Editor’s note: Like you, we are also excited for the Watches & Wonders 2022 novelties. Before we get to dive deep into them, here’s our preview & Gut Reaction Review (Grr…) of the new Angelus Chronodate. For our detailed hands-on reviews, please head to our dedicated reviews section here. This is NOT a sponsored post.
The New Angelus Chronodate In A Nutshell
Chronographs like divers are dime a dozen. But the art of making a good chronograph that stands out on its own merits, now that’s rather rare. Whenever one thinks of chronographs, messy dials appear as a mental image. This is further perpetuated by the use of tri-compax layouts on the dial. And bi-compax layouts are usually reserved for dress-chronographs these days.
The new Angelus Chronodate changes this. It’s a bi-compax layout chronograph with a rather clean and highly legible dial. It’s also sporty to the max, with a wondrous modular case architecture defined by sharp angles. It’s got a good wrist presence with a 42.5mm diameter case, but just in case those with slim wrists are wondering, it’s not overbearing at all.
Bold, beautiful and bad-ass.
Tilt Your Hat To The Past
The watch is also not without precedence; it is based on the brand’s own namesake bicompax automatic chronograph movements watches from 1942 and also feature a couple of cool nods including a a peripheral date and the right counter red 3-minute interval marking.
The latter is based on the 1942 models usage of the same, that was more era appropriate given the 3-minute interval was for remembering to insert coins into your phone to continue staying connected. How the times have changed, but I still find this quirky little detail quite charming.
The Standup Guys
The most impressive standout features of the new Angelus Chronodate are that beveled and angled modular case and the three-dimensional dial.
The case is layered, and made up of six main components. The movement actually doesn’t even come close to the edges of this outlandishly amazing case; in fact it sits nestled within a container made of carbon composite. Together with carbon, the titanium version of the new Angelus Chronodate ends up being super-light. The matt black carbon composite is also used for the chronograph’s push-pieces and the ring inserted between the case middle and the bezel.
I also like the inclusion of an oversized crown that extends way beyond the case and allows for better grip and usability. Everything about the new Angelus Chronodate feels ergonomic.
As for the dial, on paper, it’s just a plain dial with Arabic numerals. But rotate the watch a bit and the dial comes to life. The charm lies in the frosted glass appearance matt opaline white or blue PVD dials, something that the brand informs us has been executed for the first time in watchmaking.
On this base that already allows for some visual fluidly, the bold black DLC coated appliqué numerals are not only lume filled with white Super-LumiNova — emitting a blue glow — but are substantially raised, much more than I have seen in a while. This for starters gives it a nice 3D effect. Next, we have the central chronograph second’s hand, that is bent and raised to be in line with the peripheral date flange. And the most impressive 3D part is the execution of the counters; they feature a bold contrasting ring that is angled and raised, framing nicely the azurage treatment of the counters.
Basic Specs of the new Angelus Chronodate
All the three new Angelus Chronodate models feature a 30m water-resistant 42.5mm diameter and 14.25mm thick titanium case with a monobloc bezel, and with the sub-case and push-pieces in carbon composite. There is a thick box sapphire crystal with anti-reflective treatment on both sides, that contributes to large amount of the thickness. We had a Zoom presentation with the brand, and fortunately they were able to go hands-on on our behalf. On the wrist, both visually, and courtesy the curvature of the underside, the new Angelus Chronodate sits quite low.
Inside the new Angelus Chronodate ticks the calibre A-500, which is an automatic mechanical movement developed and manufactured in-house measuring 30mm x 7.9mm. The column wheel with horizontal coupling and vertical clutch movement beats at the frequency of 4Hz and provides with a decent 60-hour power reserve. For a chronograph watch, it is also quite superbly finished with the mainplate featuring a sandblasted and NAC treatment, the bridges a micro-beaded and NAC treatment with satin-finished edges, the wheels feature a circular treatment and are rhodium-plated, and the tungsten or 18-carat red gold (5N) rotor a nice brand logo.
“The Chronodate collection presents a fusion of Angelus styles, with both the historical brand that is part of the Swiss watchmaking landscape and the technical brand with its ultra-dynamic designs of recent years. The choice of chronograph movement and peripheral date is reminiscent of the brand’s glory days and contrast with the multi-structure and multi-material exterior”.Press release
The Chronodate is available in three limited series of 25 pieces each in red gold (0CDZE.U02A.K009H), titanium with opaline dial (ref. 0CDYF.W01A.K009B) and titanium with blue dial (0CDZF.U01A.K009H). Usually white dialled sports chronographs can look quite plain, but you really have to see this to appreciate the beauty. Between the three, the opaline version is our favourite, given I can’t think of any present chronograph that features the same aesthetics as that of the new Angelus Chronodate.
Retailing for either 29’900 CHF for the titanium or 42’900 CHF for the gold version, these-limited edition piece are announced as part of the Watches & Wonders 2022 March 30 to April 5 (both online and at the Salon).
The new Angelus Chronodate is the brand’s foray into re-entering the chronograph market, and the watches are for those connoisseurs who would like a high-end sports watch that’s not only handsome but legible, quirky but firmly rooted in its past, and looks and behaves the part of a stunning chronograph.
To find out more about the new Angelus Chronodate and their other watches, please head to their website here. All images unless otherwise stated are courtesy are Angelus Chronodate RG & Ti © 2022 – Angelus Watches. Make sure to check out our reviews of other Watches & Wonders 2022 novelties here.