Helson, a relatively young watch company with a focus on divers, announced the release of their Gauge Chrono this week. The Gauge Chrono is a very bizarre and interesting watch that although pretty expensive, deserves some ogling out of pure watch fascination. The watch is made from a single block of basted titanium that the movement is top loaded into. That is to say, the watch has no case back. The bezel is a simple bronze ring that plays nicely off of the matte grey titanium body. The face is black with white/lume number free index, three sub-dials for seconds and the chronograph and a date window at 6. It is very clear and precise with a graphically satisfying simplicity to it. My favorite feature is the “bullhead” arranged pushers and flush crown. There are too few bullhead watches out there, so I always get excited to see one. The watch is powered by a Valjoux 7750, which is a high quality industry standard automatic movement. The domed sapphire crystal comes in at 4.5mm thick and adds a nice classic diver’s bubble effect to the watch. The overall thickness of this watch is 22mm, which is nearly an inch, and the diameter is 47mm making this watch just huge.
The appearance of this watch is that of piece of equipment that happens to have a strap on it, as the name Gauge would suggest. The styling is a bit retro, and the brass ring adds an almost steam-punk vibe to it, though, unlike most steam-punk objects, the Gauge has a purpose behind its design. I genuinely appreciate the almost stubborn commitment to making such an intense dive watch…and with a diving depth of 1,000m, this watch is a serious piece of kit, which probably should be owned by an enthusiast who will put it to use… The Gauge Chrono is limited to 25 pieces at $2,000 a pop, so if this watch drives you crazy, get on buying it now. Otherwise, be like me and just appreciate that this exists and that Helson is out there doing interesting things