This year, Swedish brand Bravur has released the third iterations of its Grand Tour chronographs one by one, and has just announced the third and final of the trio. One of the few brands to focus its chronographs on cycling, Bravur has been theming its Grand Tour collection on the three biggest races in the sport: the Vuelta a España, the Giro d’Italia, and the Tour de France. With each iteration, the brand has deftly incorporated cues from each race, and the third generations are no different. While the internals and dimension remain the same across all three generations, the third sees the cases blacked out and the dials lightened for all three models.

Each Bravur Grand Tour Chronograph this year has been released to coincide with the running of its respective race—with each model named after each race’s nickname—with the most recent being La Vuelta III, as the nearly monthlong Spanish Vuelta a España commenced on August 26. The three stainless steel cases feature a sandblasted black ceramic coating and clock in at 38.2mm with an equally modest 46.3 mm lug-to-lug, making for a rather compact automatic chronograph package. As you might expect, though, the watch is on thicker side for a 38mm case, measuring 14.4mm tall. In my experience with La Grande Boucle II, I found it stout but not problematically so. The cases also have an overall curve that helps with the thickness.

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The 18mm lugs are sculpted with an angular form and an interior chamfer. The models are paired with your choice of vented, color-matched FKM rubber strap (red for La Corsa Rosa and yellow for La Grande Boucle) or black leather, though I’d recommend the rubber as they appear to add some character. The watches feature a domed sapphire crystal with AR-coating, sleek-looking chronograph pushers with beveled edges, and a pull-out crown that manages 100m water resistance.

The three models each have unique dials. Above, you can see La Grande Boucle III (Tour de France); below left, La Corsa Rosa (Giro d’Italia); and below right, La Vuelta (Vuelta a España). While they all feature a classic 3-6-9 chronograph layout, a coordinated chronograph seconds hand and the same rhodium-plated handset, and sunken subdials with the same demarcations, the similarities really stop there. It’s no mean feat to create three dials that are so disparate yet manage to work in a shared case as a collection, and I think Bravur has done that here. The La Grande Boucle III has the most nods to its race. In addition to the French tour’s hallmark yellow, the grainy dial texture features white polka dots in reference to the race’s king of the mountains jersey, the applied 12 o’clock marker is inspired by the mile markers on the mountain roads, and the tachymeter track features an upsidedown 13 as a nod to the tradition of wearing that number inverted upon the chest during a race.

The La Corsa Rosa III model is certainly the most colorful, despite its matte grey dial. It features a sandwich dial with namesake pink hours complemented by a pink chronograph hand. The circular grooved subdials are silver except for the minutes totalizer at 3 o’clock. That register takes on pink, blue, and purple arcs to represent the overall leader, king of the mountains, and sprinter’s jerseys, respectively. (A keen eye will also notice the upside-down 13 on this register.) On the most recent La Vuelta III, the design is simple but still integrates a few nods to the race. Arguably the starkest of the three, it gets its color from the race’s red leader’s jersey and it has a “racing tire” hour track that’s punctuated by a recessed triangle that recalls the flamme rouge, the flag that signals to riders that the finish line is one kilometer away.

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While the caseback of the third generation Bravur Grand Tour chronographs features a black PVD steel ring with a finish line pattern engraved, which surrounds a sapphire crystal to show off the movement. These new models omit the course map that featured on the crystals of the previous models, instead opting for a simple printed “Grand Tour.” The movement within is the Swiss-made Sellita SW511b automatic chronograph. It has an integrated cam-operated chronograph mechanism, with a 62-hour power reserve at 28,800 vph. For those familiar with the SW510, the SW511b is the same caliber with the date omitted and the 30-minute totalizer at 3 o’clock replaced by a 15-minute totalizer. Bravur has added a custom rotor with the finish line motif and the collection name.

If you want to ignore all the cycling things, you can, and I think that may be what makes the Grand Tour collection so great. Even without knowing anything about cycling, you still have three colorful chronographs that provide plenty of fun without any sacrifice. The proportions may not be to everyone’s liking, but that will always be the case, and they wouldn’t be a dealbreaker for me. Whether this collection continues to grow or these third-generation models mark the end of the series as we know it, I think they represent Bravur at its best.  All three of the Grand Tour chronographs are priced at $2,590 USD and are a first for the Grand Tour collection, none of them is limited. For more information, please visit the Bravur website

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