It turns out lightning can strike twice. When we collaborated with Nivada Grenchen just a year ago on a (very) limited run of Chronomaster Valjoux 72 and Datomaster VK64 watches, we knew they were special but were doubtful about the possibility of repeating such an act. After all, unused Valjoux 72 movements don’t just pop up out of nowhere. As luck would have it, Nivada Grenchen has managed to secure another, smaller, batch of Valjoux 72 movements that serves as the foundation for the Nivada Grenchen x Worn & Wound Chronomaster V2. We haven’t forgotten about the Datomaster either; this year’s edition makes a return utilizing another Meca-Quartz movement – this time in a triple-register layout. The core of what makes this new release so exciting is based on two factors: the horological significance of the Valjoux 72 and the fresh designs of the Chronomaster and Datomaster.
First up, the famed movement. The story of the Valjoux 72 movement begins with its progenitor, the Valjoux 22. Introduced in 1914 and colloquially known as “Caliber 15”, this little engine was a column-wheel monopusher with the ability to track elapsed time up to 30 minutes thanks to two registers. As the Great Depression was winding down in 1938, the Valjoux 72 made its debut. It was, in every way, an upgrade, building on the 18,000 bph column wheel architecture by adding a third register for counting up to 12 elapsed hours. History has since proven this triple-register, duo pusher chronograph form factor simply iconic. If it was good enough to power Heuer Autavias and Carreras, Breitling Navitimers, and Rolex Daytonas, it was good enough for anybody. To bring back this legendary caliber is something we couldn’t be more excited about.
Now, the watches. The new Chronomaster takes on a lighter, arguably more versatile color scheme than last year’s version. While last year’s model was inspired by the shadows and moodiness of overcast days, the V2 celebrates the joy and lightheartedness of a sunny day. The most prominent visual cues are the matching teal bezel and sub-dials at three and nine o’clock. Paler blue hands and accents along the racing-style chapter ring complement the darker tones while working nicely with the sand-colored dial. The orange tip of the chronograph hand adds a splash of color. As a whole, the watch takes on a “less is more” approach to design and execution. On the flip side, the inclusion of both open and closed casebacks allow the wearer to admire the Valjoux 72 inside or keep the secret to themselves. Also included is a burgundy suede rally strap to switch things up from the beads of rice bracelet. The Nivada Grenchen x Worn & Wound Chronomaster Valjoux 72 V2 is limited to 15 pieces and is priced at $6,900 (limit one per customer). It is available for order now in the Windup Watch Shop.
The Nivada Grenchen x Wound & Wound Datomaster V2 also receives significant updates in its second iteration. Philosophically, if the Chronomaster is a tribute of a movement and era gone by, the modern Datomaster is the celebration of the modern marvels in movement technology and manufacturing. The Seiko-built VK63 movement in this year’s release features a sub-dial at 6 for running seconds and establishes the triple register layout in a more compact form factor (36mm x 43.5mm x 12mm). Interestingly, the dial aperture of the Datomaster is even larger than that of the Chronomaster, so the result is a watch that is even smaller on the wrist while maintaining a strong visual presence. The Datomaster enjoys the same teal and sand base colorway as the Chronomaster and is paired with a medium brown leather rally strap. It is limited to 150 pieces and is available now for $499 from the Windup Watch Shop.