Regulator dials, jumping hours, retrograde minutes and oversized onion crowns are classical displays employed by Chronoswiss, the former Munich-based brand founded in 1983 by Gerd R. Lang, now in Oliver Ebstein’s hands and located in Lucerne. Faithful to Lang’s vision, Chronoswiss continues to produce watches with these characteristics but with a much edgier attitude thanks to traditional decorative techniques like guilloché highlighted with bold, eye-catching contemporary colours, patterns and textures. Two models, Delphis Venture and Delphis Paraiba, in steel cases with hand-guilloché and a new movement, join the Delphis Oracle edition unveiled during Watches & Wonders 2023.
Using the same layout as the Delphis Oracle, the two new models feature jumping hours, a retrograde minutes display and a small seconds counter. Before looking at the impressive craftsmanship used to decorate the dial, let’s tackle the case. Crafted in stainless steel, the 17-piece case has a 42mm diameter and a height of 14.5mm. Flaunting the signature oversized striated onion crown and the knurled decoration below the bezel and caseback, the case plays with different finishings to accentuate its bold personality. While the bezel, lugs and crown are brightly polished, the case flanks and lateral areas of the short sloping lugs are brushed; viewed from the side, the flat tip of the onion crown is star-shaped with deep grooves for enhanced grip. With a double anti-reflective sapphire crystal over the dial and a sapphire crystal on the caseback, the case is water resistant to 100 metres.
Once again, Chronoswiss demonstrates how traditional craftsmanship can be employed to create contemporary designs that stand out with their originality and, very often, daring colours. The layout of both the Delphis Pariaba and Delphis Venture is identical, with a jumping hours window engraved into the dial at noon surmounted by an arched track for the retrograde minutes and a small seconds counter at 6 o’clock; both rely on skeletonised pointer hands to indicate the minutes and small seconds.
The Delphis Paraiba is as chameleonic as they come, with a fascinating colour-changing dial that imitates the magical neon essence of rare Paraiba tourmalines. You might remember that Erik covered the Chronoswiss Open Gear ReSec model with a similar Paraiba dial, also made using a CVD coating combined with a wavy guilloché pattern. To heighten the dial’s interaction with light, the dial blank is curved. While it makes it much harder to decorate by hand using an antique guillochage machine, the curved profile creates a 3D effect and interacts more with the light, producing colour changes ranging from turquoise to petrol blue and from jungle green to purple. In contrast, the small seconds counter of the Delphis Paraiba has a different guilloché pattern in its centre and is black.
The Delphis Venture has a darker guilloché area on its dial, also located in the upper section shaped like a half moon. Here, the curved black galvanic half-moon area displays a pattern of raised ribbing that looks like a series of mountain ranges executed by hand by the brand’s skilled guillocheurs in Atelier Lucerne. The small seconds counter is also decorated with guilloché and picked out in blue.
The window on the caseback reveals the new automatic Chronoswiss movement – calibre C. 6004, developed by La Joux-Perret – with its openworked tungsten rotor and ruthenium-plated components. Beating at 28,800vph, the movement delivers a 55-hour power reserve. The two Chronoswiss Delphis models are fitted with a contemporary black rubber strap and a folding clasp using the brand’s patented autobloc system.
Availability & Price
The Chronoswiss Delphis Venture and Delphis Paraiba are each produced in limited editions of 50 timepieces; they share a retail price of CHF 15,800. For more information, please consult chronoswiss.com.
Sponsored post: This article is sponsored by Chronoswiss. However, it reflects the writer’s opinion and has been written according to MONOCHROME’s editorial policy.