Watches: Chronoswiss Sirius Lion Heart

By Thierry Ané on October 29, 2014

Swiss luxury watch brand Chronoswiss is well-known by watch aficionados for the craftsmanship and reliability of its no-nonsense fine timepieces from the classic “Sirius” collection or the sporty “Timemaster” line, both characterised by the presence of a very appealing onion-shaped fluted crown.

For instance, earlier this year on Watch Agora, we presented the great-looking Timemaster Chronograph SkeletonWatches: Chronoswiss Timemaster Chronograph Skeleton (+live pics) models unveiled during Baselworld 2014. The live pictures help appreciate all the attention to details that goes into the making of these watches: a sturdy yet perfectly balanced 44 mm case with a black DLC steel bezel to reduce the occurrence of scratches, a chronograph to enhance to sporty side, and a perfectly legibility despite the skeletonization thanks to a clever layout and a lavish use of luminescent material. All in all, a display of Chronoswiss’ expertise in creating a modern take on the classic skeleton watch.

What few watch lovers are aware of, though, is that the brand also has an extremely refined artistic side that could be detected in the stainless steel and red gold versions of the Sirius Lion EditionFlash News: Chronoswiss Sirius Lion Edition unveiled not so long ago to celebrate the opening of the "House of Chronoswiss" in Lucerne but that really shows through in the high-end, and unfortunately too rare, Métiers d’Art timepieces they present for special occasions.

To illustrate my words, and because the timepiece is to stunning to pass an opportunity of mentioning it, let me remind you of the breathtaking Sirius model The Three Apes donated by the brand for the Only Watch charity auction in 2013. This 44 mm pink gold time-only model uses incredible hand-guilloché and plique-à-jour enamel techniques to produce a dial with the three wise monkeys embodying the proverbial principle to "see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil".

Another laudable cause is at the origin of the equally spectacular Sirius Lion Heart presented this month: to help make the dreams of seriously ill children come true by supporting the Make-A-Wish foundation Switzerland with a one-of-a-kind timepiece auctioned by Antiquorum online this month. All the proceeds of the sale are generously offered by Chronoswiss to this charity.

The watch features the 44 mm case with the domed bezel and fluted case band and onion-shaped crown characteristic of the “Sirius” line. This 11.10 mm thick frame has been crafted in red gold for the occasion and comes on a brown alligator strap secured by a traditional pin buckle. It houses a well-tried ETA 6498 manually-wound calibre offering central hours and minutes indications with a 46-hour power reserve. Skeletonized and decorated by hand, it can be admired through the sapphire exhibition back.

But the real attention-grabber here is undeniably the arty dial of the watch. Made of solid white gold, it has first been expertly hand-engraved with a waved motif that from afar reminds me of the Swiss mountains. Then, numerous sections of fine gold wire bent by hand are applied to form the main motif and the base for the cloisonné enamel.

The timepiece celebrates the landmark of Lucerne, a majestic lion that was used, albeit not with the same level of details, for the Sirius Lion EditionFlash News: Chronoswiss Sirius Lion Edition. The design also incorporates the Swiss coat of arms. The different sections formed by the gold wires are then filled with several layers of colourful enamel powders and the piece underwent numerous firings to create the everlasting and extremely realistic colours of the lion’s fur and red and white Swiss flag.

The Sirius Lion Heart is simply magnificent and perfectly exemplifies the brand’s expertise with artistic crafts. Let us hope it with fetch a very high price at the auction both because it deserves it aesthetically and technically and also because it supports a very commendable cause.

For more information please visit the Chronoswiss web site.

For a technical description of the timepiece and additional pictures: