The London Chronograph collection comes back with a new vintage Calibre: the iconic Valjoux 72, with two stunning bronze case models, which revive the myth.
“Manufacture Movement” …The two words that usually get every enthusiast’s attention. Now what if we mentioned Valjoux 72? Yes, takes you back to an era where in-house movements didn’t matter, right? A true piece of history, makes you reminisce of the day’s where the famed Daytona was a manual winding chronograph, Breitling’s Navitimer were tool watches, Gallet was still making watches and the Heur; sans TAG, was a racing watch.
Well, they were all powered by the Valjoux 72, a traditional, manual winding, column wheel, and lateral clutch chronograph. Sorry, I need to take a minute here, to get my pulse back to 70.
Back to business….and speaking of the Valjoux 72, it’s back with Speake-Marin’s London Chronograph collection, a recurrent watch collection concept that re-edits iconic vintage movements every year. For this new limited edition, Speake-Marin pays tribute to one of the most loved chronograph models of the 20th century: the Valjoux 72 Calibre. It will please the watch connoisseurs eager to see one of their favourite chronographs Calibre in a new timepiece. The Valjoux 72 is often seen as the finest manually wound chronograph ever thanks to its column wheel and its three counters.
Issued from the Valjoux 22 base calibre, the Valjoux 72 Calibre appeared in 1938 for the first time with 13 lines. Then, it proposed a very perfect layout for great chronograph legibility:
– Two pushers
– Three sub dials: one for real-time seconds, 30-minute, and 12-hour.
Although these calibres were produced in large quantities in the second part of the 20th century, these movements are very rare nowadays. The movement components used for the London Chronograph were stored in a safe for many years and it took time for Speake-Marin to find working pieces. Once checked, the components have been assembled, decorated, and controlled within the Speake-Marin atelier.
For these two new limited editions, the London Chronograph is housed in a 42mm bronze case with a three-dimensional dial. The dial is indeed in 3 dimensions with 3 floating white counters that indicate a 30-minute counter at 3 o’clock, real time 60-second counter at 9 o’clock and 12-hour counter at 6 o’clock. The chronograph function can be easily read thanks to the orange colour code with the hours counter at 6 o’clock, the minutes counter at 3 o’clock and the central second hand.
Speake-Marin created for the first time its Piccadilly case in bronze to really echo the vintage spirit of the collection. The bronze material that is used to manufacture the case is an alloy of bronze and tin without any chemical treatment, which will generate fast oxidation and will make each timepiece unique. It will bring a natural patina that will enhance the overall London Chronograph look.
Two dial versions are available: one in blue or one in grey, both have colour gradients to give depth to the dial, a feeling which is strengthened by the 3D bronze indexes. The orange colour of the chronograph function is a tribute to sport racing counters, while the gold colour is used for the Hours Minutes Seconds function.
Now that’s a vintage-revival that we would like to see on our wrist. A new-age material that ages, with a heart of gold.