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SuisseMecanica SM 8 Chrono Steel

Even though there are many exquisite timepieces available on the market it is very had to predict their saleability. Design is very subjective and purchasing a watch is a truly individual experience. A lot of timepieces that I personally like don’t necessarily charm the masses. For example I love watches like the Chronoswiss Wristmaster, Meccaniche Veloci Quattro Valvole Carbon Ceramico (CCM) and the Glycine Airman 7 Plaza Mayor. None of these timepieces sold particular well (and are now discontinued) because they only attracted a very small demographic of buyers. I feel this was due to their gigantic proportions and eclectic appearance. Nevertheless there are independent watchmakers like SuisseMecanica that do have more universal appeal.


I first became aware of SuisseMecanica through the social media websites Facebook and Twitter. In a relatively short space of time (four years) the brand seems to have attracted a very loyal group of devoted followers. This is because they produce a range of very stylish and exclusive timepieces. The company is the brainchild of François Renoult and Juliana Arbelaez Renoult. Prior to establishing the business in 2010 both of these dynamic personalities had previously designed for many high profile watchmakers. In fact they have over twenty years combined experience between them. Ultimately this has been integral in the development of SuisseMecanica.


Although I like all of the company’s watches my favourite model has to be the SM 8 Chrono Steel. With a diameter measuring 48.50mm (43mm without the patented crown protection system) the timepiece is designed to make a statement. These dimensions should appeal predominantly to male buyers. Even though I haven’t personally tested the watch I have worn similar size models from Panerai. For that reason I feel it would sit very comfortably on the wrist. Primarily this is down to the ergonomic design and choice of 316L steel in production. In the future I would love to see SuisseMecanica experiment with more exotic materials like carbon, ceramic, bronze and titanium.


Visually the SM 8 Chrono Steel has a really bold and distinctive appearance. Aesthetically the design should appeal to admirers of Panerai and Wyler. What makes the timepiece so attractive is the really sporty façade. I love the black dial with contrasting chronograph sub counters. Other exciting details include a bi directional rotating dial, chunky patented sliding crown protection system and open worked hour/minute hands. Overall the composition is very effective and the attention to detail is first rate.


At the heart of the watch lies a sophisticated self-winding movement. The Calibre SM-1 2022M comprises 27-jewels and oscillates at a frequency of 28,800 vibrations per hour (4Hz). This intricate mechanism is perfectly showcased through the sapphire crystal exhibition case back. Functionally the SM 8 Chrono Steel features hours, minutes, seconds, date and chronograph timers. The timepiece also has a power reserve of 50 hours and is water resistant to a depth of 200 metres.


The SM 8 Chrono Steel comes with a high quality black leather strap and is limited to only 15 pieces.

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