Right On Track

It’s not weird if I say that the Singer Track1 chronograph is going to change the way we use chronographs, is it? Because I genuinely think it will. People don’t really use the chronograph function on their watches very much, because it’s kind of a pain in the ass.

Honestly, I can’t remember the last time I used my chronograph. They’re hard to read, as a rule. The indications are small and they’re all over the place. You get the chronograph seconds from the centre. You get the chronograph minutes from some other counter, and it’s either a 60-minute counter that seriously does a number on your eyes, or it’s a 30-minute counter and you have to look at the hour totaliser to work out whether you’re in the first or second half of the elapsed hour. And sometimes there isn’t an hour totaliser at all. A bit too much hard work, this.

Do not get me wrong. I love chronographs. I adore them. Chronographs to me are like Victoria’s Secret Angels to Taylor Swift. Can’t stay away from them. My point is, up until now, the pleasure of watching a chronograph work has vastly outweighed its day-to-day utility for me.

That’s not the case with the Singer Track1 chronograph.

By reorienting the chronograph display so that it can be read as intuitively as the time, the Track1 makes the chronograph more than useful. It makes it usable, something that previous chronographs are somewhat deficient in (as beautiful as they are).

This is the first watch to come from Singer, best known elsewhere for their spectacular work in restoring and modifying Porsche 911s, and marks the beginning of a timepiece collection created with the same principles that drove the automotive side of things. These principles — focus on detail, perfectionism, reimagining classics — are clearly delineated in the Track1 chronograph.

Singer Track1 chronograph

Its design is best described as neo-vintage, strongly evocative of 1960s and 1970s sports watches without overtly referencing any one particular model. The robust tonneau case projects forcefully off the wrist, topped by a sensuously lithe bezel and domed crystal. Curves dominate throughout, from the arched profile that suggests dynamic motion, the edges and surfaces of the pump pushers that activate the chronograph, to the dial markings (numerals, text and scale divisions) with their rounded forms and terminals.

This places the onus of visual communication on the sharp-edged, clean-lined elements, and it just so happens that those elements are those that convey the most precise bits of information the Track1 can give — the chronograph indications.

(By the way, those stepped indices on the outermost chronograph ring are a delight. They make all the difference; don’t try and tell me they don’t. Them’s fightin’ words.)

Singer Track1 chronograph

I don’t want to go on too much about the design, because I can already tell I’m on the verge of getting too excited and embarrassing myself. The pierced leather strap with metal-rimmed eyes, the subtle variegation of dial textures in concentric rings, the openworked chronograph hour hand, I’ll just leave them for you to discover on your own, because everyone deserves to experience them without having to hear me get semi-hysterical about details. I mean, I literally have nothing bad to say about the design of the Singer Track1. Zero criticism. Do you even realise how rare this is?

As I’ve said plenty of times before, I don’t know anything about cars, so I can’t actually tell you anything useful about Singer Vehicle Design, but my colleague Sean Li and my boss Wei Koh both know a ton of stuff about cars and their appreciation for Singer Porsches are off the charts, so I’m going to take that as gospel. The engine of the Track1 chronograph is the Agengraphe of Jean-Marc Wiederrecht and his team (which we previously met in the Fabergé Visionnaire Chronograph), so you can click over to that excellent report for more details on the insides of this watch.

The launch of the Singer Reimagined Track1 chronograph is taking place in Geneva as this report is being published, and the only thing that reconciles me to not being there is that I managed to get a sneak peek of the watch in February. Ladies and gentlemen, it really is that gorgeous, more than photos can express. Get your hands on one, if only just to check it out in person. I guarantee you won’t regret it.

Jean-Marc Wiederrecht and his team

Singer Track1 Chronograph: Technical Specifications

Case

Titanium; 43 mm; 15 mm (height); dial and caseback sapphire crystal glass with anti-reflective coating; water-resistant to 10 bar (100m)

Movement

Automatic mechanical movement column-wheel chronograph; centralised instantaneous chronograph hours (60 hours) and minutes (60 minutes), sweep chronograph second hand (60 seconds); minimum power reserve of 60 hours; 3Hz (21,600vph); hours and minutes on peripheral discs

Strap

Black calf leather with khaki green alligator lining; brushed grade-5 titanium screw-down rivets; titanium pin buckle

Price

39’800 CHF excluding VAT and local taxes

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