5 New Chronographs Presented At Watches & Wonders 2021
by Martin Green
The chronograph remains one of the most popular complications – and for a good reason.
While most of us only use it as a mobile egg timer, chronographs both add a lot of dynamic to the look of a watch and give the wearer a sense of control. By being able to start, stop, and reset a chronograph, we mere mortals get the impression that we can control time. And even if it isn’t so, that feels reassuring
Watches & Wonders 2021 is not short on chronographs, which come in their usual wide variety of interpretations. Here are five of the most interesting I’ve seen.
Pasha de Cartier Chronograph
As a brand, can you introduce a successor to a watch you discontinued about a decade ago?
With the introduction of the new Pasha de Cartier Chronograph, Cartier certainly thinks so. And the brand might very well be right, as many of its current clients might not know about the previous watch. Nonetheless, I always think it is a bit odd to have such a gap in evolution.
And evolution is exactly what the new Pasha de Cartier Chronograph is: it’s as remarkable as the model from the late 1990s and early 2000s.
The most important changes come about in the size and engine: the watch has grown 3 mm in diameter to 41 mm, and it is now powered by manufacture Caliber 1904-CH MC instead of the Frédéric Piguet Caliber 1185 used before.
The dial also got a small makeover: the date has moved to between 4 and 5 o’clock, and the subdials lie deeper and are slightly more pronounced. The previous Super-LumiNova-filled hands are now blued steel, while the diver-style bezel and crown and two pushers set with synthetic blue sapphire cabochons remain in place.
The Pasha de Cartier Chronograph becomes even more of a blast from the past as Cartier offers it in yellow gold – quite an interesting choice in these times when pink gold rules supreme.
Additionally, the Pasha de Cartier Chronograph is also available in stainless steel on either a bracelet or a leather strap, both of which can be interchanged in an instant thanks to Cartier’s QuickSwitch system.
I have always liked the Pasha de Cartier Chronograph and this new one is no exception, however I can’t help but feel that Cartier is a bit too stuck in the past in terms of its designs. I expected more for this new generation.
For more information, please visit www.cartier.com/en-us/collections/watches/all-watches/pasha-de-cartier-watches.
Quick Facts Pasha de Cartier Chronograph
Case: 41 x 11.97 mm, yellow gold or stainless steel
Movement: automatic Caliber 1904-CH MC, 5.715 mm in height, 47-hour power reserve, 4 Hz/28,800 vph frequency
Functions: hours, minutes, seconds; date, chronograph
Price: TBD (Cartier always releases final prices after SIHH/W&W as public response can influence them)
Panerai Luminor Chrono
Panerai is taking chronographs more seriously than ever, now even giving them their own dedicated collection.
The new Luminor Chrono is already quite familiar as it resembles the Luminor Yachts Challenge. The major difference is that the setup of the new Luminor Chrono is more conventional with a centrally mounted chronograph second hand and 30-minute counter.
As a result, it can be offered at a lower price point than its sibling, while not losing any of its appeal.
With the three new models Panerai is introducing now, the brand covers quite a bit of the market. All three are housed in a typically large 44 x 15.65 mm stainless steel case with either a black, white, or blue dial. They come on either a strap or newly designed metal bracelet.
The other thing these Panerais have in common is their P.9200 automatic movement, its most distinct feature being that the chronograph pushers are on the left of the case, which adds a great deal of character.
Despite the added complication, the watch is still instantly recognizable as a Luminor. I am also happy that Panerai has forgone adding a date to the dial as its absence ensures a clean design and makes the Luminor Chrono all the more charismatic.
For more information, please visit www.panerai.com/en/collections/watch-collection/luminor.
Quick Facts Panerai Luminor Chrono
Case: 44 mm x 15.65 mm, stainless steel
Movement: automatic Caliber P.9200, 6.9 mm in height, 42-hour power reserve, 4 Hz/28,800 vph frequency
Functions: hours, minutes, seconds; chronograph
Price: starting at €8,900
A. Lange & Söhne Triple Split
The name is Split, Triple Split.
Much like the world’s most famous secret agent, its name enough for this A. Lange & Söhne to halt any further conversation with awe.
So far, nobody does it better – yes, I’m playing off a song by Carly Simon for the James Bond movie The Spy Who Loved Me, but it is also very appropriate for this watch.
Introduced in 2018, the Lange Triple Split is still the world’s only mechanical watch able to measure three times simultaneously in seconds, minutes, and hours. Now, A. Lange & Söhne introduces a new version of the Triple Split in a pink gold case with a blue dial. This combination results in quite a dynamic-looking watch, also because at a diameter of 43.2 mm, this A. Lange & Söhne ain’t small.
As it is well proportioned and needs most of this space to house its extremely complex movement, size is not an issue.
While I was very taken by the first Triple Split, I am in love with the new version. I am a sucker for a blue-dial watch, and the combination here with the pink gold case is rich without becoming too much of a good thing.
This is also thanks to the two silver subdials, which light up the dial just enough. For the rest, A. Lange & Söhne was smart enough to leave well enough alone. Why would you change a thing when you are already at your “all-time high?” (my apologies, I couldn’t resist, and you are correct if you knew this line refers to a song by Rita Coolidge for Octopussy).
For more information, please visit www.alange-soehne.com/en/timepieces/triple-split.
Quick Facts A. Lange & Söhne Triple Split
Case: 43.2 x 15.6 mm, pink gold
Movement: manually wound Caliber L132.1 with triple rattrapante, 3 Hz/21,600 vph frequency, 55-hour power reserve, plates and bridges in untreated German silver, hand-engraved balance cock
Functions: hours, minutes, seconds; triple rattrapante chronograph
Limitation: 100 pieces
Vacheron Constantin Traditionnelle Split-Seconds Chronograph Ultra-Thin
With its “mere” single split-second functionality, is this new Vacheron Constantin is already losing out to the A. Lange & Söhne Triple Split? No, it is not quite that simple, unless you are judging them purely on complexity and not on everything else these two very different watches bring to the table.
While the Traditionnelle Split-Seconds Chronograph Ultra-Thin is not the most complex chronograph in the world, it is certainly one of the most charming. As part of the Vacheron Constantin’s Collection Excellence Platine, as much as possible of this watch is made in platinum.
This includes not only the case and folding clasp, but also the dial and even the stitching on the strap.
It also makes this Vacheron Constantin very understated, with only its somewhat larger diameter of 42.5 mm drawing attention. With just two subdials and a power reserve indicator at 6 o’clock the dial is perfectly balanced.
The Traditionnelle Split-Seconds Chronograph Ultra-Thin is powered by Caliber 3500. This movement was introduced in 2015 on the occasion of the brand’s 260th anniversary when it debuted in the Harmony Ultra-Thin Grande Complication Chronograph.
Caliber 3500 is a thing of sheer beauty, mainly because the parts that support the chronograph mechanism are at the back of the movement. Thanks to a sapphire crystal case back and peripheral oscillating weight, every detail can be admired in full.
For more information, please visit www.vacheron-constantin.com/en/watches/platinum.
Quick Facts Vacheron Constantin Traditionnelle Split-Seconds Chronograph Ultra-Thin
Case: 42.5 x 10.72 mm, 950 platinum
Movement: automatic Caliber 3500 with 22-karat gold peripheral rotor and split-seconds chronograph with dual column wheels, 3 Hz/21,600 vph frequency, 48-hour power reserve, Geneva Seal
Functions: hours, minutes, seconds; power reserve indication, monopusher split-seconds chronograph
TAG Heuer Carrera Heuer 02T
While the TAG Heuer Carrera Heuer 02T is celebrating its fifth anniversary this year, the watch hasn’t lost any of its appeal: it remains, by far, the least expensive Swiss-made chronograph with a flying tourbillon – and it doesn’t show it.
That hasn’t changed with the latest edition of the Carrera Heuer 02T, an automatic manufacture movement that is officially C.O.S.C.-chronometer certified and fitted with an ultra-light tourbillon cage made of carbon and titanium.
What has changed is the dial – in that this Carrera Heuer 02T is the first with a dial. TAG Heuer opted for a blue dial with sunray finish. And while I didn’t expect it, it does significantly change the look of the watch. While it is still a rather contemporary creation, the 02T gets a bit of a classic touch, and it suits the watch very well.
TAG Heuer matched the dial with a blue ceramic bezel secured to the titanium case.
Another first for the Carrera Heuer 02T is that it comes on a titanium bracelet instead of a strap. Again, this is a welcome addition to the collection, and I am curious to learn whether this can also be retrofitted to previous models.
While TAG Heuer is limiting the production of this new model to just 250 pieces, I think that we can be fairly certain that the Carrera Heuer 02T will see more dial and bracelet variations in the future.
For more information, please visit www.tagheuer.com/us/en/collection-carrera/collection-carrera.
Quick Facts TAG Heuer Carrera Heuer 02T Tourbillon
Case: 45 mm, grade 5 titanium, blue ceramic bezel
Movement: automatic Caliber Heuer 02T with one-minute tourbillon, official C.O.S.C. chronometer certification, 65-hour power reserve, 4 Hz/28,800 vph frequency
Functions: hours, minutes, seconds; chronograph
Limitation: 250 pieces