I like Chronoswiss for three reasons: the dial, the crown and the case. The dial is usually guilloche and looks amazing, the onion-style-crown – the first thing that comes in my mind when I see one is Chronoswiss because is kind of their signature and the case looks always good and has more details than others.
For this article, I decided on the Chronoswiss Sirius Chronograph Retrograde also for other reasons than the above: one of them is the retrograde function (explained later). For the first time in its history, Chronoswiss presents a watch with two retrograde displays in two case materials versions: Chronograph Retrograde Ref. CH-7543B in steel and Ref. CH-7541BR in 18k gold.
The dial is identical for these two watches and is solid sterling silver (925). The nice look of the silver is highlighted by the guilloche finishes – every function has its own guilloche style and the visibility is increased: central hours and minutes, retrograde seconds at 9 o’clock, central chronograph seconds, 30-minute counter subdial at 12 o’clock, 12-hour counter subdial at 6 o’clock, retrograde date at 3 o’clock. For the indexes, the dial and every subdial have a brushed side with printed indexes and Arabic numerals. For hours are used small conical shaped indexes that at first look only like decoration and just when the hour hand crosses by you understand the relevance.
The Breguet Losange hands are thermally blued steel and hand-finished and complete the classic appearance of the dial. I always love the look of blue hands on a silver guilloche dial. Chronoswiss intended to remind us, with the two retrogrades, of a butterfly’s wings.
The stainless steel case of the Ref. CH-7543B has a diameter of 42 mm and a height of 14.75 mm. These dimensions make this watch easy to wear and look good on every size wrist. The case is partly polished, partly with brushed satin finish with a polished screw-down bezel with side knurling and full thread. The back is a screw-down case back with satin-brushed finishes and sapphire crystal.
The push-buttons are polished steel and together with the onion shaped steel crown makes the entire case look more interesting. On the top, the case has one-sided anti-reflective sapphire glass. The 3 atm water resistance case is built using 38 components.
The steel version comes with a Louisiana crocodile leather strap and pin buckle and costs 8900 Euro. For 287 Euro more you get a steel folding clasp. Both systems, pin buckle and the folding clasp, have the Chronoswiss logo on them. The band strap is screwed with a patented system Autobloc.
The gold version of this watch, Ref. CH-7541BR has the case in 18K red gold and costs 19700 Euro with gold pin buckle. For 1930 Euro more you can get the 18k gold folding clasp.
There is a black PVD coated version, REF. CH-7545, with coloured painted hands, indices and numerals but I have no official information about the price and materials used. Instead, I found several websites that sell this version as preowned with prices around 4500-5000 Euro.
These watches are powered by the Chronoswiss caliber C. 831: a 13¼ line (30mm diameter, 7.90 mm height) with 39 jewels, a beating heart with 2880 vph (that’s 4 Hz – the most used frequency in modern watches) and 46 hours power reserve. The Incabloc shock absorber is present along with the fine regulator.
The finishes are, as expected, everywhere: skeletonised with Chronoswiss logo embedded, the rotor has Geneva stripes and ball bearing, the anchor, the anchor wheel and screws are highly polished, the bridges are decorated with Côtes de Genève and perlage finish and the main plate is also perlée.
This movement uses two retrograde functions: date and seconds. While the retrograde date is not that rare and unusual, the 30 seconds retrograde is something special.
The retrograde function is explained on the Chronoswiss Glossary website: “A hand moves to indicate something (e.g. the hour or the date) along a segment of a circle (calibrated, e.g. from 1 to 12 or from 1 to 31). When the hand reaches the end of the calibrated scale, it rapidly jumps back to its original position and resumes its forward motion. To accomplish this retrograde motion, the hand is linked, either directly or via a lever, to a small spirally shaped and stepped cam. When the hand reaches the end of its scale, one end falls over the step of the cam, thus instantly returning the hand to its starting position.“