This wristwatch from Chronoswiss is simultaneously a manifesto and an ode to precious time. And more: it also embodies a provocation, because the mighty “Imperator” is impossible to overlook on its wearer’s wrist. Its challenging name wasn’t chosen randomly. In several respects, the name symbolizes sovereignty over time. This dominion begins, of course, with reading the hours, minutes and seconds. Optimal contrast between the dial and the hands assures that the legibility remains excellent, even under dim lighting.
Gerd-Rüdiger Lang’s untamable passion for faithfulness to detail is evident in the design of the dial’s expansive plane, above which the blued steel hands majestically sweep their rounds. After all, the dial contributes as much as eighty percent toward the overall impression made by any watch, not just this one. The distinctive numerals, executed in “Belle Epoque” typeface, make each glance at the dial of this watch into a veritable aesthetic pleasure. The numerals are augmented by a circular minutes and seconds scale to which the tips of the hands are perfectly tangent.
Apropos hands: here too, Chronoswiss’ owner demonstrates his characteristic meticulousness. Rather than having being taken readymade from a drawer, these “hands of time” were created expressly for this masterpiece. Only in this way was it possible to create a self-consistent ensemble that fully deserves to bear Chronoswiss’ insignia on its dial, case and movement.The date window in the dial at the “6” is equally remarkable. Entirely in the style of the colorful era which inspired the “Imperator,” this aperture forms a spacious segment that provides ample room to display yesterday’s, today’s and tomorrow’s dates.
The case, of course, is equally important. Connoisseurs will immediately associate its design with the styling of the limited-edition “Digiteur.” And they’ll be absolutely right in correlating the two, because this case’s elegantly tapered design perfectly embodies the legendary styling of the 1930s. The case expresses formal authenticity and a subtle sense of style, yet doesn’t seem at all pretentious or ostentatious.
While we’re on the subject: the “Imperator” for the wrist is deliberately large. In fact, it’s downright gigantic. The consummately shaped case is 36.5 millimeters wide, 56 millimeters long and approximately one centimeter tall. These imperial dimensions make it nearly impossible to conceal this sovereign over the hours, minutes, seconds and dates. Anyone who wraps this timekeeping instrument around his wrist simultaneously shows just how much importance he ascribes to irretrievable time, humankind’s most valuable commodity. He – or perhaps also she – unmistakably proclaims that this wristwatch is meant to keep track of precious time and that a cellphone is intended solely for making telephone calls.
Wholly in accord with the philosophy of master watchmaker Gerd-Rüdiger Lang, the “Imperator” subdivides smoothly flowing time into miniscule units of equal duration, each of which is counted by a gear-train and depicted with the aid of rotating hands.
This regent’s heart beats at a pace of four hertz, which is equivalent to 28,800 semi-oscillations per hour. Unlike human imperators, who typically command other people to work for them, Chronoswiss’ new creation relies on its own power. To accomplish this, the oscillating weight in the artfully crafted, self-winding, 25.6-mm-diameter Caliber ETA 2892-A2 pays a little energetic tribute to the mainspring each time the wearer moves his or her forearm. Because the “Imperator” winds itself, the massive crown of this wristwatch seldom needs manual winding and is free to function as a crown in the truest sense. The crown’s location underscores this: it’s situated between the horns, above the “12,” where it literally “crowns” the 17-piece, meticulously ground and polished case.
A sapphire crystal, antireflective on one of its surfaces, covers the dial; a transparent pane is fitted into the back: together, these see-through components assure clear views of everything that makes the “Imperator” a commanding presence. The impressive case withstands penetration by moisture to a pressure of three atmospheres, which ought to be more than enough watertightness for any situation in which a man chooses to wear this emphatically masculine timepiece.
CH 2871 R si
CH 2871 R rg
CH 2871 W si
CH 2871 W rg
CH 2873 si
CH 2873 rg
Hours, minutes, seconds and date
Massive rectangular polished case, width 36,7 mm, length 56 mm; Height: 10 mm with a sapphire crystal domed on both sides and one-sided antireflective. With four screws tightened open case back with one-sided antireflective sapphire crystal. Screwed-on strap bars with patented system Autobloc. Massive crown at the “12”.Water-resistant up to 3 atm (30m).
ETA 2892-A2, diameter = 25.60 mm (111/2”’), height =3.60 mm, 21 jewels, three-spoke Glucydur balance, Nivarox-1 flat balance-spring, index pointer with eccentric, Incabloc shock absorption, 42-hour power reserve, 4 Hz., 28,800 A/h (semi-oscillations); polished pallets, palletwheel and screws; bridges with Côte Genève polish and circular-graining; skeletonized rotor.
Dial rosé gold coloured or silver coloured; blued hands in “Constance” shape. Spacious date window with three days indication.