A little while ago Chronoswiss announced the release of a new addition to their Sirius collection for 2014 – the CH 8121 R Retrograde Day. In a 40mm case comprising of twenty-nine parts, this new model uses the automatic Chronoswiss Calibre C.286 movement with a forty-two hour power reserve, a skeletonised rotor with côtes de Genève, and plates and bridges.
It is available in two variants – a 18 carat red gold case with a dark grey dial, and a 18 carat red gold case with a ‘terracotta’ dial. The dial has gold-plated applied markers, and gold-plated and hand-finished hands. As well as the sweep hours, minutes and seconds functions, this watch features a very Germanic big date at 12 o’clock and a retrograde day of the week on the lower half of the watch.
There is another Chronoswiss with day and date features in the current Sirius collection, the Day Date Manufacture CH 1921 R, but to my tastes the long thin indices of this new model (versus the combination of Roman numerals and indices in the CH 1921 R) are more ‘clean’, and with the date at 12 o’clock, a more balanced dial than the 3 o’clock date placement on the CH 1921 R model (see below).
Its 44mm case is 10.12mm thick and the bezel is fluted at the sides. For those familiar with Chronoswiss, the Sirius onion crown and screw-in lugs are present here as well. Not that anyone is likely to put it anywhere near anything other than tap water, but water resistane is 3ATM (30m).
This is a good looking watch with an attractively clean dial design. If I was to have one small quibble, it would be the ‘duplication’ of branding, with both the brand name and a CR logo on the dial. Getting rid of the latter would make for a cleaner retrograde feature.
Chronswiss currently has two core collections – the sports-oriented Timemaster, and the classic dress watch styling of the Sirius. The historical strength of Chronoswiss has been in its dress watches, but what you may not realise is that this small brand, which has perhaps been somewhat overlooked by many watch enthusiasts, changed hands in 2012, when it was sold by founder Gerd-Rüdiger Lang to Oliver and Eva Ebstein (Managing Director and Chairman respectively).
Now located in Lucerne (previously Munich) with new offices, service centre, and enamelling and guilloché workshops, Chronoswiss are reportedly manufacturing around 5,000 watches per annum, and under this new ownershiop, hoping to give the brand a new life in the 3,000-5,000 CHF price category. The Sirius Collection is pretty much in the same core spirit as its origins, and the skeletonised pieces for which the brand was known have disappeared, but with the new(ish) Timemaster line still in its early days and a desire to broaden the brand to include sports watches, it will be interesting to see what lies ahead for Chronoswiss.