The Chronoswiss Limited Edition Rectangular Regulateur

by Richard Paige



 In the late 1700's, a very interesting clock design was introduced to the world which dealt with a problem in high precision work environments. This Regulateur clock was first shown as a precision pendulum clock. The off -center hour dial arrangement cleverly prevented the hour hand from blocking out the small second hand for several hours each day, thus allowing these clocks to be used in observatories and factories where every second counted.  

   In the 1930's, several Swiss watch manufacturers tried introducing this same regulateur design in a wristwatch, but the design was not a commercial success. In contemporary times, it was Gerd Lang of Chronoswiss Watch Company of Germany, who is credited with reintroducing this design and finally making an impact with watch connoisseurs. This model was the Regulateur Automatique, a round watch measuring 38mm in diameter. Gerd Lang had started in the business as a watchmaker for Heuer in the early 1970's in Switzerland, and later moved back to Germany to become an authorized Heuer service center for Germany, before opening up his own company in 1983, Chronoswiss.


But the model I find the most intriguing from this design concept is the Limited Edition Chronoswiss Rectangular Regulateur. This watch was introduced in 1992, and took advantage of a worldwide collector market for oversize, unique design watches with vintage movements. The watch was produced in a limited edition of 650 pieces, and listed for $9400 US.

The case is made of 18kt pink gold, and measures 33.5 x 27.5 x 7.5mm. The crystal is made of sapphire and has a sapphire exhibition back , attached by 6 screws. The dial is solid silver, guilloche engraved.


But the most interesting aspect of this watch is the beautiful tonneau shaped mechanical movement Caliber FHF 29, made by Fountainemelon in 1932. In 1990, Gerd Lange was able to acquire 670 of these "new old stock" movements, enabling him to complete an edition of 650, and was one of the first companies ever to produce a limited edition watch using a vintage movement. The movements were still in very rough shape when Gerd acquired these treasures, and had to be fully restored and rebuilt, then hand engraved by the experts at Chronoswiss.  

The company also had to build the complication of the off center hour wheel, since the original movements were madein the traditional design of the hour hand coming from the center of the watch. The movement is 15 jewels, Nivarox balance spring, Glucydur balance, 18,000 BPH. The is movement 19.74 mm in width, and 27.07 mm in length.


This movement was used in the 1930's and 1940's in rectangular watch cases, but fell out of fashion at the end of the 1940's with the increasing popularity of the round automatic winding system movement , and was discontinued in the late 1940's.

The Limited Edition Rectangular Regulateur was introduced in 1992, and sold out in 1998.

Hope you've enjoyed this article.

If you'd like to read other articles from this series on Limited edition Watches. Click here.

Richard Paige

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