Angelus, the Swiss watchmaker founded back in 1891, has announced the launch of ‘La Fabrique’ – a brand new collection that will comprise highly limited re-editions and reinterpretations of its vintage models. The Chronographe Médical x Massena Lab watch – limited to just 99 pieces – becomes the first model to be inducted into this new collection.
The Chronographe Médical is a true tool chronograph with a highly distinctive and functional dial layout, as it is based on a watch that was designed specifically for medical professionals. As a result, its unique primary functions include a pulsometer and asthmometer scales.
In the 1960s, Angelus launched its “doctor’s watch” – a hand-wound chronograph with a dial that presented a dual scale, both required for reading a patient’s vital signs during examinations. One was the pulsometer, which measured the patient’s pulse. Meanwhile, the asthmometer recorded their respiratory rate. This watch follows the 1950s and 1960s trend of specializing chronographs to meet specific functional or professional requirements.
The doctor’s watch from the last century has now been revived and brought up to date with the Chronographe Médical x Massena Lab watch. The new model was conceived in collaboration with Massena Lab. Founded by William Massena, a highly respected watch collector and industry expert, Massena Lab collaborates with watch manufacturers by proposing original design concepts.
“When talking to Bertrand Savary (Angelus CEO), we discussed Angelus’ spectacular heritage,” explains William Massena. “We hit on the idea of creating a capsule collection that would revive one of the most perfect tool chronographs of the 1960s.”
The Chronographe Médical x Massena Lab is therefore a re-edition, distinguished from the original by several small details. The A5000 movement is an Angelus calibre with manual winding and an integrated chronograph. The case is fittingly made from surgical-grade 316L steel. To make the pulsometer scale more legible, the case diameter has been increased to 39mm.
The pulsometer function indicates a patient’s heart rate without the need for calculations. On the Angelus Chronographe Médical, the pulsometer scale between 1 and 3 o’clock is based on 10 beats. As soon as the chronograph is started, the user has to count 10 beats and then stop the mechanism. When compared against the pulsometer scale, the chronograph hand will then indicate the number of beats per minute.
The asthmometer displays the respiratory rate per minute. The Chronographe Médical works on the basis of five breaths. After starting the chronograph, the user counts five breaths before pressing the pusher again. The chronograph hand will indicate the number of breaths per minute on the inner scale graduated from 40 to 10.
The combination of pulsometer and asthmometer in a single watch remained unique to this day, as well as the way in which they are displayed. First, the pulsometer has a very specific colour code: green, black, or red, corresponding to the severity of the reading obtained during the examination. By contrast, the respiratory scale is red and is nestled inside the minute circle.
These two scales are positioned so as to make them as legible and clear as possible. Before each scale, the requirement for taking vital signs is listed – base 10 pulsations and base 5 respirations. The font used is particularly wide and contrasted for effortless legibility. Two large arrows accentuate these scales, one of which, curved and crossing the minute circle, is unique. Lastly, the silvered opaline dial and Dauphine hands with luminescent lines are identical to the model that inspired this timepiece.
Because of their importance, the pulsometer and asthmometer scales are given pride of place on the dial, pushing the minute track and the hour markers towards the centre. The appliqué hour markers are half indexes and half Arabic numerals. This layout shows that this timepiece was intended to be a tool, with visual precedence given to its utilitarian functions. When combined with the fact that the chronograph function only measures a duration of 60 seconds, this piece becomes a specialist model.
Inside, Angelus has incorporated a very specific version of its A5000 calibre. It displays the small seconds at 9 o’clock and only the chronograph seconds hand – the only one needed to use the medical scales – and there is no 30-minute counter. This manually-wound version of the calibre has a single mushroom-shaped pusher at 2 o’clock. Operating at a rate of 3 Hz, it incorporates a column wheel and a horizontal clutch.
The Chronographe Médical x Massena Lab is fitted on a full-grain calfskin Novonappa strap in a beautiful shade of golden brown that develops a patina over time and is one of the finest skins used in leather goods. The 99 pieces will be available through the network of authorized Angelus retailers, as well as directly from MassenaLab.com.