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by roberta naas | October 8, 2012 | Style & Beauty
Montblanc named the Rieussec Chronograph Open Hometime watch ($33,100) in honor of Nicolas Rieussec, inventor of the chronograph in the 19th century. The watch is equipped with an automatic Caliber MB R210 with chronograph functions and features an 18k rose-gold case and anthracite=colored guilloche open dial with white numerals. King of Prussia Mall, 610-265-2192
The Double Split ($115,700) by A. Lange & Söhne is crafted in 18k pink gold with a solid silver argente dial. It offers hours, minutes, subseconds with stop seconds, and flyback chronograph with double rattrapante and precisely jumping minute counters. It features an up/down power reserve indicator. Hartgers Jewelers, 699 Wyckoff Ave., Wyckoff, NJ, 201-890-0044
Some chronographs have a bit more to offer the wearer, including such functions as multiple time zones, calendars, big dates, fly-backs (a chronograph that, with the second push of a button, resets its seconds hand to zero to begin again), or even rattrapantes or split-seconds chronographs. Exclusively made in smaller numbers due to the technical prowess required, rattrapantes have two chronograph seconds hands. With the push of the button, both hands start together, but with another push of the button, one hand will stop, while the other continues to time. A third push enables the stopped hand to catch up—all enabling independent timing of multiple starts/stops.
Piaget’s Polo FortyFive Chronograph ($18,900) is crafted in titanium with a black dial and blue counters for the chronograph functions. The automatic chronograph caliber also offers second time zone and date indications. Govberg Jewelers, 65 St. James Pl., Ardmore, 610-664-1715
The Cartier crafted its Ballon Bleu de Cartier watch ($10,300) in steel and houses an automatic chronograph movement with dual counters, date indication at 3:00, as well as a decorative crown protector. King of Prussia Mall, 610-205-0450
Carl F. Bucherer’s Manero ChronoPerpetual ($52,600) is crafted in 18k rose gold, and houses an automatic movement that offers perpetual calendar with correction-free display of the date, day of week, month, and leap year, as well as the moon phase indication. It is equipped with a flyback function and finished with a tachymeter scale. Just 100 pieces will be made for the world. Bernie Robbins Jewelers, 595 E. Lancaster Ave., St. Davids, 610-971-2446
Omega’s Speedmaster Moonwatch Chronograph Co-Axial ($25,700) features a self-winding co-axial caliber with dual counters, small seconds, a date window, and a tachymeter bezel. It is crafted in Omega’s 18k orange gold with a black ceramic dial. King of Prussia Mall, 610-337-0296
The mechanical DeWitt Blackstream Chronograph ($36,000) is part of the brand’s much-coveted Academia Collection. The 44mm case is made of Grade 5 titanium, black PVD, and black rubber. The watch offers hours, minutes, and chronograph functions. It is water-resistant to 30 meters and built in a limited edition of 250 pieces. dewitt.ch
Rugged sports call for rugged watches–but that doesn’t mean they can’t offer both form and function. These high-performance chronographs are either built with shock absorption systems, utilize durable materials, or are water-resistant to withstand the elements that go along with an active life.
The Epic II Automatic Chronograph ($27,000) by Jacob & Co. is crafted in 18k rose gold, black PVD, and titanium and houses an automatic chronograph movement. It is equipped with an Incabloc shock absorption system. The six-layer dial is multi-tiered. Neiman Marcus, King of Prussia Mall, 610-862-6200
Audemars Piguet’s Royal Oak Chronograph ($45,500) features a self-winding caliber 2385 with chronograph counters, hours, minutes, small seconds, as well as date. The sapphire crystal is anti-reflective and the watch features a screw-locked crown so it is water-resistant to 50 meters. The strap is a hand-stitched, large, square-scale brown crocodile. Govberg Jewelers, 1521 Walnut St., 215-546-6505
The Officine Panerai Radiomir 10 Days GMT ($14,100) houses a three-barrel automatic mechanical caliber with KIF Parechoc anti-shock device. It offers hours, minutes, small seconds, date, second time zone, day/night indicator, and a 10-day power reserve with circular indicator. The 47mm watch is crafted in steel. Tourneau, King of Prussia Mall, 610-491-8801
The Movado Datron ($2,995) is crafted in a 40mm stainless case and bracelet and houses a Swiss automatic chronograph movement. Macy’s, 1300 Market St., 215-241-9000
TechnoMarine’s Steel Evolution Heritage Edition ($925) is a 45mm chronograph in a stonewashed pink-gold PVD case. It is sold with a brown leather strap and an extra strap in chocolate silicone. The series is limited to 1,515 pieces. “One Five” is engraved on the dial to commemorate TechnoMarine’s 15th anniversary. Time After Time, Plymouth Meeting Mall, 500 W. Germantown Pike, Plymouth Meeting, 610-825-8994
Chronographs offer an air of casual elegance that show great taste, while they work like a dream. Whether it’s a steel case and bracelet, a gold PVD look, or the vintage appeal of brown leather straps, weekend-luxe watches can easily find a place in your weekday calendar.
Baume & Mercier’s Capeland chronograph ($4,350) features a 44mm stainless steel case and bracelet, and houses a La Joux-Perret 8147-2 automatic movement with decorated oscillating weight. Water-resistant to 50 meters. Bernie Robbins Jewelers, 507 New Road, Somers Point, NJ, 609-927-4848
With gold PVD accents and a silver-colored dial, the Hamilton Jazzmaster Auto Chrono watch ($1,725) is crafted in steel; the accompanying casual strap comes in brown leather. Govberg Jewelers, 65 St. James Place, Ardmore, 610-664-1715
Easily one of the more visually stimulating watches on the market, the chronograph is a useful timepiece that delivers fraction-of-a-second timing to sports enthusiasts. There are a wealth of different types of chronographs on the market, including single-pusher chronographs, multi-pushers, dual- or triple-subdial indication chronographs, and more—built for weekend casual or sporty appeal, for business or for the boardroom.
Swiss watchmaker Nicolas Rieussec first invented chronographs in 1821. The original one was a clock with a hand constructed of a small engraving pen that actually wrote the time to be measured on the dial by leaving a small dot of ink at each end. The first chronograph was used for measuring time at a horse race. It used rotating discs on which a drop of ink was placed at the start and finish times of the race. The patent was awarded in 1822. Since his initial unveiling, the progression of chronographs moved swiftly, so that by the first decade of the 20th century, watchmakers had perfected the mechanism to incredible degrees. Today, chronographs can often be combined with other functions, as well, including pulsimeters, tachymeters, and more.
photography by antfarm; styling by terry lewis