Available both in glossy stainless steel (ref. 886020 1NRFN) and in dressier rose gold PVD (ref. 886020 8ARF) versions, any member of this new Saint Honore Trocadero Chronograph collection could be a timepiece of choice for a person searching for a classic-styled “Swiss made” chronograph on a (very) tight budget. And never mind the purists: after all, you are buying a watch for yourself, not for a bunch of snobs who believe that anything below an Omega or a Rolex is not even worth considering.
As the other recently introduced members of their Trocadero family, this new watch from Saint Honore features the familiar bold styling of its main elements. While not particularly large by current standards, the chronograph’s body looks deliberately massive, as are elements of the dial, including the Roman numerals. This may pose a problem in the long run, since, like most things in life, the current fad for oversized timekeepers will come to an end long before the gadget’s quartz movement will die from natural wear. For a watch that retails for more than $600 USD, this may be a problem that seriously affects its “value for money” ratio.
Yes, the watch is massive and so is the set of boldly styled Roman numerals on its silver-toned dial. Neatly lined along the railway-style minute track, they visually dominate the Trocadero’s face successfully hiding the fact that the quartz caliber that powers the timekeeper is way too small for this gadget: just look how far from the bezel flange is the calendar aperture. The classic Clous de Paris motif is stamped, not engraved by a hand of a skilled artisan, yet the face still looks elegant and even classy, especially if you don’t spend too much time inspecting the dial with a watchmaker’s loupe. The one on the PVD-treated version with the rose gold-plated hour and minute hands may look even better, but that’s a matter of personal preference.
While many watchmakers belive that a chronograph must be “sporty” and thus offer the timepieces in oversized bodies, Saint Honore got it right and presented the Trocadero in a relatively compact case only 41 millimeters in diameter. Slim and sporting a set of relatively short lugs, the watch will probably fit nicely almost any wrist, even a relatively skinny one.
Although the watch is powered by a mass-produced quartz movement (there is currently no information regarding the engine, but, like with most quartz-powered pieces in this price range, it will probably give you years of hassle-free operation with no need to do anything about it beyond changing batteries every couple years or so,) I can’t call it a ‘deficiency,’ since for many people starting their journey with luxury timepieces a true mechanical caliber can often be too costly to maintain. From this perspective, a simple quartz mechanism that usually needs no special care besides changing a battery once in a couple of years (if you don’t use the chronograph function too often), can be very handy.
Frankly, besides a relatively low water resistance rating of just 30 meters (3 ATM means that you would have to wash your hands with some care,) I can’t find any significant problem with this watch.
Now, all we need to know is the price. As far as I understand, the MSRP will be revealed in a matter of weeks either during or after Baselworld 2013 show where the SH plans to take the wraps off the timekeeper.
UPDATE: The watch will retail at €580 for ref. 886020 1NRFN in stainless steel and €650 for a dressier ref. 886020 8ARF version with “rose gold” PVD coating.
See also: Longines Conquest Classic Chronograph
Photos: Saint Honore
Saint Honore Trocadero Chronograph specification
Price: €580 (ref. 886020 1NRFN in stainless steel) / €650 (ref. 886020 8ARF with rose gold PVD coating)
Movement: Quartz, Swiss Made
Power reserve: A couple of years or so
Functions: Hours, minutes, small seconds, chronograph, date
Case, Bezel and Crown materials: Rose gold PVD steel / Stainless steel
Size: 41.00 mm
Dial: Royal Blue
Hour markers: Railway track
Water resistance: 30 meters
Strap: Brown leather strap on steel deployment buckle with finish matching that of the case
Crystal: Sapphire, antireflective