Skeletonized watches date back to the 18th century, but Chronoswiss’s most recent models bring the sophisticated aesthetic right into the modern-day.
The Swiss watchmaker has unveiled two new timepieces for 2020: the freshly minted SkelTec and the Opus chronograph which updates a model originally released in 1995. Both represent the firm’s signature take on sleek hardware and a focus on advancing the inner workings of every style they produce, no matter how complicated.
Running on a radically designed C.304 in-house movement developed in Lucerne, the SkelTec demonstrates the brand’s command of skeletonized pieces, something it’s honed since 1981. Forged from stainless steel (or 18k red gold in one iteration), its case measures 45mm in diameter and 15mm thick with a complex black dial.
The finished result may look airy and light, but the process of developing that case was no small feat. “Since you cannot do injection molding with stainless steel to our quality standards, we adapted the conceptual single-part design into an eight-part case pushing the limits for what is physically possible for a five-axis CNC machine,” said Maik Panziera, the company’s head of design, in a statement.
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And though there have been versions of the Opus on the market for 25 years, the latest iteration of the timepiece is no less impressive in its execution. The 300-part puzzle––water-resistant to 100 meters––has a new geometry with a 41mm stainless steel case and shorter lugs that allow it to more ergonomically hug the wearer’s wrist. With its reworked composition, its skeletonized center is made more visible thanks to an improved layout and the double anti-reflection treatment given to the sapphire crystal.
The standard version has a silver dial but Chronoswiss also produced a limited-edition style where the subdials for the date, chronograph hours and minutes and small seconds are rendered in blue and orange. To complement its dynamic look, it comes with a textural Louisiana alligator leather strap.