With the Flying Grand Regulator Open Gear Retrograde Second, ReSec for short, for the first time in its more than 35-year history, Chronoswiss presents a regulator timepiece in a striking 44mm case with an automatic movement. The C.301 is an exceptional automatic calibre developed by Chronoswiss. The refined Open Gear construction makes the regulator mechanism a main design element. It is put into the spotlight at the face of the dial, where the train wheel bridges in charge of the off-centre hour display were skilfully skeletonized and screwed firmly to the dial, which in turn becomes part of the movement. The eponymous retrograde seconds hand sweeps along the tracks of a 120 degree scale and every 30 seconds jumps back to the start in a trice.
So much technical sophistication demands taking a look at the exterior of the new arrival: the case reveals a dynamic touch and was specially redesigned by Chronoswiss. The bezel is distinctly robust and, depending on the case finish, radiates a fascinating lustre. With its shortened horns, the timepiece sits comfortably on the wrist. The 42-piece dial is also worth a second look through the double-coated sapphire crystal. Regardless of the intriguing play of colours, which make each variant something special, it impresses with its high level of sheer craftsmanship: the dial surface is elaborately hand-guillochéd for each individual timepiece in the series. This is administered with much love and skill on a historic rose-engine in the workshops of the House of Chronoswiss, Lucerne, thus creating an exceptional fusion of innovative design and traditional craftsmanship. The hand-guillochéd dial means, however, that the Flying Grand Regulator Open Gear ReSec can be made only in a limited edition of 50 units worldwide. They all carry their individual limited series number on the dial.
Other noteworthy features include the intense indexes that glow persistently in the dark, made of a mix of Super-LumiNova and ceramics, whose massive cylinder shape provides a perfect match for the 3-D design of the dial. The hands in the shape of elongated triangles and also equipped with Super-LumiNova inlays ensuring optimal night readability, were specially designed by Chronoswiss. The rear of the Flying Grand Regulator Open Gear ReSec is also worth a second glance, as the beauty of the embellished movement can be admired through the sapphire crystal back.
Versatility determines the collection in all five versions. Particularly eye-catching is the model in blue, whose colour is by no means limited to the dial, with its case being entirely “Electric Blue”. It derives its fascinating colour through the coating with a high-quality, extremely scratch-resistant DLC (diamond-like-carbon) finish with a hardness of 4,500 Vickers, also ensuring its irresistible lustre. The components used for the complex dial construction are also coated with blue DLC, such as the skeletonized gear train bridges and the hour gauge funnel. And even at night, the blue colour variation remains true, because all the fluorescent elements such as the inlays of hands and indices match the blue of the Super-LumiNova Blue Line. It’s no surprise that the bracelet also fits into the colour scheme.
The versions with highlights in bright green or red are also colourful, standing out effectively from the black DLC case and the hand-guillochéd, black galvanized dial – and in the truest sense of the word, since all colored parts are further prominently highlighted on second and third levels. The stitching of the distinctive Hornback crocodile leather straps is bright green or red enhancing the particular accent.
There are finally two more variations both classical and yet contemporary. While the timepiece with a solid red gold case and elegant grey strap and dial is impressive, the alternative stainless steel case houses a galvanic silver dial with blue accents, taken up by the blue Hornback crocodile leather strap. This variant is also available with a steel bracelet on request.
All five versions have one thing in common: they celebrate the fusion of progressive design and traditional craftsmanship. And it’s always fun to follow the seconds hand, as you admire the hand-guillochéd dial – and watch it jumping back in a flash every 30 seconds.