight azurage finishing here also adds a punch of textural contrast in images, adding another visual element to an already complex stew. The handset for both models is a pair of short, slightly flowing syringes, augmented with a clean stick chronograph seconds hand. Stainless steel cased variants interpret this complicated midcentury recipe with a clean and sporty black dial surface and polished stainless steel hands, paired with a clean white lume fill throughout. The silver sunburst dial treatment shared by the yellow-gold and rose-gold PVD models comes off as dressier and more directly vintage-inspired, especially thanks to its use of blued hands and deep khaki fauxtina lume.
Delma equips the Heritage Chronograph series with the Sellita SW510 automatic chronograph movement. Derived from the long-running Valjoux 7750 movement family, the SW510 featured here offers a decorated custom rotor and a respectable 48-hour power reserve at a 28,800 bph beat rate. All three models in the line are paired with alligator-pattern leather straps with butterfly deployant clasps. For the black dial model, Delma includes a matching piano-black strap, and both silver dial variants share the same warm tobacco-brown strap hue.
By translating a distinctly ‘40s design philosophy and cues into a boldly sized modern package, the limited-edition Delma Heritage Chronograph offers an unusual blend of influences that proudly presents its own take on current vintage-influenced trends. Only 75 examples of the Delma Heritage Chronograph will be made in each case finish. The Delma Heritage Chronograph series is available now through authorized dealers, with an MSRP for stainless steel models at $2,750, while rose-gold PVD and yellow-gold PVD variants are priced at $2,850. For more information, visit the brand’s website.