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Swiss brand Le Rhöne poised to overtake chronograph market

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June 2015


New Swiss watch brand Le Rhöne draws on the flowing curves and aggressive power of vintage American muscle cars. And its new Road Racer watch line looks poised to muscle its way into the crowded chronograph market.

Here at Europa Star, we like the young and upcoming brands which try to challenge the big players of the watch world. We especially like it when they have something special to share with all us watch enthusiasts.

Recently, we were introduced to new Swiss watchmaker Le Rhöne. The concept behind the brand is to connect some of the most respected independent ateliers in the watch industry, each of whom specializes in a specific component of the watch.

This alliance of unique know-how has given the brand the opportunity to offer innovative and exclusive high-end chronographs to the public. And the fruits of their collaboration were displayed to the public for the first time at Baselworld earlier this year.

Le Rhöne Road Racer, gold & white dial
Le Rhöne Road Racer, gold & white dial

Inspired by the luxury motor-racing world and the iconic sport cars of the 1970s, Le Rhöne has brought a unique collection of sporty and modern luxury chronographs. Common themes in its watches can be found in those vintage beauties from the motor world, including their curvy hood shapes, supple leather seats, aggressive and powerful design.

1969 Chevrolet Camaro SS
1969 Chevrolet Camaro SS

Driving the brand is its first collection, the Road Racer series of watches, which is fittingly limited only to 69 pieces. They are inspired by the 1969 Chevrolet Camaro SS. Many details of the chronograph capture the avant-garde design of the classic American muscle car, including the car’s dashboard counters on the dial and an anti-magnetism cage inspired by the Camaro’s steering wheel.

Road Racer, back view showing “steel cage”
Road Racer, back view showing “steel cage”

That steel cage, by the way, integrates the whole movement, meaning that magnetic fields coming from cell phones and other devices are dramatically reduced. At the end of the day, that means a more accurate watch!

The back of the watch displays – through sapphire glass - a customized oscillating mass and the Dubois-Dépraz automatic movement, which itself has a rich family tradition in chronograph module development.

But maybe what is most unique about these the Road Racer watches is what they hide on their side. Le Rhöne managed to find a rare and original engine from a 1969 Camaro SS, which was divided into small “ingots” and integrated in the left side of the watch case. It bares the serial number of the original engine, engraved as a certificate of authenticity.

Road Racer, side view with “ingot”
Road Racer, side view with “ingot”

American muscle cars are known for their bold designs, aggressively powerful V8 motors, and iconic status (also their fuel consumption, for those with an eye on the environment). And if design is any indication of its potential, then the Road Racer line by Le Rhöne looks primed to muscle its way into a crowded watch market. (VJ)