With Cronus, Juri Schob has not only fulfilled his personal lifelong dream, but also added a unique watch brand to Germany’s horological landscape. Inspired by a Russian deployment watch of the 1960s and enhanced by innovative technology, Cronus presents itself today as a German newcomer brand for all those who want something off the mainstream.
Schob can look back on some 20 years of experience in the field of product design, providing him with the necessary eye for detail. Coupled with his knowledge of restoring old watches, this paved the way for his very own watch brand.
The source of inspiration was in particular a Russian watch from the 1960s called “191 CHS”. It is a model from the brand AGAT, which for a long time served as a diving watch for USSR navy divers and is well known to collectors of vintage watches, not least because of its extreme dimensions: With a diameter of 60mm without crown, a weight of up to 250 grams and a conspicuously protected crown, the watch was (and still is) one of the largest wristwatches in the world.
In 2010, Schob eventually began to put his idea into practice. The first sketches and technical drawings were made and his idea slowly took shape before the brand was officially registered in 2015.
The goal set was to develop a robust watch that could easily withstand external influences while maintaining a high level of water resistance. (The 191 CHS was water resistant to up to 700m.)
Of course Schob knew that a Russian military diver’s watch of the 1960s could not simply be transferred into the 21st century. His ambition was a different one anyway: Although the 191 CHS provided an important template for the new project, Schob had his very own ideas about how to place the original design in a more contemporary context.
Put more concretely, this meant that the strikingly bold design remained – in keeping with the motto “form follows function”. In addition, Schob took the dominant rotating crown cap of the 191 CHS as an opportunity to develop his very own quick-release (and patent-pending) crown locking system in 2013. In doing so, he proves once again that innovativeness does not require a huge budget or hundreds of employees, but rather passion and commitment.
Schob used the existing crown mechanism of the 191 CHS as a model for his solution, as the crowns of Cronus watches are constructed in a similar fashion. Both protrude relatively far, allowing for easy operation even with gloves on. However, since constantly screwing the crown (cap) results in wear and tear, Schob got creative: He developed a slider on the screw-down crown, which presses the crown against the case, protecting the valuable mechanics inside from water up to 300m deep. Only if the slider is operated – which can only happen with a significant resistance and thus never accidentally – the crown can be operated. Simple yet ingenious!
The first model was the “Prototype 1” in 2011, although it is no longer for sale today. The watch was still strongly reminiscent of the AGAT model and made use of an ETA Unitas 6497 hand-wound caliber.
The actual market launch took place in 2017 with the watches of the “Prototype 2” collection, representing a further development of the Prototype 1 watch mentioned just now.
For these, Schob relies on the legendary automatic caliber ETA 2824-2, which impresses not only with its precision, but also its longevity. The 45mm case comes in either a bead-blasted or black PVD-coated finish. A special gimmick on the dial is also the “Control before dive” warning at 3 o’clock, which uses an arrow to indicate the protective mechanism developed by Schob. If the crown is not properly sealed, an emerging red ring warns the wearer before submergence.
The latest Cronus watches go by the name of “Prototype 3” and have a feature that has been particularly requested by dive watch fans: a unidirectional rotating bezel. In contrast to the Prototype 2 models, the watches are 2mm smaller in diameter and boast an impressive water resistance of 600m.
Schob takes the slogan “Made in Germany” more than seriously, by the way. With the exception of the Swiss movement, all models are entirely manufactured in small batches in Germany. The cases, for example, come from Glashütte, while the assembly is done by hand in Munich.
If you are looking for a dive watch “Made in Germany” that is not only built like a tank, but also has innovative technology on board, you will be very pleased with Cronus. All watches come with a German-made leather strap with stainless steel pin buckle. Moreover, they are shipped with a handy spring bar tool as well as well as a warranty certificate.
Click here for our large selection of Cronus watches.
This is a sponsored article by Montredo for Cronus.