The 2011 Aerowatch 1910 Hommage Chronograph Limited Edition (ref. 73946 TI01) is presented in a feather-light titanium case, which –although rather bulky– tips the scales at some 70 grams!
Although Aerowatch is not the first brand that comes to mind when thinking about buying an affordable Swiss-made “aviator,” its gadgets offer superb build quality and are equipped with reliable and robust (and well-known to just about any serviceman all over the world) mechanical movements from ETA, Unitas and Dubuis-Depraz.
When offered at a discount, their watches often easily beat similar models from Longines, Tissot, and the rest of the mass-produced and over-advertised crowd.
This particular model is, for example, equipped with the Dubois-Depraz caliber 285 automatic chronograph movement. Based on the well-known ETA 2824 blank caliber with an extra chronograph movement increasing the jewel count from original 25 to almost intimidating 45, the movement is predictably more complex than a natural-born chronograph caliber like, say, the legendary ETA 7750. This basically means two things: it will be more expensive to maintain in the long run and, when some of its numerous parts finally gives up on you, it will be a lot more expensive to repair just for the sheer amount of work that a skilled professional will have to put into it.
From where I stand, every time when you see a chronograph that lists a simple three-hander movement with an add-on module, you must understand that the brand behind the product tries to cut a corner at your expense. Unfortunately, this is sort of common practice these days, and finding a piece that would be able to successfully combine interesting exterior with a “real” chronograph caliber is a task that is not that easy to accomplish if you want to stay within $2000-$4000 range.
To sweeten the pill, the Swiss watchmaker got the mechanism adorned with the famous Geneva Seal that guarantees the engine’s high quality and of course, equipped it with a branded oscillating weight that is visible through the transparent case back cover.
As other pieces powered by the DD 285, the 1910 Hommage offers standard chronograph functionality: a 30-minute counter at 9 o’clock, a 12-hour totalizer at 6 o’clock and a small seconds sub-dial at 12 o’clock. As usual, the chronograph second hand is positioned on the same axis with the hour and minute hands.
Its signature curved lugs may look controversial to some buyers, but in fact they make the 1910 Hommage Chronograph look even more expensive than it actually is.
On the other side, getting a new strap that will fit such a design may become a real hassle. Also, the choice will be significantly limited.
Still, the Aerowatch plans to limit the model’s production to just 200 pieces, which makes it a really interesting offer.
As always, the choice is yours.
See also: Oris Big Crown X1 Calculator
Aerowatch 1910 Hommage Chronograph Limited Edition (ref. 73946 TI01) specification
Price: Approx. $3500
Movement: Automatic, Caliber Dubois-Depraz 285 (base ETA 2824,) Swiss Made
Cadence of balance: 28,800 vph
Movement decoration: Geneva Seal, branded oscillating weight
Functions: Hours, minutes, small seconds, chronograph, date
Power reserve: 44 hours
Size: 44.00 mm
Lug width: 24.00 mm
Case height: 15.30
Dial: Black with Light-gray sub-dials
Hands: Steel, luminous; Chronograph indicators in bright red
Water resistance: 50 meters
Strap: Black leather with polished steel rivets, white stitching and pin buckle
Crystal: Sapphire, antireflective