de Grisogono Instrumento Grande Chrono N01

de Grisogono Instrumento Grande Chrono N01

Acclaimed at its launch, it’s back today in a striking updated version featuring a series of unusually arrayed functions.

In 2005, when it first came out, it made quite a splash. With its oversized case and calendar aperture plus the galuchat strap that matched the dial’s bright and cheerful colours, the Instrumento Grande was welcomed with friendly, even enthusiastic applause.

Five years later, here it is again. This time in a Chrono version — but what a Chrono! While the Instrumento Grande’s case is as grand as ever, its 2010 dial displays a full measure of the uninhibited creativity that makes any de Grisogono watch stand out in the crowd.

A reader’s guide to the black, silvered or brown dial

While the watch face’s engine-turned concentric wave pattern and oversized hour markers both recall the original Instrumento Grande, the retrograding date calendar arrayed in twin arcs gives the Instrumento Grande Chrono’s dial its vibrant personality. The current day’s date stands out bright and clear, outlined by a set of tinted sapphire lenses.

Since no mechanical chronograph is thinkable without totalisers, this chronograph’s sub-dials give classic horological tradition a little jolt. The 30-minute version is white, square and situated at 9 o’clock while the 12-hour sub-dial is larger, round, black and positioned at 6 o’clock. Together with the black-and-white center seconds hand, they respond to push-pieces located on either side of the setting crown.

The time of day is shown on an hour circle that is circular enough to boast two right angles – a signature touch from a master of the creative surprise. At 12 o’clock, a discreet sub-dial for the running seconds adds a more familiar feature.

de Grisogono Instrumento Grande Chrono N02

de Grisogono Instrumento Grande Chrono N02

The revealing asides of a magnificent case

Fashioned in 18 ct pink 5N gold, the Instrumento Grande Chrono is water-resistant to 30 m (~ 100 feet). Featuring smoothly rounded bracelet links, its generously proportioned case houses a self-winding mechanical movement that provides 42 hours of reserve power.

Revealing by design, the case allows connoisseurs of mechanical wizardry to observe the movement’s steady beat through a sidelight on the 9-o’clock side of the case. The to-and-fro movement of the rotor, inscribed with the de Grisogono crest, is visible through the clear sapphire porthole of the screw-secured case back – exactly as on the 2005 model, the first watch ever to feature a transparent side panel.

Black or brown depending on the dial colour, an alligator strap with pink gold deployment clasp retains the Instrumento Grande Chrono and its unforgettable face securely on the wrist.