For this year, the Swiss brand Epos introduces a new version of its COSC-certified chronometer in a classy “three-hander” design. Well, there are two versions to be more precise: a model in steel (100 pieces), and a more impressive variation in black PVD body (pictured,) which is limited to 200 pieces. Called Epos 3420 Chronometer, the limited edition watch is powered by a high-grade (although somewhat archaic) automatic movement that was officially certified as a chronometer by the Swiss COSC authority.
The movement in question is the good old ETA 2892 ebauche. You have probably already seen the mechanism in all sorts of disguises, since Breitling uses the same movement as a base for their Caliber 41 (it is equipped with a chronograph add-on module) and Longines sells a slightly fine-tuned version of the ebauche as Caliber L619.2.
Its only “complication” is a simple calendar, which is visible through a square aperture at 3 o’clock, but its relative simplicity only makes it even more reliable and accurate. The movement offers the usual power reserve of 42 hours and beats at a frequency of 28,800 semi-oscillations per hour. As usual, the compact engine is perfectly visible through a transparent screwed case back, which is, too, treated with black PVD.
Thanks for the extreme thinness of the mechanism, the body of the watch is also quite slender measuring just 7.7 millimeters in height.
Designed primarily as a dress watch, the Epos 3420 is certainly thin enough for its owner to feel quite comfortable even if he (or she since the gadget looks like a perfect unisex watch thanks to its relatively small diameter and good proportions) tends to wear shirts with tight cuffs.
Of course, the yellow gold-colored hands, Arabic numerals and hour markers make this watch look a little less refined than it was probably intended (although I understand the appeal of a black “two-tone” especially for a person who doesn’t know that the parts are gold-plated, not solid gold,) but at least the choice of coating significantly increases its readability in twilight.
As for nighttime legibility, it is basically nonexistent ’cause there is just not enough place on the hair-thin hands to put even the tiniest amount of Superluminova there. If you are one of those person who’s used to rely on electronic means of telling time, this may not be a problem (although guys behind you in a movie theater probably won’t like if you suddenly decide to light up your smart phone’s screen just to check time,) but if you prefer your watch to have a luminous dial, you should probably pass this one.
Build Quality: 5/5
Overall Legibility: 4.5/5
Nighttime Legibility: 1/5
Value for Money: 4/5
Overall Rating: 4/5
See also: Epos 3403 OH Collection Passion
Epos 3420 Limited Edition Chronometer watch specification
Price: Approx. $1500 USD for version in black PVD (still can be found online for $1100-$1200 USD)
Movement: Automatic, Caliber ETA 2892, COSC-certified chronometer, Swiss Made
Number of jewels: 21
Movement frequency: 28,800 vph
Power reserve: 42 hours
Movement decoration: Gold-plated rotor, bridges and other visible parts, branded oscillating weight with Epos logo
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, date
Case material: Stainless steel / Black PVD-coated steel
Bezel material: Matches case
Crown material: Matches case
Case shape: Round
Bezel shape: Round
Case size: 40.00 mm
Case height: 7.70 mm
Lug width: No data
Numerals: Arabic, applied
Hour markers: Applied
Hands: Rose gold-toned
Water resistance: 30 meters
Strap: Black calf leather strap with steel pin buckle
Crystal: Sapphire, antireflective
Case back: Transparent