Categorized | Featured, Historical Horology

Historical Horology: Chronoswiss

Posted on 26 January 2014 by Patrick Kansa

chronoswiss logo

When it comes to the Historical Horology features, I’ve often taken a look at things that stretch back a hundred years or more.  Today, however, we’re going to to focus on something that has a bit shorter of a timeline – that being the brand Chronoswiss, which started up in 1983.

And actually, we need to back up a few years, to 1981.  Courtesy of the Quartz Crisis, many watchmakers lost their jobs as companies reduced their workforce to attempt to keep pace with falling demand, and stay in business.  Many, in the face of this seemingly insurmountable onslaught, would fold up shop, and try to figure out something new to do.

Gerd-Rüdiger Lang wasn’t like many, however.  He started off small, repairing chronographs in his basement.  This eventually grew into doing semi-custom watches for well-funded customers.  That, then, led to the introduction of the very first Chronoswiss watch in 1982 (it was a year later when the brand was officially founded in Munich).

GerdRuedigerLang

So, why name the company as he did?  The Swiss part is pretty obvious, and the Chrono portion is as well.  Lang has a special affinity for the chronograph.  If you were able to survey his personal collection (which approaches 1,000 pieces), you’d see that they are all chronographs.  He also has a background working on chronos at Heuer – so it’s no surprise where the focus of his company is.

While chronographs have been the name of the game, Lang also introduced some innovations to the industry as the company has grown.  Take, for instance, that first model introduced in 1982.  It was also the first production watch to feature an exhibition caseback (something you’re hard pressed to not find these days), as he felt the movement deserved to be shown off.

The company has grown and changed over the years a bit, most obviously by it’s sale in 2012.  While Chronoswiss is no longer in the Lang family hands, it’s owned by a Swiss couple, and production continues in the original German factory (although the HQ has since moved to Switzerland).  What I’ve presented here, of course, is just a taste of the rich history and interesting details of Lang’s company.  For a deeper read, head on over to this article at Gear Patrol.  And, if your curious as to how these watches review today, you can check out one of ours right here.

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