A Strange, Sideways Watch That Will Unleash Your Inner Race Car Driver
No, there's nothing wrong with your screen. The Omega Chronostop face is on sideways.
What the what?
If you're wearing the Chronostop like an ordinary watch—you know, on the top of your wrist—telling the time is a weirdly awkward, confusing exercise. This watch wasn't meant to be worn like your trusty Speedmaster. You're supposed to wear the Chronostop under your wrist when you're driving a car—a race car, in fact. At that angle, the 12 o'clock position is vertical as usual, so you can read the watch at a glance.
Tiffany & Co.'s new East West collection is a modern take on this style, which was rather popular in the early 20th century as cars became popular with wealthy young men such as the Bentley Boys.
The chronograph is like no other you've seen, either. The bright seconds hand is all you've got, so you can measure intervals only up to one-minute long. When you press that pusher at 2 o'clock, the hand starts moving. A second press will send it back to zero, so you have to hold it down to read out the seconds. It's an interesting solution to a very unconventional problem, if it is a little clumsy to operate when you're at the wheel. (You have to reach over the top with one hand.)
As if that weren't enough to garner attention, this Chronostop has a bright blue dial that's still extremely vivid. Many examples had darker black or gray dial with lower-contrast markers. Not only does this not make much sense for a watch you need to read quickly at full speed, but it compromises the period look of the watch. The white and reddish-orange hands really stand out against the dial. The blue here wouldn't look half-bad with a new Rolls-Royce Dawn or Porsche 911 Targa. Just saying.
While the watch harkens back to the 1920s and '30s, the case shape is a dead giveaway that this watch is from the '60s. The so-called barrel style is sturdy looking, but at 35 millimeters it's relatively small by today's standards. The mesh bracelet isn't original, but it's a perfect match. There are also versions of the Chronostop with a more traditional layout (12 o'clock, at the top of the case, for normal wear), but they're infinitely less charming than these quirkier examples.
This Omega Chronostop is available from Analog/Shift and is priced at $2,200.
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