OK, that’s a long title to start with, however it explains what you can do with the Olivier Randin Technimatic: measure your pulse (pulsometre), measure your speed (tachymetre) and how far lightning is away (telemetre). A while ago we asked you what you wanted to see more on Monochrome, and value propositions was one of the things you would like to see more on Monochrome. So when we saw a photo of the Olivier Randin technomatic, and heard the price, we thought it would make a good idea to have a closer look.
I guess you already thought that the face of this watch looks familiar. It features pretty much the same scales and dial layout as the Patek Philippe 5975 that was introduced for the brand’s 175th anniversary. So when you were too late to get hold of one of the Patek Philippe ref. 5975 models (or lack the budget) than there’s an alternative. No… kidding. Not in terms of build and quality, but at first glance you certainly see a lot of resemblance. The Olivier Randin Technomatic was also introduced for a celebration, being the 15th anniversary of the brand.
About Olivier Randin
Olivier Randin started his career in the watchmaking industry in the 1990s. He worked for Franck Muller, Roger Dubuis, and the Richemont Group for 9 years before joining Rolex as an engineer, involved in various projects including COSC-certification. Between 2007 and 2011, Olivier Randin developed his own watches under the name La Manufacture Horlogère Olivier Randin de Lausanne. Since 2010 Olivier worked for Festina, Breva and currently for Horlogerie Schild as Technical Director, responsible for the production of mechanical movements. He also sells watches under his own name.
Case and Dial
The Olivier Randin Technomatic is definitely an interesting watch. Sure, the looks are familiar. There are quite some similarities to the Patek Philippe ref. 5975, however the Patek is in a (much) different league, especially when it comes to attention-to-detail and finishing. However, the price is in a different league as well. The finishing is rather standard, which is to be expected. The size of the chronograph pushers and crown match well with the watch.
The case, which comes in stainless steel, measures 41mm x 16mm. It has sapphire crystal glass on both sides and is water resistant to 50 meters. The dial is black with white markers and white hands. The dial displays central hour and minute hands, a small date window at 3 o’clock, a central chronograph 60-seconds hand, a tachymeter for 1,000 meters, a telemeter in kilometers, and a pulsometer based on 15 pulsations.
Telemetre – Tachymetre – Pulsometre
If you just bought an old submarine with some torpedoes and you have your own practice ground with some old vessels, this is the watch for you! The telemeter helps you calculate the distance between the firing and impact of the torpedo. A more practical application would be to measure the distance of a thunderstorm by measuring the time difference between the lightning and the sound. The telemeter helps you convert the elapsed time between light and sound into distance.
The tachymeter helps you measure speed in kilometers – in this case, but often tachymeters feature a mile-scale – per hour. The speed is express as a unit of stance per unit of time. The logarithmic scale shows at what speed you(r car) is moving based on a specific distance.
The pulsometer is arguably the most useful feature of the watch. It measures your, or another person’s, heart rate. The heart rate per minute is displayed after the 15th pulse has been counted.
The movement is the Swiss automatic ETA/Valjoux caliber 7750 with 25 jewels, 28,800 vph and a power reserve of 42 hours. It is one of the most reliable chronograph movements and is used by many watch companies as a foundation for their watches, and sometimes -slightly modified- for their own versions of the movement. In the Technomatic the movement has been modified to accommodate only a central chrono hand, and all gears and pinions for the chronograph counters and the small second hand at 9 o’clock, have been removed.
Strap and buckle
The watch we got for a review, comes with a very comfortable leather strap, made by Canotage with double folding steel buckle. We really like the quality of the strap. The stitching near the case and the buckle gives a nice touch.
The Olivier Randin Technomatic in daily use
The watch fits comfortably on the wrist and has a good diameter. Although you need good eyes to read the numbers, the layout looks balanced. The black dial with white markers works well. This watch serves those who really need a date indication. Those who prefer a more balanced looking dial will probably conclude it could have been left out. It is also rather small. Using the pulsometer is easy and works well.
The hands are somewhat similar in size, which makes it a tad more difficult to instantly read the time. When you fall asleep at 2 o’clock in the afternoon during the summer and suddenly wake up and take a quick look what time it is, you may think it is a quarter past nine instead of a quarter before three o’clock.
Operating the pushers works as to be expected. You will not run the risk of starting the chronograph by chance. When you zero-reset the chronograph, the chronograph hand goes back to the exact 12 o’clock position. Operating the crown requires some practice. It takes some force to pull it out. You have to do it with your nails, so if you have weak, very short or very long nails you may have difficulty pulling the crown to the right position to change date and/or time. Winding is not smooth either. However, this may have had to do with the copy we got.
Concluding words about the Olivier Randin Technomatic
The Oliver Randin Technomatic is an interesting watch that is off a descent quality. Pros are the ingenious dial design, the combined functionality of a tachymeter, telemeter and pulsometer, the diameter of the case and the strap. Cons are the sturdiness of the crown and the legibility for ‘older’ eyes. Some may think the watch is somewhat thick compared to the diameter. And it is up to you to decide if the watch is worth the price of Sfr. 1,500.
- Four versions: ref. TCR I/001, TCR I/005, TCR I/002, TCR I/004. The last one has a bracelet. Others feature leather straps.
- Case: steel with polished finishing, diameter 41.0mm, height 16.0mm.
- Dial: black lacquered, polished with white markings
- Functions: center hours and minutes, day of the month at 3 o’clock, central 60-seconds chronograph with stop/restart and zero-reset, tachymeter, telemeter, pulsometer
- Movement: modified mechanical ETA 7750 (to only have the centralized chrono hand), self-winding, 42 hour power reserve, frequency 28,800 semi-oscillations per hour, 240 parts, COSC-certified balance, diameter: 30mm, height: 7.90mm.
- Strap: Black Canotage strap cut from a special cartridge belt band of the Swiss Army with double folding buckle
- Price: varying from Sfr. 1,500 to Sfr 2,500 depending upon the degree of personalisation of the watch (e.g. engraving)
More information can be found at: http://www.olivierrandin.com