Nivada Grenchen Breaks the Mold by Teaming Up with Fratello on the Brand-New Racing Chronograph

Nivada Grenchen’s formula for success is quite simple. Since the brand came back bursting onto the scene by re-releasing collection mainstays in the Chronomaster Aviator Sea Diver and the Antarctic in 2020, Guillaume Laidet and Remi Chabrat has continued to tap into the brand’s expansive vintage catalog full of no-fuss field watches, funky divers and bold chronographs. Bit by bit, Nivada Grenchen has given us a full-on history lesson with a steady cadence of re-releases built for the modern day wearer and enthusiast. The brand has also made more of a concentrated effort by providing more affordable options with the same charming vintage aesthetic. I think I can speak for everyone when I say, we welcome all of this with open arms (especially the affordable part).

But Nivada Grenchen isn’t just a one trick pony. We’ve seen the brand take more of an open-minded approach via their collaborations. Heck, we got a flurry of them to close out 2022, with each special edition piece embracing what their collaborative partner brings to table, while simultaneously encapsulating the brand’s 70’s vintage design language. I’ve said this plenty of times, and I’ll say it again, collaborations allow brands to let their hair down. To step outside of the box. To try something entirely new. And the result is something quite refreshing for us enthusiasts. That’s exactly what we’ve been getting from Nivada Grenchen and their forays into the collaborative space. Now Nivada Grenchen is back and looking to start the year off strong with yet another collaboration; this time with our friends from The Hague and fellow watch publication, Fratello Watches.


The Fratello x Nivada Grenchen Racing Chronograph isn’t just another direct pull from their back catalog. It’s a brand-new watch all together marking a new chapter for the brand as they shift their focus towards what Nivada Grenchen looks like in 2023 and beyond. There’s no better  collaborative partner to embark on this journey into unexplored territory than Fratello, who is no stranger to leaving their mark on a collaborative watch. They’ve distinctly done so with projects like their oxblood Oris Pointer Date and more recently. An ice-blue Aquastar DSII. But this collab (akin to their Nomos Worldtimer), feels much more subtle, but the impact is just as significant.

The Fratello x Nivada Grenchen Racing Chronograph takes inspiration from multiple places within the NG catalog and fuses them together. The first design inspiration comes in the form of the Racing Chronograph’s case body, which is in close resemblance to the 1970’s Nivada Grenchen Chronosport. However, the current case on the Racing Chronograph is cleaner and more refined. Compared to the Chronosport, the Racing Chronograph lugs are rounder and the polish along the case and lug edges are tightened up. From the images alone, the case looks smoother, presenting in a genteel manner. The increased brushed surface of the case face accentuates the other features of the watch including the various offered dial colors and a new-to-Nivada steel bezel adorned with a tachymeter display.

Nivada Grenchen has always stayed in their vintage lane when it comes to their chronograph case sizing. At a svelte 38mm case width, Fratello seems to whole-heartedly agree as well (me too). With its faultless case width paired with a compact 44.3mm lug to lug and a very manageable 13.75mm case thickness, it doesn’t get any better. It’s a tidy package with everything you want with nothing more than you need.

There’s no shortage of dial color variations. If your approach to dials colors is more on the conservative side, then the all-black, panda and reverse-panda dial iterations will most certainly speak to you. But Fratello and Nivada Grenchen also have a couple of other dial colors that one of which lean into the more contemporary with its stark all-white dial, and the other which goes full-on vintage. The latter is a “tropical” brown dial and matching sub registers. I must admit, I was never one for brown dials, but this tropical dial is doing it for me. Against the steeled out case, white-orange accents and a paper mache texture, it’s absolutely a striking dial.

Like the case, the dial pulls from a vintage Nivada Grenchen model, this time a different variation of a Racing Chronograph. The Fratello x Nivada Grenchen takes the same race checker design encircling the dial and applies it to this current piece, but instead of red accents, we get some of that Fratello flare courtesy of its attractive orange accents. The steel bezel with tachymeter scale was also a joint decision between the two making this particular chronograph all the more distinct among other Nivada Grenchen chronographs.

The movement follows suit with the vintage theme. To power the Racing Chronograph, you’ll have to manually wind the crown to get the Sellita SW520 M b gears moving. On a full wind, the Racing Chronograph is expected to run for approximately 63 hours, and thanks to the sapphire display-caseback, you’ll get to appreciate all the moving parts, including a signed rotor finished with Côte de Géneve stripes.

The one caveat for owning a vintage chronograph is that more than likely you’re going to have to deal with leaving your watch behind if you plan on jumping in any body of water. So when brands bolster their cases with at least 100 meters of water resistance like the Fratello x Nivada Grenchen Racing Chronograph, I am a happy camper, so bonus points to these guys. Overall, the attractive features here that make each one of these chronographs appealing is the steel bezel, orange accents and textured dial. The tropical brown dial in particular is currently tugging at my heartstrings as I type this. Noteworthy mentions also got to the bullet-style link bracelet with a 20mm-16mm taper which ties a ribbon around what should be a successful release by Fratello and Nivada Grenchen.

Mark your calendars for March 20th, because at 4:00 PM CET, the pre-order window will open for the Fratello x Nivada Grenchen Racing Chronograph. Each dial color will be limited to just 10 pieces and comes with a pre-order price tag of €1,499 excluding VAT. If you’re one of the lucky 50 to snag a Racing Chronograph, expect delivery of your NWA in June of 2023. Fratello x Nivada Grenchen

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Thomas is a budding writer and an avid photographer by way of San Diego, California. From his local surf break to mountain peaks and occasionally traveling to destinations off the beaten path, he is always searching for his next adventure, with a watch on wrist, and a camera in hand. Thomas is a watch enthusiast through and through; having a strong passion for their breadth of design, historical connection, and the stories that lie within each timepiece.