The Guinand Series 40 pulls inspiration directly from the legendary Bundeswehr chronographs of the 1960’s, made by Heuer. These flyback chronographs with killer looks are amongst the most well known military watches on the planet.
A Little Bit of History
Guinand can be traced back to 1865, when brothers Julien-Alcide and Charles Leon Guinand founded the Guinand Frères company in Les Brenets, Switzerland.
In the years that followed, Guinand become synonymous with chronographs, supplying militaries around the world with specialty products and manufacturing chronographs for a number of renowned Swiss and German firms.
One of Guinand’s most important accounts was Helmut Sinn, a watchmaker based in Frankfurt who in 1961 founded “Helmut Sinn Spezialuhern”, with a philosophy to create watches “as perfectly as possible, but only as expensive as necessary.”
After leaving Sinn in 1994, Helmut Sinn did not stop making watches. In 1996 he took over Guinand, which he ran until 2006, when he at the age of 90, retired.
The most tempting watches that Guinand offers, are their Valjoux powered chronographs, and Guinand 40.50.01 is one of them.
A Tool Watch
First and foremost, Guinand 40.50.01 is a proper tool watch.
The chronograph is paired with a bi-directional, 60-minute bezel, day and date indications at 3 o’clock, protected pushers and sealed screw down crown to protect the mechanism, as well as an anti-reflective coating on the front and the back sapphire crystal.
The watch has strong roots to the vintage pilot chronographs of the 1960’s and its design is based on classic design of the early Heuer pilot chronographs, known for its optimum readability, robust design and good wearability.
- Case diameter: 40.6mm
- Case thickness: 15.2mm
- Lug width: 20mm
- Lug to lug: 49mm
- Weight: 85g
- Crystal: domed sapphire with internal anti-reflective coating
- WR: 200m
- Movement: Valjoux 7750
Let’s take a closer look at the watch itself.
The polished, stainless steel case measuring 40.6 mm in diameter and 49 mm lug to lug, features distinctively aggressive lines, similar to those found on vintage pilot chronographs, specifically the the iconic Heuer Bundeswehr chronograph available throughout the 60’s and 70’s.
On top is the light metal bi-directional pilots bezel, common on vintage models. Matte black, the bezel shows silver numerals at five minute/second intervals and hash markers in between and with a triangle at 12-o-clock which has a luminescence dot in the middle that glows in the dark. Along its side is subtle, rectangled edging which provides a nice tactile feel when rotating the bezel.
At the 2, 3 and 4 o’clock positions are the polished protected chrono pushers and double O-ring sealed screw down crown with a “G” marked on it. The pushers are hard and a definite click is heard when pressed. Protected pushers and sealed crown enables reliable pressure resistance of 20 bar.
Viewing the Guinand 40.50.01 from the side, you’ll notice that the lugs sloping sharply downward, like the wings of a fighter jet, for a better fit on the wrist. The case appears a bit tall, and it is at 15.2 mm. Guinand gets its height from its bulging case back, which is topped off with a domed sapphire crystal. Though it’s cool in appearance, it forces the watch to sit a bit higher off the wrist rather than sink into it. The sapphire crystal edge on top is a fraction of mm raised above the edge of the bezel.
It’s by no means uncomfortable—in fact, the overall size is very comfortable when worn.
The base of the dial is a deep matte black, and all markings are printed in white.
The primary index features large Arabic numerals, omitting the three (for the date), and six, nine and 12 (for the three totalizers).
Thin hash markings at one-fifth of a second line the outer rim of the dial, with fat hash markings at each hour.
One step toward the inner dial, you’ll find lumed hour markers.
At 3 o’clock is the day-date window with white text on black background, white outlining and the Guinand logo above, emulatig the shape of an airplane wing.
At 9 o’clock, the active second sub dial features small tick markers for each second, with numerals at 20, 40 and 60.
At 12 o’clock, the chrono minute counter shows markers at each minute and numerals at 10, 20 and 30.
At 6 o’clock the chrono hour sub dial has numerals at 3, 6, 9 and 12 hour and has markers at each hour and half hour.
The bold swords minutes and hour hands are lumed along with the hour markers, glowing a bright green. Dial clarity and legibility is great.
The Guinand series 40 is powered by a sturdy and reliable automatic workhorse Valjoux 7750, self-winding chronograph movement, with shock resistance as per DIN 8308 and anti-magnetic properties as per DIN 8309 standards, and power reserve of approximately of 40-hours.
The movement is beautifully decorated with handsome Geneva stripes and Guinand logo engraved on the rotor and some engine turned circles. Blued screws rounds off the movement nicely.
Strap and Wearability
The Guinand came with a quality and pliable black leather pilot strap padded at the center and adorned with contrast white stitching. The buckle, with the name on it, and tang are stainless steel to match the case color.
The simplicity of the watch design allow it to pair with different colors and textures quite well.
At 40.6 mm, the solid stainless steel case is perfectly sized. Being 15.2 mm thick with the slightly domed crystal, it sits high above the wrist, but the watch does wear well for something this thick.
At the End
All in all, Guinand 40.50.01 is beautiful pilot watch, with good proportions and sharp looks, offering a level of quality and design often reserved for watches of considerably greater value.
It stands as an example of the brands commitment to high-quality, purposeful timepieces at affordable prices.
Photos by Stefan Đaković.
For more information, visit Guinand online.