This is a brand we’ve been following closely since its rebirth under the leadership of Guillaume Laidet, who cut his teeth with William L. 1985 before devoting himself to Nivada Grenchen and then Excelsior Park, not to mention his role as a consultant to restore Vulcain to its former glory. After telling you about the collaboration between the brand and seconde/seconde/, which you’ll be hearing more and more about, we take a look at our favorite model in the range: a historic chronograph named Chronomaster Aviator Sea Diver.
The rebirth of the “Super-Chronograph
Nivada is a name known to collectors of vintage watches. Founded in 1879 in the town of Grenchen, Switzerlandor Grenchen in German, the brand rose to prominence in the 1950s-1960s thanks to the reputation for robustness of its timepieces. Renamed Nivada Grenchen because of a dispute with the American Movado, which apparently sounded too close, it was renamed Nivada-Grenchen. At the same time, its American distributor, Croton, sprinkled its name on the brand’s dials and in various sauces. Presented for the first time in 1961 and released in 1963, the Chronomaster Aviator Sea Diver chronograph quickly made a name for itself, being the first of its kind in the world. the only one to offer nine functions : diver’s watch, aviator’s watch, stopwatch, stopwatch with dead time, tachymeter, regatta countdown, timer, second time zone indicator and time indication. A true Swiss Army knife (albeit punctuated by a lot of marketing).
Let’s start by taking a look at the case of this Nivada Grenchen. is modelled on the original. With a small 38mm widthThis watch is aimed at neo-vintage enthusiasts, but will also appeal to those looking for something different. However, its length of 46.5mm and thickness of 13.75mm bring it back into more traditional standards, which balances everything out nicely. The case middle is very effective, thanks to the thinness absorbed under the watch, the horizontal brushing that gives it a tool-watch touch, and the huge polished chamfer that makes it so elegant. Its bi-directional bezelwith no notches or clicks, is also extremely successful, with regular grip moldings alternating between sandblasting and polishing, then flaring to integrate an aluminum bezel insert. The crown is not screwed down, yet the10-bar water-resistance The latter is adorned with the brand’s coat of arms and surrounded by the chronograph push-buttons. The pierced lugs will delight enthusiasts. We also appreciate the use of a double-dome sapphire crystalmuch more practical than the Plexiglas that might otherwise have been used. The caseback is solid and screwed, with a simple engraving of the essential information.
Let’s continue with the dial of this Chronomaster Aviator Sea Diver, offered in many variations by Nivada Grenchen, and here in White Broad Arrow” version on a matt black background. These hands, much appreciated by Speedmaster fans, have a undeniable charmyet highly legible. A touch that blends perfectly with the bi-compax layout counters: remote seconds at 9 o’clock and 30-minute totalizer at 9 o’clock. The hour markers are tiny appliques strewn with photoluminescent material (certainly SuperLumiNova C3) bonded to an ultra-fine timer scale surrounded by thetachometric scale. We like the touch of red acting as a yacht-timer, a 10-minute regatta countdown used to count down the time to the start of the race following a precise signal from the organizers.
In terms of movement, although the original was fitted with a Venus 210, and later with various Valjoux (92, 23 7733) and a Landeron 248, Nivada Grenchen has opted for a caliber Sellita SW510 in BH b version for the automatic and M BH b version for the automatic. hand-wound mechanical. This logical choice allows it to feature a bi-compax display. A cam-type chronograph oscillating at 28,800 vibrations per hour and offering a comfortable 62-hour power reserve. The automatic version features ball-bearing winding. In our humble opinion, it’s better to go for the charm of yesteryear and opt for the mechanical version, which will also make you feel more at home. a millimetre thinner. On a chronograph, that’s a pretty significant difference.
For the strap, we tested the watch on a black rubber tropic measuring 20mm at the lugs tapering to 18mm at the buckle. It’s a bracelet that’s long overdue, and one that allows you to take full advantage of the Nivada Grenchen’s water resistance. It is fitted with a well-chosen and well-worked pin bucklebrushed with a polished chamfer, just like the case middle. Inevitably, wearing comfort is excellent, offering suppleness, lightness and breathability. Steel enthusiasts will also find something to their liking, as the Chronomaster is offered in a number of options, including Forstner bracelets with a whiff of vintage.
Our opinion on this Nivada Grenchen watch
This is a successful piecethat’s for sure. For our part, we’re beginning to develop a taste for smaller sizes, and this model fits the bill perfectly without upsetting our standards. Even if the original 9 functions are exaggerated, the watch has plenty of charm and will delight chronograph enthusiasts. We do regret the fact that the bezel has no clicks, as it moves very easily and unexpectedly, and that the double-dome glass obstructs the tachometer reading. But let’s be honest, like you, we use our phones for timing and counting. Anyway, with a starting at €1.795 and capping at 2.195€, this is an excellent choice that we could see ourselves wearing every day!
Nivada Grenchen Chronomaster Broad Arrow Watch – Ref. 86007WM / Features
- Case : 316L stainless steel / Polished & brushed finish
- Width : 38mm
- Length : 46.5mm
- Thickness : 13.75mm
- Lug spacing : 20mm
- Photoluminescence : Yes
- Glass type : Double dome sapphire crystal
- Case back : Solid screwed
- Movement: Mechanical
- Caliber : Sellita SW510 BH B
- Complication : Chronograph
- Power reserve : 62 hours
- Bracelet : Black Tropic in vulcanized rubber
- Buckle: Buckle
- Water resistance : 10 ATM / 100 meters
- Limited Edition: No
- Warranty : 2 years