To commemorate the recent opening of the House of Chronoswiss, a complete watchmaking immersion experience, in the magnificent Unionsgebäude building in the heart of the city of Lucerne, Chronoswiss have released two low-number limited edition timepieces which celebrate their own historic occasion, and also pays tribute to one of the city’s best known landmarks.
To the relief of Chronoswiss enthusiasts, new owners Oliver and Eva Ebstein, who took over from founder Gerd R Lang in 2012, have really settled in to Chronoswiss and have not tampered overly with the design cues which have evolved to define the marque. The move into such high profile city centre premises, which is in equal parts the Chronoswiss workshop, museum, boutique and tourist ‘destination’; one where the visitor can stop to observe ‘live’ watchmaking taking place as the skilled watchmakers carry out their slow-paced work, demonstrates a dedication to take the much loved brand into a new and exciting era.
The Chronoswiss Sirius Lion Special Editions are available in 18kt rose gold, of which only 30 examples have been made and a 100-piece stainless steel version, and both feature the gorgeous onion crown which has been a key symbol of the Chronoswiss dna.
The polished bezel which curves gently inwards, and the long lugs which drop downwards at their rounded tips, contrast against the brushed surface finishing on the flat case band and as a whole lend to the contours of the watch.
Of course the Sirius is not new, but in this special edition, the dial is new – or at least it’s a variation on the norm, because dominating the lower left quadrant of the face is the rather unusual vision of a large lion in repose. The lion is a tribute to the city of Lucerne where Chronoswiss are putting down their new roots, and which happen to be near to one of the city’s most famous landmarks, the Lion of Lucerne monument, so it is a fitting acknowledgement of the local history.
The solid sterling silver dial on the Sirius Lion has been painted in a light off-white and the lion has been carefully applied in iridescent enamel. Another curiosity is the presence of ‘16a’ which replaces the numeral ‘4’ on the dial, however this is actually a reference to the new address at 16a Löwenstraße (Lion Street). The slender baton hour markers and beautiful feuille hands are either in gold or oxidised blued steel depending on the edition, and the date aperture is positioned at the 6 o’clock.
Inside, beats the Chronoswiss Calibre C.281, which is based upon the high quality Sellita SW300 self-winding movement which boasts a power reserve of 40 hours, and which can be viewed through the sapphire crystal exhibition caseback.
The Chronoswiss Sirius Lion is an exception in my eyes, in that as a rule of thumb, the dial is normally best left in its original form, but here that noble lion just seems to fit the watch. With only 30 and 100 pieces being made it’s not exactly going to be vying for position as a Chronoswiss Top Seller, and it is a thoughtful and beautifully made tribute to the new House of Chronoswiss. The Sirius Lion Edition in red gold is 10,500 € and t will be available in the House of Chronoswiss in Luzern.