The Heritage Chronograph LE bicompax chronograph joins the collection in 2021 in invigorated yet classic form.
In 1946 Delma released its first chronograph at a time when wristwatches were previously seen as exclusive professional instruments for aviators, racers and military men. Recorded under the name Midland, the classic 18-karat yellow gold chronograph equipped with a mechanical hand-winding movement signifies the beginning of Delma’s sports watch collection. 75 years later, we celebrate the development in popularity and everlasting style of this classic timepiece with tribute to its original design and pioneering functionality. Limited to only 75 pieces per model in recognition of this milestone, it maintains essential characteristics of the original and features a Tachymeter and Telemeter, now powered by an automatic movement.
While today, a chronograph wristwatch is seen as an aesthetic enhancement to stylish attire, albeit with practical applications, that was not always the case. In the days Delma’s first chronograph was brought to market, the measurement abilities were sought after by consumers for their precious unmatched functionality. Counting minutes and seconds with accessible, portable convenience meant daily activities such as correspondence, competitions and travel were more accurate and measurable.
The bespoke Tachymeter was used to calculate speed, specifically units per hour. While today such measurements are readily presented to us with various electronic instruments, this scale preceded them by using a fixed marker to give an accurate measurement of the rate of travel of a car, train or even a plane.
The Telemeter, featured on the inner ring of the perimeter was innovated to measure the distance between the timepiece and a visual element through the speed of sound, a prime example being the proximity of lightning through the measurement of its visual appearance and the thunder heard. While this may seem novel today, this functionality was crucial on the battlefield and in various other applications.
A further nostalgic element is the three elongated lines on the minute counter at 3, 6 and 9 minutes, originally used to time phone calls at payphones as they would end in 3-minute intervals (if no further money were inserted).
While the new limited edition Heritage is undoubtedly a revival of a historic chronograph, it is also subtly enhanced with new design elements and materials. Cathedral shaped hour and minute hands in a blued finish with old radium luminous markers have been introduced to yellow gold and rose gold PVD case varieties. A new black dialed version features stainless steel hands with C3 SuperLuminova. The central seconds hand rotates through the enlarged and luminous Arabic numerals now displayed in a slightly bolder, modernized typeface.
The Heritage collection represents Delma’s uncompromised commitment to creating classic quality timepieces. Now comprised of a 3-hand, as well as bicompax and three counter chronographs, it demonstrates the timeless nature of a quintessential timepiece, improved over time with the innovation of new technical features and materials while the design and quality remain eternally modern.