Traditional, manual winding, high end chronographs

 By: jrwong23 (aka watchthebin) : May 23rd, 2016-05:19
The chronograph is my favorite complication by far. The measurement of time elapsed, the complexities behind their construction, especially the manual winding, traditional, horizontal coupling chronographs of the old days.... The beauty behind their architecture and for the haute horology brands, the artisanal hand finishing displayed on the plates, the screws, gears etc.

Here is a picture of the movement shots of my 3 chronographs.

From left to right: the Montblanc Villeret calibre 16.29 in my Montblanc 1858 Tachymeter Chronograph , the Lange Datograph , and the Montblanc Villeret calibre 13.21 of my Montblanc Villeret Chronograph grand feu enamel .

All 3 chronograph movements have movement places crafted in German silver - but the Lange has untreated German silver whereas the Villerets have Rhodium plated German silver. All 3 are highly finished by hand and generous with gold chatons and with beautiful bridges.

Montblanc Villeret calibre 16.29

Lange Datograph

Montblanc Villeret calibre 13.21

Anyone else want to share their movement shots of their high end chronographs? I would love to see the JLC Duometre chronograph, the Lemania based chronos from RD, VC, PP, other Lange Datographs or Double Split, other Minervas or Montblanc Villerets, new in house chronos from VC or Patek, etc smile

Looking forward to seeing more nicely finished manual chronograph pics here. I think you can understand why I am crazy about chronographs smile


Lemania based PP and VC

 By: DCC : May 23rd, 2016-08:21
Picture taken by Foversta but with my camera...

The PP on the left is mine. 

What a duo!

 By: jrwong23 (aka watchthebin) : May 23rd, 2016-19:46
Fantastic shot . This is what I was looking for in this thread smile

Thank you for sharing. I don't own either of this yet I can admire their beauty from your pic smile


Mesmerizing photos!! Wonderful movements!

 By: Ancienne Le Brassus : May 23rd, 2016-09:52
Thanks for sharing these amazing photos!

My pleasure S

 By: jrwong23 (aka watchthebin) : May 23rd, 2016-19:46
Always happy to share smile

I would classify the JLC Duometre A Chronograph in this category.

 By: amanico : May 23rd, 2016-10:56
The Lange Double Split as well, but certainly not the Patek and the VC, which are clearly a step below, in terms of decoration and or originality. 

Oooh yes, I well understand your madness for this kind of chronographs, my friend.

The artistic dimension of these movements is obvious. 

And the Minervas fly very high! 



I agree with some points Nico

 By: jrwong23 (aka watchthebin) : May 23rd, 2016-19:48
But i will still put the VCs and PPs here if I place the Minervas here. Even as the MB moderator, I must be fair to say that the MB Villeret calibres 16.29 and 13.21 (Minerva calibres) whilst beautifully finished, are not high on innovation too.

The JLC Duometre chronograph is tops in terms of innovation for sure! smile


Yes, you are right, the MB Villeret Minervas are traditional, not innovative. Now, in terms of decoration, they are the champions. [nt]

 By: amanico : May 23rd, 2016-22:36
No message body

Ow Nicolas,

 By: Mark in Paris : May 24th, 2016-04:14
Though I like the Duometer very much, there is a step between the Duometer's caliber finishing and the Patek (whether it is 27-70or the 29-535) or the Lemania based VC.

The Duometer's is impressive in terms of light reflection from the upper bridges but this hides the lower level of finish of the other parts (you can have a look at my answer to Robin's post a little below for details about why I concluded that way). This is a clever way to decorate but when studying deeper it is not as good as the Lange/Patek/VC trio.

Of course I don't take the price point into consideration (the Duometer is great in the ratio about what you get).

Cheers, Mark

Here are a few of mine...

 By: Dave G : May 23rd, 2016-11:10

To Nicolas' point, perhaps not all at the same level.  Still most are quite nice.




 UN Monopusher

VC Les Historiques


This message has been edited by Dave G on 2016-05-23 11:23:58

Oops. Read the original post again. Not all manual...sorry [nt]

 By: Dave G : May 23rd, 2016-11:47
No message body

When I see the Duometre and the Lange Dato I feel they are a bit step above. [nt]

 By: amanico : May 23rd, 2016-14:15
No message body

Oh boy Dave!

 By: jrwong23 (aka watchthebin) : May 23rd, 2016-19:50
What a collection of fine chronos you have!
Makes me feel like expanding mine smile
I will take some years to get there. Your pics inspire me a lot! smile

Thank you for sharing


What a collection! How do you...

 By: nitediver : May 31st, 2016-03:36
Rate the movement finish within your collection?

Thanks for sharing.



Beautiful movements all

 By: Brandon Skinner : May 23rd, 2016-11:50
...and such a great edition # you have on the 1858!

Thank you :)

 By: jrwong23 (aka watchthebin) : May 23rd, 2016-19:50
I love the notion of 100% smile

I'll share

 By: CaliforniaJed : May 23rd, 2016-22:25
Our own PuristS Edition of the Chopard L.U.C 1963 Chronograph. My personal favorite.

I almost forgot about Chopard LUC's new manual wind chronograph!

 By: jrwong23 (aka watchthebin) : May 24th, 2016-06:37
Beautiful German silver plated . Great finishing here for sure

Thanks for sharing these pics Jed!


The Villeret Deveil's Tail....

 By: wisPete : May 23rd, 2016-14:20
Just the coolest thing ever - it's there because.....well because the watchmakers are able to pull it off!

Dufour's horns + Villeret tail would be  quite a site together in one movement=)

The Minerva arrow head

 By: jrwong23 (aka watchthebin) : May 23rd, 2016-19:51
Is indeed a feature I like a lot my friend smile

Indeed Chronographs are very appealing complications

 By: Mark in Paris : May 23rd, 2016-15:23
After a long while comparing manual-wound chrono movements (this is something I'm willing to get as well so I've been very closely studying this field, among traditional brands), the Patek 29-535 is one of the most interesting, not only for the finishing but especially also for the evolutions it has bring it terms of setting and technical adjustments (and the new clever patented improvements). I find that some movements are often based on the same design as the Lemania (like the VC, very nice looking imho but not that impressive technically), without significant improvements, so I appreciate when technical aspects are made technically better than before and a brand doesn't take care of finishing only.

Your selection of chronographs is great and there are not many who can come that close. You made a very fine choice.

A shot I took myself of a Patek 5271P (I should have made a croped picture to show the quality of the finishing but it is also visible further below):

The 29-535 taken by Oliver:

And the same other beautiful pictures showing the beauty and very high decoration and finishing applied by Patek:

And this one from the same movement (I don't remember hwo to credit, sorry):

The cherry on the cake, the 29-535 version with Rattrapante used in the 5204 reference that I could study too but kept no pictures myslef:


A last one from the same 5204 movement:

This is a another level of finishing the brand brings forward compared to the 324 or the already very nice 240.

The new VC is nice as well, in a simpler layout but I like it decoration too (though less impressive than a Patek or Lange). I didn't take time to learn about its technical aspects yet but, from a comparision with the 1141, it is vey very close in terms of design:


For instance, on a lower level, I like the Duometer too but this is not in the same league really, not as highly finished as the Lange/Minerva/Patek ones. Especially when you come through the first bridges (straight lines and half circles only, easier to deal with after the machining automation), the parts a little bellow are much less interesting (see the cams at the bottom of the picture etc... quite basic compared to the very high end work). Of course, if we take the price into account this is a good result. But compared to the others it remains a little below.

Great post Robin!

Cheers, Mark


Thanks Mark for your insights and pics

 By: jrwong23 (aka watchthebin) : May 23rd, 2016-19:53
Those Patek chronos are so beautiful!! I wish I can afford one soon smile

Interesting point on the Duometre. I didn't realize the difference. Will try to see with a loupe next time in the JLC boutique smile


Yes, tell us when you can

 By: Mark in Paris : May 24th, 2016-04:18
It is also about the difficulty to finish stright edges versus curved ones. Also when the curves are not regular or when they are so.

This is still a question of details but I imagine when coming to these extent it is important as well as it is much more difficult to deal with orientation changing curves versus a perfect line.

The craftmanship mastery to get the additional 1% needs much more than 1% of skills smile

Cheers, Mark

Compared to the 5170 movement, I don't feel the Duometre is inferior, in terms of decoration. [nt]

 By: amanico : May 24th, 2016-04:54
No message body

I agree in terms of decoration

 By: Mark in Paris : May 24th, 2016-05:21
I was just mentionning the finishing and chamferring of the cams etc in the movements. But I don't wish to compare which is best or not as they are all great chrono representatives (and the Duometre is in a different style as less "opened"). I was just bouncing on the fact you see the PP or VC mush below in terms of finsihing.

We'll have many Patek to look at together with the 5230 etc... !

Cheers, Mark

Beautiful photos, Robin.

 By: TheMadDruid : May 23rd, 2016-15:48
I have to agree with some of the above (read "Nico"): the Montblancs are absolutely a step above the Lemanias of PP and VC. I would still hold out for the Lange as "best in show" (are you shocked?). And the Duometre is quite a lovely piece as well. 

Lol not shocked at all

 By: jrwong23 (aka watchthebin) : May 23rd, 2016-19:54
Well the Dato is hard to beat as the king of modern chronos in my books smile

Great topic and comparison.

 By: MichaelC : May 23rd, 2016-17:57
Strictly from a beauty standpoint, the Dato is about impossible to beat.

You must stare at these quite frequently!

Indeed I do my friend

 By: jrwong23 (aka watchthebin) : May 23rd, 2016-19:54
I love to stare at them to distress smile

A lovely collection

 By: mpg13 : May 23rd, 2016-22:03
Very nice chronographs you have there! 
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