Why The Chronoswiss Sirius Lunar Chronograph Is A Must Have For Every Serious Collector
Editor’s note: We recently went hands-on with the Chronoswiss Sirius Lunar Chronograph and found it to be a timepiece that every collection worthy of any appreciation should definitely include. Here we look at what makes it so special and how the watch sets itself apart against other watches…
“The moon and the Pleiades have set, it is midnight, and the time is passing, but I sleep alone,” perhaps wrote the Greek poet Sappho. I say perhaps because the author of the poem is not entirely confirmed. But what is definitely known, is that the above verse known as the ‘Midnight Poem’ is one of the best-known surviving pieces of Greek lyric poetry.
How is Greek poetry relevant to your watch collecting, you ask? If you are one of those collectors who despite having numerous timepieces from the more mainstream brands still feel a void in your collection, I suggest it’s time to look at independents such as Chronoswiss. The brand’s Swiss (and Greek) inspired roots present collectors with a chance to own rather unique timepieces.
For those who may not know much about the brand, we have covered its history and place in the world of horological legacy in detail here. But in a nutshell, Chronoswiss was founded in 1983 by Gerd-Rüdiger Lang and the brand’s name comes from the combination of two words, chrono + Swiss, with the former derived from the Greek word χρόνος meaning time.
Back to the poem, the imagery of the beauty of the poem can be interpreted in the Chronoswiss Sirius Chronograph in all aspects but one: like the setting moon in the poem, the lunar complication on the dial of this watch sets once a month; under the shade, the galvanic blue of the dial turns to a midnight colour; and making use of its practicality, you measure the time passed on its chronograph complication.
But unlike the love-torn lady in the poem, you don’t sleep alone. Giving you and your watch collection company is the “Clous de Paris” guilloched pattern that like Pleiades — Pleiades is an open star cluster of a few thousand stars also known as Messier 45 — presents its observer with a cluster of enticing engine-turned celestial strokes.
The Chronoswiss Sirius Lunar Chronograph is a true embodiment of the fusion of modern watchmaking with avant-garde style and old handicrafts knowhow.
“Time leads truth toward the light,” said Menander, a 4th century BC Ancient Greek dramatist. In essence, the dial of the Chronoswiss comes alive and reveals its true stunning nature when caressed by light. It is a work of horological art, that is borne out of the expertise and legacy of the brand.
Featuring the famed Valjoux/ETA 7750 movement with a bespoke module (for the moon phase) exclusively developed with Chronoswiss by Alfred Rochat, the distinctive-looking case frames a beautiful galvanic blue guilloché-decorated dial that showcases the functions of hours, minutes, small seconds, analogue date, moon phases, chrono-centre second, a 30-minute-counter and a 12-hour-counter.
The gorgeous guilloche patterns form a perfect backdrop to the nicely balanced case and hands, while the overall case dimensions of the solid 23-part stainless steel case measuring 41 x 15mm — 14.8mm thick to be precise — turn the timepiece into a wearable and versatile offering.
The ref. CH-7543L-BL comes from a brand that has several patents and awards to its name, retails for 12’700 AUD, and one of its most striking features is the three-dimensional aesthetic of the timepiece; there is a fair amount of play of surfaces, textures and layers, whether be it on the dial, case-band, lugs or pushers.
The Chronoswiss Lunar Chronograph forms part of a new generation of stunning timepieces that on one hand are modern, and on the other, their true appreciation stems from deep-diving into the world of Greek myths, English literature, and even mathematics theories (and you can read more about this in detail here).
What Collectors Would Particularly Appreciate
The stunning beautiful dial that morphs into a light purple when moved under natural lighting is the star of the show. The choice of colouring is superb, and while blue dialled watches are a dime a dozen, the only other watch that pulls off this chameleon effect with such panache that I can think of is the blue Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Tribute Duoface ref. 3988482.
The next aspect that grabs your attention is the dichotomy of the busyness yet clarity of the dial. When you bring the timepiece a bit closer to you, you are hit with a delightfully overwhelming presence of four different kinds of finishes on the dial.
Watch enthusiasts would particularly be in awe of — at least I am — these multiple finishes, that start with a brushed track for the dates, followed by a thin hob-nail guilloched ring, followed by a brushed minute track, then another thin guilloched ring, then the main dial’s brushed surface featuring the large Arabic hour markers, followed by another thin guilloched ring, and finally either a different “Clous de Paris” guilloched pattern succeeding it in the centre of the dial or a different style akin to the Patek Philippe Calatrava ref. 6007A-001 in the sub-counters.
The Chronoswiss Sirius Lunar Chronograph is one of those timepieces that you can simply sit and stare for hours, unraveling layers after layers of different elements, and marvelling at some new discovery every time.
But this is not where the buck stops; the presence of a rather uniquely executed moonphase complication is highly welcome, and it is details like these that really elevate the brand. Not done just yet, flip the watch over and the handsomely decorated movement welcomes you to get a glimpse into the intricate internal workings of a timepiece.
My Love Affair
There are certain features besides the guilloched dial that speak to me as well. Personally, I believe the Chronoswiss Sirius Lunar Chronograph is a great dress watch that also features a sporty chronograph:
- I appreciate the relatively uncommon combination of a chronograph with a moonphase indicator
- The signature onion crown is easy to grip and turn, complements the knurling on the bezel and is a distinctive identifying feature
- I admire the attention to detail where the finishing of the tipped pushers replicates that of the crown
- There is a certain charm in the vintage-inspired peripheral outer analog date display with an enthusiast burst of red-tipped crescent date indicator that symbolically complements the presence of a moonphase indicator (though in reality, the C stands for Chronoswiss)
- Talking about the moonphase indicator, I also like the shape of the moon and its display aperture cutout; it’s different from the usual ‘sad face’ designs that most brands use
- The watch is also a great shade of blue, and you can see the dark, rich blue compared to the more youthful light blue of last year’s Tudor Black Bay 58 Navy Blue. It also doesn’t wear big at all. Due to its design architecture, not only does it sit nicely on my nearly 16cm wrist, but also doesn’t look huge when compared to the smaller 39mm Tudor Black Bay 58.
- Last but not the least, it is a brand from the 80s – my birth decade. Given that I am a child of the 80s, I find Chronoswiss particularly interesting. Think of it this way; Omega has made a career out of marketing the Moonwatch to all those who love the idea of the 1969 moonwalk. Similarly, for me, there is a special value in knowing that the brand is from the 80s
The Chronoswiss Sirius Lunar Chronograph features design cues that should appease all and satiate every kind of watch lover. Other than my personal feelings for the brand, you gotta admit, the brand’s bread-n-butter Régulateur-style watches may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but they sure are interesting.
Ticks All The Right Boxes
I have already stated that the timepiece retails for only $12’700 AUD. It’s not a cheap, entry-level watch, and it does justice to that aspect. But technically for this dough, one can get a new Rolex Datejust with a fluted bezel and a jubilee bracelet. Or the recent Omega Aqua Terra Worldtimer is slightly more expensive coming in at 13’550 AUD. It features the Omega co-axial escapement and a beautifully finished worldtimer display, coincidentally again in blue. So why would you go for this?
Well, it’s an exercise in ticking all the right boxes.
You get a boutique watch treatment on the level of a high-end Swiss watch brand. It’s exceptional value for money when you start counting the level of craftsmanship gone into it: I don’t think any other Swiss or German brand I have reviewed or owned so far features such value — I am usually partial to Alexander Shorokhoff — as this does: multiple guilloche styles, a daily wearable size and aesthetic, a different execution of the lunar display aperture, analogue date display combined with chronograph complication, and a fairly decently decorated movement.
It’s got a decent mixture of classic pocket watches meets traditional pilot’s watches vibe, with a bit of officer’s style watch language and the best of a Zenith Pilot’s watch with that big onion crown thrown in for good measure.
Not stopping there, the brand also introduces the best of modern Breguet aesthetics seen in the hands, partial bezel knurling, lug treatment and Arabic indices.
Still not calling it a night, there is also a bit of Patek Philippe with the style of the pushers (and lugs).
I reckon it works for both seasoned collectors — they will cherish the history and rather unique brand timepiece — and for anyone who wants to just buy the one dress watch and wants to have features that may be reminiscent of other famous brands.
Make no mistake, it can appear to be a messy watch at first or feel influenced by other brands, but the white contrasting hands are very legible, the multiple guilloche patterns help differentiate the sections of the dial, the symmetric four sub-counters bring in a sense of coherency, and overall, it’s pretty unique with nothing else like it in the market.
You might argue that too many cooks but even to my surprise Chronoswiss has managed to create a very well balanced timepiece that charters its own course despite featuring a few elements here and there made famous by other watch models.
Rather than being subtle, the Chronoswiss Sirius Lunar Chronograph has a great wrist presence. Dressy chronographs are rarely better executed than this.
The brand’s relevance in certain areas of modern mechanical watchmaking is almost unparalleled, with the brand getting credit for mainstream production of display case-backs, regulator style displays, and skeletonised chronographs.
And coming full circle from where we began, is another Sappho lyric from the Ode to Aphrodite that reads: “… break me not with aching, nor with grief, Lady, tame my heart!”
If as a collector you are in the market for a unique watch from a brand steeped in historical relevance, the Chronoswiss Sirius Lunar Chronograph presents you with the kairotic moment to be a part of the horological legacy that at the price of only 12’700 AUD doesn’t break your bank or cause post-buying grief, and can tame the heart of the shrewdest collector.
To find out more about the new Chronoswiss Sirius Lunar Chronograph and other Chronoswiss watches, please head to their website here. All images are ©Watch Ya Gonna Do About It unless otherwise stated and this is NOT a sponsored post. We would like to thank Chronoswiss and Avstev Group for sending us this watch to review.