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Crazy for chronos!
New Models

Crazy for chronos!

Thursday, 13 August 2020
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Christophe Roulet
Editor-in-chief, HH Journal

“The desire to learn is the key to understanding.”

“Thirty years in journalism are a powerful stimulant for curiosity”.

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6 min read

Past months have seen the chronograph’s popularity soar. Dressed up or dressed down, this useful complication is a symbol of precision.

One of the biggest trends in watches over recent months has to be sport-luxe, a category that means business even when dressed for dinner. Among the many options available, chronographs are proving hard to resist – all the more so when combined with that other current favourite, the integrated bracelet. Read on for a selection from this year’s rich crop.

Breguet Chronograph 5527 pink gold

One of several new releases joining the Marine collection for men this year, the 5527 (shown here in pink gold) is mounted on an integrated bracelet and features an attractive guilloché wave design on its gold dial, executed by hand. Keeping time is Breguet’s own Calibre 582QA, a 346-component movement with automatic winding.

Chronograph 5527 pink gold © Breguet
Chronograph 5527 pink gold © Breguet
Breitling Top Time Limited Edition

Originally released in 1960, the Top Time was aimed squarely at a young and active demographic. Even James Bond fell for its funky design in Thunderball, although his did have a Geiger counter. Affectionately known as the “Zorro dial”, it returns as a 2,000-piece limited edition.

Top Time Limited Edition © Breitling
Top Time Limited Edition © Breitling
Code 11.59 by Audemars Piguet Selfwinding Chronograph 41mm

A year on from one of the most commented launches at SIHH 2019, Code 11.59 is back with a vengeance as Audemars Piguet extends the collection with new versions of the time-only and chronograph models in white gold, pink gold or a combination of the two. Lacquered dials flaunt deep colours, including this rich purple shade.

Code 11.59 by Audemars Piguet Selfwinding Chronograph 41mm
Code 11.59 by Audemars Piguet Selfwinding Chronograph 41mm
Glashütte Original Sixties Chronograph

It’s become something of a tradition at Glashütte Original to present an annual edition of the Sixties, a watch that takes its cue from the brand’s archives. This year’s offering opts for the understated elegance of a cool “glacier blue” dial. It’s also the first bi-compax chrono in the Sixties collection.

Sixties Chronograph © Glashütte Original
Sixties Chronograph © Glashütte Original
Hublot Big Bang Unico Sky Blue

The quintessential summer watch, this new release shows off Hublot’s innovative coloured ceramic, this time in a powdery blue. The 45mm case, on a white Velcro fabric strap, uses strong shapes to invent a powerful aesthetic, even in this softer tone. Rated water-resistant to 100 metres, nothing can put this Big Bang in the shade.

Big Bang Unico Sky Blue © Hublot
Big Bang Unico Sky Blue © Hublot
IWC Portugieser Yacht Club Chronograph Edition "Orlebar Brown"

This Portugieser Yacht Club chrono cements IWC’s collaboration with British swimwear brand, Orlebar Brown. The dial is suitably attired in a marine blue, providing contrast with the white small seconds subdial (which incorporates a date display) at 6 o’clock, under the chronograph subdial at 12 o’clock.

Portugieser Yacht Club Chronograph Edition
Portugieser Yacht Club Chronograph Edition "Orlebar Brown" © IWC
Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Control Chronograph Calendar

Introduced in 1992 and named after the 1000 Hours Control certification, the Master Control is back in the spotlight with this Chronograph Calendar that spearheads the collection. The in-house 759 calibre powers a bi-compax chronograph coupled with a triple calendar display and moon phases – the first time Jaeger-LeCoultre has put all these complications into one watch.

Master Control Chronograph Calendar © Jaeger-LeCoultre
Master Control Chronograph Calendar © Jaeger-LeCoultre
Jaquet Droz Grande Seconde Off-Centered Chronograph

Launched in 2019, the Grande Seconde chronograph becomes a statement piece with the introduction of onyx for the dial. A 30-minute subdial for the monopusher chronograph occupies the 7 o’clock position, with a scale around it for the retrograde date. Sitting diagonally opposite, at 1 o’clock, is the hours and minutes subdial. Together they form Jaquet Droz’s favourite “figure of eight” shape. Chronograph seconds are measured by a central hand.

Grande Seconde Off-centered Chronograph © Jaquet Droz
Grande Seconde Off-centered Chronograph © Jaquet Droz
Montblanc Heritage Manufacture Pulsograph Limited Edition 100

The standout piece in Montblanc’s signature collection, the Heritage Pulsograph harks back to the type of watch doctors used to measure a patient’s heart rate. A tobacco-brown dial adds to the vintage feel while the sapphire back of the pink gold case reveals the in-house Calibre MB M13.21, with its own pink-gold coating.

Heritage Manufacture Pulsograph Limited Edition 100 © Montblanc
Heritage Manufacture Pulsograph Limited Edition 100 © Montblanc
Omega Speedmaster 38mm

The Omega Speedmaster collection includes a 38mm model for women, now offered in gold. This version matches Sedna™ gold with the coffee-and-cream “cappuccino” colour scheme that was introduced on earlier models. The aluminium bezel carries a tachymeter scale, with the added glamour of a ring of diamonds around its outer edge.

Speedmaster 38mm © Omega
Speedmaster 38mm © Omega
Parmigiani Fleurier Tondagraph GT

The Tondagraph GT in stainless steel is Parmigiani’s take on the sport-luxe watch with integrated bracelet, designed with the modern gentleman in mind. The movement is the automatic PF043 which combines two of watchmaking’s most useful complications: an annual calendar and a chronograph.

Tondagraph GT © Parmigiani Fleurier
Tondagraph GT © Parmigiani Fleurier
Patek Philippe Split-Seconds Chronograph Reference 5370

The first split-seconds chronograph based on Patek’s classically constructed CHR 29-535 PS calibre, Reference 5370 debuted in 2015 with a platinum case surrounding a black enamel dial. This year’s rendition introduces a more contemporary vibe, courtesy of the glossy blue Grand Feu enamel that covers the gold dial.

Split-Seconds Chronograph Reference 5370 © Patek Philippe
Split-Seconds Chronograph Reference 5370 © Patek Philippe
Richard Mille RM 11-05 Automatic Flyback Chronograph GMT

Exclusive to Richard Mille, Cermet combines the lightness of titanium with the hardness of diamond. The titanium movement powers a GMT indication that is easily adjusted using the pusher at 9 o’clock, a 24-hour flyback chronograph plus an annual calendar.

RM 11-05 Automatic Flyback Chronograph GMT © Richard Mille
RM 11-05 Automatic Flyback Chronograph GMT © Richard Mille
TAG Heuer x Fragment Design Heuer 02 Chronograph

The second chapter in TAG Heuer’s creative collaboration with the godfather of streetwear, Hiroshi Fujiwara, has produced a chrono of a totally different kind, powered by an in-house movement. Sporting a ceramic bezel and a vivid red sapphire back, this limited edition puts the accent on TAG Heuer’s motorsports heritage.

Heuer 02 Chronograph © TAG Heuer x Fragment Design
Heuer 02 Chronograph © TAG Heuer x Fragment Design
Vacheron Constantin Traditionnelle tourbillon chronograph

This elegant new release combines the precision of a monopusher chronograph with the endless rotations of a tourbillon. The tourbillon’s carriage is set in motion by the intermediate wheel in the running seconds display, which allows for a wider opening onto the upper plate. A power-reserve indicator and a 45-minute chronograph counter complete the display.

Traditionnelle tourbillon chronograph © Vacheron Constantin
Traditionnelle tourbillon chronograph © Vacheron Constantin
Zenith Chronomaster Revival Shadow

So the story goes, back in the early 1970s, shortly after the El Primero launched, Zenith produced the prototype for a manual-winding chronograph in a black-coated steel case that was never released. This obscure (in every sense) watch lives again as the Chronomaster Shadow, a faithful revival of the original.

Chronomaster Revival Shadow © Zenith
Chronomaster Revival Shadow © Zenith
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