First presented back in 2009, the Swiss watchmaker’s Turbine line of double-rotor watches includes a number of beautiful three-handers. What the collection lacked till now was a chronograph: obviously, it is not that easy to make a chronograph out of a watch that has most of its dial covered with turbine blades-styled auxiliary oscillating weight. However, with its new Perrelet Turbine Automatic Chronograph, the company demonstrates that anything is possible if you have some imagination.
At first glance, the watch looks like a normal three-hander: there are the obvious hour and minute hand, a red indicator that looks like a second hand and, well, the tachymeter scale engraved on the bezel somehow spoils the intrigue clearly indicating that this is in fact a chrono.
Yes, the thin red hand is in fact a central chronograph second hand.
The rest of the functionality is not that obvious, though. If you take a look at the larger image of the dial (below), you will notice that there is a small disk with a 60-minute scale in the central part of the dial. Fashioned out of a sapphire sheet, the disk is accompanied a larger piece of sapphire ring with a “MIN” inscription on it that serves as a fixed indicator. When you activate the chronograph with a steel push-piece located at 2 hours, the disk will start rotating clockwise counting minutes as you measure some (hopefully important) event.
While many “classic” chronographs with tiny 30-minute totalizers usually make it quite difficult to get their reading (I especially loathe the ones with their hair-thin red markers printed over black background of the sub-dial), this one makes reading the counter almost effortless.
What clearly is difficult to see is the date window, which is located at 6 o’clock. Placed behind the outer turbine-shaped oscillating weight, the small rectangular aperture will almost always be hidden from your eyes and by the blades and it is going to be quite annoying every time you will need to adjust position of your wrist to get that blade out from that date window. Frankly, I have just got quite annoyed looking at it.
At whopping 47 millimeters in diameter and 16 millimeters from the top of its antireflective-treated sapphire crystal to the display bottom, the Perrelet Turbine is surely big. I can’t characterize it as ‘restrictively’ big (for that, you should probably check their last year’s Perrelet Special Edition XL Turbine Racing DLC that comes in a gargantuan body whole 50 millimeters wide), but it will certainly dwarf you normal ‘sporty’ timekeeper by a long margin.
On these promotional images it is not really visible, but you must also take into account, that is not just big, but is also visually massive. The Turbine series is known for its contempt to all things compact, but this new device really looks like you can kill a medium-sized grizzly bear with it.
So, if you don’t go to gym often and don’t weigh more than 220 lbs, make sure to try one before ordering or otherwise you may have the most acute (and also the most instant) feeling of buyer’s remorse in your life.
Well it still a great, well-designed watch that, even despite its deliberately oversized body, deserves to have its own cell in an automatic winder safe of any serious watch collector.
See also: Perrelet Turbine Diver 300M Automatic
WWR preliminary verdict
Build quality: 5/5
Value for money: 4/5
Perrelet Turbine Automatic Chronograph watch specification
Movement: Automatic, Perrelet caliber P-361, Swiss Made
Number of jewels: 41
Movement frequency: 28,800 vph
Power reserve: 42 hours
Movement decoration: No data
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, date, 60-minute chronograph
Case material: Stainless steel (also available in steel DLC rose gold, or steel DLC black)
Bezel material: Matches case
Crown material: Matches case
Case shape: Round
Bezel shape: Round
Case size: 47.00 mm
Case height: 16.00 mm
Lug width: No data
Dial: Black, “rotor blades” in different finish
Hour markers: Luminous
Water resistance: 50 meters
Strap: Natural black rubber strap with steel pin buckle matching finish of the case
Crystal: Sapphire, antireflective
Case back: Sapphire