Corniche Heritage Chronograph 39mm (Review)

I have reviewed one of their watches in the past, the Heritage 40 and I was very impressed by the watch that I was waiting for them to release something new. And a couple of years later they delivered. Today we are gonna take a look at Corniche Heritage Chronograph. As I understand it is made to commemorate the 5th anniversary of the Corniche watch company. When I first saw the watch, I immediately thought about the Patek Philippe reference 5170P, I also read that some people see Lange 1815 Flyback Chronograph there. It’s quite clear that the Corniche Heritage Chronograph strongly resembles these two highly regarded watches. I don’t know if they influenced from these watches, but nonetheless, I think Corniche Heritage Chronograph is one of the best chronographs I have ever seen from a microbrand!

The Corniche is based in Sweden, but finds its roots in the famous coastal roads, between Nice and Menton, at the French Riviera. The company offers three different watch lines today. The 40 mm Men’s- and 36 mm Women’s Heritage, both with Miyota 2025 quartz movements. Then there’s the Men’s Historique in 37,5 mm, available with either a Miyota 2025 quartz or a Miyota 9015 automatic movement. And the model we have in for the review, the 39 mm Heritage Chronograph with a Seiko VK64 meca-quartz movement. In the last years, this brand has gotten a lot of respect from watch guys as their watches have a very nice and wearable sized watches that aren’t over 40mm. And I also think they have one of the best marketing campaigns in the business.

In the Heritage Chronograph line, we have only two versions: stainless steel and rose gold colour case, both with black dials. The one we have today is the stainless steel version as it looked the best, in my opinion, I’m not a big fan of gold, rose gold coloured watches as the plating tends to not last a lifetime.

The Heritage Chronograph came in a very nice clamshell box with a black piano finish and nicely signed with Corniche logo. They actually gift wrapped the bo for me so kudos to them for great customer service! Many microbrand tend to make thee boxes, but Corniche seems to be the only brand that gets them right and the quality is as good as any other high-end brand. Inside the box, we have the watch, instructions and certificate of authenticity. They were also kind and gave me a keychain which I also received previously, and I’m still carrying it on my keys. The first impression was just wow! It looks so good! I haven’t seen an affordable chronograph that looks so good, maybe except the one from Baltic Watches. The size, the dial, the case, everything just works so well together. I immediately slapped it on a very nice vintage style leather strap from Diamteris and went out to the city to enjoy it. When I was in cafe two people were eyeing my watch and said compliments. I also went into Patek Phillipe AD and they asked me about the watch as it looked so good and when they asked me the price, they were stunned to learn that it costs only 385 euros.

The case of the Heritage Chronograph is made of 316L stainless steel. The machine work is very precise and every line is very sharp. The watch has a round case with nice lugs that go down so it wears more comfortably on your wrist. There are two finishing on the watch:  polished and satin-brushed. The finishing is one also to the highest quality. The case diameter is 39mm, the thickness is 11mm and from lug to lug it measures at 48mm. At 3 o’clock we have a signed push-pull crown which is rather easy to grip and manipulate. At 2 and 4 o’clock we have the rectangular pushers to manipulate the chronograph function. The only problem in my opinion with the watch is the pushers as they move pretty freely in the case and I wish they would sit in the place without moving around. The pushers have polished top and satin brushed sides. I really like how the polished crown and pushers play with the satin brushed sides of the case. The solid case back is held on with six small screws. The case back has Corniche’s traditional pine tree laser etched. The pine tree’s iconic silhouette is a classic along the rocky coasts of Southern France from where the brand roots from and on the back it say: “Commemorating the 5th anniversary of the Corniche“. The water resistance is 5ATM (50m) and I wouldn’t recommend going with it in the water, as the pushers can be accidentally pushed and you will flood the watch. On the top sits a flat sapphire crystal.

The dial is what makes this watch one of the best when it comes to microbrands! The dial is a black ceramic dial. That is pretty rare you see a ceramic dial on a watch that costs only 385 euros, usually, we see dials like that in watches for much bigger prices. Around the dial, we have the Base mile and minute track printed in white. The applied polished hour markers are great adding to the overall look of the dial. We have to subdials in total at 9 and 3 o’clock. The one at 9 is a 60 minute counter and the one at 3 is 24-hour subdial (AM-PM). The leaf-shaped polished hour and minute hands are taken from the Heritage 40 and suits this version too in my opinion. The white chronograph second’s hand has a nice counterweight and extends to the edge of the dial nicely. At 12 we have the Corniche logo and under that in a smaller font: “Heritage“. At 6 o’clock we have a writing: “Hybrid Chronograph”. The dial is very classy, yet modern. I like how sleek it looks and it is fit just as for a fancy event as daily wearing to the office.

The movement that is inside the watch is the Seiko VK64. The VK64 movement has a fly-back feature and a non-running second hand to make the tachymeter more effective. This movement I think is one of the best affordable quartz movements in the market. I have it in a couple of my watches and it works perfectly. The battery life on these is somewhere between 2-3 years, but some of my other examples are 4 years old and still are running with the same battery that they came with.

The strap that Corniche provides you with is the black leather strap with alligator print. The strap is very supple and very nicely made, you can see that with each detail they try to deliver it with the best quality. The underside is underlined with soft beige suede-like leather and is signed with Corniche logo. The buckle that came with the watch is a fold over one. It is made of stainless steel and has a polished finishing. The top is signed with Corniche logo. The buckle is very nice and feels very sturdy and well made. The only thing I would want to change is that alligator print strap, I think companies need to stop using them or just start using real alligator leather straps.

Overall the watch was a lot more than I hoped for it to be. This one really surprised me with the design, built quality and everything. The price of this watch I think is super great! Almost all people who I showed it, said it looks like it costs 5000 euros or more, but not 385 euros. For that price, you get a really great and thought out design, sapphire crystal, reliable meca-quartz movement from Seiko and a great unboxing experience. This one will definitely be on my wrist the most this year!

Price: 385€ @ cornichewatches.com

  • Case Size: 39 mm x 11.5 mm.
  • Dial: Ceramic with hand-applied polished markers
  • Crystal Sapphire Glass
  • Strap: Genuine black leather with quick-release function
  • Lug Width: 20 mm
  • Movement: Seiko VK64 Hybrid (sweeping second hand)
  • Clasp: Folding mechanism for ultimate comfort and ease-of-use
  • Water Resistance: Waterproof up to 5ATM
  • Packaging: Piano lacquered presentation box

 

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