Chronoswiss celebrates its 40th anniversary with the reinvention of an icon

It’s called “Delphis Oracle”, but no one could have predicted its return. And yet, for its 40th birthday, Chronoswiss revives the “Delphis” with jumping hours and retrograde minutes in a completely new development. Once again, Chronoswiss literally stretches the boundaries of watchmaking, presenting a unique curved hand Guilloché dial with breath-taking fire enamel.

In 2023, Chronoswiss celebrates its 40th anniversary. And it is the first time that the brand takes this opportunity to reinvent one of its own models! For Chronoswiss, this look into the past is a first. The brand has always preferred to look forward. Every model has a birth, a life and an end. And Chronoswiss has far too many ideas to be content with reproducing the past.

The “Delphis Oracle” is the exception

So, the great comeback of the “Delphis” is a remarkable exception to the rule: The first time in 40 years that Chronoswiss has dipped into its heritage to breathe new life into an icon from its past. Why? There is no better occasion than the brand’s milestone birthday, and the besides that, the old model held an immense amount of untapped potential, which Chronoswiss can now fully exploit with all its expertise and know-how. Therefore the “Delphis” returns in a completely redesigned version called “Oracle”. It is a limited edition of 50 pieces, but in the long run it will be the cornerstone of a new collection.

The new Chronoswiss manufacture movement

From the original “Delphis” Chronoswiss has preserved the double complication. First, a digital jumping hour displayed in a dedicated window at 12 o’clock. Secondly, a retrograde minute indicated by a broad central hand sweeping across a 180-degree minute track. The whole is complemented by an independent small second display, which occupies the lower part of the dial at 6 o’clock.

The movement that powers this composition is exclusive: It has been completely new developed, specifically for the new generation of the “Delphis”. The former manufacture movement, was finally discarded in favour of this new Chronoswiss calibre, which is used here for the very first time. The new movement is ruthenium plated and features a Geneva cut emanating from the centre, which is a reminiscent of Chronoswiss’ well-known ray Guilloché.

Hand Guilloché on an 18ct curved gold crescent moon

The “Delphis Oracle” is where Chronoswiss unleashes all of its craftsmanship. It is the combination of the two atypical skills that have become the hallmark of the house that make the watch unique: Hand Guilloché and fire enamelling. But this is just the beginning!

Normally, dials are flat, which is already a challenge for the guillocheur. A curved surface however presents a difficulty that very few can master.

In the upper part of the watch unfolds an 18 carat gold curved crescent made by the goldsmith. This is guilloched by hand and it is worth remembering that all Chronoswiss Guillochés are made entirely in-house and by hand, something very few watch brands can claim. The result is unique, as the Guilloché of the new Delphis Oracle also enters the third dimension. The art of 3-dimensional objects on a machine that is over a hundred years old, is without a doubt extremely rare, especially since there has been no training for the profession of the guillocheur for almost 50 years.

The art of fire enamelling

In its usual manner, Chronoswiss presents a world, off the beaten tracks, when it comes to fire enamelling. Already the process of enamelling a straight surface is extremely demanding, but Chronoswiss dives into the third dimension here as well. 7 layers of translucent blue enamel lie on the golden curved crescent. This process is extremely complex as the enamel must perfectly fit the curve of the guilloched crescent and have the same thickness and density over the entire surface. This is followed by the no less demanding process of enamel polishing. As with a precious gem, only the perfectly cut and polished surface of the fire enamel sparks the true fascination of the underlying Guilloché pattern.

The result must be perfectly homogeneous to bring out every nuance, every detail that is created by the Guilloché. It’s an insanely demanding job that is also unique here, as there is no longer any training for enamellers. All of those steps are done in-house at the Chronoswiss Enamel-Atelier.

The lenticular seconds display at 6 o’clock, referred to by Chronoswiss only as the “UFO”, reflects this work in all its technical and aesthetic dimensions: A curved, 3-dimensional dial made of solid gold, which is micro-guilloched in-house by hand and finished with translucent blue fire enamel – just like the crescent moon at 12 o’clock. The UFO floats almost weightlessly above the anthracite-coloured base dial, enhancing the 3D effect created by the curved Guilloché in the upper part of the dial. Two large, continuous bridges found in many Chronoswiss designs give the “Delphis Oracle” a rare bold, sculptural geometry, which is reflected on the rotor of the new manufacture movement, making the “Delphis Oracle” a coherent whole. The “Oracle” plays with curves, depths, volumes and nuances.

Limited to 50 pieces, the “Delphis Oracle” is a watchmaking masterpiece and virtuously combines ancient artisan craftsmanship with state-of-the-art technology. It is built by Masters and a worthy ambassador of the brand claim: Modern Mechanical.

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