Say “ Big Watch” and most people instantly think about Panerai or IWC’s Big Pilot. Perhaps with a few their thoughts will go to their favorite Breitling or Omega on steroids. This can hardly be helped since these are the brands that are very much in the public eye. When a name like “Guy Ellia” drops into a conversation most people don’t even know how to hide the fact that they have never heard of this brand, let alone seen one of its watches. But, believe me, they feel right at home in the “Big Boys, Big Toys” series.
Guy Ellia is a brand to know when you are into big watches, for the simple reason that they redefine the big watch! A great example of this is the “Jumbo Chrono”. Don’t take the word Jumbo in its name lightly because even in the world of big watches, its diameter might be shocking. 50mm of prime real estate is what this watch offers your wrist. Unwearable will probably be your first reaction, but this Guy Ellia is not like any other big watch. With most large watches, the big equals the bulky, but Guy Ellia follows a different path. The whole concept of the watch is focused on offering you as much watch as possible without compromising on the wearing comfort. This is done by keeping the watch relatively thin, with a height of only 11.5mm. This is about just as high as the regular Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Chronograph, and almost 3mm thinner then the Royal Oak Offshore Chronograph!
In addition, the lugs of the Jumbo Chrono are kept relatively short and positioned at a sharp downward angle. On the wrist, this means that the watch is kept secure in place without needing additional space. The crown is also recessed into the case for the most part and the operating buttons for the chronograph are kept in line of the case
The movement of the Jumbo Chrono is based on the Frederic Piguet caliber 1185. Major change is that the hour and minute hand have been moved to a subdial at 12 o’clock, with the running seconds at its own subdial at 6 o’clock. The minute counter resides at 4 o’clock, while the hour counter takes position at 8 o’clock. Only the chronograph seconds hand has center stage and is mounted in the middle of the dial.
Dial might be a bit too much credit, because the Jumbo Chrono features a so-called “Discovery” dial. This means that large portions of the dial have been cut away so you can admire the inner works of the watch. Since the movement itself is not skeletonized this gives it a highly industrialized look while the air of mystery is still preserved.
In a way, this watch is also equipped with something that you can call a “Discovery” rotor. A ring floating above the outer edges of the movement is joined in the middle by six spokes, giving it the look of an endlessly turning wheel, under which the familiar layout of the movement is visible from the back.
Ellia’s approach to gold is also very interesting; the Jumbo Chrono is available in black, white and pink gold. Each color gives the watch a completely different look, but all have a beautiful, satin-brushed texture that transforms this watch into 50mm of understatement. Yes, it is possible!
Since Guy Ellia started his career in the diamond trade, he includes two diamond set versions as part of the Jumbo Chrono collection. But for those who prefer their carbon served in a different way, Guy Ellia created a special “Carbone” version of the Jumbo Chrono. This slightly more military styled watch (crown guards and screws that stick slightly out of the bezel) has its case crafted out of a solid piece of forged carbon, creating a lightweight watch with a very interesting and subtle texture in the case, that gives you the idea of a ton-sur-ton camouflage look.
So with the Jumbo Chrono Guy Ellia created a versatile, and even wearable, watch that pushes the boundaries of the term “BIG”. Its diameter will impress many, although only its owner will know the fact that it is secretly a “gentle giant” that might bark, but never bite. A big watch this size was never so easy to get along with, but please keep this a secret…they might throw you out of the Big Boys club just because of it.