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Chronomaster Only

“A fantastic work based on intense research and which revives a still under-estimated model”.

Aurel Bacs, Consultant, Phillips in Association with Bacs & Russo

Chronomaster Only

Foreword by Aurel Bacs & Virginie Liatard Roessli, Phillips in Association with Bacs & Russo

Part 1 – Introduction
Part 2 – Main Components
Part 3 – Models
Part 4 – Buyer’s Guide

ISBN 978-2-940506-25-5 (English Edition)
ISBN 978-2-940506-26-2 (French Edition)

288 Pages • over 650 ill. • Format: 25 x 30.7 cm.
Price: € 99.00

At first sight it seems a strange name for a chronograph.

Stranger still, the name changes over the years, especially on the dials, with different logos. What is the story behind this mysterious identity? This is what this book aims to reveal.
This composite name is in fact the result of a business deal between two companies: Nivada SA, a Swiss company, and the American Croton Watch Co. Inc. The first signs of cooperation between the Nivada and Croton companies date from the end of the 1930s, or more exactly in 1939. It seems that it was not easy to do business together, not because of any disagreement between the two parties, but because of American competition from one brand in particular: Movado.

After world war II, a period of reconstruction, prosperity and innovation took over from the disaster of the previous years.

Driven by natural curiosity and propelled by accelerating technology, people started exploring and conquering new horizons: the ocean depths, mountain peaks, the sky and space. Accordingly, people started to travel farther, faster and more often. Nivada, which had been already exposed to this type of initiative in the 1950s, came up with a suitable response.
It cannot be denied that its new Super-Chronograph is rather interesting, and even quite revolutionary compared to the other offerings of the time. In fact, it comes as somewhat of a surprise that this Chronomaster model manages to combine a chronograph, water resistance to 200m, a tachymeter scale, a rotating bezel for diving, a second time zone (on the bezel), and a sailing regatta countdown.

The super-chronograph, that first came to light in 1961.

The Chronomaster model wasn’t just a chronograph. It was more like the Super-Chronograph, mentioned in the contemporary brochures.
It in fact had an astonishing number of functions. Such a purpose is accurately reflected in the model’s name: CHRONOMASTER AVIATOR SEA DIVER, which suggests a clientele of professional racing drivers, pilots and divers, as well as the multiple functions evoked in the advertising of the 1960s: THE WORLD’S BUSIEST WATCH – HAS MORE USES THAN EVER COUNTED.

A comprehensive book.

After its launch in 1961, this chronograph has been produced for around ten years under several brand names. Thanks to the authors’ trademark rigorous methodology – the signature of the “ONLY” reference works – and with the collaboration of Matteo Leoni – an Italian collector and a true passionate of vintage chronographs – this book reveals the incredible diversity of the Chronomaster models. It is intended both as an initiation for connoisseurs of exceptional watches and as a reference guide for collectors.
This legendary watch will doubtless thus regain the place it deserves among the most desirable 1960s chronographs.