The prominent minute hand and separate hour and seconds subdials on a regulator watch can resemble an automotive dashboard, particularly when placed on sporty watches, according to Chronoswiss. But while this modern marketing comparison does correctly reference the regulator’s historical role as a highly visible set of precision dials, not unlike a racecar dashboard, it suffers a bit in historical context.
There were, of course, no cars when regulator dials were used as time-setting and adjustment references for the watchmakers in horological ateliers two centuries ago. But I understand the comparison, especially given this Lucerne-based watchmaker’s decades-long effort to pitch the regulator dial’s legibility.
Last year’s Regulator Classic Carbon Racer is possibly the clearest example of how well Chronoswiss has been remaking regulator dials for the modern era. On that watch, the dial’s carbon mesh and its speedometer font successfully deliver a sporty regulator layout, complete with a racecar wheel rim seconds subdial.
The newest Chronoswiss Regulator bathes the brand’s Classic design in blue, specifically a steely galvanized blue, which emanates from the dial, hands and case and onto the onion crown of the 41mm steel watch. Even the luminosity is blue as the hour and minute hands and the index dots are painted with an ‘intense blue’ SuperLuminova hue.
Dubbed the Regulator Classic Blue Steel, the watch retains all the regulator necessities, with a prominent central minutes hand and smaller hours and seconds subdials above and below the center. Dial finishing includes guilloché on the hour subdial and a brighter shade of lacquer for the hands.
Instead of the italicized Arabic numerals found on last year's sporty example, this latest Chronoswiss Regulator Classic Blue Steel model opts for more traditional Roman numerals for the hour display, while retaining the Arabic font for the minutes and the seconds.
Also note the skeletonized small second display (at 6 o’clock) that offers the wearer a glimpse of the Chronoswiss caliber C. 295, automatic movement from the dial.
Of course, the movement is also visible through the sapphire caseback, a wristwatch feature Chronoswiss pioneered in the 1980s.
Beyond the case and dial, the Regulator Classic Blue Steel also demonstrates its blue demeanor with a hand-stitched alligator strap colored with layers of dark blue and black.
Specifications: Chronoswiss Regulator Classic Blue Steel
Movement: Chronoswiss caliber C. 295 (ETA-based with Chronoswiss regulator mechanism), automatic, with stop seconds, engraved, rhodium-plated rotor, with Côtes de Genève and ball bearing; polished pallet lever, escape wheel and screws; bridges and plates with perlage
Case: 41mm by 12.7 mm stainless steel with blue coating PVD, 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 100 meters, strap holders screwed down with patented Autobloc system
Dial: Galvanic blue, scales with circular-graining, interior of hour display with guilloché details, skeletonized small seconds display. Hands are Trigono shaped and lacquered; SuperLuminova inlays
Strap: Louisiana alligator leather, hand-sewn and dyed by hand