When Avenir Chrono’s people were telling me about their new Boss Premiere line of watches (seen here), they mentioned a host of celebrities who were known to wear or own the watches. The funny thing was that I’d never heard of all but one of the people they mentioned. This rather amused me. I was first curious as to what portion of the pop culture demographic they were referring to (later I learned it was mostly people in the hip hop community), and then I was curious as to just how “out of it” I am when it comes to pop culture. Granted, I don’t keep up much with the hip hop crowd, and of course less as to what they are wearing. Maybe because they have a reputation for being on distasteful side of “bling” to often (i.e. most of the Jacob & Co. produces). But watches like this Avenir Chrono don’t phase me that way. They are certainly a major step up from diamond gilded Casio G-Shock watches.
In fact, I think that these timepieces are pretty cool. Sure they are showy, and have a quasi ridiculous name like “Boss Premiere.” It sort of sounds like a fake title that a company owner would put on their business card. “All bow down to the BOSS PREMIERE.” Maybe that is what the employees of China’s Premiere call him after asking “what is your bidding sir?” For years nice watches have had the power to make you feel important. You can laugh all you want at such “loud and in your face’ timepieces, but a good watch can make you feel ‘your worth.’ Given this fact, there is a huge market for timepieces that “make you feel like a big man,” and Avenir Chrono fits in to this broad niche. You can put Breitling in there too. These comments may sound critical of the brand, but they are not. Instead, I am trying to discuss where a watch like this fits in to the horological ecosystem.
Avenir Chrono was started by the Ukrainian immigrants jewelers who started the popular Rafaello & Company Jewelers. Looks like there is gonna a long line of chronograph watches coming from them with a name like that. The watches are made via partners in Switzerland with Swiss movements. The Boss Premiere timepieces use ETA Valjoux 7753 automatic movements. There are the same as a Valjoux 7750, but with a tri-compax chronograph layout and no day of the week indicator. There is likely an open caseback with a view into the movement.
The real draw is in the fanciful design of the cases and bracelet. There is a lot of visual stimulation, and an important amount of high contrasting colors for your eyes to dance around at. While the dials aren’t the epitome of legibility, they aren’t half bad. The gold version is best with the gold hands on the steel toned dial. The watches actually come in steel, rose gold, and platinum (that’s right). So you can imagine the price range for the models differs greatly. Not sure that, but there are diamonds involved! Oh yes, you can get these watches decked out – stepping you up that much closer to bling heaven. Thankfully, even on the totally diamond encrusted versions, the dial stays safe from the jewels.
In addition the other metals, each case has a lot of titanium in it. Likely all the PVD black coated material that you see on the case and bracelet. The cases actually are available in two sizes, either 50mm or 44mm wide. Depending on how big you want to go. The dial are functional and attractive. Nothing out of this world, but a bit more exciting looking than your average aviator inspired watch dial. The guilloche engraving on the dial steps the novelty up a notch. Avenir Chrono is beginning to remind me of a higher-end version of Formex actually, with a jewelry store twist. Pricing for the steel versions start at about $12,500. Steep, but not ludicrous for a Swiss chronograph watch of limited production. Go to platinum and the prices jump to about $45,000. Get some diamonds involved on one of the “Black Snow” models and you are looking at prices from between $65,000 – $120,000. Now you have more ammo in your watch knowledge weapon when trying to figure out what the next urban music star you see is wearing.