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Friday, December 30, 2005 


Cronoswiss watchesEven as a child, German-born Lang had a passion for mechanical things. He pursued a career in watchmaking and was obsessed with tracking time precisely. In 1983, this watchmaker extraordinaire founded Chronoswiss in Munich, Germany, and embarked on a quest to make the most extraordinary mechanic timepieces. He purchased limited-edition- and out-of-use movements that he could embellish and improve. His watches were immediately recognized for their classical elegance and technical prowess.

In 1988, Chronoswiss surprised the world when it unveiled its stunning regulator wristwatch—which carried the oversized regulator dial that heretofore had only graced the faces of pocket watches and clocks. In 1990, the brand began to manufacture its own models and in 1992, it again caused an international stir when it presented its patented two-handed Rattrapante.

Indeed, Chronoswiss has regularly unveiled mechanical masterpieces that have garnered the brand international acclaim. Among them are the patented, reversible Cabrio watch, which was launched in 1993, followed a year later by the patented Grand Regulateur. In 1995, the Opus automatic skeletonized chronograph made its debut and in 1996, the Delphis watch with a unique system of analog, digital and retrograde time-displays made a profound impression on the world of mechanical watchmaking.

The first skeletonized self-winding fly-back chronograph, called the Pathos, made its debut in 1998 and in 2001, the Tourbillon Regulator stole the limelight with its beauty and technically advanced movement. Each of these creations has won at least one international award, with many winning multiple honors.

Lang relentlessly pursues the fine art of mechanical watchmaking and has thereby propelled his brand into the 21st century with a gusto that is, perhaps, unmatched. Chronoswiss believes in exclusivity and produces only about 7,000 watches per year for global distribution.

Every component of Chronoswiss watches is produced in Switzerland and watches are hand finished to Lang’s exacting specifications.

Obsessed with the measurements of time intervals, Lang has affectionately been called “Mr. Chronograph” by friends and colleagues.

For decades he has restored many exotic chronograph movements, and he has regularly imbued these treasures of timing with additional functions and complexities.

In his most recent unveiling—the Chronoscope—Lang pays homage to the pioneering achievements of 19th-century watchmakers who dedicated themselves to developing split-second timing. For this first chronograph with regulator dial, Chronoswiss has reworked the plate of the movement in order to mount the switching mechanism at the front. The three chronograph functions (start, stop and
return to zero) are triggered via a pushpiece that is integrated into the winding crown rather than by separate pushers.

To create this system, 38 components were specially made. The self-winding movement enables the Chronoscope to measure intervals of time to a sixth-of-a-second accuracy.

The lacquered dial of the Chronoscope is a work of beauty and harmony. The scale for the chronograph hand is subdivided into exactly 360 strokes. There is a separate subdial at 12:00 for the hours readout and another subdial at 6:00 for the minutes. The hands of the watch have been specially developed to be extremely slender and elegant, and they are crafted in a reddish-blue hue to emulate the dials of 19th-century chronographs.

The 38mm case of the Chronoscope is assembled from 23 individual parts and is water resistant to 30 meters. The sapphire crystal is antireflective on both sides to enhance readability. Chronoswiss has developed 17 different renditions of the Chronoscope—with cases created of gold or steel and dials of various colors. Every Chronoscope is hand signed by Lang.

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