Master of Skeletonising
Master of Skeletonising
In September 2020, the independent watchmaker Chronoswiss is releasing two watches with radically different approaches to 21st-century skeletonising: The extreme and contemporary SkelTec, which features a unique Chronoswiss manufacture movement, and seriously updated versions of the emblematic Opus Chronograph.
The mechanical clarity of the classical Opus Chronograph is achieved by dexterously paring away all superfluous material, leaving nothing but a filigreed skeleton – which functions just as well as when fully fleshed. On the SkelTec, however, Chronoswiss has created the brand-new C.304 movement, where maximum reduction of the entire movement has already been realized on the drawing board. “I would say that the name SkelTec is kind of self-explanatory. Its exclusive 166-part manufacture movement with a power reserve of 48 hours combines Opus’s mechanical spirit with space age technologies. SkelTec takes artisanal, traditional skeletonising to warp speed,” says Head of Design Maik Panziera.
The 2020 version of the exceptionally complex 300-part masterpiece Opus Chronograph – which in 1995 advanced the skeletonising chapter at Chronoswiss – has been thoroughly updated. It now offers a modern geometry with a 41-millimetre case and shorter lugs, hugging the wrist more comfortably.
Thanks to the double anti-reflection treatment of the sapphire crystal, the skeletonising can be admired clearer than ever before. And in line with contemporary user-friendly needs and expectations, the watertightness has been upgraded to 100 metres. There is also a limited edition where the subdials showing date, chronograph hours and minutes and small seconds are blue and orange, adding another verse to this horological opus.
The radically progressive design of the SkelTec also applies to the stainless steel case with a DLC treatment. Organic free-flowing forms reflecting the fluidity of time itself are clearly seen in the sculptural curves as well as in the sensually hollowed-out lugs. “With these revolutionary elements together, the overall extremely technical look is delicate, yet bulletproof, while maintaining the Chronoswiss signifiers like the knurled bezel and the onion crown,” say Ruben Velasco and Manuel Fuentes, founders of RUMA design, who worked on the design with Panziera. “It was a challenge,” admits Panziera. “In other industries, such free-flowing forms can be easily implemented with injection molding. However, since you cannot achieve a high-quality result with stainless steel in the watch sector, the difficulty lay in implementing this organic design on a five-axis CNC machine. For the perfect geometry of the case, the horns had to be laboriously manufactured individually and screwed directly to the middle part of the case. What I love about SkelTec and the new Opus Chronograph is that they proudly show that Chronoswiss masters both contemporary and classical skeletonising.”
(Images by Chronoswiss)