A quarter century’s worth of watch history has been written: the “young” watch brand Chronoswiss, hailing from Bavaria’s Karlsfeld, near Munich, celebrates its twenty-fifth anniversary this year. To celebrate this occasion properly, founder and owner Gerd-R. Lang has created a special gift for himself and all connoisseurs of the brand: a new limited edition of the Régulateur – the Régulateur 24. What could be more fitting than to use the collection’s undisputed flagship model as the base for the anniversary watch? This model with its unusual regulator dial has coined the development of the brand as no other, lending it an unmistakable face early on in the brand’s history.
Introduced precisely twenty years ago, the Régulateur also celebrates a round birthday in 2008. For this reason alone it is fitting that it have the honor of the anniversary model come from its family’s ranks. But what is it exactly that makes the anniversary watch so unique? First of all, there is its elegant appearance in a smooth, and above all, beautifully flat case. Additionally, just like on the other models in this family, the Régulateur 24 also features the off-center hour display, even if it is even more spectacular here: its hand makes its rounds on a dial outfitted with a 24-hour division of the hours before returning to the point where it began its journey.
Another special element is revealed when one looks through the sapphire crystal case back, a pioneer of which Chronoswiss is rightfully said to be. Inside the 20-part, 40 mm solid gold case – especially flat at 7.6 mm in height – is a mechanical movement that Chronoswiss modified especially for this timepiece.
Manufacture Caliber C.112 is exclusive to and only available at Chronoswiss, a movement that also provides the beautiful Orea with its ticking life. The origins of this 13-line, manually wound movement extend back to the year 1952 when it was introduced as the Marvin 700. After the quartz revolution brought about the end of its production, the remnant calibers were purchased by Munich manufacturer Chronoswiss, where it now functions as a base for the company’s own calibers – such as that of the Régulateur 24.
In order to understand the mythos of the Régulateur and its importance for Chronoswiss, one must turn the clocks back twenty years: in a small watchmaker’s workshop in the Munich suburb Allach in 1988 Gerd-Rüdiger Lang loved to occupy himself with time and its mechanical measurement. Then, as now, he loved to be inspired by the history of watches. This master watchmaker had no smaller goal than to develop watches perfect in both design and technology. His timekeepers were to be different, however. Only that way could his barely five-year-old watch brand Chronoswiss retain its identity with an eye to the future.
Gerd-R. Lang knew at that time that the dial – practically the face of the watch –contributes up to eighty per cent to the entire impression a watch makes on its wearer. Using this knowledge, he rummaged through the past – and came across the regulator. Starting in about 1770, observatory scientists looked again and again to the so-called regulator dials of their pendulum clocks, which featured an off-center hour display that allowed an unimpeded view of the far more important second hand. Even today in the foyer of Chronoswiss’s new factory, this can be admired in the shape of an historical wall clock by Siegmund Riefler featuring a regulator dial. Gerd-Rüdiger Lang derived the idea for his regulator model from these fine precision timekeepers and a no less precise marine chronometer by the great Louis Berthoud, thus making the world’s first wristwatch featuring a regulator dial – something that quickly found imitators and meanwhile can almost be said to be a synonym for Chronoswiss.
No wonder, for the striking wristwatch with its off-center hands for hours and seconds as well as the characteristic case (back then still featuring a fluted bezel) and screwed-in strap lugs founded the characteristic Chronoswiss style. For the 38 mm original Régulateur from 1988, Gerd-Rüdiger Lang used remnant manually wound movements of the type Unitas 6376, which could be admired through a transparent case back.
The small, limited series comprised a total of four different models in solid gold, steel and gold, steel and bronze, and stainless steel. All of these are meanwhile true collector’s pieces sold on the secondary market for up to seven times their original retail prices. Back then, the Régulateur was actually a gigantic entrepreneurial risk for its spiritual father – but its success justified the risk. This classic was followed by more limited editions: the Régulateur Rectangulaire, the Grand Régulateur, and the Grand Régulateur II. In 1999, Chronoswiss introduced the non-limited bestseller Régulateur Automatique containing an exclusive automatic caliber.
On the occasion of the company’s 25th anniversary and the Régulateur’s 20th, Chronoswiss now presents another member of this successful watch family featuring a smooth bezel. Though it commemorates the tradition of manual winding, it differs from the other models in several aspects.
Because of the limited amount of movements, there will only be a total of 3,000 of the model celebrating the double anniversary, which is water-resistant to three atmospheres, with the movement, case, and dial all bearing the same serial number – the latter crafted, by the way, in solid 925 silver.
Model: Régulateur 24
Limited-edition anniversary watch (3,000 pieces worldwide)
Reference no.: CH 1121 R
Further variations will be introduced successively.
Regulator with 24-hour indicator
Solid 20-part case crafted in 18 kt red gold, Ø 40 mm, especially flat (height7.6 mm) with smooth bezel and brushed case band, sapphire crystal, antireflectiveon the inside, screw-down case back with full threading and sapphire crystal, anti-reflective on the inside, solid 18 ct red gold crown, screwed-in Autoblock System strap lugs, water-resistant to 30 m
Chronoswiss Caliber C.112 (base caliber manufacture movement Marvin 700),hand-wound, glucydur balance;Ø 29.40 mm (13´´´), 17 jewels, Incabloc shock protection, 46 hours power reserve, 3 Hz., 21.600 bph (half-oscillations per hour)
Solid 925 silver
Heat-blued and handfinished pear-shaped Losange steel hands