Laine Watches Introduces the Classic Chronograph

Powered by a hand-finished Valjoux 22.

A traditionally constructed, column wheel and lateral coupling calibre, the Valjoux 22 is widely regarded as one of the best wristwatch chronograph movements, being from the same family as the Valjoux 23 and 72.

Products of the mid-20th century golden age of chronographs, these movements are found in some of the most desirable vintage chronograph wristwatches, including the Rolex Daytona “Paul Newman” (which uses the Valjoux 72) and various Patek Philippes (often equipped with a heavily upgraded Valjoux 23).

For that reason, Finnish watchmaker Torsti Laine has resurrected the Valjoux 22 for his Classic Chronograph, his first wristwatch. A 44-year old computer engineer who became a watchmaker only recently, Torsti Laine was born in Finland and learnt watchmaking at Kelloseppäkoulu, the Finnish School of Watchmaking and the same institute Kari Voutilainen studied the vocation.

Having moved to Le Locle, a historic centre of Swiss watchmaking, to practice his craft, Laine won the annual prize awarded by A. Lange & Söhne to a promising new watchmaker in 2014. His winning entry was a moon phase mechanism that also displays the Earth’s phases seen from the moon.

Laine chose the Valjoux 22 for its size – the diameter is 31.3mm – making it sufficiently large to suit a wristwatch made for modern tastes. By comparison, the Valjoux calibres 23 and 72 are just over 29mm in diameter.

Laine Watches Classic Chronograph Valjoux 22 -4

Though the movement inside the Classic Chronograph is essentially a vintage Valjoux 22, Laine makes 38 components from scratch, or about 15 percent of the total. These components include some of the most crucial: Laine produces the bridges, explaining their distinctive shape, as well as the free-sprung balance wheel with four adjustable masses in white gold for regulation.

Laine also finishes to the movement to a high standard, with all components correctly polished, grained or chamfered by hand.

Laine Watches Classic Chronograph Valjoux 22 -6

Laine Watches Classic Chronograph Valjoux 22 -7

Several options for the frosted finish on the bridges and base plate are offered: dark grey, red or yellow gold, or rhodium.

Laine Watches Classic Chronograph Valjoux 22 -3

Similarly, the dial is also customisable in terms with 20 colour options available. The chronograph sub-dials are white lacquer and sit on raised platforms, while the hour numerals are applied.

Laine Watches Classic Chronograph Valjoux 22 -1

Laine Watches Classic Chronograph Valjoux 22 -2

Sized appropriately for a watch with a vintage movement that’s just over 31mm wide, the case is 40mm wide and 14.1mm high. It’s available in stainless steel or red gold.

The Classic Chronograph is priced at SFr19,000 in steel, and limited to 10 pieces. It is available direct from Laine Watches.

Update August 31, 2016: Price and edition size added.


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Linde Werdelin Introduces the “Invitation-Only” LW 10-24

To mark its 10th anniversary Linde Werdelin announces the limited edition LW 10-24 dual time zone.

Linde Werdelin used to exemplify the European Union – the company was founded by a pair of avid sportsmen from Denmark, but based in London, while the watches are made in Switzerland. Post-Brexit the company might be a lot less European, but Linde Werdelin is celebrating its 10th anniversary nonetheless, with a pair of limited edition watches that will ostensibly only be sold to existing owners of the brand’s timepieces.

The watchmaker’s first timepieces came to market in 2006, and the anniversary LW 10-24 watches have evolved from those originals (the best known being the Spidolite and Oktopus). The new LW 10-24 has a similar case form, but without a bezel, allowing for a larger dial.

Linde Werdelin LW 10-24 gold 2

Some of the extra dial real estate is taken up by complications: a day and night indicator at 12 o’clock; second time zone digital display at three o’clock; and somewhat redundantly since it does the same thing as the day and night display, an am/pm indicator at six o’clock. A button at two o’clock in the case advances the second time zone digit by one hour.

Linde Werdelin LW 10-24 3DTP Carbon 1

The hour markers on the dial are made of blocks of Super-Luminova polymer (similar to what Speake-Marin does for its Spirit sports watches), giving them extra-bright luminescence.

Two versions of the LW 10-24 are available. The first is the LW 10-24 3DTP Carbon, featuring an outer case made of 3D printed carbon composite mounted on an inner case made of diamond-like carbon (DLC) coated titanium. And the second is the LW 10-24 Gold, with the case shell in 18k red gold, over an inner titanium case. Both cases are 44mm in diameter and 15mm high.

Linde Werdelin LW 10-24

Both versions also come with two case backs, one signed by Linde Werdelin’s founders and the other a blank slate for the client to personalise. Each is limited to 96 pieces.

Linde Werdelin LW 10-24 gold 1

Pricing and (un)availability 

Linde Werdelin says the LW 10-24 is sold only by invitation, though the watchmaker has announced its launch publicly. Delivery is expected in the first half of 2017, with prices as follows:

LW 10-24 3DTP Carbon SFr27,000
LW 10-24 Gold SFr39,000

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Introducing the Bell & Ross Vintage BR Aeronavale – Dress Blues for the Wrist

Bell & Ross debuts a dressed up pilot's watch with the BR Aernonavale.

The black-and-white military pilot’s watch has been iterated almost to death by brands like IWC and Bell & Ross, so novelty is difficult. Bell & Ross managed to accomplish a degree of novelty with the Vintage BR Aeronavale with a colour scheme modelled on the blue and gold of military dress uniform.

Bell & Ross Vintage BR 126 Aeronavale 1

Though the look is loosely based on vintage French naval aviator’s chronographs – hence the Aéronavale moniker – it manages to distinguish itself from the rest. The dial is a bright metallic blue dial with a sunburst brushing, while the hands and hour markers are rose gold-plated.

Bell & Ross Vintage BR Aeronavale

Two versions are available, one being the BR 123 Aeronavale, a time-only automatic with a date window between four and five o’clock. And the other is the BR 126 Aeronavale chronograph with a bi-compax layout and date function. Both models have 43mm steel cases, domed sapphire crystals and display backs that reveal the ETA movements inside.

Bell & Ross Vintage BR 123 Aeronavale

Pricing and availability 

The BR 123 Aeronavale automatic is priced at SFr2800 or S$4500 on a calfskin strap, while the same on a crocodile strap costs SFr3000 or S$4800.

And the BR 126 Aeronavale chronograph carries a price tag of SFr4200 or S$6300 on a calfskin strap, and SFr4400 or S$6600 on crocodile.

Both will be available at Bell & Ross retailers from August 2016.

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