Nivada Grenchen has been focusing on other watch models lately, but the brand still needs to find a way to surprise its chronograph fan base. While not a mechanical model, the new Chronoking, “Paul Newman” Orange, is a lovely, affordable timepiece for vintage lovers. While the watch is not a direct re-edition of a vintage model, it takes inspiration from an iconic Nivada from the past.

The watch combines elements of a “classic” Chronoking and the “Paul Newman” version. The result is a pleasing, vintage-inspired timepiece that won’t break the bank.

Nivada Chronoking "Paul Newman" Orange

Nivada Grenchen Chronoking

The Chronoking originally came to the market in the late 1960s. Nivada experienced massive success with the Chronomaster Aviator Sea Diver. Regarding the size, the Chronoking was the same as the Chronomaster at 38mm; they shared the same case. Chronoking models, however, were mostly date watches, with the aperture at the 12 o’clock position. The new Chronoking “Paul Newman” Orange takes its case shape from these vintage beauties.

The original Nivada Chronoking "Paul Newman" photo copyright: The Vintageur

The original Nivada Chronoking “Paul Newman” — Image: The Vintageur

But the natural charm of the watch lies in its dial, and this element is also responsible for the new model’s name. Our modern Chronoking “Paul Newman” Orange’s dial comes from yet another vintage timepiece. While technically, this chronograph is also a Chronoking, it came in a much larger 43mm cushion case. Its beautiful orange and black dial sets this model apart from others. The black dial sports a vivid orange minute scale, long yellowed indices, and three off-white/beige sub-dials for the chronograph.

Paul Newman and his Daytona reference 6239 with exotic dial

“Paul Newman”

Unlike the original Chronoking “Paul Newman,” the modern interpretation has somewhat-shiny gold sub-dials that match the color of the dial’s lume. Many of you, I’m sure, know the story of the Rolex “Paul Newman” Daytona. Nicknamed after the late Hollywood legend, these vintage Daytona models have an unusual sub-dial design. Long, thin markers with square tips and stylish numerals mostly seen on these types of dials are the most characteristic features. Paul Newman famously wore this reference 6239, among other Daytonas, but the characteristic dial has nothing to do with him. As a matter of fact, it’s the product of a dial manufacturer called Singer, which supplied the industry back in the day, including Rolex, Omega, Heuer, LeJour, Bucherer, and Nivada, to name a few. Funnily enough, as both the Daytona and the Chronoking had Valjoux 72 movements inside, the dial layout for these watches was identical.

Nivada Chronoking "Paul Newman" Orange


Now that story time is over, let’s look at the new Nivada Chronoking “Paul Newman” Orange. The watch comes in a 38mm steel case with extended lugs, drilled lug holes, and pump pushers. Thanks to the elongated lugs, the tip-to-tip measurement is 46.5mm, which makes the watch wear more significant than its 38mm diameter would suggest. Even though there’s a meca-quartz movement inside, the thickness equals other mechanical Nivada models at 13.75mm. Technically, this Chronoking wears precisely like any other mechanical Nivada Chronomaster or Chronoking. If you have one of those or tried one on, you know how this feels on the wrist. Due to the movement, the case back is of the screw-in, full-steel type. One of my favorite elements is the double-domed sapphire glass, the perfect vintage touch. Lastly, the 60-second/minute bezel is a no-clicker with smooth rotation and an aluminum insert. The watch also has a 100m water resistance rating and a push-pull crown.


The movement and more

The original Chronoking “Paul Newman” had a Valjoux 72 inside, and prices on the vintage market are in the high thousands for that model. Instead of going mechanical, Nivada decided to go the other route as it has done in the past with the Datomaster or another Chronoking. Inside the new Nivada Chronoking “Paul Newman” Orange beats Seiko’s VK63 meca-quartz movement. Consequently, the watch is not a Swiss-made watch, but it is much cheaper than its mechanical siblings. For the new Nivada Chronoking “Paul Newman” Orange, you’ll pay US$479 before taxes if you want it on a leather strap. Should you aim for a metal bracelet, perhaps one from Forstner, the price is $200 more. There are plenty of straps and bracelets to choose from, so you’ll certainly find one that suits your taste.

Nivada Chronoking "Paul Newman" Orange

Final words

While the new Nivada Grenchen Chronoking “Paul Newman” Orange is a marriage of two icons from the brand’s vintage lineup, it is done tastefully. Adding the iconic Singer-style dial to the classic Chronoking/Chronomaster case is not off-putting. On the contrary, this combination creates a watch that fits in Nivada’s chronograph lineup just fine. If the constant ticking of the seconds at 6 o’clock bothers you, you might need to choose from Nivada’s mechanical lineup. I must admit, I’m also not the biggest meca-quartz fan. Still, the watch felt great while I wore it, and I could quickly look past the fact that it was quartz and enjoy the overall wrist presence. And that, it certainly has.

Make sure to check out the Chronoking “Paul Newman” Orange on Nivada’s website.

Watch specifications

Chronoking "Paul Newman" Orange
Matte black with gradient orange ring and applied Super-LumiNova indices
Case Material
Stainless steel (316L)
Case Dimensions
38mm (diameter) × 46.5mm (lug-to-lug) × 13.75mm (thickness)
Double-domed sapphire crystal
Case Back
Solid stainless steel, screw-in
Seiko VK63 meca-quartz
Water Resistance
10 ATM (100m)
Black leather racing-style (20mm width, pictured) with choice of several different leather straps and bracelet options
US$479 (leather strap) / US$679 ( steel bracelet)
Special Note(s)
Available for pre-order with expected delivery in December 2023