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Articles | Interview

Chronograph: the moment’s price

Reflecting on Time

What is Time? It seems no one can ever give an answer to this age-old question. However, the questions of its essence, its appearance and existence regularly worry each of us, despite lifestyle or profession. Some physicists suppose that the Time existed always, and the concept of “earth time”, usual for us, people, was formed only at the moment of The Big Bang about 13,7 billion years ago together with a certain quantity of matter and space. From there time, space, and matter turned out to be closely connected and didn’t exist separately, for us, earth dwellers.

Fragility and short life of space matter raise a question about duration of time: from the one hand, it should be infinitely long, but from the other hand…
So, the scientists of NASA found out that only four percent of our Universe was built from usual atoms, the rest of its part – unexplored and mysterious “dark matter”, or as it was called “dark energy”. But let’s leave the exploration of our Universe for physicists and return to the Time. So what does it mean to us?
According to forecasts of scientists, less than 12 billion of years are left for our planet, 4,5 of which it has already lived, and as for the earth life, it has even shorter life – in 500 years it will stop because of too hot climate.

But whatever scientists say, for us, ordinary people, living everyday life, the Time is a subjective sensation, like our lifestyle. If you ask a historian, he will answer that the Time is facts, for a biologist – it’s life, for a taxi-driver – a counter, for a banker – money, for a linguist – a noun, for a correspondent – events, for a politician – election, and for a watchmaker…
Of course, watchmakers and all other specialists determine the time with the help of, first of all, watches, usual wrist watches. Or unusual watches, which besides indicating common time are able to “tell” about various events from Lunar phases to good time for bite.

However, the question about the essence of Time still remains without a certain answer. So what is Time? Everybody understands it in his own way, but its earth dimension is quite determined. The time is measured by our biological clock and, of course, a movement, created by man, - the wrist watch.
The clocks and watches measure the time within a certain system, created and regulated by man, and the Time, remaining one of the most mysterious and obscure constants, existing in our life, inexorably goes by despite our will or is motionless while we move by it. One way or another, we have only one thing to do: submit and measure it…

***

To regulate the Time is a long-held desire of man. For that purpose he created calendars and wrist watches, mechanisms that helped him to cope with different situations and define himself in space.
From creation of elementary time meters to modern complicated calibers, loaded with various supplementary functions, the watchmaking underwent a long process of evolution, aimed at satisfaction of man’s needs, caused by his “use” of Time. But it turned out not enough for man to fix the time in common sense (let’s leave philosophical reasoning for a while). In time he had situations, when he needed to fix certain time intervals. That was connected with various spheres of man’s activity (sport, navigation, sky and sea depths conquest) as well as with his hobbies (horse race, sport, various competitions).

However, strangely enough, the chronograph, so popular function of watch movement today, became one of the latest discoveries in watchmaking. The first similar device appeared in 1821. Despite the fact that wrist watches and various complications of movements appeared long time ago, the chronograph is one of the latest complications, appeared in the watch industry. Most probably the chronograph function “waited” until it became necessary for man and appeared during horse race, being exigency. And true, the history of chronograph starts with the creation of device, measuring time intervals, only in 1821.

Horse race and first chronograph

Nicolas-Mathieu RieussecSo, the chronograph appeared because it was “waited”… at horse race! That kind of sport required such device most of all. The fans of horse race know well the meaning of phrase “to finish half-a-body length ahead of rival”. Of course, it’s quite difficult to imagine this today, but even two centuries ago the issue of a contest could be defined only in that way. And only with the appearance of chronograph people learned the price of the moment.

The author of movement, which became a prototype of chronograph, was Nicolas-Mathieu Rieussec – a big fan of horse race, who presented the device at another race. He created a mechanism, provided with a small inkpot at the end of second hand, which at the moment of stop left a spot on dial. They also made attempts to create such mechanism earlier, but those devices only vaguely resembled chronograph. The construction by Rieussec gained popularity, as it was the only practical and functional decision.
But the mechanism, which allowed fixing time intervals, didn’t stop developing – the chronograph had an amazing story, after which it appeared on wrists.

So, nobody created wrist watches with such movements until an English watchmaker George Graham presented the first clock, which measured time intervals of theoretical accuracy at about 1/16 seconds. After that invention Graham was called a “father of chronograph”, and his creation gave impetus to many watchmakers, and soon much more advanced models of chronographs appeared. After Graham’s creation the movements with independent wheel system of second hand, which made a jump per second (as in modern quartz watches) and was named a “dead” or independent second, gained popularity. In 1776 such movement was first described by a Genevan watchmaker Jean Moise Pouzait.

Apart from Graham’s chronograph in the 18th century the prototypes of modern stop-watch, presenting watches with stop function, pointing the time of final event by means of watch balance stop, were designed, but the reset function wasn’t even thought about.
It is notable that in the end of 20th century a watch, equipped with independent seconds and also with some functions, which seemed to be outdated, appeared at the watch market.

Chronograph or chronoscope?

The movement, measuring time intervals, got its
1820-1830, Nicolas-Mathieu Rieussec movement name as a result of simple mess. The point is that the word “chronograph” means “time writing” in Greece. In fact, the function of “writing” suited more to the device by Rieussec, which was very popular that time. The watches or devices, writing the time, should have been called “chronoscopes”, not “chronographs”, but the history ordered otherwise: the term “chronograph” determined watches, fixing the time.

The term “chronograph” is quite popular today, and the modern interpretation of chronograph is the following: the chronograph is a supplementary movement, built in a watch and equipped with three main functions: start, stop and reset.

Chronograph differs from stop-watch by the following: first of all, it is placed in a wrist watch, and the wrist watch itself is a chronograph; secondly, a stop-watch doesn’t have a dial, it is only equipped with a second hand, put into action only by start button, and its stop means whole movement break. And, in spite of mess in exact definition, the chronograph “settled down” and even “moved” to our wrists so that in nearest future hardly some accessory will replace its practicability.

Chronograph construction and classification

The modern chronographs, both simple and complicated movements, are based on the same construction: lever wheel movement. After you push the button, the movement column wheel or cam system is responsible for the coordination of actions. Any of these two systems may be placed in the watch’s base movement or put as a separate module. The chronographs can be quartz, mechanical, simple, and summing.

chronographsBesides the above-listed ones, there are also fly-back chronographs, able to reset simultaneously with the start of new counting – you only need to push an appropriate button.
All chronographs also can be classified under simple and summing chronographs. Simple chronographs are quite rare today: they are specific for a control button, one push of which makes the minute and second hands move and the second push stops the watch and fixes the indications. The third push resets the hands to “zero state”.

The summing chronographs are provided with two buttons, the first one of which starts and breaks the stop-watch. The number of starts is unlimited, but at the last stop the chronograph fixes the total duration of rime intervals. The second button resets the stop-watch indications.

Besides there is one more classification of chronographs: one-hand, two-hand, split chronographs or rattrapante chronographs. While the one-hand or two-hand chronographs are rather simple in their performance, the split chronographs represent more complicated construction.

The rattrapante chronograph is a device with two second hands, situated one above another at the center of dial. The split chronograph is able to fix two different time intervals, started at the same time. Apart from this function, the split chronograph is equipped with the third additional button that stops one of the hands, while the second one keeps on “moving”. The repeated push of this button also allows the first hand “catching up” with the second one. Two other buttons are responsible for start-stop and reset.

“King” of chronographs

Chronograph rattrapante or split chronograph
split chronograph is considered to be the most luxurious chronograph. This watch is equipped with two hands, noting the time of intermediate finish. This complicated function fixes each of two events, started simultaneously, but finished at different time.

Mostly such chronographs are also provided with the third button, which fulfils the third split function. At pushing this button one of the hands (split) stops, while the second one keeps on counting the time. That allows noting the time, keeping the stop-watch going. The repeated push of the same button starts that hand again and allows it “joining” the second, moving one. If you need to fix both intermediate and total time, you should push another button, situated under the crown.

“Biography” of chronograph

First the chronographs were produced
Chronomatic Calibre 11 by small lots and designed for professionals: sportsmen, military men, scientists, aviators. Each of them needed accurate time measuring and special instruments for that purpose.
The chronographs of military men, for example, were provided with telemetric scale, measuring the distance to required objects (for example, to enemy’s artillery battery). The aviators might need chronographs during thunderstorm: if they started chronographs at the moment of flash of lightning and stopped at the first sounds of thunder, the chronographs multiplied that result and sound speed and showed the distance to thunderstorm epicenter by means of central hand.

One of interesting facts in the history of chronographs is establishment of Association for solving the problem of combination of chronograph movement with self-winding watch in 1965. This Association includes the companies “Buren-Hamilton”, “Breitling”, “Dubois-Depraz” and “Heuer-Leonidas”. As a result of such specific alliance in March of 1969 the first automatic chronograph was presented. It was presented in Geneva, New York, Tokyo, Hong Kong and Beirut at the same time.
The new Caliber 11 chronograph was named “Chronomatic” (the name was derived from CHRONOgraph and autoMATIC). The frequency of watch made up 19.800 alterations per hour, and Chronomatic was successfully produced from 1969 to 1972. Then Caliber 12 with frequency of 21.600 alterations per hour was invented.

Important details

Tachometric scale: initially the tachometric scale was used in the chronographs, designed for sportsmen. The chronograph measured the time of passing one kilometer, and the tachometric scale indicated the speed in kilometers or miles per hour. It’s very important to distinguish tachometric scale from tachometer, which measures the details or movements rotation frequency.
Even the doctors often use chronographs, equipped with pulsometer scale, graduated for 30 pulses. Sometimes the pulsometer scale is completed with respiratory one, which determines respiration rate. Such models were extremely popular among professional sportsmen and simply sport fans and quite useful during trainings.

Slide-rule: the chronographs with round slide-rules are mainly designed to perform quickly and comfortably various mathematic calculations. The chronographs, equipped with such rules, were popular among engineers, military seamen and pilots.

Additional functions: Oftentimes the chronographs are provided with various additional functions, which changes wrist watches into practical fount of useful information: a chronograph with additional functions will “prompt” the date, the current month, the week day and the time of second time zone. Some models will also “tell” about the Moon (increscent or decrescent).

Regatta chronograph

Regatta chronograph is one of the most interesting
Rolex Oyster Perpetual Yacht-Master II (regatta chronograph) modifications of chronographs, appeared when it became necessary to fix the time during sailing competitions. Regatta chronograph counts the time from the start of sailing regatta in a special form, comfortable for yachtsmen.
Mainly the time is indicated in a rather original way, which can be called specific for regatta chronographs. The dial is provided with a colorful counter, representing a special three-colored disk (blue, red, and white), seen through five round apertures. The counter is designed for 15 minutes: each aperture corresponds to a minute, and a color change corresponds to the start of a 5-minute interval. From the beginning of start the time is counted in these five apertures, situated along the arc by means of colorful movement. Such chronographs are made by Corum, Atlantic, Piquot Meridien, Tag Heuer, and Rolex.

Fly-back chronographs: first aviation chronographs

Hanhart and Tutima

The severization of requirements to chronographs, caused by the technical progress, and especially by the progress in aviation, led to the creation of the chronographs, equipped with “fly-back” function. The function became very practical in navigation. In fact, the pilots use a watch and a compass for the air navigation in small airplanes. Its task is to follow the set course, moving along the air “corridors”, in the direction of compass within certain time intervals.
The course change considers starting a new count of new time intervals, which require the chronograph to switch at most quickly by using a minimal number of actions, especially at high speeds of flight and low heights.
Those needs led to the creation of “fly-back” function, which allows resetting the chronograph’s indications simultaneously with the start of new count. In this case, only one push of a button is made, while in standard chronographs two pushes are required.
The chronographs with that function became a practically irreplaceable device for pilots. The first chronograph of that kind was issued in 1910.
Such chronographs were first designed and manufactured in 30s by the Swiss companies “Hanhart” and “Tutima” for the German aviation. Generally speaking, the development of chronographs was in parallel with the development of ordinary wrist watches. The innovations of wrist watch manufacture penetrated rapidly into the sphere of chronograph development.

Hanhart chronographs

The company “Hanhart” was created in 1882, but it still remains a small watch company, which is especially famous in Germany. The founder of the company “Hanhart”, Johann Adolph Hanhart, establishing the watch workshop not far from Schaffhausen, was engaged only in issue of wall clocks in the beginning of his career, as wrist watches didn’t exist in that time.
However, in 1902 Johann Adolph moved to Schwenningen, when the company started step-by-step developing. So, in 1924 Hanhart manufactured its first mechanical watch with a stop-watch that had a great success. After 10 years the company’s designs were embodied in a new item: in 1934 the company released the first wrist watch. Four year later, in 1938, the masters of the company presented the first chronograph that could be controlled by means of only one button. That creation became very popular among aviators and seamen, and the company “Hanhart” gained glory at the watch market.
During the Second World War the company became even more popular: the Frenchmen captured the most part of company’s workshops, and the manufacture moved to France. And only in 1947 the son of Johann Adolph managed to revive his father’s business. 
When the company returned to the first owners, they made time pieces, provided with stop-watches. In 1948, Hanhart issued the famous chronograph “Admiral”, and after several years the company became an unconditional leader in the manufacture of chronographs with stop-watches.

Primus Pilot, Primus Racer and Primus Diver chronographs by Hanhart

The chronographs “Hanhart” are ones of the most famous and recognizable watches at the world watch market. The button of stop-watch, painted in red color, became a specific feature of those watches. There are two stories about appearance of this brand element. The first one runs about the aviators of the First World War, who stopped chronographs at the moment of take-off to control the flight time and fuel consumption. Each aviator knew for sure the time of his return to aerodrome, and their girlfriends, by the legend, painted the button which stopped the chronograph in red color for the aviators always kept them and their love in mind.
The second and less romantic story about the most specific element of Hanhart watch design tells about the most practical purpose of red button. The point is that the aviator’s wrist watches are often hidden under sleeves or gloves, and the red color was necessary for them to avoid a random push on the button in the air.
Of course, the second version of red button appearance seems more trustworthy. Nevertheless, regardless of the reasons of its appearance, the red button became the company’s brand element, and the watches are recognizable today around the world. The red button of “Hanhart” watches even has its certain place: at the right side of case.
Since the first day of its foundation, Hanhart has taken a certain place at the watch market. The company issues only men wrist watches, suitable for any wrist. One more feature of this company is enumerated models, working on the base of in-house movements. The chronograph “Primus” can be called one of the best achievements.

Tutima chronographs


The company “Tutima” also belongs to the number
Tutima chronograph of famous German watch manufacturers. The history of this company starts from1926 with the manufacture of pocket watches. The company made a breakthrough to a more serious watchmaking level, when it presented its designs, improving movements, used in its products.

The watches of Tutima brand acquired a special competitiveness in respect of Swiss watches during the World War. That time the company produced wrist watches for German Air Forces that were used for time calculation and roots coordination, for flight synchronization and landing by “flights”.

Today Tutima keep on gladdening its fans by the chronographs, keeping the best traditions of the company with the use of hi-tech. One of the famous chronographs is Military 798, issued in 1985 specially for aviators. That model gained striking success in both professional sphere and among ordinary connoisseurs. Those chronographs evoked great interest, and Tutima continued creating true copies of famous chronographs.

chronograph's dials and mechanismChronograph composition

Basically, the chronograph is an integrated solution, and it means that the movement is initially designed as a chronograph. The popular construction of chronograph represented a movement on the base of a column wheel – a detail, looking like a screw with sawed grooves. The modern chronograph is mainly a cam type. Apart from it, a module system – chronograph module, connected to the base movement – occurs in watchmaking. The movements with integrated chronographs, like Valjoux 7750 (7751), Lemania 5100 and 861, Rolex 4130, Polet 3133 and ZenithElPrimero 400 are found most often; besides, the modules of movements ETA 2824-2 and 2892А2 are also used.

Counters position

The position of counters on chronograph’s dial is not random. Usually, according to the tradition, if they are positioned at “3”, “6”, “9”, and “12” hours – the watch is mechanical. If the counters are positioned at “2”, “10” or “4”, or “8” hours – it is a quartz watch.

Chronograph’s “appearance”

One of the main exterior details of a chronograph is, of course, its additional dial, the number of which may vary from one to four. By tradition the additional dials are situated at “3”, “6”, “9”, and “12” hours. However, some watch companies strike out a line by departing from this unspoken rule and give original positions to additional dials (for example, at “5” hours) that undoubtedly makes a chronograph unusual and exaggeratedly asymmetric.
The additional dials perform various functions. Most often one additional dial indicates current seconds, as the central second hand works in the same way as the chronograph’s hand.
Usually the minute dials are designed for a certain time: 30, 45, 60 minutes. Some manufacturers also use an auxiliary counter, fixing time periods up to 12-hour duration. However, such models are lack of fly-back function that is quite reasonable: this function is mainly used for metering long time intervals, and the auxiliary counter only overloads the dial.

Choice of chronograph


Today the modern watch market presents a wide range
chronograph of chronographs with various complications and additional functions. However, besides practical functions, the chronograph’s exterior design also plays a great role. In this case, the movement complexity should harmonize with the materials, used for making the watch, with the design and use of various jewels and design accents. Frankly speaking, practicability, utility and functionality of a chronograph are not enough to strike connoisseurs’ imagination.
That’s why many watch companies marshall great resources to create not just a standard accessory on wrist, but a specific original item, which would represent an art decision of a watch company. Nevertheless, we need watches: we love and choose them. Therefore, our choice doesn’t always depend on functionality and practicability of a chronograph, in spite of the fact that chronographs are mainly designed for certain spheres of application. Since the time of chronograph creation about 400 inventions, concerning chronograph movement, can be counted. With the development of sport and aviation the watches with chronograph function became very popular.

Chronograph: a mean for image

Well, the modern life became much faster and more dynamic as compared with past centuries that undoubtedly couldn’t influence on many surrounding things. Of course, we’re talking about wrist watch – one of significant accessories in our epoch.
The history of wrist watch counts more than a century, and over the time of its existence this item has undergone many changes, keeping one of its main and important features – status accessory.
Today a wrist watch by some famous company is as a prestigious acquisition, as an expensive suit or even a car, at that a watch’s price may sometimes exceed the price of a suit.
In modern world of techniques, where the watches seem to be not so necessary for performing their main functions, these pieces are consolidating little by little their positions in another role: in the role of elegant adornment which can tell much about its owner without any words.

Watch companies and their chronographs

In modern watch industry the chronograph took a place of worthy and weighty watch complication, available at the product range of each big watch company. The more complicated the watch, the more the function, the higher they are valued – that’s the way of watchmaking. That’s why many famous watch companies spend great resources to create chronographs, equipped with various complications, additional dials, indicators and scales, and also to design new technologies and concepts of creating wrist watches.

The best ones…

Anonimo chronographs

Anonimo Militare Crono FlybackThe name of Italian watch company, specialized in manufacture of “military” watches, is chosen not by chance. The Italian word “Anonimo” goes back to the fundamental philosophy of the company, to its approach to the product manufacture. The philosophy of Anonimo watches is the following: a wrist watch should tell not about the watch company, but about its owner, his lifestyle and preferences, way of thinking and unique man individuality. The company is founded in 1997 by entrepreneur and designer Federico Massacesi, who imported decades-long experience of collaboration with Salvatore Ferragamo SpA into his work. The mechanical watches, designed according to good old Florentine traditions of watchmaking, became the main orientation in manufacture. The fate itself seemed to be for the appearance of Anonimo brand. In 1997, the legendary Florentine watch company “Officine Panerai” was included into Richemont Group, and its office moved to Switzerland. However, a “guard” of old watchmakers and CEO Officine Panerai Dino Zei stayed in Florence.
The union of qualified and talented watchmaker Dino Zei’s creative potential and Federico Massacesi’s business experience and professional knowledge of corporative management bore its fruits soon: Anonimo wrist watches evoke genuine interest and admiration of watch experts, professionals, and ordinary fans and connoisseurs of horlogerie.
In manufacture of their watches the company’s craftsmen chose high-quality steel, containing 20-27% of chrome and low percentage of carbon, and also undergoing 16 different operations under digital control. Besides steel, the watchmakers from Anonimo also apply UNI 5275 sea bronze, also known as aluminum bronze.
Among the company’s inventions there are “Kodiak” technology – making leather straps, highly-resistant to sea water, The Crown Vanishing Locking Device, used mostly in making of Militare watches, and U-Lock System – water-resistant locking system, which opens the case without any instruments.
The main orientation of the company, as it was said before, is the manufacture of “military” watches, however, the watches issued for civil men also meet the highest requirements and standards of world watchmaking, despite the company’s young age.
Of course, a company with such “serious” products couldn’t pass by such heavy complication in the modern watch world, as chronograph. “Anonimo Militare Crono Flyback” became a specific tribute to modern tendencies. The chronograph works on the base of self-winding movement “DUBOIS DEPRAZ 42035”, provided with “fly-back” function. The movement is based on 47 jewels, the frequency of balance makes up 28.000 alterations per hour, the power reserve – 40 hours. The chronograph counters are positioned at “3”, “6”, and “12” hours. The date indicators are positioned at “6” hours. The chronographs by Anonimo are high-quality wrist watches that will become your excellent and reliable “companions” in any extreme conditions.

Space chronograph from Omega


Omega Speedmaster ProfessionalOmega, the last letter of the Greek alphabet and a symbol of logical conclusion and perfection, is the name of a legendary watch brand, which left the most significant and influential trace in the development of modern world history of watchmaking. The watch company “Omega” was founded in 1848 in the Swiss town of La Chaux-de-Fonds, today considered to be a cradle of world watch industry.
The company’s founder, a skillful watchmaker Louis Brandt, didn’t choose the name “Omega” at once. At first, the company was named "Louis Brandt & Fills", later renamed in honor of one of the most popular model of wrist watches – “Omega”. Well, Louis Brandt made a good choice of the name: today Omega a symbol of advanced technologies and perfect design.
In spite of its high status and great popularity around the world, the Omega watches have a low price, especially that the brand managed to win two-thirds of all Swiss chronometer certificates in 1964.
The record, set in 1936, isn’t broken yet. The Swiss Kew-Teddington observatory arranges annual competitions of various chronometers. So, the watch company “Omega” managed to get 97,8 points out of 100, confirming its perfection once and for all. One of the important events in the history of company is being an official time-keeper at the Olympic Games. In 1932, the Olympic Games, fully time-kept for the first time, took place in Los Angeles. Omega got an honorary title of the first official time-keeper of the Olympic Games. That event became the start of long-term collaboration between Omega and International Olympic Committee.
We can talk about privileges of Omega wrist watch endlessly. But let’s return to chronographs.
The conquest of our illimitable Universe became one of the most outstanding pages in the history of Omega. Everything started from the famous space race between the USA and the USSR. On 25th of May, 1961, the program of first Moon landing – Apollo, powered by the American president John F. Kennedy, was launched. “I believe that this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to the earth. No single space project in this period will be more impressive to mankind, or more important for the long-range exploration of space; and none will be so difficult or expensive to accomplish” – from Kennedy’s Special Message to the Congress on Urgent National Needs. The Apollo program became an incitement to whole range of historical, scientific and engineering achievements. While the president of America made inspiring speeches, and the whole scientific community of the world followed the Apollo, heart-in-mouth, the watch company “Omega” was involved in watchmaking. The chronograph, fated to become legendary “Omega Speedmaster”, was released several years before the speech – in 1957. Then some time passed, and “Apollo” was at its height.
Omega Speedmaster Professional Apollo 13In 1964, two young clients with short hair-cuts and straight backs visited the best watch shop in Huston and simply astonished the owner by purchasing about 10 wrist watches of different brands. The wrist watch “Omega Speedmaster” for only 82,5 dollars in a sale was among them. It’s really difficult to imagine that a “cosmic watch” of excellent characteristics had such price!!! Those two young men appeared to be NASA experts, seeking for a perfect chronometer for the legendary program of Moon landing – Apollo. The “perfect chronometer” for the expedition might endure weightlessness, vacuum, high electromagnetic radiation and sudden temperature drops. The model “Omega Speedmaster” along with watches of different brands underwent NASA tests in conditions of weightlessness, under the effect of great magnetic field, and also at temperatures from -18 to +93 degrees of Celsius. No wonder only Omega Speedmaster sustained the tests and, therefore, was chosen for Apollo. In the same month “Speedmaster” was first applied by the astronauts of NASA at the board of “Gemini-3”. That became the first official “flight” of the chronograph (before “Speedmaster” was at the space within the framework of the project “Mercury”).
However, the flights to Space paled into significance immediately, when one of the most remarkable moments happed in the history of “Speedmaster”: on July 20, 1969, at 02:56 a.m. GMT Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin were the first men to step on the Moon with their wrist watches “Omega Speedmaster”. The watches returned to the Earth and continued working as if nothing had happened, only their name changed to “Speedmaster Professional”, and the watches obtained a high status of Lunar watches.
After a raving
Omega Speedmaster Professional X-33success of Omega watches, another story became known that proved the status of professional watches once again. The cosmonauts of Apollo-13 also ought their lives to the wrist watches “Speedmaster Professional”. When the board computer switched off, the crew kept the time of expedition and return to the Earth by the watch “Speedmaster Professional” indeed. A mistake in a second for the engine operation design time could become fatal, but the chronograph helped and saved the lives of three cosmonauts. For that service the watch company “Omega” was given the highest NASA award – “Snoopy”.
After those historica
l events, connected with Space conquest, Omega and NASA continued their “collaboration”. In 1975, July 15, a new project of space exploration – “Soyuz-Apollo” – was launched. The space ship Apollo took off from the territory of the USA, and Soyuz – on 19th – correspondingly from the territory of Soviet Union. That project became important for both space achievements and political decisions. Thereby, an “iron curtain” was a bit lifted: the representatives of rivals made flight together over the near-earth surface, preliminary swopping presents, kisses and handshakes. TheOmega calibre 1861 wrist watches “Speedmaster Professional” showed off proudly on the wrists of all cosmonauts.
Today the unique chronograph “Speedmaster X-33” is admitted to flights by both NASA and Russian Aviation-Space Agency. It is a part of standard equipment of all astronauts and cosmonauts. The wrist watches “OMEGA Speedmaster Professional” are the only watches in the world, certified for access into space.
The company offers a wide range of “Speedmaster” chronograph models. The watches are constantly “on the move”: they are being renewed and improved all the time, presented in new original designs. 
The company considers a warranty of genuineness for its products: the original watches are supplied with a guarantee card, containing 8-digit serial number, article and title, and the seller’s address. Thereby, the company offers only the best to its fans. The watches by Omega are available for professionals, astronauts, cosmonauts, divers or pilots, and ordinary fans of the brand.
The chronograph “Speedmaster” is manufactured on the base of legendary, famous in-house caliber of manual winding “Omega 1861”, used by the astronauts during the expedition to the Moon. The watch case is made of high-quality steel with rhodium treatment, the dial is covered with chrysolite crystal. The case diameter – 42 mm. The water resistance reaches 50 meters, the power reserve makes up 48 hours.

And not only in Space…

Aqua Terra ChronographHowever, a raving success of “space” watches, recognition around the world, various awards and certificates turned out to be as if insufficient for the company. After the grandiose space project the craftsmen and designers of Omega kept on working with a more breadth, resulting in new creations from Omega.
Soon, the designs of the company come to professional divers too. In 1970, the company produced an ultra-sealed model “Seamaster 600 с” of 600-m water-resistance, used by the captain Jacques Cousteau for studying of psychological and physical state of a man at 500 m depth. Just a matchless quality of high water-resistance was the reason the wrist watch “Seamaster 600” was chosen by the expedition. And it justified the trust of the crew: the watch was still telling the exact time at over 500 m depth.
After such earnest test, new adventures were waiting for Seamaster 600. In 1981 a French swimmer Roland Specker first decided to dive at 80 meter depth at Neuchatel Lake without aqualung. The lake water is much darker and colder that in the ocean, but Specker managed to break his own record. The wrist watch “Omega Seamaster 120 m” served him as a good companion.
In 1993 the company created a chronograph “Seamaster Professional”, which became the first mechanical chronograph for diving at up to 300 meters. The chronographs of Omega, designed for diving, have one more element, distinguishing them from other brands: the “sea” chronographs by Omega are equipped with a helium valve.
The point is that the professional divers undergo a special training: at first, they are placed in a special diver’s bell (pressure chamber), where the mixtures of different gases with significant helium content circulate. In this chamber the divers breathe a special air mixture with nitrogen replaced by helium.
The pressure inside the chamber is gradually increased to the level of working depth. Thereby, a diver’s organism gets used to the depth pressure. After that the divers go out from the chamber through a sluice and continue breathing the same “air” as inside the chamber. So they return to the surface. When the operations are finished, the divers go back to the chamber, where a reverse process starts – gradual pressure decreasing up to normal atmospheric pressure during several days. 
However, there is a problem with the wrist watches, as necessary instruments for the diver: the thing is that the helium molecules are very small and have a high degree of penetration. They penetrate into watches through linings and can push out the watch glass during surfacing. Just in this time it’s necessary to open the helium valve, which bleeds the helium and coordinates pressure force on the watch movement.
All subsea chronographs from Omega are provided with special helium valves, design by the craftsmen specially for “Seamaster” series. This series includes various watches, as chronometers and chronographs. I think, it’s time to get to know one of them.
“Aqua Terra Chronograph” is an example of classic chronograph by its appearance. Round case, metallic bracelet, contrast strictly-designed dial, screwed crown. The watch works on the base of automatic movement with chronograph function that is based on column wheel. The power reserve – 52 hours. The case of “Aqua Terra Chronograph” of 44 mm in diameter is made of high-quality steel, the glass is sapphire. The water resistance – 150 meters.

Time-keeping has been representing an integral part of the company’s history for over 160 years. The craftsmen provides their designs to sportsmen, who are constantly striving for achieving the highest results in their spheres and continually enrapture the world, as well as the company does.
In this furious pace of trainings and performances, victories and records everything must be fixed, as well as their work: perfectly and worthily. Apart from sport achievements, it has the following records under its belt: six Moon expeditions, the first watch in the world for motorists, the only chronometer in the world, certified as a marine one, honorary status of official time-keeper at the Olympic Games and enormous number of achievements and victories. No one watch company in the world has broken many records of Omega in accuracy yet.
All these records and incredible popularity of the company among both professional and “mere mortals” allow to be sure that the wrist watches of Omega are perfect chronometers for true professionals.

Breitling chronographs

Everyone, who prefers a watch of the highest category, knows Breitling. The fans of this company also know that Breitling indeed was the first to patent the invention by its leader Gaston Breitling (Leon Breitling’s son), who invented a chronograph with stop-watch in 1915, provided with accuracy at one tenth of a second and separate button, regulating three functions (stop, start and reset).

After that a period of constant development and improvement started in the history of chronograph. In 1923, the system of chronograph’s control was divided into two functions: “start-stop”, put into action by a push-button, and “reset”, controlled by the crown. That improvement allowed summing several successive time intervals, and it was also patented.
From the 20s Breitling patented rather many inventions, improving the functions of chronographs that made the company a leader in manufacture and issue of chronographs at the world watch arena. In 1923 the company had a significant period in its history, when William Breitling, Gaston Breitling’s son, took the leadership of the company. He managed to establish collaboration with the British Ministry of Aviation and started manufacturing on-board chronographs for the Royal Air Force planes. The company achieved its prosperity. In fact, a sample of on-board chronographs was created a year before, and the company’s leadership simply had to “settle” it well that gave a “special” status to the company.

William Breitling, a big fan of aviation, took the lead of designing the most famous models from Breitling. The chronographs “Chronоmat” and “Navitimer”, legendary chronographs of the company, manufactured up to present day, represent an interesting history part about the first steps of the world aviation. The separate button, fulfilling reset function and created in 1934, became an element, specific for the present chronographs. In 1937 the company, improving on-board aviation chronographs and their control, designed a system of control bodies, parallel to dial. Those new, durable and effective devices became irreplaceable and proved chronographs, used by British Air Forces and some countries for their pursuit planes during the Second World War.
The World War II stimulated much the development of Breitling chronographs. During war-time the company issued the first wrist watches with round slide-rules. And later the idea of that complication was designed and developed.
So, in 1952 Breitling equipped “Navitimer” with a slide-rule, making all necessary navigation calculations. Soon that unusual chronograph became a symbol of aviation.
The beginning of 50s was a new period for the company: Breitling became a supplier of on-board devices for the biggest and most authoritative airlines of the world…

“Sky” chronographs

In 1979 the company was purchased by Ernest Schneider, who managed to recover the business after the “quartz crisis”. At that time electronic watches were dominating at the market, that’s why Schneider provided his products with quartz calibers. The new leadership had no choice: during the quartz crisis the company lost its qualified masters and even manufacture premises.
However, as an ex-aviator, Ernest little-by-little made the main accent of manufacture on aviation chronographs: he literally had to “restart” the company, and the chronographs of Breitling “Pluton”, “Jupiter”, and “Mars” became the first models, which won the attention of audience. So, the company came out step-by-step of a recession, meeting with least losses. Under Schneider indeed the company’s logo became “winged”, and the chronographs from Breitling “went up” to the sky.

Transocean Chronograph Limited

The chronograph “Transocean Chronograph Limited”,
Transocean Chronograph Limited issued by a limited edition of 2000 pieces, became a tribute of honor and respect to the legendary watches of the brand, released in 1958. That was a period of peak conquest for Breitling: in 1950-60s the company was actively “developing” the sky. In 1952, Breitling released the collection “Navitimer”, which became a cult among aviators and fans of aviation (we’ll talk about Navitimer a bit later).
In 1958, Breitling presented a wrist watch, fated to become legendary: the chronograph “Transocean”. It was created under the slogan: “Men who have faith in the mighty liners of the sky will trust the Transocean, for behind every Breitling wrist watch lies the experience of aviation passion”. A sporty and clear design of the chronograph becomes popular, and the legendary airplanes 707 and DC-8 – caravels, bringing continents together with the shining chronograph “Transocean” on them – made their contribution. The airplanes as well as the chronograph “Transocean” remained in the history of aviation as the first and unique symbols of freedom, technical achievements and height.
The modern chronographs “Transocean Chronograph Limited” are based on in-house automatic movements. They have become a tribute of honor to the legendary chronograph “Transocean”, their creation is inspired by long flights over the ocean and, of course, by mighty first airplanes.
As for the appearance of “Transocean Chronograph Limited”, its “image” is undoubtedly designed in the style of classic chronographs of 1950-60s.
The in-house automatic Caliber 01 became the chronograph’s “heart”. The limited edition of 2000 timepieces is presented in steel cases, and the second part of collection of 200 pieces is presented by chronographs with red gold cases. “Transocean Chronograph Limited” is provided with tachometric scale, date aperture, transparent back case.
The chronograph’s case makes up 43 mm in diameter, the water resistance – 100 meters, the power reserve – 72 hours. The chronographs are presented with metallic bracelets, as well as with natural leather straps. “Transocean Chronograph Limited” is an epoch symbol of first commercial shipments between Europe and America.

Navitimer chronographs

Navitimer 01 Limited chronographWhen Ernest Schneider took the leadership, the company gradually recovered from the “quartz crisis”. Ernest managed to keep traditions of Breitling and put a new spin on the company’s development.
Navitimer is one of the most famous chronographs of the company, the history of which goes back in 1940. At that time the engineers of the company added a slide-rule at the chornograph’s bezel, providing aviators with a possibility to make necessary calculations during flights. That became a real breakthrough, as the slide-rule turned the chronograph into a true irreplaceable instrument for an aviator. The watches became incredible popular at once, and the collection was named “Navitimer”.
The modern watch line “Navitimer”, inspired by legendary chronographs, is presented by several models of Breitling Navitimer: Navitimer, Montbrilland, Cosmonaute, and Chrono-Matic.
The chronographs are equipped with “in-house” caliber Breitling 01, and distinguished from other watches of Breitling by 43-mm case and sapphire glass at the back case.
In 2010, the company issues a limited edition of chronographs “Navitimer 01 Limited”, presented by 2000 pieces with steel cases and 200 pieces with 18-carat red gold cases. The limited chronographs are all certified by COSC. The movement of Navitimer 01 Limited is based on 42 jewels, self-winding, equipped with column wheel. The balance frequency – 28.800 a/hour, the power reserve – 72 hours.

Breitling for Bentley: chronographs for car fans

Over the history of watchmaking the watch companies, which made a significant contribution into the development of watch industry, can be counted on one hand. The company “Breitling” is one of those companies that made a key contribution into horlogerie. Moreover, Breitling is a pioneer in the development of wrist watches with chronograph function. The master of that company indeed created two separate buttons of watch functions switch, and also the first self-winding chronograph in 1969.
The whole company’s history, started in 1884, can be called an outstanding example of durability and accuracy of watch movements, designed in the workshops of the company. Breitling successfully proved its status of an excellent company once more in 2009 by presenting its new in-house caliber to the world, made by completely new movement architecture. The new achievement allowed Breitling taking its place in a circle of those companies, which designed and made movements at their own manufactories, and exclusive designs for their chronographs. For performing a total control over its products the company founded a new ultramodern manufactory “Breitling Chronometrie” in La Chaux-De-Fonds.
Breitling and Bentley have started collaborating since 2002 and created new models of unique chronographs, set new records and made an original specific design. According to the leadership of the companies, passion to mechanisms, striving for development, dynamics and technical and aesthetic improvement are their common features. The masters of the companies are inspired by various vanguard concepts in different industrial and science fields, applied to the watchmaking at the laboratories. So the movements from Breitling are born, revolutionizing traditional processes of watch assembling.
First of all, the chronographs “Breitling for Bentley” are specific by scrupulous finishing of dials, careful processing of all movement and case details. The collection “Breitling for Bentley” will be good for true car fans, admirers of elegant and powerful cars and, of course, thematic watches. The alliance of the brands, cultivating luxury, quality and prestige of lux items, led to the creation of chronograph series. Each of them represents an example of unique pieces, of chronographs, combining features of luxurious elegant cars, embodying technical might and reliability, and elegant and reliable chronographs as unique movements in miniature. Thereby, the companies have emphasized the general philosophy of approach to the manufacture of their products.
And as a result, for over 10 years Breitling и Bentley have been embodying their ideas in the items, representing constant pursuit for aesthetic perfection and love for unique movements. The future determination is also symbolized by a similar logo of the companies – “flying” letter “B”.
Another specific feature of Breitling chronographs, devoted to Bentley,
Bentley Supersports Light Body Limited chronograph is the exclusive and high-accurate in-house movements, certified by the Official Swiss Chronometer Testing Institute, COSC.
Within the framework of collaboration between
such big companies, representing innovators in their spheres of activity, the unique and luxurious mechanical wrist watches with such complications, as perpetual calendar, tourbillon, and chronograph, are born. And while this article is devoted to chronographs, we’ll dwell on the chronographs, which came out from their collaboration. 
In 2012, the company presents another model from “Breitling for Bentley” series, which represents a unique piece by its technical and design features. The model “Bentley Supersports Light Body Limited” is a chronograph, issued by a limited edition of 1000 pieces. Such limitedness as if calls those, who will become this chronograph’s owners, to enter a charmed circle. The release is dated for one of the boldest and spectacle speed records, set by a man. So, the chronograph of “supersport” character is made on the analogy of the sport cabriolet “Bentley Ice Speed Record”. This car is unique not only for being a masterpiece of car industry, but also by the way it rushed into the world arena. The chronograph, in its turn, embodies the power of the car, its sophisticated and elegant design. The watchmakers managed to skillfully transfer the features of the powerful car from legendary Bentley, embodied in the chronograph.
“Ice Speed Record” set a bold record, accelerating on the ice of Baltic Lake to 330.695 km/h at the speedometer. A four-time rally champion Juha Kankkunen from Finland became the “steersman” of the record.
According to the leaders of Bentley, “Bentley Supersports Ice Speed Record” will be issued in only 100 pieces. The car is recognized by experts as one of the fastest open cars of the modern world among series models. “Bentley Supersports Ice Speed Record” was first presented at a Genevan car salon, and the chronograph model “Bentley Supersports Light Body Limited” was presented with the supercar.
“Bentley Supersports Ice Speed Record” is one of the most powerful cabriolets, existing today: the car’s engine W12 has 6-liter volume with double turbo-heater of 631 h.p. This is the highest index ever for Bentley and the rotating moment of 800 Hm. The car’s engine is equipped with six-step automatic transmission “Quickshift”, thanks to which the car is able to accelerate from o to 100 km/h for only 4.0 seconds. “Supersports” is gasoline and bioethanol Е85 vehicle.

Of course, the chronograph designed for an owner of such car should be well-matched, and Breitling has perfectly managed with the set task. The chronograph “Bentley Supersports Light Body Limited” is made by the best traditions of Breitling. The quality control is carried out by means of specially designed computer software. It is responsible for individual control of each movement. When the movement is ready, the program automatically directs it to the corresponding working station, where the movement is processed by the specialists.
The complicated technological process is completed with all stages of movement adjustments, and it means that each movement, made at the manufactory, is able to undergo all stringent tests of the Official Swiss Chronometer Testing Institute – COSC. Such approach gives a possibility for reliability guarantee.
So, “Bentley Supersports Light Body Limited”, first of all, strikes eyes by its “mighty” and specific Breitling design. The titanium, chosen for the case, just emphasizes all power of this model. The diameter of titanium case – 49 mm, water-resistant. The chronograph is based on the self-winding movement, provided with such complications, as Lunar calendar, month and week indicators, and, of course, chronograph function.

Patek Philippe chronograph

One of the most famous Genevan watch companies,
Patek Philippe &Co pocket chronographs: left: inky chronograph 1891, right: split-chronograph 1884 famous for manufacture of lux wrist watches, Patek Philippe, has never been an official sponsor, or a time-keeper, or a supplier of chronograph devices for various races, regattas, or some sport events. That’s why the chronographs from Patek Philippe may be less known to an ordinary fan, than other brands, deeply associated with manufacture of chronographs and various competitions.
But the chronographs of this brand meet the highest standards of quality and delight experts and collectors, connoisseurs and ordinary watch amateurs. The success of Patek Philippe chronographs is expressively proved by its auction records and so-called “wait lists” for acquiring these chronographs.
First chronographs
The first records about Patek Philippe chronographs date back in the middle of 19 century. At that time the company wasn’t specialized in the manufacture of chronographs, and Patek Philippe issued them from time to time. The timepieces, which survived to our days, have become exhibits of private collections and museums. At the turn of 19-20 centuries the company changed its attitude to chronographs, as those devices became more and more popular in various spheres, and people started paying more attention and spending more time on them.
Soon the company got its first Swiss patent (№ 27052) for the design of first pocket split-chronograph, which later received the name “double chronograph”. It worked in a special way, as if provided by two independent counters. One of the hands could be stopped, reset and started as many times as one might need, while the second hand kept on counting.
Such construction determined different time periods within the limits of one main measurable event. That became a big step forward in the development of company’s chronographs. In the middle of 20s the company was developing the chronograph manufacture, getting specialized in their design and sales. So, the chronographs of Patek Philippe were mainly released at that period by single pieces and by order. One of the most famous chronographs of that period was the chronograph “Patek Philippe”, sold in October of 1923. That was a “split-chronograph” model in “officer” case, made of yellow gold. The stop and start functions, as well as the reset of second hand, were performed by an additional button, set at “2” hours. The spring movement of the crown was used to adjust another second hand.
The chronograph was equipped with rare 60-minute counter, its accuracy made up 1/5 seconds. That wrist split-chronograph, “born” in 1923, was sold at auction in 1999 for 2.973 500 Swiss francs, generating lots of buzz among collectors.
Another very famous chronograph was made by Patek Philippe in 1924. That model, made of yellow gold, was provided with tachometric scale and vertical position of additional dials. The model was acquired in 1989 for a half-million Swiss francs.
In the second half of 20s of the XX century Patek Philippe started making chronographs more regularly that didn’t influence on the manufacture of standard pocket models. However, the chronographs were still made by single pieces. So, by the beginning of 1930s Patek Philippe had created about 20 non-series wrist watches with chronographs, conventionally referred by experts to the first (“pre-Shtern”) generation of Patek Philippe chronographs.
Those chronographs, different by their case forms and design, were specific by the common button of chronograph adjustment. It was combined with the crown in ordinary watches, and positioned at “2” hours in split-chronographs. A unique chronograph of 1927, designed for lefthanders, was an exception: its button was positioned at “8” hours. The chronographs of that period were based on the 13th caliber, the ébauches of which were ordered by Patek Philippe at the workshops of Victorin Piguet. The watches of that period were designed mainly in art-deco style, extremely popular then.
split-chronograph Ref. 5959PThose, who think the world of luxurious watches is an inconceivable parallel dimension, should learn the watches by Patek Philippe – one of the coryphaei of haute horlogerie. This watch house has become a symbol of lux watchmaking, achieved various honors and awards, recognition and admiration in professional circles. Today this company, having passed an enormous way of formation and development, is one of few companies, which comprehend importance of constant progress, moving ahead and pursuit for new perfect forms for watches to be “wrapped” in, more advanced technologies and new materials.
“Chronograph Rattrapante”
caliber CH R 27-525 PS is presented by the company in a limited edition of 10 pieces. Essentially this model is the first wrist split-chronograph of the company, which is designed and manufactured at the company’s Genevan manufactory. “Chronograph Rattrapante” is made by hand and issued by a limited number of 10 pieces that undoubtedly changes this chronograph into desired and exclusive item.
Creating that chronograph, the watchmakers managed to solve several technical problems, closing some gaps in their own collection of movements. Besides, the catalogue of Patek Philippe watches has been completed with a new complicated model.
The chronograph works on the base of ultrathin caliber of manual winding CH R 27-525 PS. It is historically based on the movement Patek Philippe 124.824, created in 1993. The best specialists of V.Piguet, long-standing partners of Patek Philippe in designs of complicated watch movements (knots), took part in the design of caliber CH R 27-525 PS.
The new movement represents a chronograph’s construction with two column wheels, mirror-like polished in the best traditions of Patek Philippe. The polished movement bridges with rounded edges are “Cotes de Geneve” adorned.
The functioning of the caliber is specific by the chronographic coaxial button with the crown. The button ensures three functions: start, stop and reset. Such chronograph was quite popular in the 30s that might delight the retro fans. The split-hand is put into action by a rectangular button at the case side.
The patented new profiles of chronographic column gear are used in the movement, and the bearing jewels (rubies) are mounted in the gold.

Lancaster: Trendy line, Narciso chronograph

Christiaan HuygensThe history of the Italian company starts in Geneva, and it is inseparably linked with the name of Dutch scientist Christiaan Huygens – a talented scientist, astronomer, physicist, and mathematician, recognized and respected by Isaac Newton. And this is true: Huygens made a great contribution into the development of the world mechanics, astronomy, and optics. However, in spite of his fundamental discoveries, not all of his contemporaries could estimate his science achievements: Huygens was one of the first followers of Galileo’s ideas, and, of course, the Church couldn’t accept that, as at that time the science beliefs were taken as religious.  As a result, being afraid of his life, the talented scientist had to look for a shelter in another country: he left his motherland and moved to Switzerland, which appeared to be friendlier to its citizens’ beliefs.
In that “watch” country Huygens has written his famous essay “Horologium”, considered to be fundamental for the modern watch industry today. Just in Switzerland Huygens designed a pendulum clock that he kept on improving within practically four decades – from 1656 to 1693 – an invention, considered to be one of the main achievements of the scientist today. Huygens received the patent for that movement on the 16th of July, 1657, and after a year already he published his detailed description of the invention …
However, an inquisitive Dutchman wasn’t limited only by theories. And it’s not surprising, as the best watchmakers gather in Geneva, constantly designing new watches, improving movements, and creating “horlogerie” atmosphere. There Huygens opened its small watch workshop, and at that time the talented scientist was fated to meet the English engineer Edward Higgins, the watchmaker, who had come to Geneva, like many others, to improve his professional skills and do his favorite work.
Leaving his native Lancaster, the Englishman was looking for a chance to apply his engineer talent, to find like-minded persons and to get involved in watchmaking. The young engineers got to the scientist’s workshop as a journeyman, where in time he became one of the favorite apprentices of Huygens thanks to his talent, duty performance, perseverance, and open mindedness. Huygens bequeathed his business to Edward Higgins.
As the time told, the apprentice appeared to be worthy of credence the Dutch scientist had given to him. The engineer turned out to be not only a talented inventor of unique watch movements, but also a successful businessman, who managed to develop and realize a strategy of manufacture and sale of his own watches.
Soon the glory of Huygens’ watch movements was flashed around the world, the demand for products went up, and Edward had to enlarge the manufactory and expand the capacity. And, as it usually happens, having become a famous and rich watchmaker, Higgins understood that he couldn’t leave everything he had achieved in Geneva and return to Britain, to his native Lancaster, and named his watch company in honor of his city.
Today Lancaster is one of the most famous Italian watch companies, which is experiencing its second birth. The changes, happened in Lancaster in 1992, breathed a new life into the company. The company moved from Switzerland to Italy, and the manufacture processes were resumed at “Alvea” plant, which was specialized in the manufacture of “fashion” watches and which kept and developed traditions of watchmaking, established in Geneva by the Dutch scientists.
While in “Geneva times” Lancaster couldn’t afford much as its watches referred to the highest price segment, Italy had the most “democratic” influence on the brand. 
In 1995, the Italian brand of watches started distributing its products at the mass market.
Lancaster Trendy Narciso Chronograph model 0362 Ref. OLA0362 NR After that the success of Lancaster started gathering like a snowball: within a year the company’s products were presented in over 1000 shops and boutiques. Such marketing decision gave a result: at the exhibition BaselWorld in 1997 the company presented its renewed products and signed contracts with various trading houses from Spain, France, Egypt, Greece, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and many others…
In new millennium the company has acquired a new design, accepted warm as well. In 2001, the company issued the line “Pillo”, which became unusually popular: within a year only in Italy over 10 thousand pieces of this watch were sold. In 2002, the product range was completed with “Gio Gio” line, which became popular as well. In 2004 Lancaster became one of the favorites at the exhibition in Basel, presenting its new collection of silver watches.


***
In modern watch industry the name “Lancaster” is considered to be a symbol of trendy, specific design and constant technical progress. A specific appearance of Lancaster watches became its main accent. Lancaster is characterized by such features as luxury and fashion, and accuracy of movements. Today Alvea is reviving Lancaster, but it’s not easy to buy these watches: the Italians are quite captious as for distribution. The company’s leadership has a quite certain point of view: one and the same wrist watch can’t be used at all occasions.
Dynamics and constant participation in fashion creation have become those criteria, which help the company to keep its position at the watch market, intolerant to constancy and calmness.
Lancaster presents several collections of wrist watches, among which the line “Trendy” deserves special attention within the frame of our talk about chronographs. The use of quart movements became a specific feature of that line.
The main feature of this movement is simplicity of making and absence of frail movable details that initially makes the watch shockproof. The accuracy of quartz movement is quite high and doesn’t depend on environment, such as gravity, and the movement wear depends only on its movable details wear. The small size and light weight of quartz movement let the designers loose: to create practically any design. And according to Lancaster specialists, the life is able to reach 60 years. The quartz movements became the base for “Trendy” line.
The chronograph “Narciso” from “Trendy” embodies all best features of the quartz movement, which became the base for an elegant case from high-quality steel of 46 mm in diameter and 100 meters in water resistance. Besides the chronograph function, Narciso is also equipped with Lunar calendar, the aperture of which is situated at “3” hours in the crescent form. The rest counters, as if giving “way” to the Lunar one, are collected at the left part of the dial at “6”, “9”, and “12” hours correspondingly. The model is presented in two variants: with black and peachy dials. And the straps from natural leather only gives elegance to this restrained, but garish at the same time Italian chronograph…

 

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