Chronoswiss releases a new skeletonised Opus Chronograph Flag is an updated edition of a true Chronoswiss classic. This modern mechanical 300-part horological marvel is sporting blue with highlights in white and red – the three most used colours for national flags.
Press release details with prices and commentary in italics.
Chronoswiss Opus Chronograph Flag
The Chronoswiss Opus Chronograph Flag is available as of now, priced at CHF 11,400 / € 11,500 / USD 11,400 / GBP 9,800. Considering the Opus retail in the US was USD 7,600 in 1996, the pricing seems to be very moderate. The pricing is same as the silver dialed version of the Opus Chronograph and a little less than the 50 piece limited edition Opus Chronograph in a different colourway, which was released in 2020 and priced at CHF 11,800.
Chronoswiss has always been known for two design icons. The regulator and the chronograph. Ever since the founding days by Gerd Lang, the brand is somewhat synonymous with these two complications. Indeed these were the first two watches discussed in Lang’s book Signs of the Times. The Ebstein family took over the brand when Lang retired, and continued the tradition while moving the operations to Luzern.
One of the darlings of the Timezone.com forum of the 1990s was the Chronoswiss Opus skeletonized chronograph. And one of the dream watches of many of those who participated in those early days of internet discussions was indeed the Opus. The Pathos split seconds chronograph was presented in 1998 and was the world premiere for an automatic split seconds chronograph with a skeletonized dial and movement.
The new Opus, released by Chronoswiss in 2020, marks a return to its roots. And a welcomed addition to the collection for us. The case is updated now to 41mm from the original’s 38mm, and water resistance increased from 3 to 10 ATM. There are also small changes to the lug dimensions allowing the larger case to hug the wrist better for more comfort. And the sapphire glass is now treated on both sides with anti-reflective coatings.
The mechanical clarity of the Opus Chronograph is achieved by carefully paring away all superfluous material, leaving nothing but a filigreed skeleton – which functions just as well as when fully fleshed. On the new model the bridges of the Chronoswiss Calibre C.741S movement have a galvanic black finish, which provides a shadowy backdrop to the sweeping hours, minutes, seconds, date and the bright red chronograph seconds. You will also see the skeletonising clearer than ever before, as the curved sapphire crystal is now getting a double anti-reflection treatment.
The skeletonising on the Opus Chronograph is executed with a pantograph technique – imagine having a larger template made after a handmade prototype. The pantograph uses a steel finger to follow the pattern on the large drawing while a mechanical arm guides the tool that mills the small movement components, in essence skeletonizing them. When Chronoswiss first introduced the Opus back in 1995, it was one of the brands pioneering this technique for skeletonising.
The Caliber C.741S is manufactured for Chronoswiss by Arola Alfred Rochat & Fils, from a base of the Valjoux 7750, they use the pantograph to trace out and skeletonize the movement and dial. Arola Alfred Rochat has been working for Chronoswiss doing this work since the first Opus in 1995. The skeletonizing work is very well executed, and the watch looks amazingly complicated and yet aesthetically pleasing. The play of blue and red with the silver and black with the brass wheels showing makes a good case for itself.
Around for more than a quarter-century, the Opus architecture has been thoroughly updated. Its new geometry combines a 41-millimetre diameter with shorter lugs hugging the wrist more comfortably. Made of stainless steel, the solid construction calls for no fewer than 23 pieces. Finishes include a satin-brushed case band, shiny lugs and the typical Chronoswiss markers of a knurled bezel and generous onion crown. Water resistance has also been improved – now at 10 bar. And the alligator leather band is held in place with screw-in lugs featuring the Chronoswiss patented Autobloc system.
Chronoswiss Opus Chronograph Flag Technical specifications
Model: Opus Chronograph Reference CH-7543.1S-BLSI Stainless steel, galvanic blue and silver dial, skeletonized
Displays Sweep hours and minutes, seconds, analogue date, sweep chronograph seconds, 30-minute counter, 12-hour counter
Case Solid 23 pieces, stainless steel case, with satin finish and polished, bezel with partial knurling and curved, double coated anti-reflective sapphire crystal, screw-down case back with satin finish and sapphire crystal, onion crown, water resistance up to 10 bar, screw-in lugs with patented Autobloc system
Measurements Ø 41 mm, height 14.80 mm
Movement Chronoswiss Caliber C.741S, automatic, skeletonized Diameter Ø 30 mm (13 1/4´´´) Height 7.90 mm Jewels 25 Balance Glucydur, three-legged Balance spring Nivarox I Fine adjustment Via excenter cam Shock protection Incabloc Frequency 4 Hz., 28‘800 A/h Power reserve Approx. 46 hours Special features Skeletonized and CVD-plated blue rotor with Côtes de Genève, ball bearings; polished pallet lever, escape wheel and screws; skeletonized bridges and base plate with perlage, galvanic black Dial Skeletonized, galvanic blue and silver Hands Breguet Losange shape, lacquered white and red
Strap Louisiana alligator leather, hand-sewn