NEW: Chronoswiss Open Gear ReSec Jungle — A Régulateur, But Not As We Know It
I can’t deny it — Chronoswiss is a very polarizing brand and I haven’t been a big fan. Do you think I am being unfair by putting them in the folder marked Retro Overkill? Like Graham, Speake-Marin, and those clunky ZRC crown-at-6 divers, large-cased retro maximalism is not my game.
I know Chronoswiss has a penchant for large case sizes. So I’ll do myself and the slim-wristed readers a favor by not checking the diameter until later. The Open Gear ReSec series is a baffling collection. There is everything from blacked-out stealth to eyewatering, PVD blue overload, so if you enjoy colors like me, you’ll like the rainbow of choices. Seeing the traditional Régulateur design being remixed is refreshing. But some versions of the ReSec are simply too much, and too brash. Will the dark depths of the Open Gear ReSec Jungle make it a headline act or a novelty sideshow?
The Chronoswiss Open Gear ReSec Jungle
It’s easy to go crazy when you first start experimenting. I get it. The ReSec series is not for the German architect with a black wardrobe and a NOMOS collection. I actually applaud the sheer audacity of Chronoswiss in that respect. The brand’s extroverted styling is very focused and was never meant for everyone. Do I think the brand needs to ease off the color accelerator a bit? Yes, absolutely. And is the sheer number of references and colorways confusing? Very much so. But, despite its complex name, the Open Gear ReSec Jungle is an exception. And I’m actually quite smitten.
A dark vision framed in a traditional case
The case of the ReSec embodies pure traditionalism. Think of a dark, futuristic Breguet and you get the picture. With so much going on inside the open-worked dial, I do appreciate the purity of a steel case, and I love the large, twistable onion crown. So far, so good. The case has a three-part construction with a rounded, polished bezel over a distinct coin edge, a vertically brushed center, and a coin edge circling the base. The lugs are well-proportioned with a distinct curve, and a smooth polished top to match the bezel. For the strap-a-holics, there is the delight of thick screw-in lugs, adding to the steampunk-esque vibe.
Inside the confines of the smooth bezel is where the Chronoswiss Open Gear ReSec Jungle comes to life. And there is a lot going on. What immediately pulls you in is the deep, dark depths of the green moiré of the guilloché background. No matter how monochrome your taste is, this is gorgeous in its shimmering pattern. For once, the press material describing the inspiration as palm leaves in the blue hour of a tropical jungle makes sense. The color swerves from a lush, dark green through blues and blacks and sets a vibrant stage. The rest is micro-engineering with a dark industrial edge. You will recognize the layout as a traditional Régulateur, but the similarities end there.
Dark futurism with a green twist
A multi-layered world of micro-machinery starts with the black chapter ring framing the dial, with weight-saving cut-outs and solid cylinders of lume for each five-minute interval. A large, sword-like minute hand slowly rotates above a fascinating horological landscape of skeletonized bridges and a black chapter ring at 12 serving as the hour register. It’s a re-interpretation of the classic chronometer design, with an unmistakable charm that I can only describe as “Future-Tough.” At 6 o’clock sits a large, screwed-down semicircle with a white pointer. It brings a lifelike dynamic to the dial, as it is a retrograde seconds register. Short of a large swaying balance wheel, the delight as the pointer jumps right after every 30 seconds is pure theater. As with the rest of the dial details, the finissage on each piece of the dark puzzle is exemplary, and even with its complexity, legibility is on point.
The juxtaposition of futuristic tech and the chronometers of centuries past is once again pulled off to great effect through the text on the dial. The large, capital Chronoswiss logo sits on its usual plaque at 6 o’clock, written in a classic serif font. Charmingly placed at 3 o’clock is another cartouche with a swirly script, indicating the Lucerne location of the Chronoswiss atelier and the number of each ReSec watch. Around the back, a brushed frame encircles a sapphire crystal, and a fresh green rotor tops a perlage-infused C.301 caliber. Based on the tried-and-tested ETA 2895, the regulator and retrograde seconds mechanism is fully developed in-house. It operates at 28,800vph with a power reserve of 42 hours.
Would I wear the Open Gear ReSec Jungle?
Yes, I am a big fan of colors and dial complexities. However, at 44 × 13.35mm, this is not for me. There is nothing wrong with a 44mm case, as such. I wore my 44.3mm Marinemaster 300 yesterday. But that has almost scalloped undersides and a wrist-touching area of less than 40mm. The Chronoswiss case, on the other hand, is quite “traditionalist” — sharp in the looks department but with vertical case sides, so there is no hiding the bulk. The swoopy lugs aren’t short, though they do have a superb shape. With a 39-40mm case, I might even have put it on my Christmas list. This year, however, I’m too busy for three forearm sessions a week at the gym to bulk up. So, Big-Arm Billy, this one is for you. This luscious green piece is available directly from Chronoswiss in Lucerne. The price is €9,800, and it is limited to 50 numbered examples.