I knew this watch existed for a while but seeing in the flesh solidified the feeling that yes, this is of the most (if not the most) steampunk timepieces in existence – and here I get to put it on. I believe it came out in 2008. Plus, unlike stuff from Cabestan and Vianney Halter, this Chronoswiss is not going to cost in the tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars for a cool timepiece.
The watch is the Wristmaster CH 2703. It is two timepieces placed next to each other, and mimics the look of dashboard instruments from classic cars and planes. The CH 2703 is the full set, while the individual pieces are the CH 2803 for the watch, and CH 7503 for the stopwatch. The steel watches are on a steel plate attached to the double strap system. The watch is a full 84mm wide by 42mm tall, and 20mm thick. Yea, it is wearable – but on your forearm more than your wrist. Quality is good and typical of German Chronoswiss. I did strap it on, and it looks neat – not everyday wear neat, but certain neat. It is also totally absurd. With double straps and a top heavy design, it will fit best on large wrists made like straight tree trunks.
Chronoswiss is probably a brand that does not require much introduction, despite the fact that we do not hear much about these. I have reviewed some of their set in years past and they are well thought out pieces with impeccable construction and high-quality substances. While a lot of this Timemaster line hews closely to a vintage aviation aesthetic, the input of Dornier has created a model that seems to draw more inspiration from aviation.For starters, the dial was created to resemble an artificial horizon, with a midline dividing the gray and black stripes of the dial. Pair that with the crimson accents (and GMT hand) and glowing white lume-filled hands, and you have the recipe for a very readable watch – even for each the functions built-in courtesy of the movement.That motion is a Caliber C.754 automatic (based from the ETA 7750), which itself provides a 46 hour power reserve, a skeletonized rotor, and decorative finishes such as polishing, Perlage, along with Côtes de Genève. This movement enables the watch to possess three of the very useful (in my view) complications, which are a date display, accurate GMT tracking, and a chronograph.
Inside the watch is a decorated based Swiss ETA 2892-A2 automatic movement while the stopwatch has a modified Swiss ETA Valjoux 7750 automatic chronograph movement. Logically speaking the separation of the time and chronograph works in favor of legibility – now each is even easier to read. See how nicely that works out? Design of the dials and case is based on the Timemaster collection – which is classic aviator complete with the hands, easy to read dials, and coined bezel. Chronoswiss is doing very well in the US market with their designs. Pieces such as this prove they know how to have fun and are willing to experiment. One of these rare Chronoswiss Wristmaster watches is available on James List here for just under $10,000.