Watch brands engaging with, and in some cases collaborating with, the collector community has been a welcome sight in recent years. We’ve seen RedBar with a slew of great collaborations, as well as more private groups with the likes of the Chronomaster El Primero C.01 x Collective. One group you may not be aware of is CronotempVs, a private club based in Spain. They’ve done closed collabs in the past, but their latest is open to all buyers, and is being done with Habring². The watch is the Endurance, and it’s got a great story to share.
The name may sound vague, but it’s in reference to the Endurance ship piloted by Ernest Shackleton during his ill-fated Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition. The expedition began in 1914 in an attempt to make the first land crossing of the Antarctic continent, however, a series of unfortunate events that led to a multi-year rescue mission with no loss of life means the expedition has become a symbol of human perseverance. After the ship became beset in ice, eventually succumbing to the icy waters, the 28 man crew spent months in makeshift camps before taking lifeboats to Elephant island. From there, Shackelton and five crew men made the 800 mile open boat trek to South Georgia, where they were able to stage a rescue of the remainder of the crew. The ordeal came to an end in 1917, with all crew members (and some bottles of whiskey) surviving.
The harrowing tale served as inspiration for Habring² & CronotempVs, who designed a watch around the idea of surviving the harsh conditions subjected to the crew of Endurance. The result is the watch we see here. Cursory glance at the dial begs a closer look due to a few unusual complications, but taken together this is a practical and even unique take on the concept of a utility watch.
The Endurance features a symmetrical dual register layout, but there are two apertures that raise an eyebrow. The first is nested within the sub dial at 9 o’clock, which houses the running seconds hand. The aperture is a top second indication, which rotates a disc under the dial to flash red each 5 seconds, thus reassuring the wearer that the watch is running. This is a complication rarely seen, even when it was introduced by Mondia in the ‘60s. It’s fitting here given the inspiration, providing a quick indication of the state of your watch.
The second aperture is more prominent, placed directly above the stem at the center of the dial. This is a day/night indication, which would be particularly useful in the confines of the Antarctic, which goes through seasons in which, conditions permitting, the sun is a permanent fixture in the sky (summer), or absent altogether (winter).
Finally. The sub-dial at 3 o’clock houses a power reserve indication. A feature that pairs well with the top seconds aperture, and will keep you well abreast of the 48 hours of reserve within the hand-wound movement. Elsewhere on the sandblasted anthracite dial you’ll find Arabic numerals sans the cardinal hours manning the perimeter, with a silver chapter ring at the far edge. Generous helpings of Super LumiNova are applied to all vital areas. The dial is at once classically handsome and unique, though the large logo placement at 12 o’clock impedes on the simplicity.
The Endurance inspiration doesn’t end there. The polished steel case houses a double domed sapphire crystal with water resistance to 100m, while the movement itself is lubricated with special oils and components that can endure temperatures of -60º celsius and below. Additionally, Habring has deployed their Magnetic Shielding (HMS) around the hairspring which protests it from stray magnetic fields, and keeps the overall thickness of the watch in check in the process.
Overall this is a watch that looks to be up the task of traversing the Antarctic, should you dare subject yourself to such peril. While CronotempVs are generally reserved for members of the group, this release is being offered to the public, though just 33 examples of the watch are being built for a price of 6,450 Euros. Reservations for the watch will remain open until sold through, and can be made right here. For more on this watch visit CronotempVs.