Chronoswiss

Swiss independent luxury watch manufacturer

Chronoswiss is a relatively young company, founded in 1983 by Gerd R. Lang in München, Germany. Lang had already amassed extensive experience producing movements for other brands and his initial offerings with Chronoswiss reflect that, such as the Opus (first skeletonized chronograph), tourbillon and quarter repeater models. The brand was the first to produce a wristwatch with a regulator layout, the Régulateur, and they're best known for the style today (hour, minute and seconds hands in separate registers). In 2012, Chronoswiss was acquired by Oliver Ebstein and the headquarters was moved to Lucerne, Switzerland. The acquisition didn't alter the direction of the company, however, who's distinctive limited production watches retain many of the same hand-finished characteristics of the early München portfolio. The now Swiss brand remains an independent watchmaker as well.

Chronoswiss introduced their signature design language in 1987, starting with the regulator dial and continuing with the oversized onion crown, knurled bezels or case ends, and long screwed strap lugs. All of these elements remain today and the brand is best known for their regulator models. The company often modifies and hand-finishes ETA movements, adding in-house designed/produced modules for their regulators. Some models, especially from the München era, use new-old-stock movements from watch manufacturers Marvin and Enicar. This maintains a high level of Swiss quality, while keeping prices in a more affordable range by avoiding full in-house calibre production.

Few brands have designs as instantly recognizable as Chronoswiss. Their regulators stand out with unique cases, dials, lugs and crowns, and there’s a wide range of models as the brand specializes in the style. The Regulator Manufacture is virtually unchanged since the late 1980’s, featuring all of the hallmarks the brand is famous for. The knurling around the case ends, oversized onion crown and long, sloping lugs with exposed screws are all present. The regulator display is in the classic vertical arrangement, with the centralized minute hand prominent and the hour and seconds hands in small sub-dials. The C. 122 automatic in this piece is also faithful to the original, based on the Enicar 165. On the other end of the spectrum are thoroughly modern pieces like the Flying Regulator Open Gear and Flying Grand Regulator Skeleton Limited Edition. Features like multi-level dials, funnel-shaped sub-dials, and exposed gears and bridges bring an architectural and futuristic aesthetic to the classic style without removing any of the elements that make them so recognizable. Some models have complications such as date displays and jumping hours, while tourbillons have been featured in the past.

Not all Chronoswiss watches are regulators, with traditional, centrally mounted hands comprising their Sirius and Time Master lines. Models with jumping hours, perpetual calendars, moon phase and quarter repeaters are available, along with a host of chronographs. The Chronograph Skeleton harkens back to the Opus, while the Chronograph Retrograde has two retrograde displays for second and date. In 2014, the House of Chronoswiss opened at their Lucerne headquarters, allowing visitors to witness first hand the specialized techniques that go into the brand’s watches, such as high-fire enamelling and engine turning (guilloché) for dials.

History of Chronoswiss

1982
First timepiece, a mechanical chronograph with moon phase display, has the Chronoswiss name
1983
Chronoswiss is officially founded by Gerd R. Lang in München, Germany
1984
"Chronoswiss" is registered as a trademark
1987
The world's first wristwatch with a regulator display, the Régulateur, is produced
1991
Launch of the Kairos Chronograph, the first automatic chronograph with decentralized hour and minute display
1993
The reversible watch Cabrio premieres, along with the Orea showcasing white enamel dials
1995
Launch of the first automatic skeleton chronograph Opus in series
1996
The Delphis is the first wristwatch to combine a unique system of analogue, digital and retrograde displays
1997
Chronoswiss is official timekeeper in the STW Cup (Super Touring Car Cup)
1998
The Pathos is the first skeletonized double-hand chronograph with automatic movement
2000
The Régulateur à Tourbillon is the first minute tourbillon with a regulator dial and a floating tourbillon cage
2001
The Chronoscope is the first automatic wristwatch chronograph with regulator dial
2003
The Répétition à quarts is the first wristwatch with quarter-hour repeater
2004
The Régulateur à Tourbillon Squelette is the first hand-skeletonized and hand-engraved tourbillon with dial
2009
Presentation of the first newly developed manufactory caliber at Baselworld
2012
Chronoswiss is acquired by Oliver Ebstein and the headquarters moves to Lucerne, Switzerland
2014
The "House of Chronoswiss" opens its doors at its headquarters in Lucerne
2018
The Flying Regulator Open Gear modernizes the regulator series with a multi-level dial and exposed gears and bridges