Frank Sans C VIDEO

Four very different chronographs

Designed to calculate short timelapses – or longer ones, for that matter –, chronographs are popular among many collectors. Here are four that are a little bit out of the ordinary.

By Vincent Daveau

Any collector worth his salt has at least one chronograph in his collection. Besides, many chronograph feature among iconic pieces in watchmaking history: Rolex Cosmograph Daytona, Omega Speedmaster, Zenith El Primero… 
Will the four selected by Frank Sans C for his second episode on chronographs have the same destiny? Only time will tell…

Reservoir – Sonomaster Chronograph Vintage 

Very French in the way it comprehends and displays time, the new Reservoir Sonomaster Chronograph Vintage takes inspiration from the hi-fi recording level gauges from the 1970s, echoed in its dial and display.

A very successful vintage look.

This 43 mm piece features opened fan-shaped counters on its black dial. The two retrograde hands display seconds on the left and date on the right. The chronographs can be seen along the vertical line of the big seconds hand. 

These two retrograde hands make you feel like you have a recording level gauge on your wrist!

They are located in subdials at 12 o’clock for the 30-minute counter, and at 6 for the hour counter. Well-designed and most of all aesthetically strong, this instrument is water resistant to 50 meters. It is powered by a selfwinding mechanical RSV-Bi120 chronograph calibre. 

The nobility of a column wheel chronograph.

The calibre is visible through the transparent case back, and reveals its large oscillating mass, adorned with the brand’s red logo, and its blue coated column wheel and structural screws and bolts. This product is bound to make heads turn and is available in two dial finishes (black/beige or black/silvery). It is sensibly worn on a leather strap with saddle stitching and spring bars facilitating the disassembly.

Price: €5,750

Know more about this Reservoir chronograph

Michel Herbelin – Newport Heritage Chronograph

Faithful to the Newport Heritage line, this new chronograph adopts the watchmaking style codes, harkening back to the 1970s. 

The characteristic Newport cushion case.

The shape of its 42mm diameter steel case is a “cushion”, a rather unusual piece of which few are made in the industry. The watch shows its colours and proudly wears the indication made in France in the lower part of its silvery and blue dial. It aims to attract enthusiasts looking for a piece with a design that is sober yet powerful. It catches the eye, alternating between polished and brushed surfaces. Powered by a high-quality quartz calibre, this chronograph offers prospective owners precise time readings, but also the ability to measure short time lapses with reading accuracy to a tenth of a second. 

The strap fastenings are a sign of the elegance of the Herbelin Heritage watch.

Most certainly neo-vintage, this timepiece boasts a bezel inspired by portholes and is worn on a strap made from fabric reminiscent of rigging patterns. It is bound to make sailing enthusiasts happy as well as those who love meticulous French watchmaking, committed to the values of durability and transmission.

Price: €829


TAG Heuer Formula 1 Senna Special Edition 

The generation of enthusiasts targeted by this instrument was most likely not born when Ayrton Senna became the youngest racing driver to win three Formula 1 world championship titles.

A chronograph paying tribute to one of the greatest F1 drivers: Ayrton Senna.

At the time, this genius racing driver was the ambassador of the brand, and he embodied the values of personal excellence dear to the legendary S/EL watchmaking line, which stands for Sport and Elegance. The signature of the line can be found in the links of the steel bracelet, reminiscent of the letter “S”, on the Formula 1 Senna Special Edition. 

On the case back is an engraving representing the driver’s helmet.

A shining example of inspiration and functionality, this 44mm instrument draws on the name and reputation of Ayrton Senna to convey a strong message through the timing of sports achievements, namely Formula 1, of which TAG Heuer has long been the Official Chronometer. The name of the driver is engraved on the bezel, adorned with a tachymeter scale and an figure of him racing with his helmet on the – solid – steel case back. Because of this, the wearer is unfortunately unable to enjoy the view of the movement and to look at the finishes of the 16 calibre.

The racer’s “S” logo features on the bezel and in the counter at 6 o’clock.

This chronograph is water resistant to 200m. The dial displays the date in an aperture at 3 o’clock and other useful information, such as the continuous seconds at 9 o’clock and elapsed time in minutes and hours in the counters at 12 and 6 o’clock, in case of long-time timing.

Price: €3,350

Know more about this TAG HEUER chronograph

Carl F. Bucherer – Manero Flyback Signature 

The Manero Flyback Signature chronograph from Carl F. Bucherer is a modern instrument, combining technical refinement with chic and sporty design.

A stylish pair, perfect to write about the passing of time.

The steel case, with its subdued and cosmopolitan design and subtle vintage accents, is 43 mm, a trendy size likely to fit every wrist with its long curved lugs. The silver-coloured dial is very sober and features arrow-shaped hour markers in rainbow colours and two aptly-sized anthracite counters. A truly timeless piece.

The rainbow hour markers are echoed on body and the lid of the pen.

The date displayed in the aperture at 6 o’clock does nothing to disrupt this well-oiled machine, and makes itself scarce when you don’t need it. This well-proportioned instrument is water-resistant to 30m. It is worn on a rather fantastic NATO strap in recycled PET. Limited to 188 pieces, this chronograph is powered by the CFB 1970 self-winding mechanical calibre. Visible through the transparent case back, it features a 42-hour power reserve and the always popular flyback function – a mechanism that allows the watch wearer to press the pusher at 4 o’clock and suspend the first timekeeping in progress, returning make the chrono second hand to zero and resuming a measurement once the pusher is released. 

A travel case completes the arsenal of the writer and collector.

The watch is delivered in a beautiful wooden case with a travel clutch that contains a second bracelet but also a very beautiful pen from Caran d’Ache, a stationary manufacture with headquarters in the canton of Geneva.

Price: €6,400


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