Created by the famous Swiss graphic designer Ruedi Külling who is mostly known for his award-winning posters and visual advertising materials -the iconic series of ads for Bic, the French maker of ballpoint pens, is, perhaps, the most known among his numerous works- the new Xemex Piccadilly Chronograph Reserve ALL BLACK is as simple in its functionality as it is elegant in its simplicity.
As you may have already noticed, Xemex has designed the chronograph around numerous circles: a characteristic approach for the Swiss-based master designer.
Its round body, which is made of black galvanized steel, houses a dial that nests not the usual three, but whole four circular-shaped sub-dials that are further emphasized by a circle that serves as a base for the central chronograph seconds hand, as well by a date aperture of the same shape. The daringly rectangular hour and minute hands serve as a pair of accents sending an even stronger visual message while playing nicely with square-shaped hour markers.
Its screw-down crown that guarantees water resistance of up to 50 meters: not terribly impressive, but practical enough if you plan to limit the gadget’s exposure to water to such tasks as washing your hands and, maybe, some swimming. Diving is a big no-no though, which is a pity for a deliberately sporty-looking timekeeper.
Returning to the dial, which is the dish of the day here, I feel obliged to also make a note that the two chronograph sub-dials at 12 and 6 o’clock (a 12-hour and a 30-minute totalizer respectively) are well-balanced with a small seconds counter at 9 o’clock and a power reserve indicator at 3 o’clock.
Although the tiny date indicator, which is also round, is a little off-balance there at four o’clock, the olive-gray dial still leaves a strong impression being both highly legible and clear. The whole composition is powered by the well-known Soprod SO 7750 automatic movement, which is, in essence, a modified ETA Valjoux 7750 industry workhorse with an added power reserve indicator.
The only thing that I don’t like about this timekeeper is its black rubber band, which is delivered with a black galvanized steel folding clasp.
First of all, rubber can be allergenic to some making the skin go itchy and flaky. The allergy doesn’t always show itself right away (which is good, nobody wants to go into anaphylactic shock just wearing the watch once,) but unfolds slowly, sometimes having months to develop.
The other thing is that rubber is not very comfortable in hot weather (that’s why it is usually reserved for diving watches) and, if you are particularly unlucky, direct sunlight can basically ruin it in a couple of hours. As to the rest, this iteration of the Piccadilly collection looks almost perfect, if not for its sky-high price of $10,000.
Build Quality: 5/5
Overall Legibility: 4/5
Nighttime Legibility: 4/5
Value for Money: 3/5
Overall Rating: 4/5
Xemex Piccadilly Chronograph Reserve ALL BLACK specification
Movement: Caliber Soprod SO 7750 (base ETA Valjoux 7750,) Swiss Made
Complications: Date, timer
Power reserve: 42 hours
Case: Galvanized steel
Diameter: 40.00 mm
Dial: Special Xemex color combination olive-grey matt, polished zones
Water resistance: 50 meters
Strap: Black rubber with stainless steel clasp
Crystal: Sapphire crystal, antireflective on both sides