Case in point: The Chronostop 'Driver' Chronograph.
Dating from 1967, this unusual model features a sideways-oriented dial, designed to be worn by drivers on the inside of the wrist. It utilizes a 60-second chronograph mechanism operated by a single pusher, ideal for timing laps or quarter-mile times while keeping both hands on the steering wheel. Go ahead, try it - we did. (Please just obey all local traffic laws!).
This particular example features a strong case paired with an untouched dial showing age and lume degradation - hallmarks of a life well lived (a quarter mile at a time?)
Originally, these models were fitted with either a leather strap or a mesh steel bracelet from the factory. The latter had a clasp with blank space to engrave the driver's blood type (remember, in the 60s, auto racing was still dangerous!). These are super cool but incredibly hard to find, so we've paired it up with a vintage-styled steel 'Rice Bead' bracelet which we think fits brilliantly.
We've offered a lot of Chronostops in the past, but only a small percentage of them feature the driver-oriented dial.
This is a watch that will start conversations, for sure.
Perhaps the most eccentric Omega watch ever produced (and knowing Omega, that’s saying a lot), the Chronostop driver’s watch is undeniably charming. After all, how many instances can you name of a watch brand attempting to change the way that their customers wear a watch?
The Omega Chronostop was introduced in the mid-60s as an attempt by Omega to create a lower-priced chronograph watch targeted at younger consumers. More novelty than true chronograph, the Chronostop is only able to time events up to 1 minute. We’re sure some people found a good use for it, but to be honest, this is not the most functional chronograph ever made, but at least it’s fun to use! The mono-pusher stopwatch is started with the initial press of the pusher and then it is pressed and held to freeze the orange hand and read the seconds. When the pusher is released, the totalizer returns to zero.
The most interesting thing about the Chronostop is that it was designed to be worn on the underside of wrist. Omega advertised the Chronostrop as a driver’s watch, and pushed the idea of wearing it in that unusual fashion since the topside of the wrist isn’t easily visible while your hands are on a steering wheel. Omega even created a special version of the watch with a rotated dial (see HERE).
This particular example is completely original (excluding the bracelet), driven by the Calibre 865 manual-wound movement, and features a gorgeous blue dial with original handset in excellent condition. Its size, dial design, and unique functionality make it an interesting conversation piece, not to mention a collectable timepiece. If you’re looking for something fun, colorful and affordable, this is the one!
A video by Hodinkee explaining the history and operation of the Chronostop can be found HERE.
More information on the full Omega Chronostop line can be found HERE.
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