BY ERIK SLAVEN
Angelus isn’t the most familiar of brands, but the watchmaker produced a now iconic model back in 1942, the Chronodate. It was a first at the time with a combination of a chronograph and triple calendar (including a pointer date), showing the month, day and date. The name changed to Chronodato the following year, so these new models are technically the first in 80 years. They’re certainly not reproductions, but a modern interpretation of the original that has an almost futuristic vibe. Since the brand’s revival in 2015 (the quartz crisis ended original production over 30 years ago), the focus has been on very contemporary, high-end pieces.
There are three models with two dial options and two metals, titanium or 18k red gold. The case is a world away from the original with a complex design and larger size at 42.5mm in diameter and 14.25mm thick. The modular case (with six components) has stealthy angles and the left side sports three deep recessions. Regardless of metal, there’s also a bit of carbon composite, such as under the notched bezel, inside the hollowed areas (subcase) and the chronograph pushers are carbon composite as well. S
TOP and RESET are printed in red on the ends of the pushers at 2 and 4 o’clock respectively, while START is also seen on the top side of the 2 o’clock pusher. The signed crown is flanked by narrow guards and has a red rubber ring on the titanium models and black rubber ring on the gold model. The case has a sporty integrated design, but in lieu of bracelets, there are rubber straps with textile patterns in black (titanium case) or blue (gold case). There are box sapphire crystals front and back, and water resistance is rated at only 30 meters.
There are two dial options, either blue or opaline white. Both are available for the titanium case, but only blue comes with gold. The main dial has a muted matte finish, while the two sub-dials have punchier versions of the color. There’s a 30-minute counter at 3 o’clock and small seconds at 9 o’clock, which differs slightly from the original which had a 45-minute counter. A black minute track sits just inside of the outermost ring with 31 (date) numerals for the central pointer hand. There aren’t additional calendar windows like the original for the month and day. Large applied Arabic numerals and the syringe-style hour and minute hands have Super-LumiNova inserts, and the applied Angelus logo below 12 o’clock is filled with black lacquer. It’s a fairly simple yet contemporary dial with a lot of depth, and is anything but vintage-inspired. Surprisingly, it’s less technical than the original from 80 years ago.
Running the show is the calibre A500, produced by luxury movement manufacturer La Joux-Perret. It has 26 jewels, beats at 4Hz with a 60-hour power reserve. This is a column-wheel chronograph and based on the Valjoux 7750 architecture. Seen from the exhibition case back, the element that hits you first is the custom rotor that’s shaped like the brand’s vintage logo (A with a star). The column wheel is also clearly visible opposite the crown.
All three models of the new Angelus Chronodate are limited to just 25 pieces. Pricing varies, however, with the titanium models (ref. 0CDZF.U01A.K009H blue dial and ref. 0CDYF.W01A.K009B white dial) retailing for CHF 22,900 and the gold model (ref. 0CDZE.U02A.K009H) retailing for CHF 42,900. Visit Angelus here.