Hands-On With The Bluer-Than-Blue Chronoswiss Open Gear ReSec Electric Blue
The year is 1998, and Italian music group Eiffel 65 has unleashed its bizarre yet catchy “I’m Blue” onto the masses. The cult-like song tells the story of a strange blue man who lives in a blue world where everything is blue. Literally, everything is blue. It’s like this strange parallel universe where someone added a blue filter and turned it up to the max. Seriously, watch the video on YouTube, as it’s more than a little peculiar! What’s this got to do with watches? Absolutely nothing, but if this blue man wore a watch, it would undoubtedly be just as blue as the world he lives in. Not just a blue strap or a blue dial, no. Everything would have to be blue. With that in mind, I think his choice would be the new Chronoswiss Open Gear ReSec Electric Blue.
If you don’t like blue, then look away now. This watch is clearly not for you, but all-blue watches are not something totally new. De Bethune had some success with its equally as bold Kind of Blue Tourbillon. It paved the way for watches like the Open Gear ReSec Electric Blue, and between these two watches, they seem to have ignited a passion among collectors for bold and brightly colored watches. And this passion is something that Chronoswiss has wholeheartedly embraced.
The Open Gear ReSec Electric Blue case
The Open Gear ReSec Electric Blue is designed to make a statement. Statements should be big and bold, and it’s not only the color that enables Chronoswiss to do this. The watch measures 44mm in diameter, so it’s no small timepiece. That said, I don’t think anyone buying this watch wants it to go under the radar. At 13.55mm thick, it’s well proportioned to the diameter. I have no doubt that Chronoswiss could have put the Open Gear ReSec on a diet and maybe lost a few millimeters at the gym, but in doing so, we would be robbed of that wonderful dial. With this watch, it’s all about the dial, in my opinion.
The Open Gear ReSec Electric Blue case is very traditional despite the exceptionally non-traditional color scheme. One of my favorite things about the watch is the blatant collision of modernity and tradition. The CVD-coated case uses a three-part construction made of 17 individual components. The rounded, polished bezel features a distinct coin edge, a signature of Chronoswiss watches. It sits on a simple, vertically brushed mid-case that the lugs flow out of. The third and final part is the case back, which mirrors the same coin edge from the top bezel.
The lugs are well-proportioned with a distinct curve to help keep the watch sitting nicely on the wrist. They feature a smooth polished top to match the bezel and vertically brushed sides like the mid-case. The transition between the finishes was flawless, and that’s something that can be hard to nail. I’ve seen more expensive watches do a lesser job of such a task.
We’re gonna rock down to Electric Ave-blue…
I think that one of the things Chronoswiss does best is its dials. I said something similar in February when I looked at the Open Gear ReSec Jungle. Here, the brand treats us to a combination of a sunburst guilloché dial with yet more of that electric-blue CVD coating from the case. The dial itself is more impressive than you may initially realize. With so much going on, it may slip your mind that the construction uses 42 individual parts in its construction. The bottom level features that hand-guilloché, a perfect canvas on which to build up the Open Gear ReSec dial.
The upper level features screwed-on skeletonized train wheel bridges and funnel-like construction for the hour display at 12 o’clock. A retrograde 30-second display takes up most of the real estate on the lower portion of the dial. Around the edges are Chronoswiss’s unique cylindrical indexes made of solid Super-LumiNova. It’s worth also mentioning here that due to the movement’s module construction, the dial is more a dial by name only. In reality, it contains the rubies used for the axis of the gears, and bridges are mounted on it. Due to all these elaborate modifications, it’s more accurately described as a part of the actual movement, that just a dial.
Two for one — regulator AND retrograde!
Chronoswiss uses its caliber C.301 to power the Open Gear ReSec Electric Blue, which uses an ETA 2892-A2 base. As I’m sure you’re aware, the 2892 is a traditional three-hand movement, so, in order to achieve the regulator and retrograde functionality, Chronoswiss uses an in-house developed module. The movement has 33 jewels and runs at a frequency of 28,800vph. The 42 hours of power reserve should be plenty for the average wearer, as should the 100m water resistance.
A screw-down case back covers the movement with a sapphire crystal, which offers a view of the lovely skeletonized electric blue CVD-coated rotor to match the dial and case. Perlage and Geneva-stripe finishing complete movement. It would have been cool if Chronoswiss had carried the “bluer-than-blue” attitude throughout the entire movement. The 2892 retains its standard silver-colored bridges and plates visible through the display case back. While I realize that it would have been cost-prohibitive to make everything blue, it does feel like a bit of a missed opportunity. To do so would be a bespoke order from ETA and cause a significant price increase, so I fully understand the agree with the decision not to do so.
Chronoswiss Open Gear ReSec Electric Blue Price and availability
The Chronoswiss Open Gear ReSec Electric Blue is limited to just 50 pieces. This limitation makes it even clearer why a completely blue movement was just not feasible. Still, there is a lot of watch to love for the retail price of €10,900. You can find out more about the watch on the official Chronoswiss website.
Oh, we’re not done yet, no sir. The lovely folks at Chronoswiss are kindly giving away some of their cool woven leather bracelets to the readers of Fratello (while stock lasts). The bracelets are not for sale anywhere and feature Chronoswiss’s signature onion crown on top. If you want to nab some sweet swag for yourself, all you have to do is:
- Send an email with the Subject: “Bracelet” to [email protected]
- Including your desired Size (S/M/L)
- Include your full name, delivery address, email, and phone number for shipping
Not bad, eh? Don’t say we don’t give you anything…
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