With the Flying Regulator Open Gear Pink Panther, Chronoswiss continues its strong tradition with a regulator set-up on distinctive three-dimensional hybrid dials made of handmade guilloché coated with contemporary materials in strong colours.
A modern mechanical regulator watch in a black 41-millimetre DLC-coated case with a sparkling pink CVD-coated dial, Chronoswiss Open Gear Pink Panther is not only a colourful timely statement; it is also a celebration of handmade guilloché. The pattern laid down with the aid of a century-old rose machine features a high amplitude – the distance from the centre towards the perimeter – and short length; thus the light reflects vividly while giving you the illusion of a sparkling chessboard.
Says Chronoswiss designer and guilloché master Maik Panziera: “Pink can be kind of childish and Barbie-like, and that is a hue that I dislike. But the Pink Panther dial is kind of noble, and it connotes values of ancient wealth.” The colour pink leaves nobody untouched, but most of us are wrong about its origin. See, the link with girly games is actually a new phenomenon dating to after the Second World War when the United States went all bubblegum and Marilyn Monroe, combined with the first really successful era of mass marketing. Before then it was common to dress baby girls in blue and baby boys in pink. And if you go back to the mid-18th century this extra-spectral colour was connected with masculinity, strength and class. And in recent times it has been a harbinger of nonconformist cultural progression. Just think of the pop art in the 1960s and 1970s, the Pink Panther cartoons commencing on the airwaves in 1969, the pink Mohawk haircuts from British punk bands and their rowdy crowds in the late 1970s or 1990s computer art.
And just like pink, due to its connection with nakedness and erotic undertones, the Open Gear invites you to a suggestive horological peep show through the aperture on the upper part of the hybrid dial. What you see is what you get: These wheels are actually explanatory since they reveal how the decentralised hour hand is geared.
In 1988 Chronoswiss was the first brand to take the regulator to the wrist. And ever since it has undergone a modern mechanical evolution, the most significant aspect is the hybrid dial, which doubles up as a module board for the regulator. The hour hand makes its slow dance inside a funnelled subdial and skeletonised train wheel bridges are held in place by hand-polished screws – in all the watch display is a multilevel construction of 42 parts. The watch has also been updated to what Chronoswiss considers to be contemporary standard: a 10-bar watertightness and a double antireflective coating of the sapphire crystal. The timepiece is held in place by a hand-stitched strap with an outer layer of black rubber and an inner, extremely comfortable leather lining.
The main protagonist of the automatic, stop-second calibre C.299, is the skeletonised rotor. Not only is it decorated with Côtes de Genève and a colimaçon (spiral) pattern – it also carries a pink CVD coating in the same hue as the dial. These colimaçon spirals are also applied to the bridges and plates of the movement.
Maik Panziera: “A lot of people want mainstream watches. We are not for them. Our nonconformist timepieces are made in small series – normally 50 or 35. With the Open Gear Pink Panther I set out to make a modern mechanical black watch with a pink dial. And I have never seen this pink in watchmaking – thus I think that we have achieved a great, timeless version of a colour with an interesting history.