The new Dubey & Schaldenbrand Grand Dome DT Vintage 1946 automatic chronograph is basically a refinished version of the 2011 D&S Grand Dome DT (ref. GDOM-ST-BKS-LS) model from last year. However, the refreshed version is now equipped with an even more appealing vintage-styled dial with almost the same set of vertically aligned sub-dials. While the original with its glossy and carbon-fiber-style surfaces was clearly high-tech, the new version has a certain Patek Philippe aura about it.
Well, in fact, the new finish of the dial seems to be the only difference between the “base” and the Vintage 1946 version of the watch. Upon rereading the sentence, I would like to note that it is actually the dials that make models from the Grand Dome collection look so gorgeous among hundreds of “standard” chronographs that are animated by ETA 775x-based chronograph calibers: with its pair of sub-dials stacked along the vertical axis of the dial, the watch really stands out from the rest of the pack with their usual dial layout.
I also extremely fond of the color scheme that they used for the timekeeper’s face. As you can see on a fragment of a high-res image placed a couple of paragraphs below, the new piece features a very calm, ivory-and-olive color for the dial that is nicely accented by guilloched patterns on the counters.
The circular chronograph sub-dials at 12 hours (a 30-minute counter accompanied by Day and Day of Week indicator) and at 6 o’clock (a 12-hour counter combined with a moon phase display) are finally replaced with barrel-shaped ones that match the shape of the elongated body.
Even the steel chapter ring was removed and replaced with 10 diamond-shaped hour markers accompanied by a finely printed minute track that also allows you to measure time intervals with accuracy up to 1/5th of a second.
The inner ring, which is supposed to indicate the current date, also does its job very well.
As the first version of the watch, the timekeeper is powered by a modified version of the well-known ETA Valjoux 7751 movement (it is basically the same cal. 7750 work-horse with a full calendar module.)
Besides rearranging its sub-dials, the Swiss watchmaking specialist has also extensively redecorated it with all main elements rhodium-plated and the oscillating weight hand-engraved.
There is also a finely executed Les Ponts-de-Martel (Dubey & Schaldenbrand S.A.’s home village) coat of arms on the movement, also done by hand.
It is reported that the Grand Dome DT Vintage 1946 will be officially displayed next month during the upcoming Baselworld 2012 trade fair.
Build Quality: 5/5
Overall Legibility: 4.5/5
Nighttime Legibility: 4.5/5
Value for Money: 4/5
Overall Rating: 4.5/5
Photos: Dubey & Schaldenbrand
Dubey & Schaldenbrand Grand Dome DT Vintage 1946 specification
Price: $13,300 (MSRP)
Movement: Automatic, Caliber ETA Valjoux 7751, Swiss Made
Number of jewels: 25
Movement frequency: 28,800 vph
Movement decoration: Hand-engraved, rhodium-plated, blued and polished screw heads
Functions: Hours, minutes, chronograph, date, day of week, moonphase
Power reserve: 48 hours
Case: Stainless steel
Dimensions: 52.00 mm x 37.00 mm
Hour markers: Diamond-shaped, steel
Water resistance: 50 meters
Strap: Padded black alligator leather with folding clasp in steel
Crystal: Sapphire, antireflective coating