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When we think German, we think of precision engineering and quality. And this is precisely what we have here today from Aristo. Aristo Uhren was founded in 1907 by Julius Epple in Pforzheim, a jewelry and watch-making city in black forest, Germany. The company has been producing timepieces for the last three generations. Throughout its time, the case producer and watchmaker untiringly produce truly functional timepieces. We wrote an in-depth article on the brand if you are interested to learn more. In summary, no-nonsense with clean and robust designs typically sums up the Pforzheim mason.
|Aristo Aviator Racing Chronograph Vintage - Limited
For 2022, Aristo is starting the year off strong with their new chronograph series that pulls from the brand’s longstanding archives. Introducing the Aristo Racing Chronograph Vintage Limited. Aristo pulls inspiration from Teutonic chronographs that can be traced back to the post-war period and early days of several German watch manufacturers’ history like the Sinn’s103A and Guinand’s Chronosport 351 chronographs. However, this particular one also tributes to the German’s automotive racing spirit. One can simply think of The Nürburgring where many petrolhead get up on their feet to spectate or experience all sorts of auto-marvels racing down the almost 100 years old circuit.
To kick things off, the Racing Chronograph ticks a Swiss Made automatic caliber, Sellita SW500, operating at 28,800 BPH (4 Hertz) with hacking and hand winding capabilities. It has 25 jewels with a power reserve of 40 hours. The workhorse Chronograph caliber is concealed behind a screw-down case-back made in 316L stainless steel.
|The perfect size for a vintage themed watch|
Now, to the case. As the name implies, the watch measures a good size of 40mm, a lug-to-lug size of 47.5mm, a thickness of 14.7mm, and a lug width of 20mm. This is probably as thin a chronograph as it can get as the Sellita SW500 movement is already 7.9mm. Nevertheless, the overall proportion will wears oh-so-well on most wrists. Two screw-down chrono pushers flank a screw-down crown, adding to a 100m water-resistance of the watch. A unique touch would be the full steel tachymeter bezel scale for timing the speed of one’s vehicle speeding through a certain distant. The bezel creates a beautiful sporty look with its full polished stainless steel case, and adds on the tool watch aesthetic in tandem with the pointy lugs.
The Aristo Chronograph is inspired by the brand’s vintage chronograph made previously for pilot use. And that means it is designed with legibility in mind. Underneath the sapphire crystal belies legible Arabic numerals surrounded by a 60 minute markers on the edge of the dial. This design philosophy is found in most chronographs in the 80s when functionality is all that matters, and been utilised in racing-theme ones too. A good amount of SuperLuminova is applied to the dial and sword-hands for operations in the dark. A day/date window at 3 o'clock is a good addition without cluttering up the dial.
|Minimalistic dial with Teutonic appeal|
As with many other Aristo models, the Racing Chronograph has a relatively huge dial opening. That means this watch is all dial. As a result, it elevates a more prominent visual appeal while aiding legibility - just like a proper military Flieger is supposed to.
The Aristo Racing Chronograph Vintage Limited comes on a classic brown leather strap with vintage whip stitching at the sides, accentuating the vintage tool-watch theme here.
|Glows green in the dark with SuperLumoinova
Only to be released in limited quantities, the Aristo Racing Chronograph Vintage Limited is an incredibly attractive watch–one that feels very much like an honest contemporary interpretation of vintage chrono classics from Germany. And given Aristo value-for-dollar pricing, there’s a lot of value in this package.