The new Chronoswiss Kairodate Big Date (ref. CH-3523.1) vintage-styled dress watch is powered by the same ETA-based Caliber C351 automatic movement that also ticked inside their 2011 TimeMaster Big Date model, but features a completely different design. While some people may call it archaic, I would say that this is a timeless classic designed for men that have already successfully resolved their first midlife crisis.
Known for its love to all things vintage, the Swiss watchmaking brand Chronoswiss has just presented a model that seems to be strongly influenced by one of the most revered Houses: Breguet itself. While definitely not a sort of ‘homage’ as we know it, the new timepiece bears all the elements that are usually associated with the legendary brand: only the traditional onion-shaped setting crown tells us that this in fact a different model from a different manufacturer.
Like most dress watches, the new Chronoswiss Kairodate is presented in a compact body that features all the design elements that are usually associated with “vintage” watches. Its round body, which is just 40 millimeters in diameter, features the usual extra-long lugs that not only make the timekeeper more comfortable on a normal wrist, but also securely hold an expensive-looking alligator leather strap. A Breguet-style notched strip on the sides of the stainless steel body makes the 11.50 mm tall case look a bit more impressive, and an onion-shaped setting crown gives you a very good grip even if your fingers are thick thus making operating this timepiece especially easy.
The guilloche pattern that decorates the center part of the silver-toned dial (well, actually there are whole two patterns with the other one adorning the power reserve indicator, which is located at 6 hours) nicely match the elements of the case while also serving as a good background for the blued hands, too, inspired by ancient Breguet watches.
Frankly, I am not really sure about the minutes/seconds track. To my taste, it doesn’t do a good job of seamlessly blending into the vintage-inspired design of the dial. On the other hand, it makes the watch look a tad more original, which is not that bad after all.
As most vintage-styled watches, this particular specimen offers an easily readable layout. There is lots of real estate on the face, so all of the elements are rarely spaced with enough air surrounding them so that you eye never feels strained trying to decipher its readings.
Well, perhaps the “HIGH” and “LOW” inscriptions on the power reserve indicator are a bit superfluous here since the classic black ideogram that the blued hand points to is easy to grasp even to a 4-year old kid, but, well, perhaps they wanted to visually support the “CHRONOSWISS” plaque right below the big date window.
Offered at a recommended street price of $6800 for a version in stainless steel (there is also a twice more expensive version in rose gold), the watch is quite expensive, but if you can afford one, you should definitely give it a try.
WWR preliminary verdict
Build quality: 5/5
Value for money: 4/5
Overall Rating: 4/5
Chronoswiss Kairodate Big Date (ref. CH-3523.1) watch specification
Price: $6800 (MSRP, version in Stainless steel) / $13,350 (MSRP, version in Rose gold)
Movement: Automatic, Caliber C351, Swiss Made
Number of jewels: 21
Movement frequency: 28,800 vph
Power reserve: 42 hours
Movement decoration: No data
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, big date, power reserve
Case material: Stainless steel / Rose gold
Bezel material: Matches case
Crown material: Matches case
Case shape: Round
Bezel shape: Round
Case size: 40.00 mm
Case height: 11.50 mm
Lug width: No data
Hour markers: Black
Water resistance: 30 meters
Strap: Black alligator leather strap with a pin buckle in steel or rose gold
Crystal: Sapphire, antireflective
Case back: Sapphire