The Edox Grand Ocean Automatic Chronograph I (ref. 01201-357RN-NIR) may look a bit cheesy with its gold-plating and the choice of relatively inexpensive self-winding movement, yet it looks almost like the next best thing for a person who can’t afford something more luxurious like, say, an Ulysse Nardin Monaco YS Maxi Marine diver.
Before the Grand Ocean line was introduced, Edox’s top trump was the gorgeous Classe Royale series.
Ranging in price from €1500 to €3500 (and even less on the gray market,) the square-shaped members of the collection looked like they were 2-3 times more expensive. Too bad, Edox didn’t dare to bring to market a solid-gold version of the Chrono V model: a limited-edition model would be a hit among the aficionados.
What a waste!
Their new Grand Ocean series is, too, an exercise in perfection. At least, in terms of style, since the collection has its minor flaws.
Its main problem is that, while exploiting the nautical theme, the dial has some problems with legibility in bad lighting conditions. There is no luminescent substance whatsoever neither on any of its six hands nor on the hour indices.
The other problem, as another reviewer points it, is that time becomes almost unreadable in bright sunlight. Its elegant hour and minute hands are too thin to provide adequate contrast.
However, if you don’t plan to use the watch on your yacht, and do not live in Spain or Chile, these problems would possibly never bother you at all.
The third problem is its size. With its 48 mm case made of stainless steel with black and gold-colored PVD coating, the ref. 01201-357RN-NIR stays on the larger side of the automatic chronographs world and will possibly be too big for guys with thin wrists and delicate palms. However, if you do spend some time in a gym, the generous size of the case will not be a problem. It will fit just fine.
When it comes to the hardware, there is nothing revolutionary about this chronograph. Edox says that the Grand Ocean Chrono I is powered by the Edox 012 movement, which is based on a relatively new ETA Valgranges A07.211 mechanism. Created to satisfy the demand for larger watches, the mechanism is 36.60 mm in diameter and 7.90 mm in height, which makes it larger than most automatic watches of the past.
A natural-born chronograph caliber, the movement comes with two push-pieces, an Etachron regulator system, and offers a standard tri-compax layout of its sub-dials with the 12-hour counter staying at 6 o’clock, the 30-minute indicator at 12 o’clock, and a seconds indicator at 9 o’clock. There is also a wide date window at 3 o’clock, that balances the overall layout and provides it with a more professional look and feel.
Once again, too bad that Edox doesn’t want to make a solid-gold version. It would easily rival even the gorgeous, yet much more expensive Ulysse Nardin Maxi Marine Diver Titanium chronometer.
It is a matter of personal preference, of course, but the new Edox Grand Ocean Automatic Chronograph I (ref. 01201-357RN-NIR) is perhaps one of the best-looking nautically-themed dressy watches in the class of relatively affordable Swiss-made timekeepers.
See also: TAG Heuer Carrera Calibre 5 automatic
Build Quality: 5/5
Overall Legibility: 4/5
Nighttime Legibility: 4/5
Value for Money: 4.5/5
Overall Rating: 4.5/5
Edox Grand Ocean Automatic Chronograph I (ref. 01201-357RN-NIR) specification
Price range: €3500 (MSRP)
Movement: Caliber Edox 012, based on ETA Valgranges A07.211 ebauche, automatic, 28800 vph, Swiss Made
Power reserve: 42 hours
Case: Stainless steel, rose gold PVD-plated
Size: 48.00 mm
Case height: 17.00 mm
Water resistance: 100 meters
Strap: Black rubber with a folding buckle
Crystal: Sapphire, anti-reflective